Washington Forest Elopement

This Washington forest elopement came together in less than a month.

Caryn and Amanda reached out to me on one October for a November elopement day. They were living in Arizona but would be traveling to Washington state where they were both from, where they had met. The schedule was tight, with both of them attending graduate school at the time, but things couldn’t have worked out better.

They wanted to be in nature without going too far from Seattle, and without a strenuous, uphill hike. Luckily for all involved, Washington has five national forests. More than half the state (22.1 million acres) is forested. There are countless beautiful places that have hardly any elevation gain at all.

They already had a location in mind that was special to them, and we worked together to find another spot nearby for more exploring and photos.

We all met up at the trailhead—Caryn, Amanda, their friend, their officiant Frank Harlan, and myself. We wandered through the forest, over a wee bridge, and down to a creek bed for their ceremony. Frank led them in a beautiful ceremony where they exchanged rings and vows, and then performed a handfasting ritual.

We all signed the marriage license, took some group photos, and headed back to the trailhead for celebratory cookies.

Caryn, Amanda, and I then headed off to our second location, where we wrapped up this wee Washington forest elopement.

Afterwards, they sent me the sweetest email that genuinely brought me to tears. I won’t share it here with you for privacy reasons, but suffice it to say: I know it’s not always easy, coming out to family, and I don’t take a single moment of queer joy for granted. Thank you, my darlings, for including me in your celebrations xx

If you’d like to talk to me about your elopement plants, you can contact me right here.

Officiant: Frank Harlan of Seattle Officiant

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