Every time I visit Oregon, my husband and I almost make plans to move there. It's such a gorgeous state with so much variety! Not to mention the perfect weather temperatures year round (also hummingbirds year round)! Oregon is such a great place to consider for your elopement if you love including adventure as a way to spend time together with your other half!
This blog is jam packed full of helpful info if you want to plan the ultimate adventure elopement in Oregon! If you want to know the best places to elope, the best times of year, what you need to bring, how to handle rain, marriage license info, cute Airbnb's to stay in, and so much more, keep reading!
I always mention this in my blogs, but picking an elopement specific photographer is going to be the best idea and one of the first and most important things you do! Picking a photographer that communicates well, one you vibe well with, one that you love their work, and one that helps you plan your day to make it as easy as possible for you is going to be a game changer!
Best Times Of Year To Elope In Oregon
I think you could totally elope in Oregon during any time of the year! Since the temperatures are pretty moderate year round, you could get a nice and sunny warm day on the beach in February (it was like this for our honeymoon)! But the optimal times for the best weather and least chances of rain are in the summer months (June-September). Even early October can be nice as well. September also has less tourists as well!
Tides & Tide Pools
I think it would be so fun for a couple to go tide pooling on their elopement day! Tide pooling is such a neat experience, and a definite must do whenever we visit the coast. Here is a tide pool prediction chart, so you can plan when the best time would be to go for a certain location on the Oregon Coast.
Oregon's rainy season usually happens between the months of November-March. So the warmer months of summer are also the drier months of the year. The coast side maintains similar temperatures year round due to it being right on the ocean. You'll get more differences in temperature the more inland you go.
Whale Watching Season
I know a lot of you out there loves whales, so I decided to throw this in here! Depoe Bay is a great spot to watch for local whales in June to mid-November. Whales also have two migrations and two different times of year you can watch for them! In the winter (mid-December to mid-January) you can see them as they travel south to warmer waters. Spring watching begins around late March through June, as the whales travel north towards Alaska.
What To Pack For Your Oregon Elopement
No matter the time of year you elope in Oregon, here's some gear you should have on hand:
Clear umbrellas (these make rainy photos so cute and I have a pair of them ready for you to use)!
Good hiking boots and wool socks.
Extra layers like a puffy jacket, rain jacket, or a windbreaker.
Snacks and water.
As for the best dresses for you to wear for your adventure elopement, I wrote a whole blog post dedicated to that subject! I talk about the best fits of dresses, the best materials, dresses for certain locations, and more!
What To Do If It Rains
The best thing you can do if it rains is to just embrace it! It's common to rain in the area, so just be mentally prepared. No matter what the weather ends up being, the point of the day is to marry your best friend, and that's all that matters! Like I listed above, I also have clear umbrellas on hand to make for adorable rainy, moody photos!
If need be, we can always switch the timeline around too. Elopements are meant to be stress free and flexible, so if the forecast says it'll clear up later, we can switch around some activities to make it all work out!
Oregon Marriage License Information
You don't have to be a resident of Oregon to get a license, but the ceremony must be preformed in Oregon. The fee is $60, and you both must be present.
There is a 3 day waiting period, and this may be waived. You will need to fill out a waiver form and pay $10 cash if you need the waiting period waived. Both parties must be present to waive. You can get a license in any county of Oregon and the ceremony does not need to take place in that county.
The license is valid for 60 days. You just need a photo ID when applying.
Officiants and Witnesses
An officiant is required and so are two witnesses. The witnesses need to be 18 years of age and present for the ceremony. Your officiant can be someone you know if they are willing to get ordained online. This option is great if you are wanting a more intimate ceremony with your closest family and friends.
If you are in need of more elopement planning resources, I have a ton on my blog! Click here for a post about how to start planning your elopement no matter what state you're in!
The Best Locations For Your Oregon Adventure Elopement
Oregon has so much variety, from rocky coastlines to lush forested areas to desert areas. If you can't decide which scenery is your favorite, it would be pretty easy to get a variety of scenery in your photos in just one day! Here's some epic location ideas for your adventurous Oregon elopement.
North to South Coastal Locations
At Cannon Beach, you can visit the popular Haystack Rock. This area is in between Ecola State Park and Hug Point State Recreation Site, which are also great locations for your elopement! The awesome thing about Oregon is that the beaches are for public use, so it's easy to get married on the beach anywhere on the coast! The only thing that might change that is your group size and what you plan to use the beach for. Check with your elopement photographer to see if any permits are needed for your elopement!
- Activities and Things To Do in Cannon Beach
Public Birdwatching Walking Tour + Watch Tufted Penguins
Ride Bikes on the Beach
Surfing and Body Boarding
Have a Beach Fire
- Cannon Beach Airbnb's:
- Places to Eat in Cannon Beach
The area around Manzanita has some of my favorite places on the coast! Just north of Manzanita, you have Oswald West State Park, where there some some trails with some stunning views of the ocean! Just south of Manzanita is Nehalem Bay State Park. And south of Nehalem is Rockaway Beach and Tillamook (you have to visit the Tillamook Creamery)! Then your next big town of Pacific City is just below there. So this whole stretch has a whole lot of goodies!
- Activities and Things To Do in Manzanita
Horseback Riding on the Beach
Visit Spa Manzanita
Local Wine Tasting
Visit Tillamook Creamery
- Airbnb's in Manzanita Area
- Places to Eat Near Manzanita
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area
Located in Pacific City, Cape Kiwanda is another great place for your elopement on the Oregon Coast. I think Cape Kiwanda looks just like Big Sur, California. There are lots of rocks here that make it a diverse landscape for any elopement!
- Activities and Things To Do in Cape Kiwanda
Get a Beer at Pelican Brewing
Climb a 240 Foot Sand Dune
- Cape Kiwanda Airbnb's
- Places to Eat Near Cape Kiwanda
Just north of Lincoln City is God's Thumb! This is a great place to get amazing ocean views. The trail up is usually pretty muddy, so keep that in mind! But this place looks like somewhere in Scotland. The cool thing about Oregon is you can find places that look like other countries, like Iceland too!
- Activities and Things To Do in Lincoln City
Kayak in Siletz National Wildlife Refuge
Hike the Cascade Head Lower Viewpoint
Fish on Devil's Lake
- Airbnb's in Lincoln City
- Places to Eat in Lincoln City
Whenever I visit Oregon, we stay in Florence with my husband's family! My favorite beach to visit is Heceta Beach! This is the first spot where I went tide pooling and have been hooked ever since. There are beautiful beaches here, and even big sand dunes that you can take a dune buggy out on. I know of a few great places for elopement photos here ;)
- Activities and Things To Do in Florence
Ride Dune Buggies on the Sand Dunes
See Heceta Head Lighthouse
Tide Pooling on Heceta Beach
See Sea Lions at the Sea Lion Caves
- Florence and Heceta Beach Stays
- Places to Eat in Florence
Bandon State Natural Area
Bandon Beach is a gorgeous spot to visit! There are great views of the rocky coast, and this is another great spot to see some tide pools at Coquille Point. You can also visit Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint here as well.
- Activities and Things To Do in Bandon
Tide Pooling at Coquille Point
Visit Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Visit Face Rock Creamery
Play Golf at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
- Airbnb's in Bandon
- Places to Eat in Bandon
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
Samuel H. Boardman is located in between Gold Beach and Brookings, Oregon. This 12 mile long scenic corridor has some amazing sandy beaches along with the rugged coastline and forested areas. There are many great spots for elopements and there are some great hidden gems in this area as well. Even the drive on the road is stunning! This area is perfect for exploring during your elopement.
- Activities and Things To Do Near Samuel H. Boardman
Explore Secret Beach
Have a Picnic at Arch Rock Picnic Area
See Whaleshed Beach
Rent a Yurt in Harris Beach
- Airbnb's Near the Corridor and Brookings
- Places to Eat Near Brookings and the Corridor
Located on the Southern end of Oregon is Brookings! Brookings is an amazing spot for elopements. You can see giant rocks out in the ocean, and even climb on some of them (if they're safe) to get epic adventurous photos. There are tons of stunning beaches in the area as well. Brookings is famous for it's Natural Bridge trail, but this trail has become very popular from social media and not very many people talk about how dangerous the trail to the natural bridge is. If you are interested in shooting there, please ask your photographer if they are comfortable taking photos there.
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
Right outside of the Hood River and Cascade Locks area of Oregon is the Columbia River Gorge. With its close proximity to Portland, this area is definitely a must-see. There are so many waterfalls here and places with great views overlooking the Columbia River for your elopement.
- Activities and Things To Do in Columbia River Gorge
See Wildflowers on the Gorge in the Spring
Eat at a Brewery
Enjoy Drinks at a Winery
- Airbnb's in Columbia River Gorge
- Places to Eat Near the Gorge
Latourell Falls is a popular waterfall elopement spot in Oregon. With the trail only being 3 miles, it is easy to access and is a stunning photo spot.
Wahclella Falls trail is another great spot and a only requires a 1.9 mile hike to access it! It features a bridge and a pool of cool blue water at the base of the falls.
Government Cove is a peninsula located in the Columbia River Gorge in Cascade Locks. Since it's a peninsula, you can go out on it and get great views of the river and the surrounding landscape. This is also an easy to access spot since the road continues out onto the peninsula, so it's perfect if you want some guests or elderly family there.
Forested and Mountainous Areas of Oregon
My favorite areas of Oregon besides the coastal areas are the lush, forested and mountainous areas of the state. This is where the variety of scenery kicks in besides the coastal spots!
Abiqua Falls is located near Salem and Mt. Hood, outside of Silverton, Oregon. The trail in is less than 1 mile and it's just a stunning spot for photos! The waterfall falls over a jagged, rocky wall and is nice and lush.
- Activities and Things To Do Near Abiqua Falls
See the Oregon Garden
Silver Falls State Park
- Airbnb's Near Abiqua Falls
- Places to Eat Near Abiqua Falls
Crater Lake National Park
The only National Park in Oregon is Crater Lake National Park! I've been here once before and it has the deepest color of blue water that I've ever seen! It's very cool to visit. If you're interested in shooting there, here is the permit information for your elopement in Crater Lake National Park.
- Activities and Things To Do in Crater Lake National Park
Back Country Camping
Explore Rim Village
Take a Boat Tour of the Lake
- Crater Lake National Park Airbnb's
- Places to Eat in Crater Lake National Park Area
Just on the outskirts of Portland lies Mt. Hood. There are several waterfalls around the mountain and the national forest. A pretty lake for photos is the Trillium Lake Day Use and Picnic Area. There are lots of lakes in the areas a well as hiking trails! In the winter you can ski or snowboard on the mountain as well! Mt. Hood village has some places for food and some amenities for your stay.
- Activities and Things To Do in Mt. Hood
Ski, Snowboard, and Snowmobile
Canoe on Trillium Lake
Take a Winter Sleigh Ride
Go Rafting or Paddle Boarding
- Airbnb's Near Mt. Hood
- Places to Eat Near Mt. Hood
Mount Bachelor is another great spot for your elopement. Since it's located near Bend, Oregon, you get the bigger town amenities with the mountain close by. The mountain itself is a gorgeous spot to elope, especially if you love winter sports! The nearby Sparks Lake is also a stunning place to consider.
- Activities and Things To Do in Mount Bachelor
Ski or Snowboard Down the Mountain
Kayak on Sparks Lake
Go Snow Tubing
- Airbnb's Near Mount Bachelor
- Places to Eat Near Mount Bachelor
Oregon's Desert Areas
There is a lot of desert area in Oregon! I think this is why Oregon is awesome for your elopement because you have the lush coast on the left and more desert areas on the right side of the state. But if you love the bohemian desert vibe, definitely consider Oregon!
Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock is just north of Bend and Redmond Oregon. It features towering rocks perfect for your desert backdrop. Just behind the visitor center offers great views with the river running through the landscape. Canyon Trail is also a trail with pretty views.
- Activities and Things To Do in Smith Rock
Go Rock Climbing
Look for Wildlife
- Airbnb's Near Smith Rock
- Places to Eat Near Smith Rock
If you want it to look like you eloped on Mars, the Painted Hills is the perfect place! Painted Hills is also near Bend, Oregon. There are boardwalks that wind through the red hills that you can walk on. There are a total of 5 trails in the Painted Hills. This area is also popular for leaf and animal fossils! You can find all the information about permits here.
- Activities and Things To Do in Painted Hills
Explore the 5 Trails in the Painted Hills
Drive the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway
- Airbnb's Near Painted Hills
- Places to Eat Near Painted Hills
The Alvord Desert is the Utah Salt Flats look alike! It's located in the Southeast corner of Oregon at the base of Steeps Mountain. The nearest town if you want to stay in Oregon is Hines. You can use this area to camp, soak in some hot springs, or elope! This would be such a fun place for a truck or jeep camping photo shoot!
- Activities and Things To Do in the Alvord Desert
Bring a Tent for Camping
Visit Alvord Hot Springs
Take Star Photos and Watch the Stars
Watch Land Sailing
- Airbnb's Near Alvord Desert
- Places to Eat Near Alvord Desert
All Day Timeline Examples
Now that you know all about some super fun activities that you can do all around Oregon, it will be so easy to craft an all day timeline for you! If you are still a bit unsure of what you can include to fill up your day, here are some all day timeline examples for you to help give you some ideas for your own elopement day!
Leave No Trace
No matter where you choose to elope, it's always important to Leave No Trace. For the Oregon Coast, there are many things of beauty to experience! And of course when you come back to visit, you don't want your favorite places to look like humans trashed it while you were gone. Definitely practice leave no trace on your elopement day so your favorite place can look just like how you remembered it years down the line.
Your Oregon Elopement Photographer
Shooting elopements on the Oregon Coast never get old to me. Oregon has so many different places to explore! Here's a link to my favorite elopement I've photographed in Oregon, an intimate Rockaway Beach adventure elopement! The day was full of adventure, yet fun and relaxed at the same time.
Just fill out my short contact form and we can start making your dream a reality!
Now that you know how to plan the ultimate adventure elopement in Oregon, it's gonna be so easy for you to find activities you love for your day. If you elope in Oregon, there are so many options for you to pick from, making your elopement day so fun and unique. Not to mention you now get to have a meaningful and fun adventure for your wedding day!