Wedding couple stand on rocks at the bottom of Wahclella falls while exchanging their vows

Two Emotional Wahclella Falls Elopements

As an Oregon elopement photographer, I see a lot of waterfalls. I only live 20 minutes from the Columbia River Gorge which is PACKED full of amazing waterfalls. Wahclella is one of my all-time favorites. A Wahclella Falls elopement has everything that makes the Pacific Northwest magical with mossy forests and moody weather. I’ts just long enough of a hike to feel extremely rewarded once you finally get to see the falls. Recently, I photographed two Wahclella Falls elopements. Both couples used their unique personal styles to make their days all their own.

Table of Contents:

  1. Why you should have a waterfall elopement
  2. A & A’s modern Portland Waterfall Elopement
  3. S & M’s romantic waterfall elopement
  4. Additional Oregon Elopement Tips

Why You Should Have A Waterfall Elopement

Eloping in front of a waterfall is such a unique experience. You’ll feel absolutely amazing and full of adventure saying your vows right next to the cascading water. I love recommending waterfalls to my clients because they’re a great way to cool off after hiking and give you lots of dynamic energy in your photos.

What’s great about the Columbia River Gorge and Oregon, in general, is that you can find a waterfall for almost any kind of hiking ability. Whether you’re an avid hiker and 7 miles is easy for you or if you’re more of the get out of the car and walk ten steps kind of person, there’s a waterfall for you!

A lot of my favorite waterfall elopement locations also have great picnic spots. You can easily have such a romantic day after getting married and celebrating with some champagne & cake or the homemade sandwiches you packed.

A Wahclella Falls Elopement

Wahclella Falls is located in northern Oregon just about 40 minutes outside of Portland. If you want an elopement spot that has all the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest without being too rigorous of a hike in your wedding attire, this is it. It’s just the right balance between having a bit of a hike and getting a huge return with the gorgeous views.

The waterfall makes a Wahclella Falls elopement breathtaking, but there’s a lot to do along the way as well. Unlike some other trails, there are several places to stop for a picnic or to take a variety of photos. Once you get to the towering waterfall, the colors are unbeatable. Bright green moss covers the rocks and trees. Spray comes off the waterfall, and there is plenty of runoff to play in if you’re feeling brave enough for the chill.

Candid Elopement Photos

Adrian and Aileen chose to have a Wahclella Falls elopement for the natural beauty. We planned out all the details down to where they’d eat. It was a nice balance of having a plan with room for some adventure along the way. I was so honored to help them have the wedding day they really wanted.

Aileen wanted getting ready photos beforehand, so we met up at their hotel in downtown Portland. Aileen looked stunning. Even if you’re eloping, there’s no reason you can’t have those glamorous pictures too! I love that she got ready with Adrian, so I could document the loving moments leading up to the hike to the falls. 

They’re also pretty competitive when they hike together, so we didn’t stop for photos until we got to the waterfall for a picnic. I officiated their ceremony, and they read their vows at the foot of the waterfall. Adrian wasn’t into standing still for portraits, which worked out perfectly with my style. I focused on candid photos. I’m glad I did! The authentic smiles and raw emotion in these photos are so intimate.

An Intimate Vow Exchange

Sabrina and Michael put their own spin on their Wahclella Falls elopement. They came all the way from Las Vegas after two years of COVID delays for a dreamy day that was worth the wait. Even though they’re not big travelers, they wanted a forest wedding. This day ended up being a dream come true for them.

An elopement was perfect for Sabrina and Michael. They’re shy, introverted, creative people. They made most of the items for their elopement and paid close attention to every detail. With no one else around, I was able to get them comfortable in front of the camera. They let their walls down and showed such genuine emotion throughout the day.

We started the day at Indian Beach for a sunrise ceremony with a few guests. After a coffee shop breakfast, Michael, Sabrina, and I hiked to the falls. The couple wanted to exchange their vows where only they could hear. It was so deeply personal that I felt lucky to be the person they let into that moment. After the ceremony, Sabrina and Michael headed to Portland for dinner with a few guests.

Would you like me to photograph your elopement? Let’s capture all those unforgettable emotions with pictures that you’ll love for a lifetime. Reach out to me!

Find More Oregon Elopements Tips

Thanks to the vendors who helped make these Wahclella Falls elopements possible:

Sabrina and Michael’s officiant: Oregon Beach Ceremonies 

Wedding Band: Staghead Designs

Wedding Band: Ken and Dana Design

Suit: Indochino

Dress: David’s Bridal

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