Sitting on the edge of Eastern Washington, Spokane is Washington State’s second-largest city. With beautiful mountain views and the Spokane river that runs straight through the city, this area is a perfect blend of nature and city life, and an amazing option for couples looking for an adventurous wedding experience!

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about how to plan an adventurous elopement in Spokane, Washington.

I’m a Washington born-and-raised photographer that now resides in North Idaho, just 20 miles from Spokane. I’ll walk you through the best elopement locations, how to get a marriage license, and everything else you need to plan an epic wedding experience in Western Washington!

Why Should you Elope in Spokane?

Easy Access to Nature

Spokane is surrounded by a variety of natural landscapes ranging from mountains to valleys to rivers to forests. The city sits within a one hour drive of 76 different lakes!

It’s Easy to Travel To

If you’re planning a destination elopement, Spokane has an international airport, making it easy to access from anywhere in the world!

It’s Easy to Avoid Crowds

Even though Spokane is the second largest city in Washington State, it’s location makes it feel remote. The mountains are easily in reach from downtown Spokane, and if you plan right, it’s easy to find a location that is beautiful and far away from crowds.

Hire an Elopement Photographer

One of the first things I recommend doing in your planning is to hire an elopement photographer. It’s important to work with a photographer that specializes in elopements because often times they can also help with things like location scouting and creating a timeline in addition to documenting your day.

Did you know I’m an elopement photographer based out of North Idaho, just 20 miles from Spokane? If you’re searching for an elopement photographer and a planning partner, please contact me to work together. I would love to help you plan a beautiful elopement experience in Spokane!

Choose a Date

You’ll want to narrow down a date for your elopement next. Remember that you have a lot more freedom in choosing a date for an elopement vs. a traditional wedding, so feel free to choose a date that you like!

Here are a few things to consider when deciding on your elopement date:


The weather in Spokane is quite different from that of Western Washington. There is significantly less rain, and the summers are much warmer and more dry. Here’s what you can expect in each season:


The nights are still cool with lows in the 30’s, but the day times begin to warm up. Some snow is not uncommon during this time of year, but sun becomes a more regular sight as spring begins to blossom.


The temperatures rise to an average high of 83 degrees in July and August, with clear skies and long hours of daylight. Summer is easily the best time of year to visit Spokane, with lots of adventure opportunities to enjoy (or escape!) the heat.


The weather in Autumn begins to cool off, with crisp mornings and warm, sunny afternoons. The average highs for the first half of the season are in the 70’s and 60’s, with lows in the low 40’s or high 30’s. This can be a beautiful time of year in the area, especially if you want to explore outdoors in more comfortable temperatures.


The temperatures during the winters in Spokane drop down into the low 20’s and snow covers the region. The area becomes a winter wonderland, and it’s a perfect time to visit one of the surrounding ski resorts for some skiing or snowboarding!

Day of the Week

One of the best parts about eloping is that you have the freedom to get married any day of the week! If avoiding crowds is important to you, choosing a weekday will be ideal. Less crowds with all of the beauty!

Time of day (sunrise vs. sunset)

You’ll want to choose a time for your ceremony, you’ll want to keep lighting in mind. As a general rule, it’s best to avoid the hours between 10am-2pm, because that’s when the lighting is the harshest, the crowds are at their peak, and it’s the hottest part of the day.

Sunrise and sunset (and the few hours surrounding them) are going to be your best times for getting those dreamy photos during your ceremony or portraits. When in doubt, ask your photographer what they would recommend when deciding on times.


Even if you don’t do your ceremony at sunset, you’ll definitely want to take some photos in the evening! The sunsets in the Inland NW are incredible, and will be the perfect ending to your day! An evening ceremony is great if you want to spend the rest of the day adventuring and exploring just the two of you with a ceremony with family at the end of the day.


The best part about sunrise is that there’s rarely anyone else around! That means even if you’re in a popular location, you’re more than likely going to have it all to yourselves! The con about sunrise means you have to get up early. In the summer months in Spokane, the sun rises pretty early and you’ll probably need to be waking up between 3-4am.

Choose a Spokane Elopement Location

Deciding on a location is one of the biggest, most important decisions you’ll make while planning your day. Spokane has a variety of locations to choose from, so you’re sure to find something that fits what you’re looking for.

Riverside State Park

One of the 5 State Parks in Spokane County, Riverside State Park sits on the Spokane River and offers beautiful views! It’s easily accessed from Spokane and offers hiking trails, day use sites, horseback riding trails, campgrounds, and more.

Mt. Spokane

Located about 45 minutes Northeast of Spokane sits Mount Spokane. Part of the Selkirk Mountains, this 5,887 foot tall mountain is home to the largest State Park in the state, Mount Spokane State Park. It has over 100 miles of hiking trails in the summer and 52 ski runs in the winter. It offers stunning mountain scenery while still remaining easy to access any time of year.

Manito Park

Manito Park is a 78 acre public park located in the heart of Spokane. Known for it’s vibrant flower beds spread across 5 garden areas, this park is absolutely stunning in the summer months.

Decide on Elopement Activities

Now that you know when and where you want to elope, it’s time to start filling in the details of your day by deciding what kinds of activities you want to include in your day. This can range from traditional events such as having your first dance together as a married couple or a cake cutting to something a little more unconventional such as renting a boat for the afternoon or hiking to a sunset viewpoint.

Here are a activity ideas you can include in your Spokane elopement:

  • Camp at Riverside State Park
  • Hike to a fire lookout on Mount Spokane
  • Visit the Spokane Falls in downtown Spokane
  • Paddle Board or kayak on the Spokane River
  • Go night skiing on Mount Spokane
  • Fish on Newman Lake

Looking for more ideas? Check out my list of 50+ elopement day activities for more inspiration!

Create a Timeline

It’s time to take all of the information you’ve been gathering for your day and turn it into a timeline. This is another area that your elopement photographer should be able to help you in. You want to make sure you schedule your day to get the best lighting for photos, avoid crowds, and still be able to fit all of your fun activities into. Make sure you print out a final copy of your timeline to keep with you on the day of your elopement, and give a copy to anyone who needs it.

Check out my guide to calculating how much time you need and how to create a timeline.

Book Accommodations and Travel

It’s time to start booking your travel plans and overnight accommodations for your elopement. Located just 6 miles from downtown Spokane is the Spokane International Airport (GEG), making the area easy to access from anywhere in the world! There are a variety of overnight accommodations to choose from in and around Spokane, ranging from hotels to Airbnb’s.

Book Your Vendors

Now is the time to start booking any other vendors you need for your elopement day. Every elopement is different, so the type of vendors you need will vary depending on what you want your day to look like. But a few of the most common vendors in addition to your photographer are:

  • Videographer
  • Hair & Makeup Artist
  • Caterer
  • Florist
  • Officiant
  • Elopement Planner

If you need help finding the best local vendors, be sure to ask your photographer! This is another area they can help you in.

Obtain your Marriage License

Next up, you’ll need to obtain your marriage license. In Washington State, there is a 3 day waiting period and you will need to apply either in person or via mail. If you are applying in person, make sure you schedule enough time to allow for the waiting period. If you are applying via mail, you will need to sign the application in front of a Notary Public.

The application process costs $62 and is payable by cash, check, or credit/debit card (however there is a processing fee for credit/debit cards)

For more information, please look at the marriage license page of the Spokane County website.

Spokane Elopement Packages

Looking for the best elopement packages for your Spokane elopement? As a local photographer in the Inland NW, I can provide you with local knowledge of the area to help you plan an epic elopement experience, on top of documenting your story. All of my elopement packages include location scouting, unlimited planning assistance, digital photos, polaroid’s, GIFs, permit assistance, and more to help you create a beautiful elopement experience and have a stress free experience from start to finish.

Have an epic elopement day!

All of your planning comes together, you have a beautiful day of adventure, and your photographer documents it all for you to remember forever! Congrats – you did it!

If you’d like help planning your day and a photographer to capture your memories, please contact me! I can’t wait to hear from you!

Happy eloping!

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