Washington State is home to the best and most diverse landscape in the world. We have everything from deep rich old-growth forests to rocky coastal beaches and even sandy deserts. I’ve been photographing weddings and engagements since 2013 and I keep discovering more and more beautiful the deeper I explore. For my wedding couples, I have three levels of engagement sessions: classic, adventure, and epic. Classic engagements keep us around the Seattle area, adventures take us about an hour or so outside the city and epics can be anywhere in Washington State! Lots of options and I wanted to create a space where I could share these different locations with you.
Now, exact coordinates are not included for obvious reasons. As someone who abides by “Leave No Trace” and as a lover of Mother Nature, I like to keep exact spots as close to my chest as I can. We only get one big beautiful planet and I refuse to send every flower-stomping-influencer to these delicate landscapes. BUT, if you’re with me, we’ll not only abide by the rules and make some epic engagement photos along the way.
All of the locations I’m sharing would qualify as my “Epic Engagement Session” so, if you’re really looking to explore, let’s dive in!
01. Ruby Beach
Ruby Beach is nestled right along the coastline on the far west side of Washington State. With big rock formations, epic sunsets, and an ever-changing tidal schedule, you can expect lots of diversity when you shoot here. I’ve photographed at this location many times and every session is a little bit different. About a 3-4 hour drive from Seattle, it’s definitely an all-day event. Quick pro-tip, Aberdeen is the LAST city you’ll see on your way out so be sure to pick up that coffee or extra snacks as you pass through. Also, Aberdeen’s McDonald’s is open super late for your drive home.
02. Vantage, Washington
Vantage is located kind of in the middle of Washington State. It’s just after you go through Snoqualmie Pass and instantly hit the desert. Coming from the lush forests of the Cascade Mountains, it can be a little jarring. One thing to note is that the East side of Washington State can be VERY windy. Without all the evergreen trees to block the wind, it will come at you full force. You can typically find good weather here during all seasons making it easily one of the Top 5 epic engagement locations in Washington State…you can always count on her.
03. Mountain Top Lookouts
Want to take your epic adventure session to the next level, literally? Look no further than the epic Mountain Top Lookouts we have in Washington State. In every national forest we have, we have lookouts. My personal favorite is the ones that overlook Mount Rainier National Park and there are even some “easy” level hikes to reach these lookouts. Washington State is definitely a state with all four seasons, so these locations are typically only available in the summer and early fall seasons. Snag them while you can!
04. Deception Pass
Famous for its large bridge over the Puget Sound area, Deception Pass is a gorgeous location in the northern part of Washington State. There are several amazing hikes, beaches, and lookouts to see while you’re here. I love it for its insane sunsets, storms, and rock formations. I’ve shot at this location in perfect sunny weather and in the eye of a winter storm (eerie!). It’s about a 2-hour drive from Seattle but well worth the drive.
05. Mount Rainier National Park
When asking for an escape into Mother Nature you can’t get much better than Mount Rainier National Park! From Paradise to Tipsoo to Sunrise, there are so many fascets to this mountain and she typically never disappoints. Yes, we Washingtonians refer to her as “she”. Since Mount Rainier tends to be covered in snow for the majority of the year, late summer is the best time to shoot and get those gorgeous wildflowers in the backdrop. Be sure to be an awesome human and ALWAYS stay on the path. Our National Parks are our treasures and we must do all we can to protect their ecosystems. Also, karma. She will come for you.
When it comes to the top epic engagement locations in Washington State, you can’t beat these 5! They might take a little bit of extra travel, but they are damn well worth it! The summer season in Washington is the best time to take full advantage of these gorgeous spots, so be sure to book your session early before I’m all booked up!