Oregon is one of the most diverse places in the United States and one of the best places for elopements. While Oregon is most notably famous for its epic coastline, it also has dense forests, snow-covered mountains, and colorful deserts. It’s no surprise thousands of couples make their way out West each year to elope in Oregon. Aside from its scenery, you can find some of the best night-life activities and restaurants in Portland, thrift shops in Eugene, and even cute scenic shops in Sisters. Oh, and don’t forget about all the amazing airbnbs, adventurous activities, and art the entire state has to offer. There is truly something for everyone here!
If you’re looking to plan an Oregon elopement, look no further. This guide covers everything you would ever need to know about how to elope in Oregon. Whether you’re looking for the best places to elope in Oregon, marriage license information, or best time of year to elope, I’ve got you covered.
The 18 Best Places to Elope in Oregon
The Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast is arguably one of the most breathtaking coastal lines in the U.S. As a photographer who purely specializes in elopements along the West Coast, the Oregon Coast is hands-down my favorite coast. There are a variety of different elopement locations from south to north, all of which are unique and vastly different from each other. A majority of couples looking to elope in Oregon tend to gravitate towards an Oregon Coast elopement.
Ecola State Park
Ecola State Park is one of my all-time favorite Oregon Coast elopement locations. This park has a plethora of different beaches, hiking trails, and overlooks. One of my favorite locations in Ecola State Park is Indian Beach, a small beach where the forest meets the ocean and surfers can be seen for miles. Fun fact, this beach was actually used as a filming location in Twilight! Certain areas of the park are busier than others, but with over 9 miles to explore, it’s easy to find a secluded spot for your elopement.
Heceta Head Lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse is one of the most photographed places in Oregon. The lighthouse is located between the coastal towns of Florence and Yachats. While the lighthouse is popular, this area of the coast tends to be very underrated and much less touristy than the rest. Not only are the views from the lighthouse incredible, but there’s also a nearby beach, forest trail, and picturesque bridge. The variety and scenery here is amazing!
While it may come as a surprise, the Oregon Coast does have Redwoods! You can find groves of Redwoods in Southern Oregon near the border of California. I have a few secret spots up my sleeve I love showing my couples. This is the perfect place to elope if you’re hoping to see a variety of different landscapes on your special day. Like I said, this area is a true hidden gem!
God’s Thumb has grown in popularity over the years, but it continues to still be one of the most breathtaking places along the coast. The 4.3 roundtrip mile hike isn’t for the faint of heart, but the views make the trek well worth it. At the top, you’ll be wowed by the views of the ocean, wildflower meadows, and wildlife. Due to the small trail, elopements with over 2 people are not recommended. I would also not recommend this trail if you’re afraid of heights.
Cape Kiwanda is one of the best beaches for an Oregon Coast elopement. Cape Kiwanda is known for being one of the best places to watch the waves crash and have a bonfire. There is a huge sand dune you can climb up to get a beautiful view of the ocean and rock formations that lay in the water. The beach is usually fairly busy, but even if you don’t choose this spot for your elopement, it’s well worth the visit.
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
Located in Southern Oregon, Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is 12 miles of pure cliffsides. There are incredible rock formations and overlooks in the area, most of which require zero hiking. If you’re up for a small hike though, you can find some epic secluded beaches and overlooks. Samuel H. Boardman is also very close to Redwood National Park, perfect for couples looking to experience multiple locations on their wedding day.
The iconic Haystack Rock pictured below can be found at the popular Cannon Beach, one of the best places to elope in Oregon and the most popular Oregon Coast elopement location. The beach itself is very large but tends to get crowded near the rock. However, there are a variety of “secret” beaches nearby that would be great options if you’re looking for something less crowded.
Columbia River Gorge + Portland
Columbia River Gorge is a popular destination near Portland known for its variety of waterfalls, hiking trails, and outdoor activities. Its close proximity to Portland makes this area a great spot for couples hoping to experience both the beauty of nature and fun nightlife of the city. Below are some of my favorite elopement locations in both the Columbia River Gorge and Portland area.
Silver Falls State Park
Silver Falls State Park, while technically located south of Portland, was a location I just had to add to this list. Silver Falls State Park is called the “crown jewel” of Oregon. It’s most famous for its 177-foot waterfall, South Falls, that visitors can actually walk behind. The park has over 35 miles of hiking trails, 10 waterfalls, and endless views.
Oregon’s largest mountain, Mount Hood, is the perfect location for couples looking to escape the city and get outside. Multiple hiking trails, Airbnbs, and activities make this one of the best places to elope in Oregon. Rent a kayak and hit the waters or visit in the winter and hit the slopes. Either way, you’ll fall in the love with the beauty Mount Hood has to offer. This is another super busy location, especially in the summer, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Check out my Mt. Hood elopement guide here!
Latourell Falls is a small waterfall located just an hour from Portland. It’s a 3-mile roundtrip hike to and from the falls. This waterfall is known to be very photogenic, making it fairly popular amongst photographers and couples. There are many areas along the 3-mile trail that are perfect for photos. This location is crowded in the summer months, so plan your elopement for the spring or fall season.
Dog Mountain has one of the most beautiful views of the Columbia River Gorge. This trail is most beautiful during the spring or fall months. At the top, you can find wildflower meadows, pine trees, and of course, breathtaking views. The hike is 5.1 miles roundtrip and known to be quite difficult. However, if you’re up for challenge, I promise the views are worth it! This trail is technically in Washington, but it’s just across the bridge!
One of my all-time favorite places to elope in Oregon is located in Washington Park. The Hoyt Arboretum has four different ceremony locations all filled with extravagant Redwoods, Sequoias, and Douglas fir trees. My favorite location for elopements is the Redwood Deck. There are miles of hiking trails and places to explore throughout the arboretum. Plus, it’s a great spot for elopements with friends and family.
Central + Eastern Oregon
Very different from other areas of Oregon, Central and Eastern Oregon have a variety of beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and desert-like locations. This area of Oregon is known to be much more hiker-focused and outdoorsy. However, it continues to be one of the most underrated places in the state. After seeing some of the locations on this list, you’ll be wondering why more people aren’t venturing out to see this side of Oregon.
Sisters, Oregon is one of my favorite towns out West. With a population of only 2,000 people, Sisters is an artsy community with majestic beauty. Sisters is surrounded by mountains, the most prominent being Mount Washington. There are a variety of different peaks to climb and sights to see. I cannot emphasize enough just how stunning this area is.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is not only Oregon’s only national park, but it’s also one of the most famous, specifically for its beautiful deep blue water. There are a few hiking trails around the area, as well as some accessible overlooks for elopements. There isn’t much to see or do in the park itself (other from the lake), so I recommend venturing out to the nearby mountain towns to do some more exploring.
One of my favorite waterfalls in Oregon, Sahalie Falls, is located on a 2.6 mile loop that features another waterfall, Koosah Falls. This unique area is one of the best places to elope in Oregon! Located close to Bend, this is just one of the many different waterfalls you can see near the well-known hiker town.
Sparks Lake is a calm and relaxing lake located near Bend. The lake is known for its beautiful reflections, mountain backdrops, and small forests. It’s popular during the summer, so I recommend visiting in the fall or spring. This is also a great place to do some kayaking, paddle-boarding, or even picnicking for your elopement.
Lower image taken by Danny Walden.
Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock Smith Park is a famous spot for climbers, hikers, and mountain bikers. These unique rock formations make the perfect backdrop in any photo. If you love the desert, this is one of the most popular and best places to elope in Oregon. I personally love this area in the winter months when there’s a light coating of snow on the peaks and not as many crowds.
If you love unique and one-of-a-kind locations, Painted Hills is the spot for you. The natural colors of red, gold, and black are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. There’s truly nothing out there like this natural wonder. You may have seen a specific spot of this location on Instagram, but there are so many more hidden gems around the park.
When Is the Best Time of Year to Elope in Oregon?
If you’re wanting both great weather and smaller crowds, fall is the best time to elope in Oregon. Due to the different climates and terrain of Oregon, each area of the state will have drastically different weather during each season. However, you’re pretty safe going with a fall date no matter where you go, whether you’re in the mountains or along the coast.
While some locations are inaccessible in the winter months, such as Mount Hood or Crater Lake, winter is a great time for Oregon Coast elopements. While there is a much higher chance of rain, you won’t experience the summer crowds (or prices). I personally love rainy elopements because not only does it make the lighting even, but it really makes those Oregon colors pop!
I also recommend the spring, as this is another time when the crowds are nonexistent. Not only are crowds and prices lower, but the scenery is incredible. Greens pop more than ever and the waterfalls are at their peak. There is a higher chance of rain during this time, but I promise it’s worth it!
I usually don’t recommend elopements in Oregon during the summer, as this is peak travel time. While you’ll have great weather, your elopement will not be as private as it could be. If you’re set on a summer date, consider having your ceremony during a weekday as opposed to a weekend, and plan around the peak times of day (aim for sunrise or sunset).
How to Get a Marriage License in Oregon
A marriage license is very easy to obtain in Oregon. An Oregon marriage license has a 3 day waiting period, meaning you can’t elope until 3 days have passed after picking up your license. The marriage license expires in 60 days.
*Note: I am using Multnomah County (Portland) in this example. Each county has their own process for obtaining a marriage license. You do not need to get a marriage license from the county you’ll be getting married in, but it does need to be returned to the same county you acquired it from after your elopement.
- Fill out the online marriage license application.
- Pick up your marriage license at least 3 days before your elopement. You can walk-in or make an appointment online. Be sure to bring your ID and $60 to pay for the license. Currently, you can walk in Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm.
- After your elopement, you must drop off the signed marriage license at the same office.
The mail-in option should be done 4-8 weeks before your ceremony.
- Fill out the online marriage license application.
- Print off the completed application along with a copy of the confirmation page with the submission ID listed.
- Mail those two documents, along with a copy of your photo ID and a $60 cashiers check or money order made out to “Multnomah County Marriage Licenses.” to the address below.
- Multnomah County Marriage License Office
- Attn: Marriage Licenses
- PO Box 2716
- Portland OR 97208-2716
4. After your elopement, the officiant must drop off the signed marriage license to be processed.
To see step-by-step instructions for Multnomah County, check out their official website here.
Do I Need an Officiant and Witness to Elope in Oregon?
Yes. You will need an officiant and two witnesses to elope in Oregon.
Friendly tip: A friend or family member can officiate your ceremony for free! All they need to do is fill out the application on the Universal Life Church website to become an ordained officiant. The application takes less less than 5 minutes. I’m also ordained and officiate ceremonies for free!
Do I Need a Permit to Elope in Oregon?
Depending on your chosen elopement location, you may need a special use permit. However, most locations in Oregon, particularly Oregon Coast elopement locations, don’t require one if you have less than 75 people. That being said, always be sure to ask your photographer. They will know where to send you if you need one. Failure to obtain a permit may result in hefty fines.
Pro tip: At many of the locations and trailheads in Oregon, you’ll also need a parking pass!
Pro tip: I handle the permit process for all my couples. What’s more of a mood killer than paperwork?
Oregon Elopement Vendors
Oregon has some incredible vendors who specialize in adventurous and outdoor elopements. Below are just a few of my favorites in the state. As an elopement photographer, I help my couples plan their dream wedding days by providing customized vendor recommendations.
Planners and Stylists
Hair and Makeup Artists
Me! I’m Brianna and I specialize in outdoor and adventure elopements along the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I help my couples plan their elopements by providing personalized location lists, vendor recommendations, timelines, and more. If you’re looking for a completely personalized and adventurous experience, I’m your girl!
Oregon Elopement Airbnbs
Oregon has some of the most beautiful Airbnbs, especially near the coast and mountainous areas. Below are some of my favorites in each area.
Oregon Coast Airbnbs
Columbia River Gorge Airbnbs
- Mountain A-Frame
- Mt. Hood Mountain Cottage
- Columbia River Gorge Treehouse
- Mountain Escape
- Historic Cedarwood Cabin
- Garden Oasis in the City
- Eagles Nest Treehouse
- Handbuilt Cottage
- Sauvie Island Sanctuary
- Eco-Friendly House
Central + Eastern Oregon Airbnbs
- Charming Wooded Getaway
- Cozy Three Story Lookout Tower
- The Tree Surrounded Log Cabin
- Modern Cecil House
- Ripple at River Camp
Best Oregon Elopement Activities
Oregon has some of the best restaurants, hiking trails, and indoor activities you can incorporate into your elopement day, whether you’re eloping on the coast or in the city. Below are just a few ideas to help get you started.
- Try a famous doughnut from Voodoo Doughnuts
- Soak in the hot tub after a long hike
- Pick up some new books at Powell’s City of Books
- Take a private waterfall tour
- Listen to the Sea Lions at Sea Lion Caves
- Ride horses along the Oregon Coast
- Go paddleboarding on Devil’s Lake
- Take a challenging hike on South Sister
- Roast hot dogs and s’mores around a campfire
- Have your first dance under the moonlight at the sand dunes
- Go wine tasting
- Try skiing or snowboarding at Mt. Hood
- Find a hidden hot springs in the mountains
Oregon Elopement Packages
I’m Brianna, a Pacific Northwest elopement photographer who specializes in planning and photographing outdoor elopements with under 15 guests along the PNW. I have a few different packages to choose from and love helping my couples plan wedding days in epic places. I’m here to help with all things elopements, including making personalized location lists, handling permits, sending vendor recommendations, building timelines, and so much more.
Oregon Elopement Package Pricing
- 4 hours – 1.5 days of elopement coverage anywhere in Oregon
- A personalized elopement planning experience with unlimited assistance
- Personalized elopement location recommendations
- Vendor, lodging, and activity recommendations
- Assistance and information to help you with permits, licenses, etc.
- 90+ page elopement planning guide filled with tips and tricks
- Customized elopement timelines
- Optional complimentary officiant services
- Online gallery with full resolution images and printing rights
- 24-48 hour sneak peeks to share with the world
- Travel fees to anywhere in Oregon are already included
- Starting at $6,500
Want more elopement inspiration? Check out my Washington State Elopement Guide, Olympic National Park Wedding Guide, and Mountain Elopement Guide.
You can legally elope in Oregon by applying for a marriage license. You must have an officiant and two witnesses to elope in Oregon.
You can elope anywhere along the coast. A few well-known locations include Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park, and Cape Kiwanda.
You can elope anywhere in the Columbia River Gorge area. A few well-known areas include Latourell Falls, Wahclella Falls, and Mount Hood.
It costs $60 to elope in Oregon. This fee comes from the marriage license. If you’re wanting more vendors, expect to spend up to $10,000 for your elopement.
DON’T FORGET YOUR FREE ELOPEMENT GUIDE!
An all-in-one planning guide for all things elopements! Whether you’re hoping to hike through the mountains of Washington or sip a margarita on the beaches of California, this comprehensive elopement guide has everything you need to know about how to plan the perfect elopement.
AN ELOPEMENT EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER
I’m Brianna, a Pacific Northwest elopement photographer who creates intentional and nostalgic outdoor experiences so that couples can feel a tangible sense of freedom, peace, and belonging on their wedding day.
I help couples all around the world plan unique and unforgettable elopement days by providing personalized location lists, vendor recommendations, permits, guides, and more.