updated 2/9/22

Oregon Elopement Planning Guide

Locations | Packages | Helpful Tips


How to Plan your Oregon Elopement

1) Pick your Location
2)Choose the time of year
3)Hire Your Photographer(Pick me and we can talk Bigfoot and whiskey)
4)Get your marriage license
5)Rock out your ceremony in a incredible location

Oregon Elopement Planning Guide Cover

Choosing an Elopement Location

My Oregon Elopement Planning Guide really comes down to three little words: Location Location Location…

Oregon is the perfect state to elope in. We literally have any landscape you could ever want want. Whether that’s rugged coast line, moss filled forest, mountain peaks or sagebrush filled desert. We have it all!

When couples are wanting to elope but not sure of the location I always ask them for inspiration to get an idea of the vibe they want. Maybe it’s boho in the desert. Or it could be a weekend getaway to a moss covered cabin in Mt. Hood National Forest. There’s very few limitations to what you can do for your elopement. The key to Oregon elopement planning is to pick a rad location and have fun.

Oregon Elopement Locations:

1)The Oregon Coast
2)Mt. Hood(Or any mountain)
3)Bend and Eastern Oregon
4)Columbia River Gorge

If you want to read more in depth on locations I’ve made an Oregon Location Guide HERE.

The Oregon Coast

Hands down one of my favorite locations. About an hour and a half drive from Portland you hit the coastal city of Cannon Beach. It’s one of the popular elopement destinations. From Cannon you can go south and exploe the hundreds of amazing locations to have your elopement. The further south you go the more rugged it gets. There’s so much variety here. From windswept cliffs, to oceanside caves to misty sunsets on the seastack rocks. It’s one of the most versatile locations in the state and always gives the goods.

Mt Hood and Oregon Mountains

Mt. Hood is Oregon’s most well known mountain and the highest peak in the state. It’s nestled right on the border of the wet and dry side of the mountains. The drive in from Portland will put you through some of my favorite forests to hike and explore. Small creeks run through the lush forest on the way up the mountain. At the top you can even stay in the Timberline Lodge or another airbnb near there which there are many. Whether it’s Mt. Hood or Bachelor or one of the lesser know peaks in the state. Mountains are about as good as it gets here.

Bend and Eastern Oregon

Bend is another hotspot for elopements. It’s easily accessible from Portland and a great jump-off point to explore eastern Oregon. There are many spots to explore near hear including Sparks Lake and Broken Top Mountain. But if you’re feeling more adventurous you can head down towards Crater Lake National Park or even farther east towards the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains and The Wallowa Mountains are the most under-appreciated parts of the state and an absolute goldmine of beautiful locations if you’re willing to get away from the city.

Columbia River Gorge

Another favorite. If you’re wanting a waterfall elopement, this is your spot. Only 30 minutes or so from Portland you can access many of the most well known waterfalls by a short hike. These are perfect for couples wanting the natural beauty of Oregon but still planning to stay close to Portland for a nice hotel or exceptional restaurant. There are more remote locations here as well that require more of a hike but by far the most popular are the beautiful waterfalls the gorge has to offer.


Oregon Elopement Planning Guide Weather Infographic


Oregon Elopement Planning Guide Weather Infographic

Oregon Elopement Planning Guide: It rains, it pours, the forest is on fire.

We have to talk about it. Weather.

Oregon gets a reputation for being extremely rainy. And while that is true it’s mostly only true of the western part of the state. Eastern Oregon is far sunnier and drier on the whole.

The summers here are spectacular. You get beautiful sunny days where the sun doesn’t completely go down until after 10pm. Summers are high time for elopements. So keep that in mind when planning. You’ll be fighting for the same dates as other couples. But if you want to have less competition, think about doing an elopement in the fall or winter.

Autumn in the Northwest is absolutely magical and lasts forever. It’s extremely mild and while you don’t get the color you would get in New England we still get quite a bit of yellows and oranges popping through.

Winter might be my favorite season for Elopements. Imagine yourself nestled in a winter wonderland on top of Mt. Hood getting married among tall trees glistening in white snow. Not too many couples opt for the winter season but I can assure you it’s just as amazing.

Choosing an Elopement Photography Package


Starts at $1800
  • My most popular elopement package is up to 4 hours. We can meet at a trailhead or commute out to the location together. These are very flexible. For anyone wanting epic photos without doing an overnight camping trip, this is the package for you.


  • Edited Photo Gallery and Zip File Download
  • Online Storage For Up To A Year
  • Print Release
  • Credits To Be Used for Printing Photo Albums
  • 20% Discount On All Prints Ordered
  • Free High Fives and Whiskey

12 Hour and Overnight Elopements

Starts at $4500
  • My all day and overnight packages can be anything from hiking through the day to photograph at sunset and catching the milky way overnight or a longer trip. The schedule is up to you!

Oregon Elopement Planning Guide: Pick a package any package!(well there’s only two…or three if you want to customize)

Most photographers only have one or two packages for elopements. I offer half day or full day options you can read about here. If you’re interested in multi-day photography coverage or something unique please don’t hesitate to ask.

When looking for a photographer you should find someone who you really jive with. Being comfortable and trusting your photographer is essential and as important as anything else. When a relationship is there it allows us photographers to make better photos for you. It’s definitely a two way street so make sure your photographer is someone who you genuinely like.

Of course the photos should be rad as well. Find someone who enjoys being in the outdoors and photographing the vast Pacific Northwest landscapes as much as they love photographing people. Rad people, rad photos. Rad squared.

Because your photographer is also doubling as a wedding planner on your elopement you want someone who’s well versed in Oregon elopement locations and the outdoors. Not only do I know some pretty slick locations I’m an eagle scout and can build you the best lean to you’ve ever seen. Also, if you’re into bigfoot I know a guy who knows a guy who can give you the perfect spot.

Getting your Marriage License

Oregon Elopement Planning Guide: Legal thangz!

Getting your marriage license is simple but also REALLY important. So here’s a few helpful tips to know about getting it done before you elope.


1) You should apply at least 3 days before your elopement. Oregon has a 3 day waiting period. You can have that waived for a fee though.

2) It’s valid for 60 days

3) A marriage license costs $60

4) You can get married anywhere in Oregon.

5) It can be done through the mail

If you’re from Portland here’s a great resource for your license.

Essential Items to Bring

Oregon Elopement Planning Guide: Don’t forget these things!

There are certain things you definitely want to make sure you bring on your elopement. Some you might have thought of, some might not have crossed your mind. Below I’ve included a list of essential items to bring on your elopement

1)Marriage License
2)Bug Spray
5)Local Beer/Booze
6)Moist Towelette
7)Parks Pass

Some of those are pretty obvious. But things like a moist towelette to wipe your face from sweat before the ceremony or a nice swing of whiskey to calm the nerves before the elopement are always nice touches. A parks pass is pretty essential as well. Whether it’s a National Park or local state forest pass you almost always need one.

Post Elopement Celebration

Best Oregon Elopement Locations Hoyt Arboretum

Oregon Elopement Planning Guide: The ceremony and photos are over. Now what?

This is a popular choice for most couples. Since many of the elopement locations are not in close proximity to big cities or hotels many couples decide to camp. That doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in a tent though. There are many options for cabins and rustic accommodations through airbnb.

If you Elope on Mt. Hood I highly recommend an airbnb in Welches or Government Camp. Timberline Lodge is also really fabulous and you can use their hot tub.

The coast has some amazing accommodations as well. It’s really hard to find a town that doesn’t have Airbnb or Vacasa options. There’s also tons of cute Bed and Breakfasts scattered along the coast.

Have an amazing meal!
I love to cook myself. So I often encourage couples to bring a sold picnic spread or we can even fire up the cast iron if you want. It’s a great way to unwind from the day and just enjoy yourself. It’s a great photo op as well. You could always hire a private cook like famous local chefs to make you and your friends a completely badass meal.

If you are having a few friends at your elopement now would be the time to let loose throw a few drinks back and relax. Maybe it’s at the cabin you rented or maybe just a bonfire near your tents. If you’re hiring me for a full day elopement I’d love to stick around and document this for you.