Epic Options for an Oregon Elopement Location
The wedding day approaches, and you’ve made a bold choice to celebrate your love and commitment in a unique, untraditional way—through elopement.
Your hearts crave an adventure, a connection to the great outdoors, and a meaningful experience that’s uniquely yours.
You’re in the right place, because Oregon has it all. From the picturesque coast to the lush forests, and towering mountains, Oregon offers a plethora of breathtaking elopement locations for adventurous couples like you.
In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the top places in Oregon to elope. Whether you’re envisioning a beachside exchange of vows, a forest retreat, or a mountain escape, we’ve got you covered. And, if it all feels a bit overwhelming, don’t worry; our specialty is crafting unique, tailor-made elopement experiences to create moments you’ll cherish forever. Let’s embark on this adventure together.
The Oregon Coast: Where Love Meets the Pacific
Imagine exchanging your vows against the backdrop of crashing waves, miles of pristine shoreline, and stunning rock formations. The Oregon Coast is an elopement paradise, where untamed natural beauty and your love story unite. Whether you dream of a windswept beach elopement or a forest ceremony near the coast, the Oregon Coast offers a wealth of opportunities for creating unforgettable memories.
A serene, sandy haven where towering cliffs, expansive dunes, and the sea merge into a breathtaking backdrop, while rolling waves create a mesmerizing natural symphony to accompany your vows. Pacific City, the closest town is one of the best parts of the coast to explore for your elopement. Cape Kiwanda itself would be an idyllic spot for a ceremony and vow exchange, but there’s no shortage of hidden gems to explore in the surrounding areas. From Cascade Head to Cape Lookout, you’ve got many options for an epic hike, if that’s your sort of thing.
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
Discover hidden coves, unique rock formations, and secluded beaches as you venture through this unspoiled stretch of coastline. Here, you’ll have your own slice of paradise, just for the two of you. Perhaps one of the most scenic parts of the Oregon Coast, this stretch of highway is in Brookings, just north of the Oregon-California border. It is quite a popular destination for elopements because a full day of adventuring can take you from ancient redwood trees to scenic sea stacks. Having lived in the redwoods, and worked leading hikes through the them, I have a very soft spot for the giant trees.
Cannon Beach & Ecola State Park
Just a short drive away from one another, these spots are the perfect combo for an elopement day with all the goods that the Oregon Coast has to offer. Nestled against the iconic Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach is an exquisite locale where the waves serenade your love story. And Ecola State Park has trails winding through old forests and lush ferns.
Cannon Beach is an adorable coastal town full of the cutest shops and pubs. Drink locally brewed beer and eat ice cream from the world famous Tillamook Creamery, just down the coast. On top of that, Cannon beach has been named one of the best art towns in the US.
At Ecola, experience the untamed coastline and majestic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse in this stunning park. Towering forests give way to breathtaking overlooks, offering the perfect setting for a love that’s equally epic. There are so many reasons to love Ecola State Park, but my favorite is the cinematic history. Fans of the Goonies and Point Break will recognize different areas in the park. Hiking through old growth forest, checking out lighthouses off shore, and chasing waves along the beach, Ecola State Park is perfect for an Oregon Coast elopement.
Known for its captivating sea stacks, Bandon Beach is a destination for those who desire the untamed beauty of the coast. Capture your love against the rugged backdrop of these natural sculptures. Bandon Beach has many adorable vacation rentals to choose from, and it’s surrounded by beautiful forest to hike in if you want a change of environment. With tide pools and massive seabird colonies, it is also an ecologist’s dream destination.
The Oregon Dunes
Fans of Sci-Fi and Timothy Chalamet rejoice, for you’ve found the perfect location for your elopement. The Oregon Dunes, near Florence, are the site of Frank Herbert’s inspiration for the novel Dune. On top of being a nerd’s paradise, this part of the coast is a great option because there are loads of fun ways to celebrate. The dunes offer a breathtaking backdrop for a vow exchange, and a buggy ride into the sunset is a thrilling way to cap the day.
The Columbia River Gorge: Where Love Flows Like Water
The Columbia River Gorge is home to one of the most scenic highways in the country. For couples seeking an elopement with a touch of adventure, the Columbia River Gorge beckons with its captivating landscapes. This scenic wonderland is home to dramatic waterfalls, lush forests, and spectacular views. Eloping in the Columbia River Gorge is all about embracing the great outdoors and celebrating your love amidst awe-inspiring natural wonders.
One of the most iconic waterfalls in the gorge, it can symbolize love’s eternal flow. Stand before the cascading waters and let the timeless beauty of this natural wonder be the backdrop for your union.
I recommend this as a short stop on a greater adventure. It’s a very beautiful spot, but it is quite popular and can be very crowded. It’ll be tricky to get photos and views that don’t have other people in them, and even trickier to find a private spot for a vow exchange. BUT, it is a really incredible sight and should be considered as a side adventure for any Columbia River Gorge elopement.
Latourell Falls offers a stunning backdrop of a plunging water and vibrant foliage. Because it’s a short hike and a crazy beautiful waterfall, this is also a pretty popular stop. But, it is my favorite waterfall in the gorge. A thin, wispy rush of water over a dark canvas of columnar basalt (where the rocks do that cool stripey pattern…). It’s pretty tough not to be impressed by this spot.
A romantic spot with panoramic views, allowing your love to shine against the grandeur of nature. Feel the gentle breeze of the Columbia River as you say your vows, surrounded by awe-inspiring vistas.
It’s about 4.5 miles round trip, with quite a lot of elevation gain. But the views are so worth it. It’s a popular hike, so you’ll likely be sharing the trail. Sunrise or sunset might be the best option for that reason, and also because of the light. It’s quite exposed, so golden hour is going to have the best, softest light. Unless of course, it’s a classically PNW day with mist and cloud cover… but that’s pretty in a different way.
Rowena Crest Viewpoint
A similar vibe to Angel’s Rest, with a high vantage point of the Columbia River, but farther east. The farther east you travel in the gorge, the sunnier it gets. Less of the moody coniferous forest vibes, and more of a sunny oaky meadow vibes.
Rowena Crest is also a great option for folks with mobility considerations. You can drive up the very windy road to the viewpoint. Hiking up even higher is an option, but you don’t need to in order to get incredible views.
Rowena Crest is a great option for a springtime elopement. It’s one of the best spots in the gorge to see wildflowers. Particularly lupine and arrowleaf balsamroot. These purple and yellow beauties cover the hillsides in late April and early May. Flowers and weddings…tale as old as time!
Bend/Central Oregon: Where Adventure Awaits
Eloping in Bend and Central Oregon provides a unique blend of high desert grandeur and snow-capped mountain peaks. The region’s diverse landscapes range from ponderosa pine forests to volcanic wonders. Here, your love story can unfold in an alpine meadow, amidst towering pines, or along the serene shores of mountain lakes. It’s a place where adventure and intimate moments come together seamlessly.
Smith Rock State Park
For those who seek an elopement with a touch of adventure and striking rock formations, Smith Rock State Park is an ideal choice. This unique landscape provides endless opportunities for memorable moments. The Crooked River winds around large formations of tuff (my new favorite rock name) that beckon to climbers from all over the world. Being the birthplace of sport climbing, you’ll see climbers on many rock faces most weekends. They’re fun to watch, but you can incorporate some climbing into your elopement day too, if that’s your thing! The town of Terrebonne also has so many cute vacation rentals, some decent restaurants, and, my favorite, an alpaca farm!
Crater Lake National Park
Rimmed by rugged cliffs, Crater Lake offers a serene and striking backdrop for an adventure elopement in Oregon. The deepest lake in the United States, it’s Oregon’s only National Park. And it is a seriously cool and unique landscape, formed by ancient violence. Mount Mazama was a 12,000 foot volcano that completely blew its lid thousands of years ago. Now the highest point of the rim stands just over 8,000. An unfathomable amount of rock just exploded into the skies… Take a drive around the whole lake, hike down to the water or check out any of the waterfalls in the park boundaries.
Along the Cascade Lakes Highway, this alpine lake is surrounded by three towering volcanoes: South Sister, Broken Top and Mount Bachelor. It is a perfect option for any type of elopement, whether you want close friends and family included, or an adventure for just the two of you. Hiking and paddling opportunities abound here for couples who want to incorporate all that Bend has to offer into their elopement.
These are just a few of the top spots that people tend to choose. If you feel the pull of Bend and Central Oregon for your elopement, here’s a few more resources that go into greater detail about the region.
Other Gems Worth Discovering
Beyond the well-known elopement destinations, Oregon has an array of other worthy gems. These off-the-beaten-path locations are ideal for couples who crave an intimate and unique experience. Discover extraordinary places like the Painted Hills with its surreal colors, or the Alvord Desert, where vast horizons and stargazing under the open sky create an otherworldly setting for your elopement. These hidden gems hold the promise of a truly one-of-a-kind adventure.
Silver Falls State Park
Known as the “crown jewel” of Oregon’s state parks, this lush, waterfall-rich haven is a paradise for nature lovers. Explore the network of trails that lead through a series of stunning waterfalls, each with its own unique charm. If waterfalls are your things, this is the park for you. One hiking loop in Silver Falls passes by more than 10 waterfalls.
The splendid mountain offers an array of elopement locations, from alpine lakes to dense forests. Crisp, mountain air and the scent of pine trees create an enchanting, fragrant atmosphere for your love story. Some picturesque spots include: Trillium Lake, Timberline Lodge, Ramona Falls, Elk Meadows, and Mount Defiance.
Mount Hood can give you whatever type of scenery you’re hoping for, whether that’s a lush, mossy forest or a rocky, snowy slope. As long as you’re prepared for mountain weather, you’ll have an awesome day.
The breathtaking Painted Hills offer a surreal landscape with vibrant hues and surreal geological formations. This unique natural wonder creates an otherworldly setting for your elopement, surrounded by ancient history. It is one of 3 units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, quite appealing for rockhounds and geology buffs. Every unit is amazing and unique, but the Painted Hills are the most striking.
My favorite part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is the Tom Condon Visitor’s Center. It is absolutely full to the brim with amazing fossils, and excellent exhibits that paint a beautiful and clear picture of what the landscape was like millions of years ago. If you’re eloping, and you’re into ecology and/or paleontology… this might be the place for you.
Steens Mountain and the Alvord Desert
Venture into an otherworldly experience, where desert meets hot springs and open skies for stargazing. This unique landscape offers solitude and serenity, a canvas for your love to flourish under the vast starlit sky. This might be my favorite place in Oregon…
The Steens Mountain range to the west makes this an extra special desert landscape. Drive to the top of the mountain (yes, DRIVE), and then circle around the bottom edge of the range to pitch camp on the expansive playa. Soak in the hot springs and dance in the moonlight, or cook an awesome gourmet meal over a campfire that’s not your thing. On a dark night with a new or crescent moon, you can catch a wicked view of the Milky Way once the sun sets.
These are the top 15 places in Oregon to elope, each offering a unique connection to the environment, adventure, and, most importantly, love. Our commitment to creating authentic, memorable experiences in nature ensures your elopement will be a genuine reflection of your love story.
If you find the planning process a bit overwhelming, we’re here to help you sort through your thoughts and ideas. Together, we’ll curate the perfect location for your elopement, one that resonates deeply with you and your partner.
Remember, your elopement isn’t just a day; it’s a chapter in your love story. Let’s make it unforgettable. Reach out, and let’s begin this adventure together.