Choosing the best place to elope in Oregon is hard because there are SO many amazing places to choose from. It is, without a DOUBT, one of the most beautiful states in the country. When I first moved here, it seemed like every time I turned a corner there was another equally fascinating place to elope at. Of all the problems to have while planning an elopement, having too many beautiful places to choose from isn't *that* bad, I guess. Luckily, I've narrowed it down for you with some of my favorite and best places to elope in Oregon.
Table of Contents
- Choosing your Elopement Location
- Benefits of Eloping in Oregon
- Oregon Weather
- Best Places to Elope in Oregon
- Other Elopement Planning Tips
If you’re at the very beginning of planning your big day and aren’t sure if eloping is right for you go read this blog on my definition of an elopement. Eloping can mean different things to different people and you don't actually NEED a big reason for eloping other than you want to. Once you learn about what it really means to elope, then you can check out these 10 reasons my couples choose to elope. Again, there are so many reasons couples choose to elope from costs, ideas on what it means to start a life together, and wanting to explore a whole adventure. If these two blogs connect with your soul then you'll know you're in the right spot. Carry on and find your favorite place to elope in Oregon!
Disclaimer: this is not an exhaustive list and I cannot promise that each location will look the same as it depends on the season, the weather, and local natural disasters. The BEST way to ensure these spots continue to look BOMB is to mind all LNT (Leave No Trace) rules. If you aren't sure what LNT is, I recommend heading over to this page to learn more.
Choosing Your Oregon Elopement Location
Choosing your elopement location is one of the very first steps when it comes to planning your elopement ceremony. Knowing your location can drastically change how you think about the rest of your planning. If you choose the Alps then you'll wear something different than you would in Florida. At least, I would hope! If you decide to elope in the Midwest then your food choice will be different from those available in San Francisco. Even deciding between the Oregon Coast and the Oregon desert will change a few of your planning details!
Side note: did you know that Oregon can supply almost every terrain you can think of? We have desert, beach, mountains, wildflowers, city-scapes, cliffs, etc all in Oregon.
If you aren't sure about the location AT ALL then I highly recommend finding and booking your elopement photographer first. The majority of my clients book me before they have any of the details nailed down. Together, I help you figure out any guest counts, locations, timelines, and so much more. Most elopement photographers also help take the load off by planning the details with you.
You can check out my elopement planning checklist on this blog post. Download your own copy to help keep track of all the details, vendors, and those things you don't want to forget. I crafted this checklist after being a bride myself and working as a wedding planner. There are so many good little tips and tricks that will really help you along the way! The best part? I'm here for you if you have any questions!
Benefits of Eloping in Oregon
Oregon is full of amazing views, unique people, and delicious food and drinks. Anywhere you go you'll find local wines, craft beers, and great foods for any taste! While you're here I recommend visiting the coast and renting an Airbnb or cabin in the woods. You'll get the full Oregon experience and all our nature.
Another benefit of eloping in Oregon is how easy it is to get married here. The marriage license only costs $60 and you can apply online ahead of time! Most of the epic ceremony locations don't require permits for use which makes planning for your day a little bit cheaper. The permits can get confusing so I always help my couples with this process to ensure they have all the legal documents that they'll need ready to go.
Check out this blog about the 5 Reasons You Should Elope in Oregon for even more great information!
Oregon Weather For Your Elopement
Oregon generally has a very moderate temperature compared to other parts of the country. Ignoring the crazy heatwave we had this summer, Oregon is usually about 75 degrees in the summer and around 45-50 degrees in the winter. You'll never be too hot in the summer, especially if you elope on the Oregon coast! Contrary to popular belief, it really only rains in Oregon in the winter and it's usually a light rain or intermittent. So while it will likely be wet for your winter elopement, it's still totally gorgeous! Take advantage of the snow-covered mountains in the background when you stay at a cute little Airbnb in the forest for your winter elopement. And bring me along!
You can have the perfect Oregon elopement at any time of year, depending on which weather you prefer. Certain locations may be better in one season versus the other which is one of the reasons why hiring a local photographer is so important so you can have that firsthand knowledge. I love helping my couples find their perfect elopement location that's off the beaten path and make their dreams come true. If you're searching for an Oregon Elopement Photographer make sure you fill out my contact form so we can start planning your perfect day!
Best Places To Elope In Oregon
1. Government Cove in the Columbia River Gorge
Government Cove is, without a doubt, one of my very favorite places to elope in Oregon. Maybe it's even THE best place to elope in Oregon? It's only about one hour outside of Portland, so you'll be close by to any fun local eats, donuts, and general PDX atmosphere if you want it. The Government Cove island is fairly large and offers many different types of scenery from rocky cliffs, river views, overlooks, and foresty ponds. Anywhere you walk on the island will give you an amazing backdrop for your vows, portraits, or first dance.
If you're feeling really adventurous, I recommend bringing some snacks and staying to watch the sunset behind the mountains. Government Cove always has the most amazing sunsets, full of color, that reflect onto the forest and water surrounding you. Bring your kayaks and enjoy the sunset on the river!
One of the best things about eloping at Government cove is that it's also really close to other amazing elopement locations in the Columbia River Gorge. Start your day in a romantic Airbnb, visit a few waterfalls during the afternoon, and end your epic elopement day by kayaking on the river from Government Cove. It's literally a dream.
2. Latourell Falls in the Columbia River Gorge
Latourell Falls is one of the easiest and most popular waterfalls to visit in Oregon. Conveniently, there is a large parking lot and restroom right next to the Latourell Falls trailhead. It's about a five-minute walk along a well-worn path to the waterfall. Only five minutes of exertion for an epic elopement location! Hiking isn't for everybody, but you can still have a really cool elopement location without it.
Latourell Falls is a 224-foot waterfall and is surrounded by dark rocks, moss, and tons of trees. The lighting is always amazing here and it's easy to get different backdrops depending on where you stand. Local tip, be sure to travel to the lesser-visited top part of Latourell falls. The trail will take you through the Columbia River Gorge and really showcase the waterfall to its fullest extent. One of the best things about eloping at Latourell Falls is that there aren't any guards or fences blocking access to the waterfall. This means you can get as close as you want to the water! Talk about some romantic portraits embracing under the cold waterfall.
View some romantic goodness from this Latourell Falls elopement here.
3. Mt. Hood
Mt. Hood is one of the closest mountains to Portland and is full of amazing views and hikes. You can see Mt. Hood from almost anywhere in Portland, depending on how cloudy the weather is. Located only about 1 hour and 40 minutes outside PDX, it's easy to get to but also far enough away that you can avoid the city hustle and bustle. Depending on the time of year you elope, you can see a mountainside full of wildflowers, evergreens, or snow!
Don't worry if you don't want to do a big hike on your elopement day because Mt. Hood is full of both short and long hikes for different skill levels. This particular hike in the photos was about a 5-minute walk from the parking lot! There are also lots of cliffs, river views, and waterfalls throughout Mt. Hood national forest that are great elopement locations!
4. Neskowin Beach
I personally love Neskowin beach because of the unique tree stumps that you can only see a couple of times a year. Neskowin is a cute coastal town with a robust farmers market and little eateries great for enjoying after your elopement ceremony. This beach on the Oregon coast isn't nearly as popular as the other beaches so you likely won't have to worry too much about crowds.
Along with the creepy-cool tree stumps on the beach, there is also a massive rock that's been coined "proposal rock". When you visit, I recommend checking out all of the nooks and crannies along the rock before the tide comes back in!
Neskowin Beach is located a little bit inland and collects the fog like nobody's business. Being surrounded by fog is such a fun experience and can make your elopement feel like it's in its own little world. I think the fog gives the photos a filmy, vintage vibe - what do you think? Neskowin is located about 2 hours from Portland and is nearby other trails, forests, and lakes perfect for exploring.
5. Oswald West
Oswald West is a recent discovery of mine and I fell in love because of the intimacy and epic views. The hike isn't nearly as traveled as the other hike attached to the same trailhead because it is often more overgrown. Because most people don't even see the trail you will likely have the cliff to yourself! There are two main areas that are perfect for your elopement ceremony. One is higher than the other so it just depends on how much height your stomach can handle!
Visit Oswald West in the spring and summer to see all of the amazing wildflowers. The massive black cliffs remind me of Game of Thrones and would make an amazing backdrop for your first dance. As with most places on the coast, be prepared for the wind and plan accordingly! Sunrise and sunset will look completely different here so it's important to communicate with your Oregon elopement photographer and make sure you both have the right expectations for the lighting.
Oswald West is about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Portland and is near many other popular hikes and beaches such as Cannon Beach. You won't want to miss it!
6. God's Thumb
God's Thumb is such a unique place to elope on the Oregon Coast. Rolling green hills, blue ocean, and impressive cliffs will make your elopement day quite the experience. God's Thumb is located on private land that is currently allowed public use as long as people take care of the location. Leave No Trace is extremely important here! Be sure to stay only on the trails and not damage the moss or ecosystems along your hike.
The hike to God's Thumb is mostly uphill and pretty long so I wouldn't recommend it for those who don't like hiking. But if you make it to the end, the views are always worth it. The tip of the "thumb" is very windy so loose florals or paper won't be safe up here. God's Thumb is located about 2 hours from Portland in Lincoln City, Oregon.
You can check out more about a God's Thumb elopement here.
7. Cobble Beach and Yaquina Head Lighthouse
Go full coastal for your Oregon coast elopement and elope at Cobble Beach. The Yaquina Head lighthouse in the background is a wonderful nod to history and you can even schedule a tour to see the inside. Cobble Beach is one of the unique beaches on the Oregon coast because instead of sand, the beach is full of large black stones. The stones have been worn down by years of the tide and are really smooth. I recommend going at low tide so you can climb out on the rocks and look at all of the tidepools! Be sure to stay in designated areas and not damage the life on the rocks.
Cobble Beach is 2 hours and 30 minutes from Portland near Newport. There are lots of really fun things to check out in Newport like the aquarium, Devil's punchbowl, and Agate beach. Make a weekend out of your elopement and explore the other natural wonders with your elopement photographer!
8. Cape Kiwanda
Another really popular place to elope in Oregon is Cape Kiwanda. The cape is like beach + cool cliffs + great eats all in one. Depending on where you choose to have your ceremony at Cape Kiwanda you can have a cliff backdrop or endless ocean backdrops! If it's really windy on your elopement day then be prepared to eat some sand.
A quick note on Leave No Trace at Cape Kiwanda. The cliffs at the beach are very fragile and can be prone to crumbling so they are now blocked off by fences. Please be sure to respect these fences for your elopement and don't climb over them. Your photos might look a little different than what you see online since these fences are new but you can still have an amazing day with a little creativity!
See these two lovebirds dance at their Cape Kiwanda elopement here.
Best Places To Elope In Oregon
When choosing your elopement location, it's important to keep in mind the seasons and the backgrounds you want. Are you picturing trees or the ocean? Mountains or cityscapes? You've got ALL the options in Oregon for your elopement location so it can be hard to narrow it down!
That's one of the things I love helping all of my couples with when planning their elopement. I'm not here to make all of the decisions for you but rather to be as supportive as I can. I will always provide you with tons of information! In the end, it's up to you and your partner on what you think would be best for you! I'm happy to location scout, plan your timelines, help with any accessories, or find other vendors for you to choose from. Your elopement should be a stress-free experience! If that sounds like something you want, reach out and we can get started.
Not sure where else to start? No worries, I got you! Check out these other helpful elopement planning tips.
Black Salt Photography is an elopement photographer and intimate wedding photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Photographing in the surrounding PNW areas and traveling often for destination love stories. Specializing in intimate candids and editorial portraits to craft a one-of-a-kind wedding day for every couple. Her moody photography style plays with natural light and shadow, laced with raw emotional moments, to create an authentic narrative experience. She photographs you as you so you'll love your photos authentically.
"Destiny definitely stood out amongst other photographers because we absolutely loved how involved she was from the very beginning. She really wants to get to know you- which makes for really intimate photos! She asks tons of questions, which is awesome because you feel like you know her before even meeting her! And once you finally do, she is so so sweet!!! Destiny is so great at communicating and being really involved in every detail! She captured every emotion and detail perfectly, whenever I look at our wedding pictures, it brings back every feeling on our special day. TEARS!"
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