My home state of Oregon has something for everyone! This beautiful state has towering waterfalls, long stretches of golden coastline, dramatic deserts, and alpine lakes, among so much more. If you’re looking for the perfect adventure location for your elopement, you’ll find just the spot in Oregon.
No matter what you’re looking for, here is my complete guide to Oregon elopement locations, from stunning mountain peaks to serene alpine lakes to riverside whitewater rafting, and beyond!
Oregon Elopement Locations
Oregon is one of the most beautiful states on the West Coast (and my home!), and the stunning scenery makes it the perfect elopement destination! If you’ve never visited Oregon, toss out any preconceived ideas of what Portland and Oregon look like. Oregon has so much more to offer than just Portlandia, from rolling sand dunes to mountain peaks and beyond. If you’re considering eloping in Oregon, or even thinking about it, read on to learn more about what Oregon has to offer!
Okay, okay, so when you think of Oregon…you probably think of waterfalls. But that’s one preconceived notion you CAN keep! Oregon (especially the Columbia River Gorge!) has some of the most breathtaking waterfalls that top my list for my favorite Oregon elopement locations for my couples. Here are some of my favorites:
- Latourell Falls: the rock formations at this tall waterfall add so much gorgeous texture to your photos. Plus, this is one of the easiest waterfalls to access and looks gorgeous for the little amount of effort needed to arrive at the waterfall.
- Wahclella Falls: This waterfall may require a bit of a hike, but the rewarding adventure comes with lots of pretty views and this beautiful waterfall at the end. This spot is a bit further from Portland, too, so it’s usually less crowded than other popular places.
- Oneonta Gorge: This absolutely stunning waterfall requires a bit of a hike, so I recommend this spot for the most adventurous couples. However, this spot is a true gem – you can even hike behind a waterfall at one point!
- Abiqua Falls: This five-mile-round trip hike can be a bit of a trek with some steep sections, but Abiqua Falls is worth the trip! Geometric rocks shape the waterfall, making for beautiful photos.
- Toketee Falls: The famous two-step Toketee Falls has a year-round flow which results in dramatic photos, no matter the time of year.
- Watson Falls: Watson Falls is best known as the highest waterfall in southwest Oregon with a 293-foot drop. A short trail leads to a big drop down a noisy cascade.
Beaches and Sand Dunes
Oregon’s coastline is one of my favorite parts of the state! There are so many elopement locations along the state’s coastline, from the popular Cannon Beach to other less crowded (but equally as pretty!) spots. No matter where you pick, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views and some cool spots to eat or spend time with family. Here are some of my favorites:
- Cape Kiwanda: Cape Kiwanda’s stunning sandstones and beautiful views make for one of the most romantic seaside spots to tie the knot in Oregon. Whether you love long walks along the beach or prefer to explore the nearby area with a hike, Cape Kiwanda offers a big variety of options for those looking for a seaside elopement. (Check out my full guide to eloping at Cape Kiwanda here!)
- Samuel H. Boardman State Park: Secluded beaches, breathtaking views and dramatic rock formations line the multi-mile stretch of Samuel H. Boardman State Park, one of Oregon’s most beautiful sections of coastline and one of the most stunning places to elope. (Check out my full guide to eloping at Samuel H. Boardman Park here!)
- Cannon Beach: the famous Cannon Beach remains one of the most popular tourist attractions on the coastline. This gorgeous long stretch of beach features Haystack Rock, a sea stack jutting out of the water. (Check out my full guide to eloping at Cannon Beach here!)
- Hug Point Beach: Hug Point is an incredible place on the Oregon coast for an elopement. With a huge beach, incredible rock formations, caves formed by the tides, a wide waterfall into the ocean and an old-growth forests surrounding the beach, you get a little bit of everything all in one place.
If you’ve dreamed of getting married near a lake, Oregon has plenty of options for lakeside elopement locations. There’s Crater Lake National Park, of course, but lots of alpine lakes and serene spots as well for a serene, romantic spot.
- Crater Lake National Park: Crater Lake National Park, located in south-central Oregon, is best known for its deep water color and striking scenery. It’s the only national park in Oregon, but it packs quite a punch! There are plenty of breathtaking spots around the rim road to say your vows and capture remarkable photos.
- Sparks Lake: This large lake is located in Deschutes County in Bend near the central Cascade Range. The towering mountains in the background and fields of green make it a beautiful place to elope.
- Trillium Lake: If you’re up for a short hike, the walk to this scenic lake will not disappoint! Set against Mt. Hood, there are plenty of spots around the lake that make for the perfect spot to say your vows.
- Green Lakes: This longer hike located near Sisters, Oregon, lets out near an expansive lake with a mountain backdrop.
Eloping in the mountains can be a much more private way to say your vows and start your life together. Oregon has some stunning mountainside spots tucked away no matter your hiking skills. Take a look at some of these:
- Mount Hood: This towering peak is one of the most iconic spots in the state, and countless beautiful hikes around the area make for some of the best Oregon elopement locations. Pick from alpine lakes with reflections of the mountain in the background to outlook spots with mountain views.
- The Three Sisters: These towering volcanic peaks offer an absolutely beautiful backdrop for your special day. There are numerous trails leading through this wilderness area with varying degrees of difficulty.
- Eagle Cap Wilderness: Located in the northeast section of Oregon, this wilderness area has high alpine lakes and meadows with towering mountains in the background. If you’re looking for a luxury hideaway experience for your elopement, a stay at Minam River Lodge will be the perfect way to spend your elopement weekend.
- Steens Mountain: This desert-like area can feel secluded and quiet because it’s not as hyped as some other spots in Oregon. However, if you’re up for a hike, the wide-open spaces and breathtaking backdrops can be a beautiful elopement spot.
Most people don’t think to get married next to a river, but Oregon offers some awesome spots to say “I Do” for your special day. Plus: did someone say white water rafting elopement?! Eloping by a river can be a great way to add some fun and excitement into your wedding day. Here’s what I would recommend:
- Smith River: The crystal-clear turquoise water of Smith River lie in Central Oregon. The riverside spot has awesome white water kayaking, and you can even kayak through the Redwood forests as well. (The Smith River is one of my all time personal favorite locations.)
- Deschutes River: This part of the Columbia River Gorge near Bend has paddle boarding, kayaking and more adventurous pursuits. Plus, Bend is a wonderful city with lots of activities for newly married couples.
- Columbia River: The Columbia River runs through Portland; it’s lined with forests and incredible waterfalls. There are so many adventures to be had here!
Many couples have no idea that Oregon offers some stunning high desert elopement spots. Couples will flock to the coastline or the mountains, but Eastern Oregon has dramatic desert landscapes for all types of elopements.
- Smith Rock State Park: Located in Oregon’s high desert, Smith Rock State Park has remarkable towering rock formations and jaw-dropping backdrops. This dramatic elopement location will be nothing short of extraordinary.
- Painted Hills: Arrays of red, yellow and brown paint the hills at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This beautiful fossil bed makes for some pretty photos.
- Owyhee Canyonlands, Leslie Gulch: These desert landscapes, closeby to one another, offer completely rugged landscapes for the wild-at-heart souls. Beautiful spots off the beaten path may give you just the elopement you dream of!
- Alvord Desert: The southwest Oregon spot in the Steens Mountains offers a desolate, isolated landscape for your elopement. Snow capped peaks in the background make this place one of the most unique spots in Oregon.
What to Do During Your Oregon Elopement
Oregon has everything for the adventurous minded souls! When you’re planning your Oregon elopement, consider adding in some fun activities to do while you’re enjoying your elopement.
- Kayaking or whitewater rafting
- Rock Climbing
- Mountain Biking
- Backpacking or hiking (and if you’re looking for a backpacking elopement, I have a blog post with some of my best elopement tips here!)
- ATV riding on sand dunes
- Wine tasting
- Brewery hopping
- River tubing
Oregon Elopement Logistics: Getting a Marriage Certificate and More
The specific requirements for your legal wedding will depend on the county you will get married in. Here’s what you need to think about:
- Wedding license: Your license will depend on what county you will get married in. Many counties in Oregon will require you to go to the office three days in advance to arrange your license. Some counties will allow you to pay a fee to skip the three day waiting period, too. Licenses are good up to 60 days in many cases. I can help you figure out the details for your wedding license to reduce your stress!
- Wedding permit: You may need a permit for your wedding in Oregon, depending on where the ceremony is and how many people will attend. For example, weddings in Crater Lake National Park require couples to fill out a form and pay a fee. Other places, though, like Cannon Beach, do not require any special fees or permits.
- Wedding officiant: In Oregon, anyone authorized by a religious congregation or secular organization will be able to perform wedding officiant duties. Don’t want too many people at the ceremony? I can be your ordained officiant as well.
- Witnesses: You will need two witnesses for your ceremony. I’m more than happy to sign on as a witness, and of course you can invite any friends or family to the ceremony as well.
If you need any help figuring out your wedding logistics, don’t hesitate to contact me!
Planning Your Oregon Visit
You can visit Oregon year-round, but the weather is best in the spring, summer and fall.
Oregon’s largest airport is Portland International Airport (known for their quirky green carpet!), but there are a number of smaller airports that may be closer to your final destination. There are several airports like Eugene, Salem or Medford.
There are plenty of incredible Airbnbs around the state, too, for the most romantic and secluded one-on-one time together as a new couple. Here are a few of my favorites:
Ready to plan your Oregon Elopement?
Oregon is an absolute goldmine for elopement locations and adventures. You’d be hard-pressed to find another state that has as much diversity in terrains and outdoor adventures available for incredible photos of your epic elopement. Oregon elopement locations are seriously endless.
I’ve lived in Oregon for 5 years now, and have loved every second of traversing every last crevice of it. With me, you get the keys to the kingdom as far as epic Oregon elopement locations go. I can help you plan your wedding ceremony in the Redwoods, take you kayaking down a turquoise river, and take sunset portraits of you on the insanely beautiful Oregon coast ALL. IN. THE. SAME. DAY. Yes, Oregon is that epic.
Let’s get to planning shall we?