From beautiful beaches, to epic mountains, and even cool downtown areas, the state of Oregon offers a ton as a destination for your elopement. Whether you’re looking to elope at a courthouse in downtown Portland, or intimately surrounded by the beauty of nature, Oregon has it all! You’ll have a lot to consider in planning your Oregon elopement from marriage laws to vendors you’ll need, to place and time, which is why we’re going to go through all these things and more so you can plan your Oregon elopement!
To start off we’re going to take a look at the legalities of having your elopement in Oregon. To elope in Oregon, you will need to apply for a marriage license from the county clerk’s office which they will issue for a small fee. The license will not go into effect until three days after the application was signed and will then be valid for 60 days, so plan your elopement accordingly to fall in that timeframe. Your elopement will have to be performed by a designated officiant and must be done in the presence of said officiant and at least two witnesses (one can be your photographer) as Oregon does not allow you to self-solemnize.
If you’d like to take the legalities out of your elopement and focus on the experience itself you can always take care of the legalities prior! Have your official elopement done in the courthouse with your witnesses present and then we can head out to your destination for an elopement day like none other!
Next, you’ll want to find a photographer to capture your Oregon elopement. Whether you end up going with a local photographer or a destination photographer(me!), finding a photographer who can guide you through the experience can really ease a lot of the stress in planning your elopement. You, your bae, and I can work together to consider all the awesome types of places in Oregon where you can elope. Once you’ve found your ideal location, I’ll scout it before the ceremony to ensure that I know how to best capture it. I take great pride in doing whatever I can to help you take pleasure in your elopement experience. Whether you need me to fetch drinks for you, make a timeline, provide emotional support, or do anything else to allow you to fully enjoy all the aspects of your elopement, I got you.
Outside of your photographer there are a few other vendors you’ll want for your Oregon elopement. Depending on personal preference, you may want to hire a florist for bouquets. You should also consider seeking out a hiking guide if you’re eloping in a place where the terrain is potentially hazardous. With Oregon requiring an officiant for your wedding you’ll also need to hire one or have a friend become ordained and officiate your wedding. Outside of that the sky really is the limit for your elopement, and it really depends on the experience you hope to have for your day. There are no wrong answers!
When you’re choosing what time of year you want to elope, you’ll want to consider that Oregon’s climate varies drastically depending on the area. Much of Oregon has warm, dry summers and wet winters where the skies are likely to be cloudy and overcast. Cloudy skies can make for a very scenic backdrop to your elopement as well as perfect lighting for your photographs, so don’t rule out winters especially if you don’t mind cooler weather. As a bonus, Oregon’s parks are also less busy during the winter. Some areas, like the Cascade mountain range, get snowed on heavily during the winters and periodically throughout the summer months. For an elopement in the warmer months you’ll want to try and plan around the popular times of your destination and avoid them. This usually means a nice morning/sunrise elopement which honestly adds to the experience anyway!
Next we’ll cover some of my favorite location options for your Oregon elopement. Keep in mind when deciding on the location for your elopement some will require special use permits, so be sure to do your research prior. And if you’re having trouble finding if your location does require a permit let your photographer(again me!) know and I can help you get to the bottom of it!
If you and your bae are beach lovers, you’ll want to consider Cannon Beach for your elopement. Cannon Beach is a coastal city of northwest Oregon with a long and beautiful sandy shore. It is home to Haystack Rock, one of Oregon’s most iconic landmarks, and Ecola State Park. As Haystack Rock is a heavily trafficked tourist destination, you’ll want to avoid planning an elopement here during times when it is likely to be busy like midday during the summer. Cannon Beach has many beautiful rock forms like Haystack Rock along its shore. If you want to ensure that your elopement is intimate, I recommend you go early in the morning during sunrise and avoid Haystack Rock for the ceremony itself. Ecola State Park offers many miles of forested trails, some of which have beautiful views of the shore which we can explore either for your elopement or after.
Located in Oregon’s southwest side, Crater Lake National Park is a great place to elope for those seeking out adventure. It is a wide ranging mountainous national park home to the deepest lake in the US that is known to be one of the cleanest on earth. It is important to note that Crater Lake gets heavy snow from October through April and gets light snow during the summer months. As weather is likely to be hazardous throughout the winter months, I would recommend eloping during the summer at Crater Lake. You can apply for a Crater Lake wedding permit here.
About an hour south of Portland is the beautiful Silver Falls State Park. Named after its many breathtaking waterfalls, this nature preserve features over 35 miles of backcountry trails to explore. Near the park’s iconic south falls is a day-use area which features some vintage wood cabins and picnic shelters that’ll make for a charming backdrop for wedding portraits. You can also have your elopement in front of one of the many waterfalls which all are incredible settings for your elopement experience.
Known for its scenic rocky terrain, Smith Rock State Park is an awesome place to elope if you love mountains and prefer the desert over forests. Don’t be surprised to see eagles, deer, and river otters during your elopement, as Smith Rock State Park is known for its thriving wildlife population! You will need to get a special use permit prior to eloping at Smith Rock State Park which you can get from the Oregon parks and recreation department. The park is well worth getting a permit for though as it has some of the most scenic and beautiful backdrops available for your elopement in Oregon!
If you’re eloping in Cannon Beach, Hallmark Resort and Spa is a great place to consider for your stay. This resort features an amazing selection of accommodations including oceanfront rooms and suites. They offer an assortment of spa packages as well as a pool and fitness center. This resort is perfect for those who want to spend as much time as possible on the beach!
Located within driving distance of Crater Lake National Park, this uniquely designed Airbnb is great for those looking to retreat into nature for their elopement experience. The Chalet can accommodate up to six guests and has two bathrooms. It has direct access to Agency Lake and even provides kayaks to add to your overall elopement experience. If you and your bae are looking for a place to stay that will ensure an intimate experience, you’ll want to consider this Airbnb for your Oregon elopement.
If you and your bae want to elope in Portland, the Sentinel is an awesome option you should consider. It is in downtown Portland, is rich with history, and features multiple onsite dining options as well as a wide range of accommodations. It also has six unique special event rooms, three of which, their fireside room, library, and renaissance room, are perfect for an elopement if you’re looking to keep things close to your stay and explore more of the city!
This awesome vacation house in Oceanside is perfect for your elopement and can house up to 14 people and has amazing views of the beach and coastal rock formations that Oregon is known for. There is also a guest quarters that you can also rent for an additional fee. Its multiple decks will provide you and your guests with great outdoor areas to relax and enjoy the ocean air throughout your stay.
Located in the Eagle Crest Resort community just 15 miles south of Smith Rock State Park, this vacation house has a lot to offer. It features amazing mountain views, a hot tub, and access to the resort swimming pool. It has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and can house up to 8 guests and is the perfect stay for an elopement getaway in Oregon.
This elegant and charming vacation house in Gold Beach is surrounded by the natural beauty of Oregon. From the coast on its west side to the mountains and forests to the east, there is SO much to appreciate around this property. You won’t have to travel far to find a beautiful intimate place where you and your bae can elope. Not to mention, it has a balcony with a hot tub!
Just a 40-minute drive from Crater Lake National Park, this modern vacation house in Prospect is situated on a beautiful prairie that’s home to a thriving wildlife population. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and can house up to six people. It features hardwood floors throughout, an outdoor patio, and stunning views of the Cascade mountains.
Now that you have all the pieces to put together your perfect elopement in Oregon, it’s time to start putting them together! Head over to my contact page to send me an inquiry so I can reserve your date. We can then start the planning process together and set up the perfect elopement day for you both.