5 Unique Place to Say “I Do”
So, you’re engaged.
And now, you’re coming down from the “WE SAID YES” bliss to the reality of planning (and hosting) the wedding that will inevitably follow that engagement.
Now, it’s possible that the prospect of hosting a traditional, white wedding with all of the trappings of flowers and family is the most exciting thing in the world for you.
If not, you may find yourselves leaning towards a new brand of wedding excitement: an adventure wedding.
Adventure weddings have gained popularity over time due to the stunning photographs posted by adventurous couples on Instagram and other social media outlets. They are unique, adrenaline-filled ceremonies held in some of the world’s most beautiful locations.
And maybe, because you are a unique and adventurous couple (and because the idea of hosting a party that by definition must include “The Chicken Dance” might make you cringe), you are considering this as your wedding alternative. If so, lucky you! You’ll get to spend your planning energy on creating a beautiful, one-of-a-kind wedding day that will make all of your friends jealous.
But, where should you host these unique nuptials?
When it comes to adventure weddings, the world is your proverbial oyster; you can do it anywhere. To help you out just a little, we’ve compiled a few options here in the Pacific Northwest.
Smith Rock State Park, Terrebonne, Oregon
There are few places in the PNW that are as breathtaking and powerful as Smith Rock. Dubbed “Oregon’s Grand Canyon” by local adventurers, Smith Rock is an intrepid couple’s dream. For years, ambitious climbers and hikers have made their way to the sheer cliff faces, winding rivers, and panoramic views of this stunning location.
And now, you can make your way there for your wedding.
If you’ve got climbing chops, you could say your vows while scaling Monkey Face, or one of the other adrenaline-pumping routes populating the area. If hiking is more your go-to form of adventure, you can make your way up Misery Ridge Trail to tie the knot overlooking a panoramic backdrop of Oregon’s high desert.
Whatever your chosen ceremony activity, you can bank on it being accompanied by unparalleled scenery.
Treehouse Point, Issaquah, Washington
If you’re searching for an adventurous location that pairs all of the joys of the outdoors with amazing accommodations, you can look no further than this sweet destination in Washington. Located just 30 minutes from Seattle, this treehouse venue is perfect for a couple who may want to involve a few loved ones on their big day; their packages include lodging for up to 18 people. While this location might seem tame to the truly daring souls out there, it does blend the excitement of adventure with the comforting trappings of a traditional venue. Their packages are highly inclusive, and they offer vendor lists to make your decisions easier. Add to that the beautiful forest backdrop along the Raging River, and you’ve got yourself a unique wedding location that is difficult to beat.
Ramona Falls, Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon
Oregon ranks high on the list of states boasting the most waterfalls. While everyone knows about Multnomah Falls and Horsetail Falls, far fewer have ventured into the wilderness to behold the breathtaking beauty that is Ramona Falls. The focal point of a 7.5 mile loop hike through the Mount Hood Wilderness, Ramona Falls requires visitors to climb their way over the raging Sandy River. The trail treats adventures to astounding views of Mount Hood that are rivaled only by the sight of the falls cascading down the wall of a rocky cliff side. Can you imagine having a veil of white, shimmering water falling beside you as you say your vows?
While the logistics of reaching the falls may limit the amount of people you can bring with you to witness your vows, the location will have others marveling at your wedding photos for years to come, whispering “why didn’t we think of that?” behind your back as you walk away.
Mount St. Helens, Washington
It’s difficult to picture a more adventurous way to say “I do” than on an active volcano. Mount St. Helens offers you exactly that option. While it might be logistically tricky to hold your ceremony at the summit (due to permit requirements), the entire Mount St. Helens National Monument offers a plethora breathtaking locations to choose from. You can tie the knot among the wildflowers of Harry’s Ridge, from the stunning viewpoint at Norway Pass, or beside the alien-landscape of the Pumice Plains and Spirit Lake. And, if you’re truly forward-thinking, you can always opt to get permits and say your vows at the summit itself.
Whatever you choose, you can be sure that Mount St. Helens will be a truly brag-worth location.
No Name Lake, Oregon
This destination is not for the faint of heart (or the out-of-shape). No Name Lake is a pristine, turquoise lake located on the Broken Top trail. In order to host your nuptials in this stunning location, you’ll have to hike 13.2 miles through forests and over rocks. You’ll gain 2430 feet of elevation, and be rewarded with a beautiful backdrop of snow-capped crags and towering mountains, and that’s not even to mention the lake itself. Let’s just say that this location will more than offer you a “something blue” for your wedding day. And if you opt to backpack in and camp within the wilderness, you’ll be treated with one of the best star-gazing experiences you could possibly imagine.
This list was extremely difficult to put together, because the Pacific Northwest is filled with both adventure and beauty. If none of these quite spoke to your individual tastes, consider a few of our other favorite locations:
Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain, Oregon
Deception Falls, Washington
Mount Hood, Oregon
Mount Rainer, Washington
The Enchantments, Washington (although, check for permit requirements before settling on this area)
The Painted Hills, Oregon
Discovery Point, Oregon
The Ape Caves, Washington
And whatever your decision, know that you are on your way to a unique and amazing wedding experience. Happy searching!