Complete Guide to Eloping in Oregon

No matter where you plan to elope in Oregon, you just can’t go wrong. From sprawling forests to towering mountains to hidden waterfalls to the rocky high desert, Oregon has it ALL. Here’s my complete guide to planning your Oregon elopement.
The first time I visited Oregon, I fell in love. Oregon is hands down one of my favorite places to elope on the West Coast, 
and it’s unlike any other spot in the Pacific Northwest.

If you’re looking for those beautiful mountainscapes, hidden waterfalls, sprawling coastal views, or extraordinary high desert hikes, Oregon just might be the place for you! There are dozens and dozens of hidden gems throughout Oregon, and you won’t believe how magical it is! What better place to elope?

If you’re thinking about eloping in Oregon, keep reading to learn more about the state’s marriage laws, some of the most romantic places to stay, epic adventures to plan during your stay, and our advice on different Oregon elopement locations!


Table of Contents

Oregon Elopement

Where to Elope in Oregon

Top 6 Best Things to Do During Your Oregon Elopement

Where to Stay in Oregon

When to Elope in Oregon

Oregon Elopement Permits

How to Get Your Marriage License for Your Oregon Elopement

Oregon Elopement Packages


Where to Elope in Oregon

No matter where you plan to elope in Oregon, you just can’t go wrong. From sprawling forests to towering mountains to hidden waterfalls to the rocky high desert, Oregon has it ALL. There are so many beautiful spots for any occasion, whether you’re planning a smaller wedding or an intimate Oregon elopement

Below are some of my favorite elopement and couples session destinations I’ve found through my adventures in Oregon. From the Oregon coast to the Columbia Gorge to Eastern Oregon, here are some of my favorite scenic gems for your Oregon elopement

  • Cannon Beach: This small, coastal city in northwest Oregon is one of the most popular spots for your Oregon elopement, and for a good reason. The beach, known for its long, sandy shore, offers sweeping views of the ocean with a cute lighthouse and tide pools. Plus, spot Haystack Rock off the coast. There are several more secluded beaches nearby for a more private elopement, but staying near Cannon Beach makes for a romantic, cozy elopement getaway. The best part? It’s accessible, so if you plan to have guests that may be elderly or disabled, it will be easier for them. 
  • Cape Lookout State Park: Located just west of Portland, Cape Lookout State Park is a magical spot right on a sharp, rocky promontory. This state park offers some sweeping views of the ocean next to dense, foggy forests. If you plan to elope at Cape Lookout State Park, we can pick a spot that offers a variety of different vibes – and plenty of privacy. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some whales along the coast, too! 

Cape Lookout State Park Couple Session


  • Manzanita: This slice of the coastline is located along U.S. Route 101. Fun fact: it’s so beautiful here that famed Oregon governor Oswald West declared that Oregon’s beaches should always remain free and open. This is a great place to elope not only because of the diverse landscape but also because of the great town nearby! It’s home to plenty of delightful bakeries, fine dining options, and curated grocery stores. 
  • Cape Kiwanda: Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is a sandstone headland with some of the best ocean views in Oregon! It’s just one landmark along the Three Capes Scenic Route, a gorgeous stretch of beach. Expect twisting rocks, towering waves, and steep cliffsides. Cape Kiwanda has a bit of a walk to the beach, so if you’re planning on including guests who may be elderly or disabled, keep that in mind. 
  • Neskowin: This charming coastal town is located just north of Lincoln Beach, another beautiful elopement destination. The three-mile stretch of beach is a quiet, lovely spot with plenty of nearby trails. With plenty of scenic, secluded spots, Neskowin is a perfect spot to elope in Oregon
  • Crater Lake: Crater Lake is one of the most epic spots in Oregon, and it’s just as beautiful in person! The lake, formed 7,700 years ago, is the deepest lake in the U.S. and the most pristine on earth. If you want to elope somewhere unforgettable, there are plenty of small spots along the loop around the lake that make for a romantic location. 


No matter where you want to elope, we can work together to find the perfect destination!


Best Things to Do During Oregon Elopement

If you’re planning to stay in Oregon for a couple of days for your elopement, why not plan a special activity around your wedding? Doing something you’ve never done before – or something you love to do – can really make the weekend feel special! Plus, there’s no shortage of incredible adventures in Oregon! 

  • Road trip: If you’re planning to rent a car, why not plan an epic road trip to accompany your elopement? Some of the most breathtaking trips include The Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, the Columbia River Gorge highway, Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, and the PCH – to name a few! 
  • Go hiking: Oregon is a hiker’s paradise! The state may look small, but there are some gorgeous mountain ranges, national forests, rocky coasts, and high deserts. From tough, scenic routes through the mountains to easier coastal hikes, Oregon has plenty of different hikes, no matter the difficulty level or scenery. 

Jan & Jo hiking during their elopement

  • Horseback ride on the beach: If you’re staying along the southern coast of Oregon, consider making the drive over to Bandon to horseback ride on the beach. There’s nothing quite as romantic as riding on the beach at sunset! 
  • Whitewater rafting: Do you crave that adrenaline rush? Oregon is an amazing place to try whitewater rafting. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced whitewater rafter, taking a guided whitewater rafting journey can be an unforgettable experience! 
  • Wine tasting: Take a day trip to Willamette Valley, home to more than 500 different wineries. Located between the Cascade Mountains and the Coastal Range, this area is known for their Pinot Noir! 
  • Plan a helicopter ride: Most people have never taken a helicopter ride, but what better way to celebrate your union and your love?! Tour some of the most beautiful parts of Oregon via helicopter with stunning aerial views! 

If you’re planning an adventurous elopement, there are literally dozens of awesome adventures to plan along the way!


Beach from above


Where to Stay in Oregon

Whether you’re looking for cozy vibes, a mountaintop retreat, a cityside condo, or sweeping ocean views, Oregon has so many accommodation options. Here are some of my favorite spots to stay across Oregon: 

Not seeing the perfect spot? Let’s plan it together when you pick your Oregon elopement location! 


Trees in Oregon


When to Elope in Oregon

Oregon can be a little….rainy. Well, not just a little. Depending on the time of year you decide to elope, you may encounter less-than-ideal weather conditions. That’s why it’s so important to think about the time of year you plan to elope if you’re eloping in Oregon. 

No matter the season, I recommend eloping during the week to beat the crowds. Depending on your preference, it might be best to have your ceremony at sunrise (super private!) or sunset (a little busier, but no early wake-ups!). 

  • October to May: Expect rain and some snow if you plan your elopement over the winter months in Oregon. You’ll get more of a moody vibe! 
  • June to September: These are some of my favorite months in Oregon! The summer months are beautiful and warm with some of the most romantic sunsets. Because it’s prime time, you’ll also see many more tourists around. 

So what do you do if it’s rainy or foggy or snowy on your elopement day? 

Don’t stress! Eloping in Oregon comes, or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, means unpredictable weather. Even the weather report can be wrong from time to time. 

My best advice? Go with the flow, and don’t worry too much – I’m a pro elopement photographer and I’m going to make sure to capture the most special memories, no matter the weather conditions. Focus on what’s important – your love, and your union – and not the little things, like the weather. 


Photo by Hannah Shea

Oregon Elopement Permits

Depending on where you want to elope, we may need additional permits and paperwork. For example, if you want to elope at Crater Lake National Park, or any national park, we’ll need a special use permit. Sound stressful? Don’t worry, I can help handle all the paperwork we need for your elopement location in Oregon. 


Girl on beach

How to Get Your Marriage License for Your Oregon Elopement

When you elope in Oregon, you can get your marriage license at any Oregon county courthouse. That means that if you plan to stay

in Portland, or any other major city in Oregon, prior to your elopement, you can handle the marriage license paperwork in that city. In many counties, you can also fill out the application online. 

Fun fact: your photographer (me!) can be your witness, so no need to worry if you want a completely private elopement. 

Alternatively, you can opt to get legally married in your home state and file the paperwork at your local courthouse – and have the ceremony in Oregon. 

Contact me here if you want to find out more about my Oregon Elopement packages.