How to Elope in Oregon

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How to Elope in Oregon

Written by Kiersten Roy

Illustrations designed by Mod Bird Creative

Are you wondering how to elope in Oregon? If so, you’ve come to the right place! As PNW elopement photographers, Oregon is one of our favorite places to recommend to eloping couples. Known for its diverse landscapes (we’ll touch more on that later), Oregon is a dream elopement destination. In this blog, we are breaking down all the things you need to know about how to elope in Oregon from the best time of year, to Oregon elopement locations, marriage licenses, and more! If you don’t already love Oregon, chances are by the time you finish reading this blog, you’ll be head over heels with this beautiful state and well on your way to planning your elopement in Oregon!

How to Elope in Oregon

Eloping in Oregon doesn’t have to be hard! We’re going to help break down how to elope in Oregon step-by-step, so if you’re ready to start planning your best day ever, then keep scrolling!

Choose the Best Time of Year to Elope in Oregon

Best time of year to elope in Oregon

One of our favorite things about eloping in Oregon is that you can elope here year-round! You may be surprised to learn that Oregon has many different climates and terrains within the state. For example, although it may be rainy in Portland, OR, it could be sunny in the high desert near Bend, OR. Other locations like the Oregon Coast (and the neighboring redwoods in CA) are great have mild weather fluctuations making it easy to elope here any time of year.

Overall, we think spring, summer and fall are the best times of year to elope in Oregon as you’ll have the most options to choose from. The most popular time for elopements in Oregon are during the late spring months all the way through fall. During this time of year, trails are snow-free and the wildflowers are in bloom, making this state come alive!

If you’re wanting a snowy elopement, then it’s absolutely possible to elope in Oregon during the winter months. Mount Hood and Mount Bachelor are great options for a snowy, skiing elopement. Or, if snow-free is more your vibe, then the Oregon Coast or Columbia River Gorge are great locations for a winter elopement.

Choose Your Oregon Elopement Location

The 6 Best Places to Elope in Oregon

Like we mentioned earlier, the state of Oregon has so many different landscapes to choose from for your elopement, from the sea level to mountain overlook. So, we’re breaking down and sharing everything you need to know about our list of the top six best places to elope in Oregon:

  1. Southern Oregon Coast
  2. Smith Rock State Park
  3. Bend, OR
  4. Columbia River Gorge
  5. Mt Hood
  6. Northern Oregon Coast
a map of the 5 best elopement locations in Oregon

Southern Oregon Coast

Bride and groom hug during their elopement on the Oregon Coast at sunset
Bride and groom kiss while sitting on a log on the beach at their Oregon elopement
Bride and groom run along the beach during their Oregon Coast elopement
Bride and groom hold hands while running across the beach at their Oregon elopement
Bride and groom hold hands during their Oregon elopement on the southern Oregon coast
Bride and groom hold hands while walking through the forest at their Oregon elopement

We LOVE this area of the Oregon Coast for three reasons. 1.) Because it is STUNNING, 2.) because Brookings, OR is just a short drive from one of our other favorite elopement locations, Redwood National Park, and 3.) because both of these locations are available year-round! Seriously, what’s not to love about this place? We recommend eloping on the Southern Oregon Coast in late spring, early summer, or fall, but you really can’t go wrong any time of year. Mid-Summer will still bring mild weather because of the wind along the coast, while the winter rain provide the most gorgeous misty light and classic PNW mood.

Smith Rock State Park

Groom carries bride across Smith Rock State Park while they elope in Oregon
Bride and groom go rock climbing during their Oregon elopement
Bride and groom wear hiking backpacks during their desert elopement in Oregon

If you want the high desert feel for your Oregon elopement, then Smith Rock State Park is the place for you! This is another elopement location that is beautiful year-round, but most couples elope here in the early summer or fall due to the desert heat that hits during the summer months.

If you want to rock climb on your best day ever, this is the place to go! There are several thousand climbs within the park, and more than a thousand are bolted routes. The park is located right outside Bend, OR (another one of our recommended places to elope in Oregon) which means you have the option to experience even more beautiful locations for your elopement.

Bend, OR

Bride and groom hold hands while they elope in the forest in Oregon

There are lots of reasons to love Bend, OR. Here are just a few fun facts about this incredible city:

These are just a few of the many reasons we love Bend, OR. There is just so much fun to be had in this area. Outside of the fun activities the city has to offer, you can go canoeing or fly fishing on gorgeous alpine lakes, hit the ski slopes during the winter months, or take a camping trip and explore the high desert landscapes.

Located about 30 minutes from Bend, is Sisters, OR, a western-themed mountain town. This is another great Oregon town with lots to offer and with views like the Cascades peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, alpine meadows, and more, the hardest part about eloping here will be deciding where to go!

Columbia River Gorge

Bride and groom hold elope at the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon
Bride and groom hold hands during their Columbia River Gorge wedding
Bride and groom kiss in front of a waterfall during their Oregon elopement

For couples who don’t want to drive far from Portland for their Oregon elopement, this is the place. Located along the border of Oregon and Washington (and only 30 minutes from Portland), this area is best known for its deep forest vibes and waterfalls. In fact, there are over 90 waterfalls scattered along this 85-mile river stretch. This location is another one that offers year-round access and is absolutely beautiful. 

Mt Hood

Informally considered a dormant volcano, Mount Hood is the highest (and most well-known) peak in Oregon. Located about two hours from Portland, Mount Hood is full of drive up locations making it one of the best locations for elopements with guests. The road leading to Mount Hood winds through the forest of giant pine trees, and it’s easy to forget you’re on a highway because it’s so gorgeous. Many of the trails lead to beautiful reflective alpine lakes, waterfalls, deep forests, and jaw-dropping views of Mount Hood herself.

Oh, and if you want an epic mountain town feel, one of our favorite nearby towns is Government Camp. This town is the highest-elevation community on Mount Hood and the perfect place to stay or visit after your exploring the area for your adventure elopement.

Northern Oregon Coast

Bride and groom stand on an oceanside cliff looking out at the water during their elopement in Oregon
Bride and groom run across the beach during their elopement in Oregon

We’ve already covered the Southern Oregon Coast, but the north end has just as much to offer! This section of the coast is home to the popular Cannon Beach which is located only 80 miles from Portland. Other popular areas are Ecola State Park and Hug Point. Each of these beaches has something special to offer, but some of our favorite things to do here are explore the tide pools, hike nearby trails and visit the lighthouses scattered along the shores.

Hire Your Dream Oregon Elopement Photographer

Psst…we know a pretty cool team of Pacific Northwest elopement photographers who would love to document your day. But, truly, hiring the right elopement photographer is a really important step in your Oregon elopement planning process! Of course, you’ll want photos of your day to treasure for years to come. But, you also want to book a photographer with experience in adventure elopements. From day-of timelines, weather patterns and uniquely scouted locations, it’s so important to work with a photographer who is experienced and knows how to help couples elope in Oregon. We work really hard to care for our clients to make the planning process simple and their elopement day unforgettable.

Choose Your Oregon Elopement Package

“How much does it cost to elope in Oregon?” you might be wondering. On average, an Oregon elopement costs around $10,000, including wedding attire, flowers, photographer and marriage license. Considering the average wedding costs $30,000, it’s no surprise that more and more couples are choosing to elope! Want to learn more about how much it costs to elope, check out our guide here!

Once you’ve found your dream Oregon elopement photographer (aka us) it’s time to choose your Oregon elopement package. Every couple is different and part of our process is helping you decide what makes sense for you. Our most commonly booked package though is the sunrise to sunset elopement package. With this package, you get the option to experience multiple landscapes all in one day!

Apply for Your Oregon Marriage License

You’ve got your incredible partner, the stunning dress, the dreamy flowers and the epic Oregon elopement backdrop. But, you cannot forget one of the most important witnesses to your adventure-packed vows: your marriage license! Here’s what you need to know about getting your marriage license in Oregon:

  • You both have to go in person to the county office get an Oregon marriage license.
  • You cannot get married the same day you get your marriage license because Oregon has a three-day waiting period. However, you can pay a small fee to have them waive the waiting period.
  • The marriage license is valid for 60 days.
  • An Oregon marriage license costs between $50-$60 and is nonrefundable.
  • You can obtain a marriage license from any county and get married in any county in Oregon. You just have to return the marriage license to the county where you obtained the license (and yes, you are allowed to mail in the marriage license).
  • You will need an officiant to oversee your Oregon elopement ceremony and will also need two witnesses present (and yes, we are happy to be witnesses, if needed!).

Read about all the information you need to know about getting a marriage license for your Oregon elopement by clicking here.

Plan a Reception to Celebrate After Your Oregon Elopement

Bride and groom hug on the beach during their Oregon beach elopement

One of the best ways to celebrate your Oregon elopement is by sharing a celebratory meal together or with your loved ones. Whether you decide to hold your reception at a day-use picnic area, your Airbnb cabin, or a brewery, we always recommend taking time to celebrate your marriage! Here are a few of our favorite places to host your reception in Oregon.

  • Your Airbnb – there are tons of amazing cabins and Airbnbs for rent throughout the state (hint – we can help suggest some amazing locations and cabin hosts). Hosting your reception at your cabin allows you to relax and unwind with no pressure or strangers around. We wrote a whole guide on how to plan an Airbnb wedding which you can check out below!
  • FivePine Lodge – located in Sisters, OR (and only 25 minutes from Bend), this beautiful lodge is the perfect place to host a celebratory meal. The lodge offers cute craftsman-style cabins so you and your guests can stay the night and enjoy their many amenities.
  • Suttle Lodge – also located near Bend, this venue boasts a beautiful boathouse that would be perfect for your reception meal. At Suttle Lodge you can also enjoy fishing, hiking, biking, skiing, and yes, even an occasional rodeo!
  • Crook Point – If you’re eloping on the southern Oregon coast, then you have to check out Crook Point! This venue offers completely private views of the coast, meaning you can only experience these locations by staying at the resort.
  • Pack a beach picnic – Lay out an epic picnic spread after you’ve said, “I do!” This is such a fun way to enjoy a meal with an amazing view by just packing your picnic and hiking it up to your elopement location.
  • At a local restaurant or brewery – after you’ve tied the knot on top of Mount Hood or overlooking the vast high desert or at the base of a waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge, meet up with friends and family in a nearby town for a celebration!

Meet Your Oregon Elopement Photographers

We feel most at home in the outdoors, so it’s no surprise that is where we gravitate towards as your Oregon elopement photographers. Between the Pine was founded by Mollie in 2018 and she has hiked hundreds of miles all over the Pacific Northwest and Kauai, to capture couples during their best day ever. Since 2018, we’ve grown our team and continue to hire even more incredible photographers! 

Our team at Between the Pine is passionate about our jobs and adventuring to the most beautiful locations to document your best day ever. We know the Pacific Northwest like the back of our hands and are dying for a reason to head back to the mountains, forest, and everything in between! Click here to learn more about the Between the Pine team, your Oregon elopement photographers!

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