We may be biased, but we think Oregon is one of the most beautiful states to elope in. There’s such a wide range of places to choose from that you really can’t go wrong! Oregon is practically bursting with opportunities for epic adventures and new sights. From the lush forests and coastal cliffs, sand dunes and mountain peaks, all the way to the arid deserts and hills, we’re breaking down the best locations to hold your elopement in Oregon. Each of these places holds some amazing Oregon magic, so don’t feel overwhelmed! There are no bad choices here.
When thinking of Oregon elopement locations one often thinks of the coast line. Summer is the best time to elope at the Oregon Coast. It tends to be breezy, chilly, and rainy here year round, but the summer months are when you’ll find the most sunshine and the warmest temperatures. (But of course, if rainy and moody is your vibe, we’re all in!) And don’t feel tied to just the beaches, either! There are some beautiful little coastal towns here, as well as some incredible forest locations and other adventures to be had. You’ll find rugged cliffs and really cool rock formations on the coastline, and on certain beaches you’ll be able to have a bonfire to celebrate and stay warm!
Our top recommendations for coastal locations are:
90 minutes from Portland, with a ton of oceanfront options for lodging. Home to Haystack Rock and some iconic ocean views. On National Geographic’s 21 Best Beaches in the World; if that doesn’t convince you, we don’t know what will!
This state park is near Brookings, Oregon, a bit further to the south closer to the California state line. There are 12 miles of beach here to be explored, with picnic areas, trailheads for exploring, craggy bluffs, and it’s a much more quiet and secluded area than Cannon Beach. There are a few notable viewpoints detailed here on the state park’s website – we don’t know about you, but they all sound like prime elopement ceremony locations to us!
Cape Kiwanda lies just north of Pacific City. A steep climb up the dune will reward you with a view of some incredible waves crashing into the shore. This area is unique because of the sandstone foundation; it’s fragile, which means that it’s constantly eroding and shifting right in front of your eyes! (*note, for this reason you cannot stand on the cliff edges, as they are susceptible to crumbling without warning.) This is a popular spot for kite flying if you’re looking for a unique twist at your elopement!
Hug Point is just a little ways away from Cannon Beach. You can find a seasonal waterfall and some amazing tide pools here. Low tide is the best time to be out and about at Hug Point, and the park will require a special event permit, but it’s so worth it to celebrate on some beautiful, historic sands!
Manzanita is a village south of Tillamook, nestled below the iconic Neahkahnie Mountain. Climbing this peak (a 2.8mi hike with 866 feet in elevation gain) offers one of the most stunning views of the Oregon Coast that you could possibly get! Like much of the rest of Oregon’s coast, you’ll find huge cliffs and the most picturesque little oceanside towns in this area. You can find more detail about the Manzanita area here.
The Columbia River Gorge is the largest scenic area in America. The sights here are simply unparalleled! Bring your sense of adventure with you – the entire Gorge area is built for exploring. There are dozens of waterfalls, unique wildflowers, water sports, hikes, cycling, scenic views of the Columbia river, and some amazing breweries and food. You’ll get an entirely different vibe depending on the season here, but there’s no wrong choice – they’re all stunning! You can start diving into all the possibilities at the Gorge here, but a few of our recommended spots to check out in the area are:
As if we haven’t already given you enough places to check out in the western half of the state, there’s a few more elopement locations in western Oregon we simply can’t forget to mention!
20 miles east of Portland. If you’re looking for a winter wedding, Mt. Hood is a great choice (though it’s equally great in the warmer months, too!). The Timberline Lodge offers that iconic postcard view of Oregon that you can’t pass up.
Near the capitol city Salem, Oregon. You’ll find the Trail of Ten Falls here, an iconic hike that weaves past (you guessed it) ten waterfalls and descends to a creek at the forest floor. This is a moderate 7.2 mile loop hike, with tons of photo opportunities and picturesque places for an elopement ceremony. The area is still recovering from the Beachie Creek fire that burned in 2020, so be sure to check out the updates on that process as well!
Central Oregon has a super unique landscape and climate. You won’t find the stereotypical rainy weather and greenery here that you see closer to Portland. Instead, the air is dryer, with a more high-desert feel. Don’t get us wrong though – the central part of the state is far from ugly! The diversity of central Oregon is mind-blowing and makes for some amazing elopement locations. You can check out some beautiful lakes, state parks, waterfalls, and national monuments in this area. Here’s our top highlights:
This spot is famous for its amazing rock climbing and deep river canyons. The park is near Bend, Oregon, and there are literally thousands of climbing opportunities, along with hikes and biking. Break out your adventure boots for an elopement at Smith Rock – there’s a lot to explore here!
Located along the McKenzie River off Highway 126. Cell service along the McKenzie tends to be practically nonexistent, so plan ahead!
There tends to be a lot of foot traffic around Proxy Falls, but once you see it it’s easy to know why! This is a relatively easy loop hike near the Blue River.
There’s a ton to explore in the Willamette and Deschutes, but we want to highlight Sparks Lake, which is a beautiful spot surrounded by marshes and meadows. Sparks is a shallow lake, but is a great spot for kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. You’ll find Sparks Lake at the base of Mt. Bachelor, which offers its own exciting opportunities for adventure year-round!
This pass sits at an elevation of 4,800 feet, which means you get some AMAZING views here. Follow Oregon Route 22 (the North Santiam Highway) from Salem along the Santiam River or approach from the east near the town of Sisters to get here. There are 5 nearby volcanoes that will give you some amazing mountain backdrops for your elopement.
The Painted Hills are an iconic Oregon landmark. This area is distinguished by the stripes in the layers of sediment that make up the hills – red, tan, orange, and black. You’ll have to stick strictly to the paths here to preserve the landscape, but it’s a spot that’s so unique we can’t believe it’s really on Earth! The Painted Hills and the connected John Day Fossil Monument are north of the little town of Mitchell, Oregon.
The ranch is a very relaxed atmosphere, perfect for an elopement that’s more laid back. The ranch offers its own unique wedding & elopement options as well as organized activities like horseback riding, but you could also just take advantage of the beautiful lodging here and plan your elopement for a spot nearby like Santiam, the McKenzie River, and the North Sister, South Sister, and Broken Top Mountains.
Last but certainly not least is the southern region of the state. Southern Oregon is a desert climate and less populated than other regions of the state, so you’re likely to find more secluded and private elopement locations here if you decide you like the area. And, of course, it’s home to Crater Lake National Park (which you simply can’t miss if you’re close by, even if you don’t elope there!). We’ll note here that Southern Oregon has gotten increasingly smokey in the summer months due to wildfire activity, and the air quality is often rated “very unhealthy” in certain areas, so keep that in mind as you’re planning; it will affect not only your health and safety but some of these views as well!
This is one of the most isolated locations in Oregon, as well as the driest! Alvord used to be a lake that has since dried up, extending 100 miles from end to end. There are two isolated “lakes” of water that still exist there today, but the primary portion of the desert is about 20 miles long and is dry from July to December (you’ll be able to drive directly on the flat during these months). You’ll also find Steen Mountain here, as well as some geothermal springs! Make sure you have a full gas tank before you head out here, and be aware that there will likely be no cell service.
You can’t go wrong with an elopement at Crater Lake. Summer and winter are both options, and will give you very different experiences! Winter at Crater Lake sees around 43 feet of snow on average, so if you’re into a snowshoe adventure this could be the perfect choice for you! The hiking trails open in the summer months, so there’s a bit more exploring to be done after the snow melts, but any time of year is perfect for seeing this crystal-clear lake! Make sure you read through the National Park Service’s requirements and policies for wedding ceremonies held inside the parks.
We could go on and on forever about even more incredible locations for your perfect Oregon elopement, but we’ll stop here so you don’t get too overloaded! Each part of the state offers such unique sights and experiences, and we can’t wait to explore with you and plan your perfect elopement. Contact us at [email protected] with any questions about eloping in Oregon and to inquire about having us capture your special day!