how to elope in Oregon

Your Guide to Eloping in Oregon

Thinking about eloping in Oregon? You’ve picked an amazing spot! Seriously, as elopement photographers across the US, with its stunning coastlines, majestic mountains, and lush forests, Oregon offers the perfect backdrop for your intimate wedding (and we’ve seen a lot!). Today, we are walking you through everything you need to know about how to elope in Oregon—from choosing the best time of year to picking the perfect location and fun activities to make your day unforgettable.

Are you looking for an Oregon elopement photographer? Learn more about us here!

How to elope in Oregon bride walks through forest

Choose When to Elope in Oregon

One of the first decisions you need to make when you decide to elope, is “when”. In most places, Oregon’s scenery changes with each season, offering unique and beautiful settings for your elopement (and there really is no bad option!). Choosing what time of year you want to elope in Oregon is a big first step, but it will dictate what locations are accessible and narrow down your list of possibilities.

What is the best time to Elope in Oregon?

  • Spring (March-May): Spring is a gorgeous time of year with mild weather and blooming flowers. If you’re dreaming of incredible views with lots of privacy, spring is a great option! Busy locations are quieter than in the summer and the waterfalls are strong due to the mountain runoff (although they do remain strong throughout the summer too!). Just keep in mind that snow might still be present in some elopement locations and some mountain passes might still be closed because of the lingering snow.
  • Summer (June-August): Summer means warm, sunny weather, but also more crowds and higher prices. It’s peak tourist season, after all. BUT, don’t let that discourage you from a summer elopement! The wildflowers are in full bloom, waterfalls are flowing, the weather is great, and there are countless incredible elopement locations to explore. We (your elopement photographers!) can always help you find a private spot to exchange vows if summer is your season!
  • Fall (September-November): Fall brings cooler weather and stunning fall foliage. It’s also wildfire season, so be mindful when choosing your location. Despite the potential for wildfires, the changing leaves and great weather create a breathtaking setting for your ceremony!
  • Winter (December-February): Winter can be a great time to elope in Oregon if you’re looking for a romantic, intimate ceremony. The cold and snowy weather creates a magical, serene atmosphere, and privacy is easier to come by. Just remember to dress warmly!

Decide on the Size of Your Elopement

Next, when you are planning to elope in Oregon, you need to ask yourself: Who do you want by your side on your special day? Deciding who to invite to your elopement is a big decision. And it can be hard when outside pressures are putting their opinions on you. But you need to remember that this is YOUR wedding day, not anyone else’s, so make choices aligned with your dream day.

Elopement Size Examples

A “Just Us” Elopement

A “just us” elopement is exactly what it sounds like, it’s just the two of you! This option is great for couples who are looking for an epic adventure or something super intimate. It gives you the freedom to go anywhere and do anything!

Family + Friends

Inviting family and friends to come along with you on your wedding adventure can be incredible! There are so many amazing elopement locations around Oregon that can accommodate small weddings with guests and require little to no hiking if you need to consider your guests’ abilities. It’s important to keep in mind though that the more people invited, the more limited your location choices are.

Best of Both Worlds!

Want alone time with just you and your partner, but also time to celebrate with your guests? That’s totally possible too! You can easily have an intimate ceremony alone where you exchange private vows AND have a larger ceremony or reception with your guests. The flexibility of elopements means you can create a day that truly reflects your desires. You don’t need to follow any rules!

If you’re thinking of eloping with guests, check out this blog post that is full of ideas of how to incorporate them into your day.

Book an Oregon Elopement Photographer

Booking an Oregon elopement photographer can make all the difference in your planning process and on your big day. Not only do elopement photographers document your day, but we also provide essential elopement planning help and will guide you through the process of eloping in Oregon! Here’s a look at what we provide for our Oregon elopement clients:

  • Personalized Location Recommendations: The first step of our elopement planning process is a questionnaire that helps us get to know you and what your dream elopement looks like. Based on your answers to the questionnaire, we create a detailed location guide featuring amazing spots all over Oregon that match your vision perfectly!
  • Vendor Recommendations: Finding the right vendors can be stressful, but again, we’ve got you covered. With our extensive knowledge of local vendors, we can recommend the best in the business. Once we discuss your chosen location, we brainstorm ways to make your elopement day incredible and handle the hard work of finding all the vendors you need.
  • Timeline Creation: A well-planned timeline is key to a smooth elopement day. We will build a timeline for your day that optimizes lighting, crowds, and travel distances. This way, you can focus on enjoying every moment without worrying about the details. Remember, we’ve done this hundreds of times before, and you are in good hands!

You can plan an elopement without hiring your elopement photographer first, but we promise, it makes the process a lot smoother! To learn more about us and what we offer, learn more about us here!

Choose Your Where to Elope in Oregon

Oregon is packed with beautiful spots! Whether you want to get married on the beach, in the mountains, or in the forest, you’re sure to find the perfect spot in Oregon! When choosing an elopement location in Oregon, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Size of Ceremony: Make sure the location can accommodate the number of guests you plan to have. In general, having a smaller guest list will give you more location options.
  • Ceremony Setting: If you want a private ceremony, choose a less popular spot or plan your elopement at sunrise or sunset to avoid crowds.
  • Type of Scenery: Think about the backdrop you want for your photos and your experience. Oregon offers everything from sandy beaches with rock formations to alpine lakes and mountain summits. Think about what kind of scenery you want to experience on your wedding day to help narrow down your Oregon elopement location search.

Popular Elopement Locations in Oregon

  • Cannon Beach
  • Crater Lake National Park
  • Bend
  • Brookings
  • Smith Rock State Park
  • Oregon Dunes
  • Mount Hood National Forest
  • Columbia River Gorge

There are SO MANY incredible locations to elope in Oregon. So if you’re struggling to narrow down your choices, don’t worry. As Oregon elopement photographers we’ll provide you with a list of personalized location recommendations so you can easily pick which one fits your vision best! Learn more about us here!

Fun Things to Do During Your Elopement

Remember how we said there were no rules? Your elopement doesn’t need to be limited to a half-hour ceremony either. Whether you’re planning a small, intimate ceremony with just your closest loved ones or a more adventurous getaway, there are plenty of ways to make your special day unforgettable. Adding activities to your wedding day can be a way to incorporate things you love to do together or a reason to do something epic! In fact, most of our couples choose to make their elopement day (or elopement weekend!) even more memorable with some fun activities like:

  • Hiking in the mountains
  • Visiting a national park
  • Rock climbing
  • Skiing
  • Kayaking or canoeing
  • Stargazing
  • Enjoying hot springs
  • Spending a day at the beach

Including things in your day that are special to both of you can make the experience even more enjoyable and create incredible memories!

how to elope in Oregon skiing

Some additional Things to Consider when planning to elope in Oregon

When thinking about how to elope in Oregon and planning your Oregon elopement, there are a few additional important details to keep in mind.

Apply for Permits (If Needed)

Depending on your chosen location, you might need a special use permit for your ceremony. While we always like to handle the initial research for our couples, it’s always a good idea to double-check the requirements yourself. For example, if you’re planning to elope in Crater Lake National Park, you can find information regarding wedding permits here.

Make Your Oregon Elopement Legal

To legally elope in Oregon, you’ll need an officiant, a marriage license, and two witnesses. Marriage licenses are issued by Oregon county offices, so fees and regulations may vary by county. Generally, both of you need to be over 17 and present when applying. After obtaining your marriage license, there’s a three-day waiting period before your ceremony can take place. Once the three days are up, you can hold your ceremony anywhere in Oregon, and the license is valid for 60 days. The cost for a marriage license ranges from $50-$60, but you can also pay an additional fee to waive the waiting period.

The following individuals are authorized to perform marriages in Oregon: Judicial Officer of the State, a religious congregation or organization, a clergyperson of any religious congregation or organization which the congregation or organization authorizes to solemnize marriages, or a friend or family members (or photographers!) who are ordained by an online certification. Most town halls will provide a list of trusted officiants to make finding one a bit easier!

Now, let’s talk about witnesses. Like we mentioned, your ceremony must be witnessed by at least two people other than the officiant. The license must be signed by you, your officiant, and the witnesses. To avoid stress on your elopement day, you can have your friends or family sign as witnesses beforehand. Or, if it’s just the two of you, we (your photographers) can sign as witnesses too. It’s also easy to find friendly hikers or visitors at your elopement location who are willing to help out!

how to elope in Oregon

Time for you to Elope in Oregon!

That’s it! You’ve figured out how to elope in Oregon (and honestly, aren’t you excited?!)! Eloping in Oregon offers a unique and intimate way to celebrate your love amidst some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. With the right planning and the perfect team by your side, your elopement can be everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

If you’re ready to elope in Oregon, reach out to us! We can’t wait to help make your special day unforgettable.

Meet your photographer team

We’re Bridget & Ryan!

Adventurers turned adventure elopement photographers specializing in national park and hiking elopements! We help couples craft a wedding day that feels authentic to them in a meaningful and epic location. Life’s an adventure, let’s make your wedding one too!