Rainy Olympic National Park Elopement
When you think about rain on your elopement day, you might first be nervous about what it means for your photos or your clothing or your hair or even your mood. However, rain on your elopement is Good Luck!
A rainy elopement is good luck because it signifies that you will be cleansed of the tough times from your past and be given a new chapter in your life. It also symbolizes that your marriage will last forever, something that we all hope for!
If I arrive on your elopement day and it’s raining outside, I start singing the Alanis Morissette song “Ironic” in my head….“….It’s like rain on your wedding day….”
(If you love 90’s music like me, then you’re welcome.)
I also think about how green and lush the forest looks while it is raining. And how many fewer people are going to be outside, which means you’ll have so much more privacy. It also means we’re going to slow down even more for your elopement, so that you can take time to keep dry and warm up. There are so many positives to a rainy elopement.
Kathryn & Jeff’s Rainy Elopement in Olympic National Park
K&J reached out to me in early February and wanted to elope in the month of February before the birth of their first child. We talked about all the places that have meaning to them in Washington and decided upon Olympic National Park. It is the place where they went to celebrate when they found out they were going to be parents. It seemed so meaningful to have them exchange their vows with each other there.
One of the reasons why I like to recommend Olympic National Park for couples wanting to elope in the PNW in winter or spring is because it’s usually more temperate than the rest of Washington. It also has such diverse landscape that almost anyone can find a type of landscape they will love there from coastal beaches to rain forests to waterfalls to alpine lakes to mountain ranges. For more details, you can read this resource I’ve written on “Why Olympic National Park is magical for elopements”.
I always check multiple weather sources daily as we get close to a couple’s elopement date. A week out from K&J’s elopement, the weather looked overcast and cool. However, the day before, the weather pattern changed, and we were going to experience an “atmospheric river”. The term ‘atmospheric river’ describes the type of Pacific storm where copious amounts of rain come down from corridors of concentrated moisture. Their elopement day, February 28th, ended up being the 10th rainiest day on record in that area.
Elopement Ceremony at Lake Crescent
The couple started their elopement at Lake Crescent. We met at the Lodge, which isn’t open at that time of year. We had the entire area to ourselves! I’ve been to Lake Crescent many times and this is the first time I have never seen another person in the area with the Lodge. It was great! I showed the couple some of my favorite spots along the water and they chose the location where they wanted to exchange their vows.
I served as the officiant for their elopement, as well as photographer, so the only people in attendance were the couple, their two fur babies and me. You may wonder how I can both officiate and photograph? I’ve done it many times now and have it figured it. I work with the couple in advance to write out their ceremony script. At their elopement, I will take pauses from photographing to recite their ceremony, guide moments of meditation, perform hand fasting ceremonies or other meaningful ceremonies. I can switch easily between officiating and photographing. It works well and slows down the ceremony, which helps the couples enjoy the ceremony and their vows even more.
Even though Lake Crescent Lodge was closed, the porch is still accessible. After their ceremony, we set up some chairs and a table so that K&J could enjoy their wedding cake and sign their marriage license paperwork. In Washington State, you need 2 witnesses and luckily 2 people stopped by to enjoy Lake Crescent during that time, so we asked them to sign as witnesses, which they graciously did. The cover over the Lake Crescent Lodge porch provided a nice reprieve from the rain.
Rainy Adventures along Lake Crescent Forest Trail
After taking some more photographs around Lake Crescent Lodge, we drove to the other side of the lake and hiked a portion of the forest trail that goes to Marymere Falls. The rain really picked up by that point. Even with the umbrellas that I provided for the couple, the wind was blowing the rain in all directions. When we got into the forest and under the dense trees, we found spots that were mostly dry, so they could take photos without their coats and umbrellas. However, I also captured images of them in their coats and with the umbrellas because those images tell the story of the conditions on their rainy elopement.
Madison Falls Rainy Elopement Adventures
We had one last stop to make before their elopement activities completed. We drove a short distance to one of my favorite waterfalls in Olympic National Park – Madison Falls. It’s an easily accessible waterfall. I was originally planning to photograph them at the base of the waterfall. However, as we approached the waterfall, we heard it before we saw it. The water was gushing! Not only was the waterfall full, but the wind was blowing the spray in our direction. Kathryn squealed with excitement! They both set their umbrellas down and took off their coats and ran towards the waterfall. I was able to capture many images and a short video of them at the waterfall. We all had huge smiles on our faces. It was exhilarating!
After we left the waterfall, the couple said it was one of the most amazing experiences of their lives and the best part of the day. It is also a memory I will never forget and so glad that I was able to help make that happen for them and capture these photos they will treasure for a lifetime.
K&J’s rainy elopement could have gone many ways, but they chose to marvel in the beauty of the rain and what it does for the pacific northwest landscape. They were very lucky to have those areas in Olympic National Park mostly to themselves to be able to explore in privacy, and have a full sensory experience.
Embrace the rain and you will have Good Luck on your elopement and in your marriage!
The most fun photos to take during a rainy elopement
- At the base of or near a waterfall
- On the beach of a lake or on a pier where you can capture the rain drops in the water
- On a trail in a dense, mossy forest
- Of the couple together through a clear umbrella
What to pack for your rainy elopement?
- Rain jackets or ponchos
- Waterproof boots
- Gloves or a hat if it’s going to be cold
- Clear umbrellas
- Change of clothes
- Kit to fix your hair and makeup
- Your excitement for being in nature (have fun!)
Kind words from K&J about their rainy Olympic National Park elopement with Outshined Photography
“Words cannot express the gratitude my husband and I have for Stacy. She put us at ease and was so prepared it allowed us to fully embrace our wedding day. Her energy and enthusiasm made us feel right at home and the locations she suggested were exactly what we had envisioned for our elopement. She thought of ways to include our families that were not able to be present and created spaces for us to shine together on this special day and captured them without pressure or putting us on the spot. It felt very natural and was truly the perfect day! Thank you Stacy!”
~ Kathryn & Jeff
Vendors for K&J’s elopement in Olympic National Park
Flowers: Fern and Sun Palm
Wedding Dress: Flutter Dress
Suit: Calvin Klein
Stacy – The adventure elopement planner and creative artist who tells your elopement story with photos
I hope that you found this article helpful in understanding just a few of the ways that you can enjoy a rainy elopement in Olympic National Park. You can read more about me and why I love helping couples elope in this blog about what inspired me to become an elopement photographer.
Are you ready to starting planning your Olympic National Park Elopement?