Mount Rainier offers incredible backdrops to outdoor weddings and elopement ceremonies
Finding the right location at the park, and the right officiant is an important part to planning a successful ceremony at the park. Recently we had a chance to chat with Jimmie Berguin, Officiant Extraordinaire about his experience conducting weddings and elopement ceremonies at Mount Rainier National Park.
What got you started performing outdoor weddings and elopement ceremonies?
“My best friends got married in a micro-wedding in Northern Washington and surprised me by asking if I would officiate their wedding. After doing their ceremony I fell in love with telling peoples love stories and decided to make this a full time thing. I received tons of request for outdoor elopements since people had a harder time finding someone willing to travel and willing to hike; both things I love! From there, word started to get around about an officiant who goes the distance, literal and figurative, to make your elopements epic!”
How long have you been officiating at Mount Rainier?
“4 years and counting.”
Do you officiate year round?
“Yes I do! Anytime is a good time. There’s never a bad season on the mountain.”
We find the outdoors heightens our senses. What role does nature play in the vibe of ceremonies and guest energy?
“Being outside in nature definitely adds an element of magic to the ceremony. It’s so personalized to the couple based on the location they choose. There is something about being out in nature that forces us to be present and to take in our surroundings without distractions of the real world. It definitely makes the ceremony and vibe more intimate and brings a calm excitement to the guests who are in attendance. It’s like an overwhelming sense of serenity that allows us to feel the love more deeply while also soaking being outside in a beautiful place.”
Is there anything you wish more people knew about getting married at Mount Rainier?
“Know the location, or talk to your vendors about their knowledge of the mountain.
- Prepare for the elements, terrain, and nature (I’m just saying-bears).
- Have whatever you need ready for your adventure based on your need for your trip. (hiking boots, headlamps, water, etc.)
- Be mindful of permits, parking, and all visiting information. Be realistic about your locations and desired view and how that can change! You can see a beautiful photo and not realize how intense the hike is to get there or if it’s even accessible.
- Keep in mind weather and how that can impact the day. There could be heavy cloud cover, rain, snow on the trails, etc. All of that can change your plan for the day in an instant.
- Know where you’re going. Come up with a plan to communicate and meet anyone joining you. Cell service is unreliable in most areas. I recommend walkie-talkies coordinated ahead of time or set meeting locations. Lastly, be ready to roll with the punches and soak in how truly amazing it is up there!”
Does every ceremony location require a trek on the mountain?
“NO! There is something for everyone. I’ve conducted ceremonies in beautiful pull outs right off of roads. There are gorgeous areas around Sunrise Visitor Center that are easily accessible. Pinnacle Peak is stunning but definitely a trek up the mountain! I’ve done ceremonies at various lake areas, small waterfalls, and other trails that range from being a few steps to a longer hike. Chat with your photographer to find amazing locations tailored to your need! It’s good for couples to visit (before applying for a ceremony permit) to explore and map out some epic locations. Just make sure to stay on the trails and not harm any terrain.”
To learn more and connect with Officiant Jimmie connect with him via Instagram or Facebook. To learn more about the ceremony permit required for an outdoor wedding or elopement at Mount Rainier National Park click here. And for information on alternative ceremony sites visit our list of regional sites outside of the national park. Alternative Venues
Photo credit: image of Officiant Jimmie @hailes8.