Best Engagement photo spots in Seattle

Here is my definitive list of the best engagement spots in Seattle and Washington State. There are few places in the country that are as diverse in options to use to make these photos. Whether you’re looking for a downtown option, something on Puget Sound or up in the mountains (the Olympics or the Cascades), at the coast, or even on the east side of the mountains, we have options for you. Sometimes people even choose to get married outside of Washington (gasp!) and that’s ok. One cool spot is the Oregon Coast.

couple stands together in sunset during seattle elopement photos

Discovery Park

Discovery Park is Seattle’s Swiss Army Knife of parks. Whatever you’re looking for, it has it. Whether you want old buildings, open fields, forests, or beaches, it has it. That does mean that it’s also super popular for engagement photos. There was one afternoon when I saw 8 other couples having their photos taken. But, it’s also huge, so don’t worry about running into people. You will always be able to find your little space to make the photos you want.

Mood: Outdoorsy, beach, woods

Time from Seattle: Still in the city, but it can take a while to get out to Magnolia, depending on where you live in the city

Best Season: All

Best Time of Day: Afternoon-sunset

Other Considerations: You can’t park at the lighthouse. So, you either have to hike down or get a ride. Also, the lighthouse area can get a little busy but since you can’t park down there, it doesn’t usually stay too busy. Also, parking at the South lot can get pretty full. Just be prepared.

Here are a few engagement sessions to check out, Darren & Sarah, Emily & Nick, Kathryn & Sam.

couple kisses during olympic sculpture park elopement

Olympic Sculpture Garden

As you stand on the waterfront, looking out on Elliott Bay with the Olympics beyond, you can’t help but feel in awe of what this offers as a Seattle engagement photo spot. Then, to be standing under the beautiful sculptures that fill this park, you know you’re in the right place.

Mood: Classy, 

Time from Seattle: NA

Best Season: All

Best Time of Day: Afternoon/evening

Other Considerations: The park closes early. It depends on the time of year, but it’s often right at about sunset. That said, the park is better while there is some light. As it gets even darker, just head down from the Sculpture Garden into the Mertyl Edwards park (open all the time) and you’ll enjoy it. Also, the park can be rented, so if you’re doing an engagement session on a weekend, there is always a chance you won’t be able to go to a few particular areas because they’re occupied. Also, there will be other people around. So, it’ll take some creative posing, framing, and a little photoshop to give you clean and intimate images.

Check out Graff and Sarah’s elopement photos at the Olympic Sculpture Garden

couple smiles in Pioneer Square during seattle elopement

Pioneer Square neighborhood

One of the classic downtown Seattle neighborhoods. It’s full of character, moody alleys, and some fun neon. There is so much to do down there, you can really tell your Seattle story with the skyscrapers just looming in the distance.

Mood: Historic and moody.

Time from Seattle: NA

Best Season: All

Best Time of Day: Day or evening (not during rush hour)

Other Considerations: There are always people here. But, pay special attention to when there are games at Century Link Field and T-Mobile Park. (obviously not during COVID times) Usually, there are lots of people in the area and if you don’t want a sea of blue and green in the background, you might want to find another time. It’s also a quick walk to the Seattle waterfront too.

See Bo and Deanna’s engagement photos in Pioneer Square.

Engagement photo locations in the Mountains

couple stands together during sunset mountaintop elopement

Rattlesnake Lake and Ledge

Intro: You’ve seen this photo. You’ve seen this view. It’s epic. Let’s make epic happen.

Mood: Outdoorsy, epic, PNW

Time from Seattle: 1 hr

Best Season: Fall and Spring

Best Time of Day: Afternoon, but bring a headlamp if you’re staying for sunset.

Other Considerations: This hike is EXTREMELY popular. I would not recommend that you do this on a weekend, ever. Even in a downpour, there will be a lot of other people doing it. It’s only really an option if you can go on a weekday during the fall, winter or spring. Also, there is no need of a pass to access Rattlesnake.

Check out Cady and Cameron’s sunset engagement session on top of Rattlesnake Ledge.

couple kisses along water's edge at gold creek pond elopement

Gold Creek Pond

Tucked between the mountains and Interstate 90, Gold Creek Pond is an oasis of beauty in the middle of Snoqualmie Pass. Though very close to the city, it always feels a thousand miles away. In the fall, the pond is surrounded by beautiful colors. It even freezes over in winter for all the snowy fun.

Mood: Outdoorsy, 

Time from Seattle: 1.5 hrs

Best Season: All

Best Time of Day: Sunrise or Sunset

Other Considerations: You need a NW Forrest Pass to access it in the non-snowy season or a Snow Pass to access in the winter. It’s beautiful, especially in the fall, winter and spring when there is snow on the peaks beyond the water. If it’s during the non-snowy season, it is really really accessible. You can park and then be at the pond in just a few minutes. I usually end up walking all the way around with couples to get all the different angles. If you want to do a sunset session, do know that this is on the east side of the mountains. So, sunset will be earlier and probably won’t be that rich pink backlit look that you’ll get on a west-facing location. We’ll just need to adjust accordingly.

See Zach and Sarah’s snowy engagement photos at Gold Creek Pond.

couple walks together during Artist Point elopement in the North Cascades

Artist Point

There is nowhere else that gives you such an open and beautiful alpine area with such minimal effort. It’s a cheat code (and is one of my 6 ideas for mountain strolls to propose). Between the views of both Mt Baker and Mt Shuksan as well as all the little mountain ponds, you can’t go wrong. If you’re going for sunrise, it’s also pretty normal for folks to sleep in their cars. You can’t set up a tent in the area (either in the parking lot or offroad), but it’s safe and beautiful. Also, is pretty fun to get up in the middle of the night for some incredible star gazing. All of the North Cascades are great options for engagements or elopements.

Mood: Epic, mountaintop

Time from Seattle: 2.5 hours

Best Season: Mid summer-fall

Best Time of Day: Sunrise or sunset

Other Considerations: This is usually not accessible between Mid October and May or June. They close the road up there because it’s so snowy (and is actually part of the Mt Baker ski resort). 

See Page and Stephen’s sunset photos at Artist Point.

couple kisses during mountain lake elopement


Beautiful lakes. Moody reflection. Epic backgrounds. Tall trees. What more do you want?

Mood: Moody PNW mountain lake

Time from Seattle: 1.25 hrs

Best Season: All

Best Time of Day: Evening

Other Considerations: This is a deceptively long hike. Though the WTA site says it’s 5.4 miles roundtrip, the hike usually ends up being closer to 7 when you make the complete lap around the lake. But, that walk is very easy, flat and on a really well-maintained boardwalk. So if you can do the hike up, this walk around really isn’t a big deal.

This is not the best place to go if you want an epic sunset. Because of the way the lake (and the hills around it) is formed, there is very little light that comes in from the west in the evening. It usually just becomes a soft glow in the evening. But, you won’t’ have that backlit sunset view.

See Carrie and Chris’ engagement photos at Lake 22.

Eastside (Bellevue, Redmond, Snohomish)

Bellevue Botanical Gardens

In the middle of Bellevue, there is a spot that is quiet, beautiful and full of natural elements that feel out of time and space.


Time from Seattle: 20 min

Best Season: All

Other Considerations: For photos, you are supposed to pay a usage fee. It’s pretty reasonable ($30), but is something you should handle ahead of time. This is especially important for wedding photos.

Best Time of Day: Day (open 9-5)

Barrett and Kristin made their wedding photos at Bellevue Botanical Gardens.


Pt Defiance

The biggest park in Tacoma is full of options. Between the waterfront, views of Tacoma, Vashon, Gig Harbor, and the Narrows, and all the trails and private corners, it’s a versatile and beautiful place. Whether you want tall trees or rhododendrons, this park has it all.

Mood: Moody, PNW, trees. Also gardens.

Time from Seattle: 40 min

Best Season: Any

Best Time of Day: Any, though 5 mile drive closes early (3pm)

Other Considerations: This is a big park. Don’t expect that you can just walk between all the different spots. Also, there are a lot of variety, but it’s important to have a plan to make images at your favorite viewpoints. Lastly, it’s really common for people to want to take photos with views. But, even though there might be a good view of Gig Harbor, it takes a special type of photo to make that be a coherent background. So if you want that, you definitely need to make a plan.

Also, Pt Defiance is really close to the Ruston Way waterfront. I would include that in the same place, though you’ll probably want to hop in your car to go down there.

Everett and North

couple kisses along waterfont during elopement

Port of Everett Park

As much of the PNW is known for it’s maritime history, there are few spots that so easly allow you to make images that tell the story of a life on the sound between mountains. The Port of Everett has a marina to wander, beautiful sunset views of the Olympics and is right there for anyone living in the North end.

Mood: Maritime, fishing, boats

Time from Seattle: 40 min

Best Season: Any

Best Time of Day: Evening/Sunset

Other Considerations: There are a lot of people at this park. And not all of the marina areas are accessible. But, that just takes a little preparation to know where to go and make the images that you want.