Cape Kiwanda is one of the most romantic elopement locations in Oregon. Its sandstones, crashing waves, and haystacks make an unforgettable backdrop for any ceremony. This popular spot along the coast is perfect for couples looking for a laid-back coast elopement, couples looking for a hiking adventure, or couples wanting to bring their fury friends along for the ride.
Whether you’re set on eloping on Cape Kiwanda or are exploring the idea of it, you’re in the right place. This ultimate elopement guide has everything you need to know about planning an elopement on Cape Kiwanda, from where to stay and what to do, this is the best Cape Kiwanda elopement guide.
Do I Need a Permit to Elope on Cape Kiwanda?
No. You do not need a permit to elope on Cape Kiwanda unless you have more than 50 guests or are bringing any special decor like a ceremony arch, table, etc. You can learn more about how to obtain a special use permit by contacting the park at their official website here.
Can I Bring My Dog to My Cape Kiwanda Elopement?
Yes! Cape Kiwanda is an incredibly dog-friendly elopement location. Dogs can be off-leash as long as B.A.R.K principles are practiced.
How to Get a Marriage License for Your Cape Kiwanda Elopement
If you want to elope on Cape Kiwanda, you’ll need to obtain an Oregon marriage license.
An Oregon marriage license has a 3 day waiting period, meaning you cannot get married until 3 days have passed after picking up your license. The marriage license expires in 60 days. I recommend applying for a marriage license two weeks before your actual wedding day.
*Note: I am using Tillamook County (Cape Kiwanda is located in Tillamook County) 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 application.
- Email or mail copies of your IDs (including picture and signature) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- After processing, the office will email you with a link to pay the $50 marriage license fee online. You can also pay this over the phone.
- Once your payment has been processed, you can pick up your license between 8:30am-5:00pm Monday-Friday.
- After your elopement, drop off the signed marriage license for processing.
You can also obtain a marriage license in person by making an appointment with the County Clerk’s office where you will do all the paperwork in person. Be sure to bring the $50 marriage license fee, along with your IDs.
To get more information and to schedule your appointment, check out the official Tillamook County Clerk’s website here.
Do I Need an Officiant and Witness to Elope on Cape Kiwanda?
Yes. Oregon requires an officiant and two witnesses.
Pro 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. As an Oregon elopement photographer, I’m also ordained and officiate ceremonies for free in all my elopement packages!
When Is the Best Time of Year to Elope on Cape Kiwanda?
Cape Kiwanda is one of the most popular places in Oregon, so during the summer months, the beach sees a large amount of people. However, this is one the best times to elope if you’re hoping for warm weather and sunny skies. That being said, I usually recommend waiting until the fall if crowds are a big concern.
Fall is the best time of year to elope on Cape Kiwanda, specifically in September and October when the summer crowds have left, the weather is still pleasant, and lodging prices are much cheaper. While there is always a possibility of rain along the coast during the time of year, the days are mainly still long and sunny.
Winter is one of my favorite times to visit Cape Kiwanda. While the beach does see a good amount of rain during this time of year, the lack of crowds make up for it. The winter is a great time for whale watching, surfing, and warm clam chowder by the ocean. It’s truly a magical time of year to visit!
Spring is another magical time of year to visit Cape Kiwanda. Similar to winter, the coast still sees a good amount of rain during the time of year. However, the surrounding forests are vibrant, green, and lush. Spring is another a great time for wildlife, as well as cheaper lodging options and less crowds.
Best Places to Stay Near Cape Kiwanda
Cape Kiwanda is conveniently located in Pacific City, a small coastal town with mom and pop restaurants, small grocery stores, and plenty of outdoor activities. Below are some of my favorite places to stay in the area.
- Historic Riverfront Cabin – The best of both worlds with a cabin located on the Big Nestucca River and a few miles from the beach.
- Oceanfront Home – An inviting and modern front row beach home right on the sand.
- Dog-Friendly House with Ocean Views – A stunning home steps away from the beach with a hot tub, arcade machine, and more.
- Surf and Sand – A 1940s inn located in the heart of Pacific City.
- Inn at Cape Kiwanda – A popular boutique hotel right across the street from Cape Kiwanda.
Best Things to Do for Your Cape Kiwanda Elopement
Cape Kiwanda offers a plethora of different activities you can incorporate on your elopement day. Elopements allow you the freedom and flexibility to incorporate fun and once-in-a-lifetime experiences on your special day. Below are some of my favorite ideas to help get you started.
- Grab a burger and a beer at Pelican Brewing right on the beach
- Go whale-watching (done during the winter months)
- Climb the top of the sand dune at Cape Kiwanda and overlook the ocean
- Go tidepooling
- Have a campfire with s’mores and hot dogs
- Go hiking nearby to get a beautiful overlook of Cape Kiwanda
- Soak in a hot tub before getting ready for the day
- Pack a picnic to enjoy on the beach
- Book a horseback ride on the beach with Green Acres
- Bring your dogs and play fetch
- Watch (or fly) the hang gliders/paragliders
- Drive the Three Capes Scenic Loop (Cape Kiwanda, Cape Meares, Cape Lookout)
Cape Kiwanda Elopement Packages
I’m Brianna, a Pacific Northwest elopement photographer who helps couples plan epic elopements along the West Coast. I adore capturing elopements on Cape Kiwanda and help my couples plan by providing location recommendations, vendor recommendations, timeline assistance, and so much more. If you want to learn more about what I offer, check out my elopement packages!
- 4 hours – 2 days of elopement coverage 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
Cape Kiwanda Elopement Inspiration
Check out this elopement below that I photographed at Cape Kiwanda to help get you inspired 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.
You? You’re the kind of person that gets a lil’ teary eyed looking at an epic view…
That moment when you turn to the person you’re with and ask, “Are you seeing this?” I live for it. Places with trees and mountains and soft breezes that make you say, “I can’t believe this place exists,” I spend pretty much all of my free time searching for and exploring them.
These places have always felt like home to me. And if you’re the kind of person who also feels more at home surrounded by trees than by people? Then we’ll get along really well. The Pacific Northwest is full of secret spots that are too special to share with just anyone. But it would make me happy to share them with you on your wedding day.
(I promise you won’t regret it.)
P.S. I’m Brianna. My mission is to create custom, one-of-a-kind elopement experiences in the Pacific Northwest that allow couples to fully immerse themselves in the highest levels of excitement and wonder on a day designed exclusively for them.