Smith Rock is a gorgeous elopement location located in Bend, Oregon. It’s great for couples who just want to drive up and get photos with the incredible views, as well as couples who would prefer to hike. There are multiple hikes here, some that are easy, and other’s that are a bit more challenging. All of them have beautiful views. This Smith Rock elopement guide is going to go over what you need to know about eloping here!

When to Elope at Smith Rock

The best time to elope at Smith Rock is going to be in the fall. This is when weather cools down, and there is less people visiting from out of state, as this is a popular destination for rock climbers, sight seers, and hikers. However, you should look into the weather year round and figure out what best suits the needs of you and your parter. Here is what each season brings to Smith Rock:


Spring can be a beautiful time for a Smith Rock elopement, but more often than not, the weather is hard to predict. If you’re hoping for a warm sunny day, the summer or fall might be a better choice. Spring can bring unseasonably cold weather to Oregon all the way up until early June. However, there aren’t nearly as many people here this time of year, so it’s a still a good choice to beat the crowds


Summer is when Smith Rock is the busiest. You can absolutely get away with having a sunrise elopement and having a ton of the park to yourself. There’s also a lot less people at sunset. Both of these times are the best for lighting too, so don’t be disheartened if you want to elope in the summer! Keep in mind, it can easily be over 90 degrees this time of year.


Fall, once again, is my favorite time for a Smith Rock elopement. Less people, gorgeous fall colors, and the warmth is still lingering. It’s also the best weather to hike in! If you’re looking for warm mild temps, as well as avoiding bigger crowds, this is the season for you.


Smith rock is still fully accessible in the winter. Sometimes there’s even snow on the orange cliffs, and it’s wildly beautiful. This is a bit more rare and hard to plan, but when it happens, it’s stunning. The good thing about Bend is that it doesn’t ever really receive much rain. So if you’re okay with the cold weather, you’ll likely get most of this park to yourself, with little chance of it raining.

Smith rock elopement

Smith Rock Wedding Permit

Smith Rock only requires you to get a wedding permit if you’re having over 75 guests, making this an easy spot for an elopement! For now, bigger weddings over 75 people are only allowed within the Smith Rock amphitheater, which you will have to reserve in advance through the park website. You can reserve it up to six months in advance.

How to Get a Marriage License in Oregon

Getting a marriage license in Oregon is quite easy. You don’t have to be a resident to get a marriage license here! For a Smith Rock elopement, you’ll want to apply for your marriage license online through the Deschutes County Clerks office. Before your elopement, you will both have to appear in person to pick it up, and pay the fee. There is a three day waiting period to use your marriage license. You will either want to call in advance and ask to waive the waiting period, or plan your elopement for three days after your appointment to pick it up!

Lodging For a Smith Rock Elopement

Lodging is important when it comes to elopements. A lot of couples incorporate their lodging into aspects of their wedding day. For example, getting ready + getting ready photos, a first look, an intimate reception with friends, a dinner made by a private chef, etc. Once you’ve decided what you’ll incorporate in your day, pick a location that will allow everything you want to include.

If you want to host an intimate reception, I highly recommend a vacation rental such as a cabin or an Airbnb. You can also stay at hotels, resorts, chalets, campgrounds, etc. Here are some amazing lodging options for a Smith Rock elopement:

Smith rock elopement

Smith Rock Elopement Packages

Elopement photography by Emilee Setting Photo, and everything included in my packages:

  • Explore anywhere within Oregon, all travel fees included in the price!
  • Packages from half day elopements to multi-day elopements
  • Receive a customized location list
  • Help finding lodging that suits your needs if you’re having an intimate reception
  • Included comprehensive timeline design
  • Help obtaining your permits
  • Help obtaining your marriage license
  • A planning checklist
  • Unlimited planning and guidance calls 
  • All of your stunning photos delivered under three months
  • Day of polaroid sneak peeks

Smith Rock elopement packages starting at $5800. Want more information on my pricing and what’s included? Click here

Smith rock elopement

Ready to Elope at Smith Rock?

This Smith elopement guide is a way to get you excited about all the possibilities of what your day could look like. Although, this amount of information can be overwhelming. I’m here to help. I can answer any and all questions you have on a complimentary low pressure consultation call. If you then choose you’d like to work together, I’ll do all of this planning right by your said to alleviate any stress, and bring your Smith Rock elopement vision to life. We can chat here!

Don't forget your free elopement planning checklist


You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

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