With its rugged coastline, winding scenic highways, lush forests, hidden waterfalls, and charming coastal towns, the Oregon Coast is packed with beautiful locations and adventures that have something for everyone and views that are positively dreamy. As a PNW location that is fairly accessible year-round, we’re pumped to give you a resource to help you plan your perfect Oregon Coast Elopement.
Looking for adventure elopement photographers to give you some guidance? We’ve got your back, friends! We’re breaking down everything you need to know for your Oregon Coast elopement and giving you the skinny on when to elope on the Oregon Coast, Where the best locations are for your Oregon Coast elopement, and all the tips you’ll need to have the most incredible adventure elopement.
+ INCREDIBLE PLACES TO STAY
+ ACCESSIBLE LOCATIONS
+ INCREDIBLE HIKES
+ Epic views
An Oregon Coast Elopement is a guaranteed good time and perfect for couples that want a laid-back, but completely epic elopement day. The Oregon Coast has it all:
Mid March - mid/late May
Ideal for: Ideal for: Moody vibes, chilly but not freezing temps, wildflowers in the later months, lots of colors.
Be mindful of: Stormy weather, colder temps, making room in your timeline for weather backups.
What to expect Oregon Coast Elopement: This is when the wildflowers are POPPING on the coast and you’ll still have quite a bit of that moody weather. The temps will still be chilly, so be sure to plan for layers and snuggle breaks.
Be sure to pack: layers, clear umbrellas, rain coats, waterproof shoes, and a blanket
Mid-November - Mid March
Ideal for: Winter elopements that aren’t keen on snow, all the ICONIC PNW moody vibes, best for couples looking to embrace whatever weather their day throws at them.
Be mindful of: Cold temps, weather drama, building lots of room in your timeline to schedule.
What to expect Oregon Coast Elopement: If you want a moody, iconic PNW elopement you’ll get it during the winter. You can anticipate more storms, more fog, and to be V chilly during these months. Plan plenty of snuggle breaks through your day to stay warm and keep the morale high.
Be sure to pack: Layers, hand warmers, extra socks, warm footwear, cozy blankets.
September - Early November
Ideal for: Mild temps, early morning and evening moodiness, fewer crowds in the later season.
Be mindful of: Potential storms, especially later in the season, and crowds on weekends
What to expect Oregon Coast Elopement: Earlier in the fall, you may still have plenty of sunny days. The potential for moody weather increases the later you get into the fall. The temps are perfect and the further you get from summer, the more crowds tend to ease up a bit. For popular locations, you’ll still want to aim for a weekday elopement if privacy is an important aspect of your day.
Be sure to pack: Sunscreen, extra layers, cozy blankets.
Late May - Early September
Ideal for: Low tides, warmer temps, sunshine, and outdoor activities.
Be mindful of: Large crowds, wildfire season, high temps in the later months
What to expect for your Oregon Coast Elopement: Great weather, killer sunsets, crowds on the more popular beaches. You’ll want to plan your time in public spaces around sunrise and sunset. This is not only when the lighting will be banging, but is also when the beaches will be less crowded. During the summer months, we strongly suggest choosing a weekday for your elopement to ensure privacy. You may also experience lower tides than other seasons!
Be sure to pack: Sunscreen, chapstick with SPF, and plenty of water.
If you’re not familiar with the Oregon Coast, you may believe the rumors that Oregon is dreary and moody year-round, but during certain seasons the coast sees a ton of sunshine. We’ll break down what to expect during each season so you know what type of weather to plan for during your Oregon Coast Elopement.
TIP 1: Choose a location that isn’t super popular for your Oregon Coast elopement. This won’t promise you fewer crowds, but choosing a spot that isn’t as popular as some of the more iconic coast locations can help you encounter fewer folks.
TIP 2: Choose sunrise and early morning hours for your Oregon Coast elopement. There will definitely be fewer folks out earlier in the morning. We recommend starting around blue-hour (the hour before sunrise) and explore until the crowds start to trickle in.
TIP 3: Embrace this aspect of exploring public lands and reserve your ceremony for a location that you know will be private, like at your super cute Airbnb or private campsite.
We will always vote for a weekday when planning an Oregon Coast elopement on public lands. For the best chances for privacy, we recommend Tuesday-Thursday to avoid any folks enjoying a three-day weekend.
If you choose a weekend for your Oregon Coast elopement, there are a few tips you can use to help make things a little more private, but it’s important to have realistic expectations about what your day may look like.
Sunset is another time where you’ll experience killer light and fewer crowds for your Oregon Coast Elopement. Plan your time so that you’re out in popular areas when most folks will be at dinner. This is a great time to plan a romantic picnic on the beach or have a small beach fire where they’re allowed.
Starting your Oregon Coast elopement at sunrise is an excellent call. The lighting is super even and incredibly flattering. You’ll definitely experience more privacy at sunrise than any other time of the day. Depending on the season, you’ll experience lower tides
Here’s a sample timeline for an Oregon Coast elopement to help you brainstorm what your ideal day may look like and how much photography coverage you may want :
The amount of adventure elopement photography coverage you'll want for your Oregon Coast Elopement depends a lot on what you’re wanting to experience on your wedding day and how much ground you’re wanting to cover, but Oregon Coast elopement timelines can go as long as a traditional wedding day, but have a lot more downtime, room for spontaneity, and are focused on allowing you to soak in the day.
We meet at your airbnb: Get some super sweet photos of you two having coffee together, reading sweet notes from your friends and fam, and enjoying some sweet quiet moments together. This is a great time to share space together and set some intentions for the day.
Finish getting ready: This is a great time for individual portraits and capturing sweet details from your day that you’ve put a ton of thought and effort into- rings, attire, announcements, vows, and any other important details that tell the story of your day.
Have your first look outside of your airbnb and get ready to head to your location.
Head to your trail head and get ready to adventure.
Catch the first rays of sunrise hitting the waves, count all the fishing boats slicing through thee water, and if the season is right, see if you can spot any whales. Find the perfect spot and exchange your vows.
Grab some well-deserved breakfast at a local spot and chow down on some killer pancakes while soaking in the ocean views.
After fueling up, head out for a change of scenery and check out some of the gorgeous forest hikes surrounding the coast. We’ll tag a long (obvi) and capture each moment.
Find the perfect spot for a yummy picnic and crack open your favorite celebratory beverage to celebrate.
Head back to your airbnb, take the scenic route and be sure to stop at all of the scenic pullouts that are everywhere on HWY 101.
Back at your AirBnB, take some time to rest, FaceTime your favorite folks, and bask in that just married having the best day of our lives feeling. If you’re wanting to do something awesome like an outdoor activity, or getting tattoos to commemorate your insanely awesome day.
Head back out to the coast for a killer dinner and epic sweets.
Find the perfect spot to dine and soak in the views as the sun starts to dip into the ocean.
When blue hour hits, build a sweet little fire to keep you warm and cozy while you gaze at the stars.
1: The weather and season for your Oregon Coast elopement: You’ll want tome sure that your wedding attire will allow for layering in the chillier seasons, or that what you’re wearing for your Oregon Coast Elopement.
2: What you plan on doing for your Oregon Coast elopement: make sure that whatever you choose to wear on your elopement day allows for plenty of movement and that you’ll be able to do everything you want with ease and comfort.
3: Materials that won’t weigh you down during your Oregon Coast elopement: Strolling on the beach is all fun and games until the bottom seam of the mesh underlining of your dress fills with sand, and becomes a sandbag. Also, flowy materials make for some of the most EPIC images.
There are a few things you’ll want to consider when deciding on what you’d like to wear for your Oregon Coast Elopement.
+ Check out the lush tree canopies of the Oregon Coast by hiking in full wedding garb, of course.
+ Bring your boards and find a sweet surf spot
+ Indulge in some of the insanely delicious food on the coast
+ Find brewery and take a tour or chill out on the patio with your favorite brew taking in the ocean views.
+ Commemorate your badass Oregon Coast Elopement with tattoos.
+ There are tons of tidal pools to explore during low tide on the coast.
+ Build a campfire and stargaze, make s’mores or have your first dance on the beach.
+ Explore some of the wild dunes near the Oregon Coast with an ATV.
+ Scout out and explore some of the Coastal waterfalls.
This is the really fun part! You can fill your day with LITERALLY whatever you want! We’ll give you a list of ideas to help you get started brainstorming what your perfect Oregon Coast elopement looks like:
We spend a lot of time visiting these locations, but some of our favorite tools for digitally scouting locations before we visit are AllTrails and Google Earth. Checking out areas on these apps before we visit physically, helps us find some super special locations for our couples and plan a killer Oregon Coast elopement.
+ Lincoln City
+ Coos Bay
+ Port Orford
+ Gold Beach
+ Cape Kiwanda (check out this Cape Kiwanda Elopement)
In all honesty, there isn’t an ugly place on the coast and it is one of our favorite places to explore. There is just something about the jagged cliffs, enchanting lighthouses, and ocean wind that keeps us coming back again and again. But, the Oregon Coast is also a lot of territories to cover, so some of our favorite spots to explore and consider for your Oregon Coast elopement:
When planning your Oregon Coast elopement and exploring these spaces, it is extremely important to familiarize yourself with the environmental considerations you should keep in mind so that these places are accessible for decades to come. Practicing the seven principles of Leave No Trace can help reduce the impact of an Oregon Coast elopement on these public lands.
It’s our responsibility to make sure that we’re doing our best to keep the coast open, accessible, and enjoyable. We love our job, and definitely rely heavily on public lands for our work, but we also want these spaces around for YOU to be able to return to anniversary after anniversary. These lands are sacred and we’re only visitors, it’s important for us to treat them as such during your Oregon Coast elopement.
Plan ahead and prepare for your Oregon Coast elopement. Know where you’re going, know the accessibility of the space you're exploring, download your maps, check and see if there are restrooms nearby. Know what type of weather to anticipate for your Oregon Coast elopement. Plan what you’ll need to bring and prepare to be able to pack out.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces during your Oregon Coast elopement. If it isn’t a designated trail, it is best to avoid it as these satellite trails can break down terrain over time. Stay off the seagrass and delicate areas. Avoid traveling on sandstone as it is super delicate and dangerous when wet.
Dispose of waste properly during your Oregon Coast elopement. This applies to both trash and human waste. Have a potty plan ready to go just in case nature calls when you’re out…in nature.
Leave what you find during your Oregon Coast elopement. It can be super tempting to take home seashells or pretty stones from the coast, but it’s important to remember that this has lead to some issues with the coast's rocky beaches. Folks love to take home treasures, but it has stripped formerly breathtaking rocky beaches down to a fraction of their former glory.
Minimize campfire impacts of your Oregon Coast elopement. Be sure to familiarize yourself with campfire regulations for specific locations and follow them. If a fire permit is required, it’s easy to obtain one, and if there are burn bans (typical in the summer and early fall) follow them! The PNW has seen some heartbreaking fires caused by campfire mishaps.
Respect wildlife during your Oregon Coast elopement. This goes a bit hand in hand with leave what you find. Starfish, sand dollars, crabs, etc. Leave them be and just observe. This also applies to larger wildlife. In the early spring, you may come across seals in the early morning, it’s important to leave them alone so they can go about their business in their natural habitat.
Be considerate of others during your Oregon Coast elopement. This is pretty self-explanatory. Everyone has a right to explore these spaces and it’s really cool to see others enjoy the outdoor and develop a love for these places even if it's during an Oregon Coast elopement. The coast is beautiful and a lot of people want to explore it. If avoiding crowds is a priority, consider planning your Oregon Coast elopement on a weekday and around sunrise or sunset.
*Permits: Typically, if your elopement is pretty low-key you'll most likely not need a permit. If your guest count exceeds 50, has any kind of structures (like arches, chairs, or tables), you'll need a permit for your wedding day. With current COVID-19 restrictions, Oregon beaches are currently not issuing these permits.
The safest bet is always to contact the permitting office and double-check that your Oregon Coast elopement plans don't require a permit. You can access their website here.
Remember, permits are not issued May-September (peak season), and planning an Oregon Coast elopement with a larger guest count or structure needs may be best suited for the off-season.
- If you are planning on using any structures, such as arches or seating, for your Oregon Coast elopement, you will likely need a permit.
- If you have a large group with you for your Oreogn Coast elopement, you may need a permit. Currently groups of 50+ will require a permit.
Typically, a permit isn't needed for an Oregon Coast elopement. This answer can definitely change depending on a few factors:
1: Your Marriage License: You can apply for this through your county clerk's website. Your fee will likely be $50-$60. Oregon does have a 3 day waiting period, so plan your Oregon Coast elopement travel accordingly. You can also check with your county to see if you can pay an additional fee to have this waived. Your marriage license will be valid for 60 days.
2: An Officiant: Oregon does require an officiant to perform legalize your marriage. However, they do recognize those ordained through the Universal Life Church. Becoming ordained through the ULC is insanely easy (and free), so if there is a friend or family member that you'd like to perform your ceremony, they can! If you're wanting your Oregon Coast Elopement to be "just the two of you", Sam is ordained and can legally sign your Oregon marriage license so you can have a private Oregon Coast elopement. There are also some really incredible officiants in Oregon and we'd love to help you connect!
3: Two Witnesses: You'll need two witnesses to sign your marriage license for your Oregon Coast elopement. Even if your Oregon Coast elopement is "just the two of you" (and your adventure elopement photographers) finding two witnesses is easy peasy. We can both sign as your witnesses! If Sam is serving as your officiant, Kyle is able to sign as a witness, and on the Oregon Coast finding a fellow adventurer is easy. In our experience, folks are always mega pumped to sign as a witness for our couples.
To make sure you're eloping by the book, we'll break down what you'll need to make sure your marriage is legally sound for your Oregon Coast Elopement. The process for getting married in Oregon is super simple and makes eloping an absolute breeze. Check out this blog for more details on how to get married in Oregon.
+ Florals: $300, less if you decide to make your own
+ Officiant: $0 curtesy your new elopement day BFF's (that's us) or a friend/family member
+ Marriage License: $60
+ Attire: $2,000 (this is totally dependent on you)
+ Venue: $0
Total: $6,360 which is a fraction of the costs of a traditional wedding, around 30k. Talk about more bang for your buck!
It is so wild how cost-effective an Elopement is. While every budget is different and travel costs will obviously vary, this little budget breakdown will help give you an idea of what to plan for when budgeting for your Oregon Coast elopement.
1: Make sure there is plenty of natural lighting. This will make your getting ready photos look amazing.
2: Find a spot that is tidy and simple with touches that feel unique and appealing to you.
3: If you're having your ceremony at your stay, check with your host to make sure they allow for events!
There are so many charming places to stay on the Oregon Coast and having a cute and cozy spot to get ready at, and rest can have a huge impact on your elopement day. You can obviously check out hotels in the town you'll be staying in, but if you're wanting something a little more picturesque and private, consider checking out some local stays on Airbnb, VRBO, or Hipcamp to find unique stays that are perfect for your trip. We also are happy to send lodging recommendations based on your elopement location.
Which vendors you decide on depends so much on the vision that you have for your elopement day. We are always super excited to share some of our favorite vendors with you if you're not sure where to start!
+ Private Chef
+ Hair and Makeup Artist
Putting together the perfect team for your elopement is super important. You want. to make sure that your team understands and supports your vision. Some vendors to consider aside from your adventure elopement photographers are:
Deciding to elope on the Oregon Coast is super exciting and perfect for couples that want a mega laid-back, but also adventurous wedding day.
+ Hire a private chef to cook you and your boo an unforgettable meal
+ Plan a custom charcuterie board for a sunset on the beach
+ Pack a pic-nic and enjoy it cuddled up by a beach fire
+ Grab a pizza and some yummy beer and enjoy while star-gazing
Making sure you're well-fed on your elopement day should be a high priority. Most coastal towns will have some killer local restaurants, but there are definitely some additional options if you're looking to do something different. Here are a few ideas to help you plan: