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Top 4 Oregon Elopement Locations

This is a basic guide to the Top 4 Best Oregon Elopement Locations with a more detailed breakdown of each location linked below. Oregon is home to some of the most varied and unique landscapes in the country. Within a few hours you can go from high desert to the lush moss covered coastline. Below I’m going to give you a simple guide to each of the Top Best Oregon Elopement Locations.


Basic Oregon Elopement Info

WEATHER:

MAY through OCT are the most pleasant months to visit. That’s typically the best weather window we have out here in Portland. After October the rain starts to set in and temps drop. So if you’re wanting a beautiful sunset overlooking Mt. Hood January is probably not the best time unless you’re wanting snow/rain. The winter is still a great time to elope. Especially if you want moodier vibes or snow. With elopements, embrace the weather. If it’s going to snow, rain or be sunny, just embrace it and I’ll make sure you love your photos. The best Oregon elopement locations not all accessible in the winter. The ones that are can have a wildly different look with snow. Reach out with the mood/scenery you’re wanting and I can suggest the perfect spot for your elopement date.

CEREMONY TIMING:

Golden hour(the last hour before sunset) is always the most beautiful. So plan with that in mind. Typically you’ll want to start your elopement a few hours before that so you finish right about the time the sun sets. This allows for the most dramatic and beautiful lighting in your photos.

CLOTHING:

This ties in closely with weather. If it’s raining/snow bring a good jacket, a pair of boots and an umbrella. This will keep you dry, keep your clothes looking fresh and you can save the dramatic rain filled shots for the ceremony. If it’s a longer hike, it’s often a great idea to bring your change of clothes and hike in something more comfortable.

PERMITS/LEGAL/LICENSE:

This Link has ALL of the legal info you’ll need to know. It’s important that you apply for a license within 60 days of your ceremony. Most people will take care of this but I wanted to include just to be safe. You’ll also need 2 witness and an officiant. I can serve as one witness. If you need a list of officiants just ask and I’ll recommend some I enjoy working with.

SNACKS(AND BEER)

Never underestimate the power of some Ritz crackers or a cold beer on an elopement. I’m happy to throw some goodies in my bag for you!


Best Oregon Elopement Locations
Best Oregon Elopement Locations Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park 

Ecola is a hidden gem and one of my absolute favorites. It’s a 5 minute drive from the crowded beaches of Cannon Beach and is an absolute oasis in an otherwise beautiful(but tourist filled) area. Indian Beach where they filmed parts of the movie Point Break is probably my number one spot on the north coast.

Cannon Beach

This is usually the first request I get from couples visiting and wanted a coast elopement. It’s beautiful don’t get me wrong, but it is crowded. To avoid that I almost always recommend a sunrise elopement which get’s rid of 90% of the crowds. Weekdays help a lot too. I almost never will do a weekend elopement there and advise my couples on that.

Yachats/Cape Perpetua

This is an absolutely beautiful stretch of coast. It’s never crowded and always beautiful. It’s home to Thor’s Well, multiple beaches and the famous Cape Perpetua overlook. You have to put in a few more hours driving if you’re coming from Portland but it’s a fantastic spot to spend the weekend walking the beaches and exploring some of the coastal mountain trails.

Cape Kiwanda

Another fantastic location close to Portland. The beach itself is nothing to write home about, but you don’t go there for the beach, you go there for the cliffs and rocks. If you climb above the dunes there are some absolute bangers of views up there. It’s also a great place to see the whales. There are some great little hotels here and Pelican Brewing which is always ready to serve up a cold brew.

Southern Coast

This area is far more remote and rugged than the central and north coast locations above. But it is home to some of my favorite stretches of coast along Highway 101. The most epic being the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor. If you’ve never seen it check it out on google. It’s stunning. But tough to access and remote. Definitely worth the trouble though if you ask me.


Best Oregon Elopement Locations Waterfalls

Latourell Falls

This waterfall checks the box for most people. It’s super tall and wispy. The location is absolutely fabulous if you have family that isn’t very mobile as it’s a short walk down the trail from the parking lot. It tends to be far busier because of it’s easy access but if you plan a morning elopement you should be fine as long as it’s not a weekend.

Multnomah Falls

I really don’t recommend here and I’m only adding it because I get requests quite often. This waterfall although fun to see in person is not a great location to photograph for a few reasons. Firstly it’s got a fence around it which is going to be in all of the photos, but worse than that it’s an absolute madhouse with crowds. There’s not way around it and time of day doesn’t seem to matter. I avoid here at all costs unless a couple has reserved the Multnomah Falls Lodge for a wedding.

Rowena Crest

You’ve probably seen this spot on instagram. All the cool kids were dangling their Converse shoes off it and snapping photos. It’s just a few minutes farther east than most of the popular waterfalls in the gorge, but it’s a totally different world. You start to edge into the high desert here and the landscape completely changes to sage grass and rugged treeless mountains. This spot is typically pretty windy though so keep that in mind. I do love it though.

Government Gove

Literally 2 minutes past Cascade Locks in the Gorge, this spot is a photographer favorite. It’s easy to access, provides a 360 view of the gorge and has multiple locations on site to provide different looks. It’s one of my favorite locations for sunset ceremonies in the gorge.

Wahclella Falls

One of my absolute favorite waterfalls. It’s about a mile or so hike in with a huge payoff. Usually you don’t have to worry about crowds here as long as you plan on a weekday. There’s some beautiful forested trails on the way in and the waterfall pool itself is absolutely magic. As I write this they currently have it closed so check the forest service website for any closures.

Mt Hood or Mt. Adams 

Neither of these are technically in the gorge but they’re close enough I wanted to add them here. Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood both have amazing locations near them. You can even get married on top of Mt. Hood at the Silcox Hut or Timberline Lodge. The forests and rivers near both mountains have many absolutely perfect locations for elopements including waterfalls, forest glens and open meadows.


High Desert + Bend Oregon

Best Oregon Elopement Locations Painted Hills

Sparks Lake 

Sparks is an absolute gem. My great photographer friend Ely who’s located in Bend took me here for my first time. Located about a 30 minutes drive from downtown Bend it’s nestled in the mountains near Mt. Bachelor. In the winter the road gets snowed in so it’s a fairly seasonal location but one well worth it.

Smith Rock State Park

If you’re heading to Bend from Portland you’l drive right by this red rock filled oasis. It’s one of my favorite places to photograph in Eastern Oregon. The river runs right through this canyon land like landscape and is the perfect backdrop for an intimate high desert wedding.

The Wallowa Mountains

I had the pleasure of visiting here for the first time last year. I wish I had done it earlier. Wallowa Lake is nestled in a valley surrounded by the “Swiss Alps of Oregon.” You can either get married in the valley or take the gondola above the lake for some amazing views. There’s also some of the best hiking/rugged country just outside of there if you’re wanting a more off path option. A good friend runs the Wallowa Lake Lodge if you’re interested in Overnight options.

The Painted Hills

The Painted Hills are arguably Eastern Oregon’s most well known location because of it’s bright rusty red color in the earth. It is absolutely gorgeous and just adds to the reasons I love to photograph Oregon. One thing to keep in mind is they have very strict wooden walk ways you have to stay on so there’s not much deviating from the trail allowed. If you’re wanted to get away this is the perfect spot with some great cheap camping nearby.

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake is just south of Bend and fairly isolated. This location is massive and offers a wide variety of landscapes. From lava flows to waterfalls to the giant Crater Lake. In winter it’s hard to access as many high mountain locations are. I recommend late Spring through early fall here.


Portland Oregon Locations

Best Oregon Elopement Locations Hoyt Arboretum

Hoyt Arboretum’s Redwood Deck

One of my favorite venues local to Portland. It’s nestled in the forest a short walk down the trail from the parking area in Hoyt Arboretum adjacent to downtown Portland. You’d never know you were close to downtown with these towering Redwood trees and beautiful forested backdrops.

Cathedral Park 

Located in St. Johns just north of downtown. This place is famous for it’s big green Gothic Cathedral like bridge. It’s a popular spot for small weddings. The park itself is very nice and able to host even a large wedding. Great location with easy access to downtown or Portland reception venue.

Downtown

I know people come to elope in Oregon for it’s natural beauty but downtown is a fantastic urban option. There’s so many beautiful pockets of downtown to explore and if you’re wanting a small courthouse wedding it’s a perfect option.

Other Portland locations include Sauvie Island, The Parks System and nearby wine country.


If you want to learn more about how to book and your rad Oregon elopement click the button below and let’s plan an adventure

I want to elope!