What do National Parks, the Pacific Coast, Arizona, and Utah all have in common? They’re all ICONIC spots for your West Coast elopement and happen to be Riss + Steven approved! If you’re in the middle (or the beginning) of planning your dream elopement, then you’ve found us at the perfect time. We’ve been photographing elopements on the West Coast for quite some time and have fallen in love with every inch of it. Over time we’ve explored many different locations and each of them have inspired us to take on many adventures, resulting in lifelong memories and bonds formed with our clients.
Now, it’s almost impossible to pick a bad location on the West Coast, but allow us to be your trusted West Coast elopement location guide! To ensure you check out the best of the best spots, we’ve compiled a list of our forever-favorite West Coast elopement spots. We’re also highlighting a few destinations we haven’t yet had the opportunity to shoot at (if the Redwoods scream your name, hit us UP)!
We may or may not be biased toward eloping in a National Park (we’re huge suckers for all of them) but, can you blame us?! The National Parks have endless photo ops and famous locations that are just begging you to elope in. Whether you’re dreaming of exchanging vows among the towering mountains of Grand Teton or the rich red rocks of the Grand Canyon, these parks are going to be the perfect spot for adventurous couples to say I Do. Personally, Grand Teton and Yosemite are our most loved National Parks… more on that in a bit!
The Grand Canyon may be one of the most well-known National Parks across America, and for good reason! This park expands across 277 miles inviting curious adventurers to explore its natural beauty. At the Grand Canyon, there are many options for elopements ranging from private elopements to smaller, intimate elopements with a few family and friends in tow. Wherever you see yourself saying I Do, you’ll have stunning photos at The Grand Canyon. I mean, look at those breathtaking views! Need I say more?
Yosemite offers amazing views year-round and constantly provides us with STUNNING images. This park contains so many locations to elope at, but our favorites are Taft Point (amazing views of Yosemite Valley, Valls, and El Capitan), Glacier Point (a gorgeous point with breathtaking light), and El Capitan Meadow (features the COOLEST waterfall in the springtime!).
Grand Teton is my all-time favorite National Park and I’ll be honest – it’s hard to beat!! Grand Teton offers one of the most tremendous mountain ranges out there. The Tetons are so popular that it’s easy to point them out in any photo! I’m not kidding when I say these mountains are the BIGGEST I’ve ever seen in my life – and I’ve seen a lot. Grand Teton is one of our favorite places in the world, and we try to make it out there at least once a year during the summer to soak in all of its beauty.
The West Coast from the very top in Washington to the Southern point of California features sooooo many stunning locations for elopements. Whether you’re looking for a romantic forest vibe with towering trees or an ethereal cliff-side elopement overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the West Coast will provide you with whatever you dream of. Our preferred locations on the coast are hot spots in Washington, Oregon, and one dream location in California.
The beautiful state of California is full of heavenly places to elope — whether you’re inland by the desert, up North with the Redwoods, or along the dreamy coast, this state has the perfect locations for your West Coast elopement. We’ve explored so much of what California has to offer, and are ready to check a few beautiful destinations off of our bucket list. At the top of our dream West Coast elopement locations to photograph are the Redwood trees. These huge and magnificent trees are just begging us to meet an adventurous couple there to capture their wedding day. If this sounds like it could be you, contact us! We seriously are so ready to travel out to the Redwoods for an epic elopement.
The Washington coast is a dreamboat. Within moments you can go from walking through a rich green forest to dipping your toes in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. The views from the Washington coast are absolutely breathtaking and the sunsets are even more incredible! The Washington coast features some of the most incredible rock formations we’ve ever seen which makes bridal sessions SO much fun!
Oregon’s coast is similar to Washington’s, with unreal views and beaches as well as dreamy towering forests. Oregon sits just below Washington so the weather is a tiiinyyy bit warmer, but the views are the very similar. If you’re dreaming of blue skies and stunning coastal views, Oregon may just be the ideal West Coast elopement spot for you and your love!
Alright, time for us to talk about our favorite southern states! These Southwest elopement destinations may not be at the top of your list but they 100% should be. Both Arizona and Utah give you dreamy red rock/desert vibes while ALSO offering lush meadows and wildflower fields — did someone say the best of both worlds?!
Desert dreamers, mountain climbers, and risk takers, Arizona (our lovely home state) is the spot for YOU. These unforgettable views can only be found among the terrain that makes AZ so special. The golden glow at sunset radiates off the red rocks resulting in a breathtaking orange color. Unlike the National Parks, the Arizona landscape is a little bit easier to navigate. We love running around these beautiful red rocks and taking images from a distance — there’s something beautiful about seeing how small you really are against these tremendous rocks.
There is nothing in this world quite as ethereal as the Utah Salt Flats. I don’t even have the words to explain how incredible this location is… The photos don’t even do it justice. Unreal! At the Salt Flats, it is easy to feel as though you are in another world. Perfect for two lovebirds wanting a private elopement that is just for them. The pure white densely-packed salt is a naturally neutral landscape, inviting couples to create a world of their own. You get mountain views in the distance and next-level sunsets; an early morning or sunset elopement would be perfect in a place like this!
Wherever you see yourself tying the knot for your West Coast elopement, we know it’ll be epic. If you’re hoping to explore this gorgeous side of the States, be sure to reach out to us! We would be soooo stoked to join you on such a perfect day.
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