Oregon is one of the most beautiful states to get married in, but there aren’t a ton of resources to make the process of how you get married super clear. Luckily, we’ve written this handy little guide to help answer all of your “how do I get married in Oregon” questions. There is a ton of information to sift through to figure out how to legally elope in Oregon, but we promise it is super painless and 100000% worth it. As Oregon elopement photographers, we work with our couples to guide them through the nitty gritty details, that can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. We’ve done a ton of research for our couples that have chosen to get married in Oregon and have put all of that knowledge here to help you get married in Oregon.
Luckily, it is super easy to get married in Oregon. Oregon marriage requirements are pretty standard and there are a few things you’ll want to make sure you have ready to go. You’ll need to apply for your marriage license with the county clerk’s office of the county you’ll be getting married in. Each County Clerk’s office will have their own website where you’ll be able to double check the counties marriage requirements and their current practices amid the COVID-19 impact.
This is super easy to figure out and you can find your county clerk by googling “____ county clerk’s office”. For example, If you were wanting to elope at Cape Kiwanda, you would:
Most counties will allow you to apply online ahead of time (usually up to 30 days before your wedding dates), and you’ll need to know the following information for both parties to complete your Oregon marriage application:
While most counties will allow you to fill out your application online, you may still need to pick up your physical marriage license from the county clerk’s office.
Getting married in Oregon is surprisingly easy and the application process is pretty painless. There are of course, other factors you’ll need to consider when researching how to get married in Oregon including officiant requirements, witness requirements, and event permits if you are considering eloping at an Oregon state park. No sweat, though! We’ll keep breaking it down and guiding you through the entire process of legally eloping in Oregon.
Finding an officiant for your Oregon elopement can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Oregon allows ministers of any organized church congregating and working in Oregon to perform marriages if their church has authorized them to do so. This means that there is a lot of flexibility to find the perfect officiant for your wedding or elopement.
There are no requirements for officiants to register with Oregon state or any of its counties before conducting a marriage ceremony. Oregon also recognizes officiants ordained by the Universal Life Church to perform marriages. This means that if there is a family member or person of importance in your life that you would like to marry you, they can become ordained easily and at no cost here.
Not looking to hire an officiant or want a “just us” elopement? We can make that happen! Sam is ordained through the ULC and is also able to complete marriage licenses for couples that are choosing to have a “just us” elopement. After your ceremony, your officiant will need to complete the marriage license according to the physical instructions that will be attached to your license paperwork. Oregon’s officiant requirements make it easy to have the perfect, stress free elopement or small wedding.
To legally marry in Oregon, you’ll need two witnesses to sign off on your marriage license. Even if you’re eloping, just the two of you in the middle of nowhere, it is usually pretty easy to find witnesses. Your photographers (heyyyy) can sign off as witnesses, or anyone you meet on the trailhead. Based on our research and experience, there aren’t any real stipulations around who can/can’t sign as a witness on your marriage license. In every instance where one of our eloping couples has needed help finding an additional witness, we’ve been able to find folks that are thrilled to be part of such an incredible moment and have signed in parking lots, gas stations, and even toll booths. Finding two witnesses for your marriage license is never an issue.
Special use Permits:
Depending on where you’re having your ceremony and spending your wedding day, there may be a few permits that you’ll need to apply for. Special use permits for state parks vary and can range from $25 – $300. Many coastal areas don’t require permits based on your activities and ceremony plans. You can find a lot of this information online or by contacting the park directly. Your elopement photographers will also be able to help you out here. If the permitting process is new to you, we are here to help guide you through it.
Your photographer should be well-versed in figuring out what permits they will need to apply for in order to document your day. Even if you won’t need a special use permit, it’s almost guaranteed that your photographer will need to make sure they have a photography permit. To apply for a photography permit, they will need to show proof of insurance and basically be able to prove that they’re a legit business.
Applying and paying for the correct permit is a super important part of making sure your wedding day is stress free and legally. Can you even imagine your vows being interrupted by a park ranger, getting banned from the area, then getting slapped with a huge fine for not following the proper channels? This kind of thing happens a lot and can have a big negative impact on your wedding day. The money from permits is used to help maintain Oregon’s gorgeous parks and ensure that they’ll be around and open to the public so that you can celebrate the place where you said your vows decades over.
Now that you have all the info you need to legally get married in Oregon, you get to start planning your most incredible day. Your elopement gets to look like whatever you want and can be as laid back as you want. Some of our favorite Oregon elopements have been spent running around on the beach, sliding down massive sand dunes, sharing a beer after a waterfall hike, and slamming some pizza while stargazing. It’s your wedding day, and you get to do whatever the heck you want. If you need help planning your dream elopement we can 1000000% facilitate that.
In addition to hiring photographers that specialize in this specific type of good time, you’ll want to think of other pieces of your wedding day that may be important to you and assembling a badass team of vendors that will make your wildest elopement dreams a reality. The list below can help get you started brainstorming what else you may want for your Oregon wedding:
At the end of the day, you really can go as crazy as you want with your Oregon elopement, or keep it super simple and easy. The day is yours and you get to spend it however you want. Couples come from all over to get married in Oregon and it’s easy to see why. Our favorite thing about our job is helping couples plan a wedding day that is 10000% true to them and celebrates intention over tradition in gorgeous places. We have witnessed couples commit their lives to each other in front of cascading waterfalls, trees that make you feel like an ant, and danced with them on rocky beaches. Imagine having an elopement experience that unquestionably reflects everything that you value and celebrates everything that you two have built together.
Sound like your kinda thing?
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