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Due to the remote and rural nature of the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park, planning a scenic destination wedding in this are of northwest Washington has a particular set of benefits — and challenges!— to consider. If you’re starting your search for an Olympic Peninsula Wedding Venue, here’s a few things to think about!
If you’re familiar with the Olympic Peninsula, it’s likely you may be aware of some of the benefits of holding your wedding in such a singular location. Just in case though, let me spell it out — the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park of Northwest Washington State are some of the most scenic and spectacular destinations in the United States, not to mention the entire world. I like to think of my self as somewhat well-traveled, although I’ll always jump at the chance to discover a new location, but the PNW can hold it’s own against any world-class travel spot. From stunning mountainsides covered in lush evergreen forests to breathtaking rocky beaches framed by sea stacks and tide pools, the northwest is a destination that will capture your heart and imagination.
Whether the Olympic Peninsula is already close to your heart or you’re itching for a new adventure in a wild and remote locale, there are dozens of locations for a memorable Pacific Northwest wedding. Unlike more densely populated parts of the country, there are few traditional wedding venues that run year-round exclusively holding weddings. This is both an advantage and a challenge. For couples who prefer to get married in a remote, wilderness locale, the less-densely populated wilderness of Northwest Washington is a dream!
Getting married on the Olympic or Kitsap Peninsulas, Bainbridge Vashon, Whidbey, or the San Juan Islands offers the chance to share a spectacular part of the country with guests who may never have experienced the Northwest before. On the Olympic Peninsula, you’re able to celebrate a culture and part of the world that still retains a sense of being wild and somewhat undiscovered, while experiencing the rich and unique culture and heritage of the Pacific Northwest.
Choosing a venue for your Olympic Peninsula wedding will be highly determined by the number of guests you plan to have attend your wedding. A smaller guest list will give you a few more options — a larger number of guests will require you choose from a location with more amenities, parking, and facilities that can handle that amount of people.
A mid-size to large wedding requires a little more forethought in selecting a location. Several locations in Olympic National Park are available for mid-size weddings while still offering spectacular views and scenery. A large wedding with over a hundred guests requires much more space and amenities. While there are somewhat more limited options for a large wedding venue on the Olympic Peninsula, a little research and ingenuity will help you find the perfect spot for your wedding day!
Here is an in-progress list of venues throughout the Olympic Peninsula!
The farther west you travel after leaving Port Angeles, the more rural and remote you’ll get as you journey across the Olympic Peninsula through Olympic National Park and National Forest. Eventually, about an hour after you leave the tiny logging town of Forks, you’ll reach the wild Olympic Coast. And if you make it as far as Cape Flattery, you’ll have reached the northwestermost point of the contiguous United States. As you can imagine, wedding venues get fewer and farther-between the further west you go! There are several worth noting, however, including the lodges of Olympic National Park, including Lake Crescent Lodge, Lake Quinault Lodge, and Kalaloch Lodge.
Also not to be missed is Fern Acres, a shady retreat near Forks named for the lush sword ferns that carpet the dense coastal rainforest of the western Olympic Peninsula. Closer to Port Angeles you’ll find Mountain View Venue, a rustic farm with a spectacular view of the Olympic foothills. Slightly further west is Whiskey Creek Beach, a resort cabin destination right on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Finally, Seabrook Village on the southwestern coast is a seaside vacation village where you can either have your wedding right on the beach, or indoors in a quaint Town Hall.
Once a small dairy-farming town, Sequim is located in the fertile Dungeness Valley in the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains. Sometime in the later part of the 20th century, someone discovered that the dry, sandy soil of the flat Sequim Dungeness was idea for growing lavender, and an industry was born. There may now be as many as 50 lavender farms in the area! Lavender season peaks in early summer, culminating with the annual Lavender festival that usually happens on around the third weekend of July.
However, Sequim offers plenty of attractions year round! Just north of town, beautiful beaches overlook the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and pastoral farmlands surround the now-bustling downtown. Sequim wedding venues reflect the farming heritage of the area. Vintage dairy barns, cultivated gardens, and both mountain and seaside views are some of the highlights to choose from!
If you’re looking for old-world charm, a nautical element, gorgeous views of the Puget Sound, and slightly drier weather, consider Port Townsend for your Olympic Peninsula wedding day! If you love history, you’ll fall in love with the Victorian architecture of Port Townsend. And you’re not far from the windswept beauty of PNW evergreen forests and the gentle lapping of waves on the pebble beaches that surround Port Townsend on three sides! Take a hike at Fort Worden and visit the WWII era bunkers, as well as taking in the peaceful trails that wind under the evergreen branches and vistas of the Sound to the north and east. Visit Eaglemount Winery and Cidery for some tasty local libations and seasonal outdoor music.
Adrien Craven is a longtime PNW local with over ten years of photographing weddings, engagements, and elopements throughout Western Washington! Her work reflects the spectacular natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Looking for more images of Olympic Peninsula weddings? Check out these links!
Do you know of an amazing Olympic Peninsula, Kitsap Peninsula, or Bainbridge Island Venue? Let me know in the comments!