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Welcome to the blog! I’m a small-town Florida girl and Army wife relocated to the Seattle Suburbs, documenting love from one coast to the other. I live for a good PNW mountain breeze, sweat pants, and local eats. Let's be friends!

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Washington Elopement Winter Tips | Styled PNW Elopement

Snow + mountains + water views + one heck of a vendor team + one of my MMP couples modeling….is this what dreams are made of? Seriously, this styled Lake Kachess Winter Washington elopement was what dreams are made of. And guess what? It was a CRAZY weather day. As it turns out, unpredictable weather isn’t that uncommon here in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re considering a Fall or Winter elopement, it’s best to have a plan A and plan B weather-wise! Crazy weather is not for the faint of heart. But as it turns out, sometimes the biggest risk gives ya the biggest reward.

Here are a few tips for outdoor winter elopement dreams:

1. Set Your Expectations Appropriately

Plan for the worst-case scenario and anything better will feel like GOLD. Rain, snow or wind could result in a location change recommendation to give you the best enjoyment out of your day. As a rule of thumb, high elevation typically means crazier conditions so it’s not uncommon to switch up a location last minute to give you the best experience for your day.

2. Choose to Stay at a Location You Love

Sometimes crazier days mean more time at an Airbnb. The goal is to have the best experience so you’ll need time to warm up, drink some hot cocoa and sit by the fire. Bonus if you choose an Airbnb with some rad outdoor space or walking distance to some scenery.

3. Have Enough Time

When more elements come into play, everything takes longer. It’s just the reality and more time makes it less stressful. The goal is to ENJOY your day. Does anyone need 8 hours of straight photos? No absolutely not. But getting ready, warming up, traveling, walking, putting on layers, taking off layers, grabbing things, coordinating people, (I literally could go on for 5 lines) all takes up time. I am not exaggerating –  it’s almost always double what you would anticipate never having done it before.

4. If Traveling is Involved, Keep Your Guest Count Light

I have yet to work a wedding or elopement where a family member didn’t somehow delay some portion of the day. Remember #3? If you have big dreams of traveling to rad spots or doing things a “certain way,” the fewer people involved, the easier it is to do. If you are going to incorporate guests, have two portions to your day. One that can include getting ready, the ceremony and or reception/hang out time, and one where we venture off to enjoy nature at its finest, give the two of you alone time and take some freaking epic photos. I don’t recommend having your family present for portraits because who wants to be stared at while taking pictures? That is not a recipe for relaxation. Just sayin.’

5. All Hands on Deck

Hiring a team of professionals to help you with ALL of the things can really come in handy on the craziest of days. Professional Hair and Makeup is nearly essential for outdoor elopements unless you are LITERALLY the person who just doesn’t care AT ALL or has some really rad professional like skills yourself. The elements can be harsh and the goal is to have a relaxed adventure of a lifetime. For this elopement, I worked with the Run Away with Me Elopements team and if a seamless all-inclusive team is right for you, check out hiring us as a bundle HERE.

Lake Kachess with snow | Megan Montalvo Photography
Lake Kachess with snow | Megan Montalvo Photography
Lake Kachess Winter Elopement | Megan Montalvo Photography
Lake Kachess Winter Elopement | Megan Montalvo Photography
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Lake Kachess Winter Elopement | Megan Montalvo PhotographySnowy elopement at Lake Kachess. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
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Snowy elopement at Lake Kachess. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
Snowy elopement at Lake Kachess. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
Snowy elopement at Lake Kachess. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
Snowy elopement at Lake Kachess. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography. Elopement bridal bouquet by Seattle Florist, Villanelle Floral Company. Photos by Seattle Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
PNW Winter Elopement | Megan Montalvo Photography
PNW Winter Elopement | Megan Montalvo Photography
PNW Winter Elopement | Megan Montalvo Photography
PNW Winter Elopement at Lake Kachess in the snow. Photos by Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography
PNW Winter Elopement at Lake Kachess in the snow. Photos by Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo PhotographyPNW Winter Elopement at Lake Kachess in the snow. Photos by Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo PhotographySnowy PNW Elopement | Megan Montalvo Photography
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Styled winter elopement inspiration. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
Styled winter elopement inspiration. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
Styled winter elopement inspiration. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
Styled winter elopement inspiration. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.Styled winter elopement inspiration. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
Styled winter elopement inspiration. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
Styled winter elopement inspiration. Photos by PNW Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
PNW Winter Elopement at Lake Kachess. Photos by Seattle Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
PNW Winter Elopement at Lake Kachess. Photos by Seattle Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
PNW Winter Elopement at Lake Kachess. Photos by Seattle Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
PNW Winter Elopement at Lake Kachess. Photos by Seattle Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
PNW Winter Elopement at Lake Kachess. Photos by Seattle Elopement Photographer, Megan Montalvo Photography.
Foggy views at Lake Kachess elopement | Megan Montalvo Photography

Amazing team of vendors:

Videographer | Lion Lady Photo

Collective | Runaway With Me Elopements 

Planning, Design + Coordination | Tapestry Event Co. 

Florist | Villanelle Floral Company 

Stationary | Oh Hey Face 

Cake | Lady Grey Seattle

Hair + Makeup Artist | Crystal Jenkins

Dress | JNSQ

Models | Brittney + Bryce

Interested in a Lake Kachess or Washington elopement?  Email me today for information and to reserve your date!

To see more elopements photographed by MMP, click here!

If you’re still trying to decide if an elopement is right for you, check out our blog “5 Reasons To Elope or Have an Intimate Wedding.”

Megan Montalvo is a Seattle Elopement Photographer based out of Seattle, Washington. Megan offers intimate wedding and elopement photography to surrounding PNW destinations such as Tacoma, Olympia, Mount Storm King, Lake Crescent, Hurricane Ridge, Mt. Rainier, Lake Quinault, Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Pass, Cle Elum, Suncadia, Leavenworth, Ruby Beach, Cape Kiwanda, Canon Beach and the San Juan Islands.

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