Written by our rad team member, Jessica Dastous
Dreamy Columbia River Gorge Elopement
Ever wonder what a Columbia River Gorge elopement during the winter may look like? I’ll give you a hint, something along the lines of every type of weather you can imagine, while being absolutely stunning! Charlie & Charlene’s elopement was originally planned for October in the mountain town of Leavenworth, but after their Airbnb venue shut down, these two had to pivot to a new date, location, and venue. You know the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”? Well that is exactly what these two did! Keep reading to find out where we adventured to in the Columbia River Gorge, the best places to stay for your own elopement, and so.much.more.
Meet Charlie & Charlene: The amazing couple of this Columbia River Gorge Elopement
The very first time I talked with Charlie and Charlene about planning their elopement, we totally hit it off and I knew they would be an absolute dream to work with. Originally, we had planned an October elopement in Leavenworth, WA at this incredible Airbnb that would double as their elopement venue. But, three months before their big day, the Airbnb shut down and canceled all their reservations. Charlie and Charlene had to plan everything from scratch, with just a few months’ notice. Luckily, they were working with Erika from The Great Adventure Weddings, so she jumped right in to help these two create their best day ever 2.0. Charlie and Charlene ended up changing not only their elopement dates, but also their elopement location entirely and I have to say, I think their Columbia River Gorge elopement worked out exactly how it was supposed to because their two day elopement was unbelievably ah-mazing!
On the first day of Charlie and Charlene’s Oregon elopement, we started their day out at the Ruby June Inn. Charlie and Charlene got ready in this gorgeous inn, run by an amazing couple (keep reading for my recommendations on where to stay when planning your Columbia River Gorge elopement)! From there, we headed to the perfect winter elopement location right on the Columbia River Gorge. As luck would have it, we had the location all to ourselves with the icy blue Columbia River right behind us, surrounded by mountain peaks and it was absolutely perfect for Charlie and Charlene’s ceremony! During their Oregon elopement ceremony, we experienced all different types of weather in a matter of minutes (typical Pacific Northwest). Through clouds, rain, and sunshine, Charlie and Charlene said their “I do’s” and it was absolutely AMAZING! From there Charlie, Charlene and I ventured around making sure to Leave No Trace, while their guests headed back to the Ruby June Inn for their reception. We met back up with their guests after our little adventure and had an amazing dinner prepared by the staff at the Ruby June Inn. We ended Charlie and Charlene’s Columbia River Gorge elopement day under the string lights at the Ruby June Inn. Sounds like a dream come true if you ask me!
The next day, I met up with Charlie and Charlene (cheez-it’s in hand of course) for the second day of their winter elopement! We headed to Latourell Falls, where we took incredible waterfall elopement photos (want to see even more waterfall elopement inspo?! Click here!). Next we ventured into the forest where we explored the dense lush green trees and ferns, while reminiscing about their incredible Government Cove elopement. Charlie and Charlene’s elopement spanned over the course of two days and was the perfect way for me to end by 2021 season. Charlie and Charlene’s Columbia River Gorge elopement was my last one on the books for 2021, and I truly wouldn’t have wanted to end my elopement season any other way!
Three Places to explore for your Columbia River Gorge Elopement
Okay, okay you are probably thinking, “Uhhh Mollie I need more dets on where all of these amazing locations are for my own elopement”! Well don’t you worry, I have alllll the details below so you too can start planning your own Columbia River Gorge elopement. And maybe (just maybe!!) we can adventure together on your big day. ☺
When planning your Columbia River Gorge elopement, choosing the perfect location can be tricky since there are so many incredible options like the lush forest, waterfalls, gorgeous mountains or the high desert! Not to mention all the microclimates surrounding this area, too! But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Here are my top three favorite places to explore during your Oregon elopement near the Columbia River Gorge.
Explore Government Cove
This is the location that Charlie and Charlene chose to have their Columbia River Gorge elopement. I love Government Cove for two reasons, one being you can disperse camp here! The second reason why I absolutely love this location for an Oregon elopement is because there are tons of areas where you can venture off on your own and have total privacy with amazing viewpoints. There are rock formations all along the way that are perfect for scrambling, and the wildflowers in the summer are just stunning. To learn more about Government Cove, click here!
Hike to Latourell Falls
This is the location Charlie and Charlene explored on day two of their waterfall elopement! This is a popular hiking location for obvious reasons (the falls are just stunning!). You can hike to both the upper and lower part of Latourell Falls, making this location really accessible since the lower falls are only a quarter of a mile from the trailhead! Check out Latourell Falls here and to get some inspo for your dreamy waterfall elopement location read this blog!
Adventure through Horsethief Butte
Horsethief Butte is located on the Washington side of Columbia River Gorge in the Columbia Hills State Historical Park. Just 45 minutes from Government Cove and Latourell Falls, you’ll find yourself in a completely different world. This high desert landscape offers wildflowers in the spring and fields of grasses with Mount Hood in the background. I recommend having a winter elopement at Horsethief Butte because the summers can get really hot due to it being a high desert environment! Want to learn more about Horsethief Butte as your Columbia River Gorge elopement location, head here!
Three iconic places to stay for your Columbia River Gorge Elopement
Alright now that we have covered three places we can explore for your elopement on the Columbia River Gorge, let’s dive in to where to stay! (Also notice I said “we” because I think we just became best friends?!) If you are ready to start planning your big day with me, click here!
Before we dive into where to stay for your elopement, please note that these locations are NOT elopement and wedding venues.These are lodging options for an elopement, and it is essential you always communicate with the Inn or the Airbnb host your plans, as their rules may not allow gatherings. These iconic lodging options make amazing locations for getting ready photos, your first look, or maybe even having a picnic! Keep reading to see my top three!
The Ruby June Inn is where Charlie and Charlene stayed during their Oregon elopement! The couple who runs this inn are absolute gems (no pun intended) and the food is just unreal! They have an in-house chef that makes everything from scratch and it is INCREDIBLE!
Okay, this location is just stunning and the photos totally do it justice! If you are planning a Government Cove elopement, I totally recommend you check out the Klickitat Treehouse! If I could, I would honestly live here!
This Airbnb location is a little larger compared to the other locations I am recommending for your Columbia River Gorge elopement. You’ll see from the images how beautiful and spacious this cabin really is. It’s the prefect location if you are looking to have a few friends or family stay with you on your best day ever!
The Dream Team of Vendors for this Columbia River Gorge Elopement
Planning & Design: The Great Adventure Weddings
Florals: Goldenrod Floral Design
Catering: Krystyna Livingston
Venue/Bar: Ruby Jane Inn
HMU: Anne Timss
Coffee: Dweller Coffee Co.
Jacket: Fabrics Tattoo
Videography: Tes Films
Dress: Grace Loves Lace
Paper Good: Nora Obrien Studio
Ready to plan your own adventure?! Meet your Oregon elopement photographer!
I feel most at home outdoors, so it is no surprise that is where I gravitate towards as a Columbia River Gorge elopement photographer. In college, I was known as the “granola girl” because my outfits were always fit to go to class or hiking (not that I ever skipped class to go to the mountains, lol). From my days of exploring the hills of the Ozark Mountains, I am now hiking through Columbia River Gorge Trails, chasing waterfalls in Oregon and beyond. I am passionate about this job of mine and the landscapes that the Columbia River Gorge has to offer. I’m a Pacific Northwest-based elopement photographer who knows Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge well. Basically, I’m dying for a reason to head back to the Columbia River Gorge, and I’d love for your adventure elopement to be the reason! Click here to learn more about me, your Oregon elopement photographer!
Ready to explore more elopements, weddings and adventures? Wander away below!
Between the Pine is an adventure elopement and wedding photography brand created by Mollie Adams. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Mollie travels with her camera in hand to document “I dos” in epic landscapes including Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii.