10 Reasons You Should Elope in Oregon

10 Reasons You Should Elope in Oregon

Y’all probably already know how obsessed I am with Oregon being that I literally post photos from Oregon every other day. I just TRULY will never get tired of living in this incredible state filled with so many amazing opportunities, and will also never stop sharing about how amazing of an elopement location it is! If you’re struggling to decide where to elope and are considering somewhere in the PNW or even the West Coast as a whole, I’ve got 10 reasons you should elope in Oregon that might convince you to pack your bags + book a flight here ASAP. Trust me, there’s a reason so many people come from all over the country to see the wonders of Oregon—and there is SO much magic here to create when it comes to elopements!

If you already know you wanna elope in Oregon and would rather skip ahead to finding out all the best locations, check out my guide to the Top 20+ Best Places to Elope in Oregon!

10 Reasons You Should Elope in Oregon

1. The scenery + diverse landscapes are to die for

First and foremost, the scenery here is literally unlike anywhere else in the world; the abundance of natural beauty everywhere across the state is freaking unreal. Oregon actually offers an example of nearly EVERY type of geographic terrain in the world somewhere within its borders, so it’s one of the most diverse states in the country! We literally have every type of landscape imaginable:

  • Mountains
  • Beaches
  • Deserts
  • Waterfalls
  • Lakes
  • Canyons
  • Valleys
  • Meadows
  • Farmland
  • Volcanic craters

I would say the only thing we *don’t* have are palm trees and any sort of tropical beaches—our beaches are a little cooler and a whole lot more moodier than the ones you’d find in Cali or Hawaii. But they’re so incredibly magical in their own unique way. 

Within a couple of hours, you could go from snow-capped mountains to the rugged coastline; from a dry, vast desert to a lush rainforest; from a vibrant alpine lake to a dramatic canyon.

We even have our own “7 Wonders of Oregon,” which is a really great list to start with if you’re not sure where you want to go! These are 7 of the most iconic + breathtaking natural wonders in the state, including the coast, desert, mountains, gorge, and lakes.

Real quick, here are some of my fave Oregon elopement locations for different types of scenery!

If you want to elope in the mountains: Head to Mt. Hood or the Wallowas!

If you want to elope on the beach: Head to the Oregon Coast!

If you want to elope in the desert: Head to Smith Rock State Park, Bend, or the Painted Hills!

If you want to elope by a waterfall: Head to the Columbia River Gorge!

If you want to elope at an alpine lake: Head to the Cascade Lakes!

If you want to elope on a dry lake bed (reminiscent of the Salt Flats): Head to the Alvord Desert!

If you want to elope by a dramatic canyon: Head to the Columbia River Gorge or Hell’s Canyon!

If you want to elope at a volcanic crater: Head to Crater Lake National Park!

2. It’s a prime destination for outdoor adventure

With such a wide variety of diverse landscapes also comes an abundance of opportunities for outdoor recreation! It’s like a dang playground for anybody who loves exploring the great outdoors and spending time out in nature, because, well, we have a LOT of nature haha. No matter what types of activities you like doing + what skill level you’re at, Oregon truly has something for everybody, from quick trail walks to world-class rock climbing routes. Your elopement could easily include any of the following activities if you elope in Oregon:

  • Day hikes
  • Backpacking
  • Rock climbing
  • Camping
  • Mountain biking
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle boarding
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Birding
  • White water rafting
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Sandboarding
  • 4×4 rides

And if all these adventurous activities aren’t your thing, don’t worry—we’ve got a TON of ways you can enjoy the outdoors in a more relaxed, laid-back way, such as:

  • Stargazing
  • Nature walks
  • Hot springs
  • Outdoor spas
  • ADA-accessible hikes/trails
  • Scenic drives
  • Easily-accessible overlooks/viewpoints

You literally have an entire menu of options to choose from, the hardest part will be only picking a few things to do during your time in Oregon! Great excuse to come back for an anniversary or a vow renewal, orrr to stay in Oregon for your honeymoon 🙂

3. It’s easy to get to from Washington + California

Wanna have a dual-state elopement? You can do it super easily in Oregon! If you want to elope in the Columbia River Gorge, you can hit spots in both Washington + Oregon in one day, which is just such a fun little way to add to your elopement experience. And if you elope on the Southern Oregon Coast (my personal fave part of the coast), it’s crazy easy to get to Northern California + the redwoods! I love love taking my couples to the Southern Oregon Coast and having them experience the magic of that area, and then drive down to Cali to experience a whole different type of magic in the towering redwood forests. It only takes about an hour to get from Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, so it’s super doable to do all in one day or even across two days! Here’s an example of a coast + redwoods elopement that I loveddd with Page and Taylor.

4. We’ve got locations that are accessible at any time of year

One of the most amazing things about having such a diverse variety of landscapes: there will always be somewhere that’s beautiful + accessible no matter the season! This means you have a ton of flexibility when it comes to picking a season and date for your elopement—you aren’t limited to a certain time frame like you might be in hotter climates like Arizona or California. Summers in Oregon are great for mountain elopements, as that’s when the mountains won’t have any snow and most trails/roads will be accessible! Spring and fall are perfect for elopements in the desert and in the gorge, as the temperatures will be pretty mild and ideal for hiking, biking, etc. Winter does have fewer options due to snowy conditions, but you can still elope on the coast, in the gorge, or in a rainforest (and you’ll have WAY fewer crowds this time of year anyway)! 

Aside from the landscapes + accessibility of your location, you should also consider what types of activities you want to incorporate into your elopement, because that will impact what time of year you should choose! For example, if you want to go camping, you probably won’t want to elope in the winter when it’s freezing out. Or if you want to go on a backpacking trip through the mountains, you’ll want to choose a date in July-August when there’s the lowest chance of snow. 

If you want to elope in the mountains: Late summer

If you want to elope in the desert: Fall, spring, winter

If you want to elope on the coast: Any time!

If you want to elope in the Gorge: Any time!

If you want to elope in a rainforest: Any time!

If you want to elope at an alpine lake: Summer

For more help picking the right season/month for your Oregon elopement, I’ve got a full guide to How to Choose the Best Time of Year to Elope in the Pacific Northwest.

5. The dark + moody PNW vibes are beyond magical

Remember how I said that the beaches in Oregon aren’t quite like the warm + sunny ones you’d find in California or Hawaii? That may be the case, but believe me when I say that Oregon’s beaches (and the rest of our landscapes) are SO incredibly beautiful in their own way! You’re probably familiar with the quintessential dark and moody PNW vibes, and boy do we have plentyyyy of those. On the Oregon Coast you won’t find palm trees and coconuts, but you WILL find massive sea stacks, large pieces of driftwood, tons of tidepools, mysterious caves, and gorgeous vegetation—giving the coast those lush, rugged views that have become so iconic. And you don’t really need to be worried about bad weather, because even if you don’t get sunshine at your beach elopement, you might get a cool, foggy day that looks even more magical! The same goes for other moody places like the rainforests, alpine lakes, and the Columbia River Gorge; all of it is so picturesque and beautiful that you won’t even miss the sunshine.

6. We’ve got one of the most breathtaking national parks in the U.S.

If you haven’t been to Crater Lake, add it to your bucket list ASAP because it is a MUST-SEE. This may be the only national park we have in Oregon, but I’d say it’s a pretty freaking incredible one, boasting some of the most insane views you will ever witness. Saying your vows in front of this dramatic, bright blue, crazy deep lake is an otherworldly experience, especially with the mountains in the distance + cliffs of the volcanic crater surrounding the water. And if you time it right + get to watch the sun rise or set over the rim of the crater? The experience of a lifetime. I’ve even got a full Crater Lake National Park Elopement Guide for ya, where I dive into the best spots in the park for your ceremony, how to get your permits, and more!

7. We have over 360 state parks

Yep, you read that right—there are over 360 state parks in Oregon, plus 11 national forests! From deserts to beaches to lakes, Oregon State Parks offer such an incredible variety of landscapes + activities to choose from no matter which ones you add to your itinerary. Day-use passes for Oregon State Parks only cost $5 per day, per vehicle, so they’re cheap and easy to visit! You typically won’t need a Special Use Permit unless you have a fairly large group for your elopement, but it’s best to reach out to the specific park you’re considering for your ceremony and discuss your plans with them. A few of my favorite Oregon State Parks for elopements include:

  • Smith Rock State Park
  • Ecola State Park
  • Hug Point State Recreation Site
  • Silver Falls State Park
  • Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area

8. We have plenty of ADA-accessible elopement locations

Even though Oregon is a hotspot for adventurous outdoor recreation and thrill-seekers, we also have quite a few amazing ADA-accessible (and just overall more easily-accessible) elopement locations for you to choose from! If you or one of your guests have mobility limitations, or you simply don’t want to put in a ton of effort to complete a long hike on your elopement day, there are a ton of options for you across the state as far as short, easy trails and wheelchair-accessible locations. In fact, I created a whole guide to 10 ADA-Accessible Locations in the PNW for An Elopement, which includes some of my favorite waterfalls, dreamy desert locations, and alpine lakes!

9. There are cute + cozy Airbnbs galore

Dreaming of a cozy Airbnb elopement in a cute A-frame cabin, a treehouse, or even a luxurious glamping yurt in the mountains? Fortunately Oregon has PLENTY of amazing Airbnbs across the entire state, from gorgeous beachside homes to mountaintop lookout towers to rustic cabins in the woods. I LOVE when couples rent out a beautiful Airbnb for their elopement because it gives us an amazing place to take getting ready photos, detail photos, portraits, and even gives you a spot to have your post-ceremony celebration if the Airbnb host allows! A lot of my couples will find a place with somewhere they can relax after they tie the knot, such as a hot tub, a sauna, or a spacious outdoor area with a firepit. Here’s a list of the 25 Best Airbnbs in Washington & Oregon for an Airbnb Elopement to help you find the perfect one for your day!

10. Twilight was filmed here!

Of course I had to include this on the list!! If you know me then you know I have an (unhealthy?) obsession with all things Twilight, and I’ve made it my thing to shoot Twilight-inspired elopements. Fortunately, the PNW is filled with real film locations from the movies, so it’s sooo cool to take my couples to these locations and feel like they’re the stars of their own cheesy vampire movie series! One of my favorite Twilight film locations in Oregon that makes for a bomb elopement location is Indian Beach, which was the filming location for “La Push” in the Twilight movies (they didn’t actually film in La Push, WA!). It’s a gorgeous sandy beach near Cannon Beach with tons of tidepools, hiking trails, and even surfing opportunities!

For more elopement locations in the PNW with all the vampire vibes, check out my list of 8 Twilight-Inspired Elopement Locations in the PNW.

Alright y’all, have you been convinced to elope in Oregon yet?! Just imagine yourselves immersed in the wild, rugged, and picturesque landscapes that Oregon has to offer, saying your vows in front of a bright blue alpine lake with mountain reflections, or maybe in the middle of a vast desert surrounded by towering sandstone formations. Wherever you choose to elope, you can trust that, as your Oregon elopement photographer, I’ll be there every step of the way to help you plan, dream, and breathe in all the magic that you deserve to experience on your special day. Reach out to me here if you’re ready to connect; I cannot wait to adventure with you, document your story, and help you create memories to last a lifetime.

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