We are Sam + Bryt, wife and wife elopement photographers, business educators, and LGBTQ+ activitists! We are so freaking excited that you are here!
If you are ready to go on an adventure, feel empowered, or learn how to level up your business, we are your girls! So.. what are you waiting for? Let's do this thing!
The state of Oregon could very well be the best elopement location out there. It has all the sights, all the adventure, and all of the room for exploration. With its diverse array of scenic wonders, from majestic coastlines to lush forests and cascading waterfalls, Oregon offers the perfect backdrop for couples seeking a unique and adventurous wedding venue. For all these reasons above, we present you with The Ultimate Oregon Elopement Guide.
You absolutely can – and should! The state of Oregon is full of some of the most thrilling sites any adventure addict could dream up! If you’re sitting there thinking you want to elope somewhere full of adventure and are ready to begin planning your elopement, this is the place for y’all! We are overjoyed you found your way here. Keep on reading to see the legalities that might be involved with an elopement in oregon!
Thousands of people flock to Oregon on a yearly basis to get their hiking, beach, site seeing fix. This state pretty much has it all. Oregon has some real unique aesthetic to their beaches. It’s other worldly. Want to spend your morning hiking to your elopement location and share your vows on a cliff? They got that too! Oregon is a state that truly does it all. Really, you won’t need much convincing by checking out the images in this post 🙂
Eloping in oregon does require a few things to make it legal! First you need a marriage license. Then, bring along an officiant and 2 witnesses over 18 years of age! Bonus: We can actually double as your two witnesses! In addition, we always recommend following the Leave No Trace principals so that we can make sure the environment is left just as when we came. These are really the only big rules here, that’s why elopements are the best! The Ultimate Oregon Elopement Guide will help you put together the rest.
Anywhere! The possibilities are endless in oregon! Some elopement location ideas include Crater Lake National Park, Cannon Beach, Mount Hood Territory, Bend, Smith Rock State Park, Columbia River Gorge, Waterfalls, and more! Here are just a few to spotlight below!
This national park would be a breathtaking view for any elopement. Crater Lake was formed over 7,000 years ago by the collapse of the Mount Mazama volcano. It’s known for its remarkable clarity and intense sapphire hue. Cleary a photographer’s dream here 😉 The best part is that it is encircled by rugged cliffs and dense evergreen forests.
Nestled along the captivating coastline of Oregon, Cannon Beach stands as an enchanting canvas an elopement backdrop. At the heart of this coastal gem stands the iconic Haystack Rock, a majestic rock that towers over the Pacific Ocean at 235 feet! Like we said… other worldly. GIANT rock, water, beach. What more could you ask for? After a day of adventuring around Canon Beach, snuggle up with your love to a campfire and some smores while you watch the sunset! A scene like this would make for a perfect elopement backdrop!
Mount Hood is a truly iconic feature of the PNW. It’s a dormant stratovolcano and it stands as Oregon’s highest peak (with snow-capped peaks year round). The surrounding forest is perfect for it’s beautiful trails and hiking! Whether you elope here in the winter or the warmer months (hint: their are beautiful wildflowers) it is truly a breathtaking choice to elope here!
This is all dependent upon how much you want to spend! Elopements are saught after because of how much more affordable they are… however, if you’re looking to elope with no cash ceiling, you could absolutely turn this elopement trip into an elopement and honeymoon all in one! A two-for-one is what they call that we believe…. Your big expenses to keep in mind: plane ticket, wedding attire, housing, food, photographers/media. On average, couples spend about $10,000 or less for an Oregon elopement with all that is required!
Yes – yes you do! You actually need two like we mentioned above.
YES! This is why we love it so much. Oregon is such a welcoming and friendly place for anyone, everyone. Wikipedia actually states that it is frequently referred to as one of the US’ most LGBTQ friendly states. What better place would you want to go to when eloping and declaring your love to the world?! We sure can’t think of anywhere more welcoming, creative, venturesome, and stunning all in one. It’s quite impressive!
The hardest part! We feel ya! ANYTIME we visit this place we have such a hard time deciding where to go, when, and what to see next! Lucky for you, we already laid out our three top choices for you above. Keep the shortlist handy when deciding!
Spring in Oregon is wet, warm + wild! Nice temperatures, but lots of chances for rain! Spring is beautiful, but you have to be okay with the chance for some precipitation. In our photo minds this may make for the perfect chance to do some artsy shots in the rain with some umbrellas…
Summer is warm, but not suffocated by heat! Warm and just warm enough lol. Beautiful clear skies, saturated sunrises and sunsets, big trees full of leaves and animals. This season is for the nature lovers.
Fall is all about colors colors colors. This time of year the foliage explodes in bright reds, oranges, yellows, light greens. Bob Ross may as well have done it himself! Pretty little tree here… pretty little tree there! Not too hot, not too cold – layers are recommended.
Winters in Oregon are a treat. Winter temps range from the low 40s to low 50s in some spots. But lots of snow can happen y’all – stay prepared! However, the Oregon coast only averages about 1-3 inches of snowfall per year. Don’t let the fact that it’s neighbor is the always sunny California throw ya for a loop. It truly just depends where in Oregon you are planning to be!
Shoulder seasons are where it’s at!
Here is a quick shoulder season lesson: It’s those times of year just outside of peak seasons. When the crowds are in full force during ski season and also during those prime summer months, the “shoulders” of these seasons make a super time to visit.
No crowds?! Yes please!
Getting a marriage license in Oregon is pretty simple. Plan ahead for the 3 day waiting period (or you can get it waived) and the small fee. To get yourself started, you will contact the local county clerk. (Don’t worry! We will help you out with this!) Most of the counties will help you with checklists on what you have to make sure you accomplish to make this marriage legit (from a legal standpoint). Once it is signed + sealed, you’ll send it back to the same county you acquired it from!
Example: Our last couple who got married near Canon Beach made an appointment at the Astoria County Clerk’s office. They showed up with their IDs and paid $60 for their license. Once they were married and it was signed, they dropped it back off! BUT you can also request to complete it by mail if you are out of state. Just call (503) 325-8511.
For more information and to book your appointment, go to Clatsop County Clerk’s website here.
If you take one thing from The Ultimate Oregon Elopement Guide, let it be… Early bird gets the worm…. for real in this case. Booking your travel plans early will make it so you have no headaches later on. Being unsure of travel right before your elopement might be the worst case scenario we can think of. Stay ahead of it – Book your flights, your airbnb, your rental cars, whatever!
We are about to A) make this very easy for you, and B) knock your socks off with some real cool AirBnBs! The Ultimate Oregon Elopement Guide is here to help. Lodging can really make a difference for your elopement. The lodging is where you’ll be getting ready, maybe having your first look, and spending some quality time together on your day. We also recommend finding a place that fits your vibe for your wedding day!
“Take in the river views of the wildlife sanctuary from 3 sides of this tranquil getaway. Have coffee, watch the sunrise and spot seals and birds from the huge deck. Or kayak upriver, wind through the estuaries and fish for salmon (salmon run is Sept – Oct). The home used to be an ice house for the cannery. Come back to your own private sauna. Explore the beaches, go hiking or shopping.” Click here to do a deep dive into this baby!
“We’d like to welcome you to this special getaway we created to share with others. OUT OF BOUNDS is located on Bald Peak minutes from wineries, between the city and the coast. Situated away from our cabin, the space surrounding the Tiny Cabin offers privacy and the nurturing of the outdoors. A true Pacific Northwest experience. We’re in a private community. You won’t hear much except the birds or coyotes in the evenings.” We KNOW you want to learn more about this one – find more information here.
“Oceanfront views from every window and the hot tub make for a gorgeous NW beach getaway any time of the year! The Gullymonster is a classic Oregon coast cabin built in 1976 and lovingly refreshed as a pet friendly retreat for families, couples, & friends. A spacious beachfront deck is ideal for sunny days and floor to ceiling windows make for cozy indoor wave watching whatever the season.” With a name like Gullymonster… LOL this one is worth reading more about.
Alrighty y’all we are almost there. One thing you don’t want to skimp out on is vendors. You want to hire people who share same vibes and ideas as you – that’s how all the magic happens! Lucky for you… a photographer wears many shoes. Think of us more like a bestie for the day, a manager of the madness, a planner of the perfect elopement, creators of The Ultimate Oregon Elopement Guide. We help you in the months leading up to your I Do’s and help you on the day of sort through everything you may or may not need.
Alongside the two of us 😉 you might need to find: A florist, hair/makeup artist, a baker for the cake or sweet treats, a personal day of chef or restaurant for your dinner following the elopement, and if you so chose – a videographer! There are a lot more positions out there that we did not list that you can absolutely hire to make your day the elopement of your dreams, but these are some of important ones!
Newport, Oregon has some beautiful beaches/water front area for this idea! Pack a sack lunch, put together a sweet little picnic full of your favorite fruits, savory food, cheese! Make a DIY charcuterie board and park yourself on a blanket by the water.
One of personal favorite activities, hiking to your elopement spot is one of our favorite elopement day activities. The best part is you two can pick amongst the coastline, forest, or in the mountains to find the perfect place that feels “just right”! Tackling an adventurous several miles or a small mile, whatever feels right, leads to the perfect elopement spot! And no worries, we absolutely can help you find the hike for you! Like we said, leave the planning up to us!
Fat-Tire biking is incredibly popular out here on the coasts! Rent one of those fat-bike and try one of FOUR (Ah! Options!) moderate routes: the 15-mile Fort Stevens route, which starts in Gearhart; the 6-mile Cannon Beach route, for serious views of Haystack Rock; the dreamy 13-mile Cape Kiwanda route, which meanders through Pacific City; and the 11-mile Cape Lookout route.
More Oregon Elopement Activities could include flying a kite, hot tub session, campfire, camping on the beach, stargazing, and even an adventure with your doggos!
Timelines are one of the last steps to planning an Oregon elopement! Creating a timeline depends on the activities you choose, your ceremony location, and where you might want to adventure to! Here below is a sample timeline we gathered from one of our previous Oregon elopements:
Oregon Coast Elopement Timeline:
8:00 Hair & Makeup
9:00 Getting Ready Together
9:45 First Look on The Beach near the Airbnb
10:15 Coffee + breakfast picnic together at the beach, Writing Vows
11:15 Matching Tattoos at a local Tattoo Shop
2:00 Afternoon Nap + Refresh
4:30: Arrive at Ceremony Location
4:45 Get Married!
5:00 Explore & Adventure around the beach + the rocks
6:30 Enjoy sunset with your babe
7:00 Campire, first dance, smores & sparklers on the beach!
8:30 Stargazing photos
This might be one of our favorite parts! Planning your ceremony and the words you’d like to use during it, is such a special part of the process. There are lots of ideas out there online, but you can absolutely work with your officiant if you have one! Creating a space that feels just right for you, is exactly what an elopement is for!
That’s all she wrote lol, ENJOY YOUR DAY!
Great questions! Thanks for asking!
Most of the coast spots (except for state parks) won’t require a permit. When eloping in a State Park it can be a little different. But don’t worry, we will help you sort through these logistics!
How do I get to Oregon for my elopement?
We suggest flying in to Portland! It is the largest and closest airport to most of the options! We will help you out with this too!
Y’all. This blog was a trip to write – a good one! Just like your future trip to Oregon will surely be. It was our pleasure to put together The Ultimate Oregon Elopement Guide together for you, we hope you found it insightful 😉 Now, whose ready to book their Oregon elopement? Just click HERE and reach out to us!
Sam + Bryt