How to Have a Cannon Beach Elopement

If you’re unfamiliar with the PNW, Cannon Beach is an absolute gem on the Oregon coast. It’s a sought-after spot for photoshoots of all kinds and people are obsessed. I can personally attest to this from my experience shooting here many times, and my Cannon Beach Pinterest pins back it up too, lol! Long sandy beach, crashing waves, and the iconic Haystack Rock, a massive sea stack you won’t miss, are just a few things that attract people to this spot. The charming small-town vibe and breathtaking views make for a killer Cannon Beach elopement. I’m going to break down just how to elope at this epic Oregon Coast elopement location.

Planning Your Cannon Beach Elopement


It’s crucial to keep an eye on the tide schedules. The tides can significantly impact your experience, especially if you want to make the most of the beach’s sandy areas. Low tide is the best time to access more of the beach and avoid the high water which can limit your space and options for photos. Plus, low tide reveals some cutie tide pools and marine life around Haystack Rock. For more detailed information on reading tide schedules and planning your photoshoot, check out this blog!

Sunrise vs. Sunset

When it comes to deciding between a sunrise or sunset elopement at Cannon Beach, there are pros and cons to consider. A sunrise ceremony means fewer crowds and a more intimate experience, plus that soft, golden morning light can be incredibly flattering for photos. However, you’ll have to be up and ready to go pretty early in the day and I know some of you out there are NOT early birds. On the other hand, a sunset elopement offers the potential for some romantic lighting as the sun dips. The downside is that you’ll likely have to contend with more people on the beach during those popular evening hours, especially on weekends. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preferences and what kind of atmosphere you’re going for on your day. I offer tons of tips to my couples on the best way to avoid crowds in touristy spots. Inquire with me if you need some help!

Time of Year

Choosing the right time of year for your elopement at Cannon Beach can make a big difference. Spring and fall are generally the best seasons, offering mild weather and fewer tourists, which means more privacy and comfort. Summer can be beautiful, but it’s also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and busier beaches. Winter, on the other hand, brings unpredictable weather, with the possibility of rain and chilly temperatures, which might not be ideal for your outdoor ceremony. Speaking of rainy elopements, check out this moody elopement in Oregon! Weighing these factors can help you pick the perfect time, and if you decide that you’re down to elope during the rainy season, I’ll be right there with ya!


One of the great things about eloping at Cannon Beach is that you don’t need any permits for a simple elopement (yay!), making the planning process a bit easier. Just be sure to follow general guidelines like respecting the natural environment and keeping the beach clean.


Parking—it’s one of those persistent annoyances in life. So, there are several options available near the beach, but it can get tricky during peak tourist seasons. Arriving early is a good idea to snag a spot, especially on weekends and holidays. If you click here, you’ll get a better breakdown of the parking situation near Haystack Rock.

Local Amenities for Your Cannon Beach Elopement Experience


After your elopement, you’ll want to celebrate with a great meal, and Cannon Beach has some fantastic options. For a romantic dinner, The Wayfarer Restaurant & Lounge is a top pick, offering delicious seafood and stunning ocean views. If you’re in the mood for something more casual, head over to Pelican Brewing. It’s a great spot to relax with a craft beer and some tasty pub fare. Both places provide a cozy atmosphere perfect for toasting to your new life together.

Places to Stay for Your Cannon Beach Elopement

Cannon Beach offers a range of accommodations to suit any style. If you’re looking for luxury, the Stephanie Inn is a chic option. It offers upscale amenities and beautiful ocean views, making it perfect for a special occasion. For something with a bit more character, consider the Cannon Beach Hotel Collection. They are four boutique hotels steps away from downtown with genuine hospitality and local charm. And of course, don’t forget there are plenty of Airbnb choices!

Fun Facts About Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock isn’t just a natural landmark; it’s also a bit of a movie star… omg she’s blushing. It was featured in classic films like “The Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop!” Geologically, it’s fascinating too—formed by lava flows millions of years ago, it’s now home to a variety of marine life and birds. It’s such an iconic backdrop that many people know right when they see it in photos.

Cannon Beach Elopement: Safety Note

While Cannon Beach is generally a safe place, it’s worth noting that there have been cougar sightings in the area over the past year. Yep, you heard that right. It’s important to stay aware of your surroundings and keep a safe distance from any wildlife. If you do spot a cougar, make yourself look larger, make noise, and slowly back away—never run. Staying informed and cautious will help ensure your elopement is both magical and safe.

Oregon Coast Elopement Photographer | Black Salt Photos

Cannon Beach truly has everything you could want for a perfect elopement: natural beauty, iconic landmarks like Haystack Rock, and a variety of great local amenities. Whether you choose a sunrise or sunset ceremony, plan for spring or fall, or pick a cozy inn or luxury hotel, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience. Just remember to check the tides, be mindful of wildlife, and plan to make the most of your special day. Ready to start planning your dream elopement at Cannon Beach? Reach out through my contact form and let’s make it happen!

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