How to Elope on the San Juan Islands
Pacific Northwest Elopement Photographer - Traci Edwards
Amy & Shaun
Before I tell you how you can elope on the San Juan Islands just off the Washington coast, meet Amy and Shaun! These two met up with me for an anniversary session where we hiked up above the trees to a beautiful view of the ocean. Amy and Shaun are locals to the San Juan Island that moved away for some time to be on the mainland and have also traveled all over the world, especially Europe. They originally got married on the island at a local venue. They have the sweetest souls and a beautiful love for each other. Our hike together was spent with laughter while remembering moments from their wedding day. They even recreated their first dance, a foxtrot, at the top of the mountain as the sun set behind them. We hiked down just in time to catch the ever colorful sunset on the coast of the island. In the short time of their marriage thus far they have done so much! Amy and Shaun started their own winery on the island! All of their hard work is paying off, their wine and cider is delicious! Madrone Cellars & Ciders is truly them with European influence and can be found at local restaurants and stores in Friday Harbor, Lopez, Eastsound & Bellingham. For a full list check it out on their website!
How to Elope on the San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands is a super romantic place to elope with stunning sunsets, beautiful ocean views, and lots to do! If you are thinking of eloping here, the best time of year is between April and October, because you can expect lots of visitors on the island in July and August. While the San Juan Islands are made up of Orcas Island, Shaw Island, Lopez Island, and San Juan Island, here I will tell you everything you need to know about eloping on the main one, San Juan Island! The town of Friday Harbor is super cute, and as soon as you get off the ferry you feel right at home! As you travel around the island, look for views of Mt Baker and Mt Rainier, on a clear day you can see their beauty from the island. This island is perfect for a small, intimate wedding or an elopement with just you two! If you will be doing the legal aspect of getting married on the island, please visit the clerk’s office website to make sure you have all your ducks in a row. There is a three day waiting period, no exceptions so plan accordingly!
Where to Elope on the San Juan Island:
any of the beaches! A couple of examples would be South Beach or Grandma’s Cove.
any of the trails! There are many trails on the island! For Amy and Shaun’s session we hiked Young Hill Trail. This site claims these to be the best trails on the islands!
the Lime Kiln Park near the light house
How to get to the island?
You can take a ferry over to the island from Anacortes. It is best to make a reservation to Friday Harbor, otherwise you will be in the waiting line for an unknown amount of time. Make your reservation here.
You can also take a ferry from Seattle to Friday Harbor coming straight from pier 69 near the Pike Place Market. To make a reservation click here. If you are not wanting to rent a car you can ride the train from the airport to downtown Seattle and then walk your way to the pier.
Arrive by Seaplane! There are a few companies that will take seaplanes from Seattle (which is the closest larger airport) to the Island. Check out your options here.
By your own private boat and set your anchor at Roche Harbor
Where to stay on the Island?
There are just a few Airbnb and VRBO options on the San Juan Island
Lakedale Resort - Glamping options on the lake and a resort if you do not want to camp
There are many cabins or cottages you can rent. One being The Cabin of Two Bears, a super cute cabin with a hot tub.
A hotel or resort! There are many options here on the island from right in the heart of Friday Harbor to a more secluded area of the island. The Earth Box Inn is near town, with free bikes to explore the town and fresh rooms. If you would like to reserve a room there click here.
What to do for a full day elopement on the San Juan Island?
Elope! The obvious and most important part is to get married, lol. Share your vows and connected moments together by seaside or on the trails.
Bike around the island via coast line or through the center exploring the beautiful farm lands. You can bring your own bike or rent a bike from many local locations.
Take a whale watching tour with a company like Western Prince. You can also see whales via a sail boat tour.
Take a Sea Plane to see the other islands from up above.
Explore the town of Friday Harbor and enjoy local foods, drinks, museums and shopping. Be prepared to have cash for some of the cash only spots.
Explore the other nearby islands
Go zip lining!
Have a coastal picnic or enjoy a dinner in town.
There are many locations where you can pick up a beautiful arrangement right on the side of the road from the local farms. How to find? Take a drive around the island!
Amy’s flowers were from Mama Bird Farm which you can contact her directly to order yours or you can pick up something prearranged from the local grocery store.
If you are coming straight from Seattle and eloping the next day you could pick up flowers from the Pike’s Place Market and bring them onto the island with you.