Central Oregon Elopement Guide [Locations, Packages] - Emilee Setting

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Central Oregon Elopement Guide

How many guests can I have at my Oregon Elopement?

My Central Oregon Elopement Guide will go over information about where to elope and activities you can include, as well as where to stay. But this all depends on who you’re inviting. The amount of people you choose to involve in your wedding day is going to dictate what your plans are going to look like. If you’re interested in an adventurous elopement and want to spend a lot of time outdoors filled with activities, you’re definitely going to want 20 people or less.

If you’re thinking about including family or friends in your elopement, read more about how to do that here! Alternatively if eloping doesn’t feel like it checks off all of your boxes and you want a guest count of around 30 or 40, you’re going to want to reserve an actual venue. 30+ guests are normally more than an Airbnb would allow if you’re looking to with a DIY venue. Although, you still have a lot of options for gorgeous venues in central Oregon that can give you all of the camping and outdoorsy feels for your intimate wedding.

Stunning Central Oregon Locations for Elopements Guide

For eloping couples that want to have an immersive outdoor experience with their partner and say their vows somewhere beautiful, I have created this list of multiple spots around Central Oregon. There are locations for every kind of couple on this list. Easy hikes, mountain views without having to travel far, strenuous hikes for more adventurous couples, places in the snow, and more. Take a look at my favorite locations in this Central Oregon elopement guide!

Smith Rock

Smith Rock is an incredible location for adventurous elopements. Take a hike up misery ridge (it’s a lot more enjoyable than it sounds.) Have a picnic near the river, and enjoy the other trails this location has to offer. This place is a gem for photos, the light around golden hour and sunset creates ethereal photographs in nature.

Sparks Lake

Sparks Lake is an awesome location in this Central Oregon guide. There are multiple beaches that have room for both an elopement and an intimate wedding. The couple featured below included around 20 family members and had room for benches, florals, and a beautiful handmade arch by the groom. If you’re looking to add some extra activities to your day, there’s also hiking around Sparks Lake as well it being the perfect place to paddleboard, kayak, and more. The wildflowers are in full spring about mid-July and it’s feaking breath-taking. This location is also so close to a bunch of the alpine lakes on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway if you’re interested in adding more than one location to your elopement!

Three Creeks Lake

This Lake in Sisters, Oregon is incredible. It’s an easy drive right to the top and most cars can make it up this bumpy road with no problems. You have the option to elope right in front of the lake, or check out the two hikes nearby. TamMcauther Ridge as well as Little Three Creeks Lake. Little Three Creeks Lake takes you and a short and easy hike to another glacial lake that offers more privacy, perfect for a ceremony. Tam McCaruther Ridge is a harder hike but leads you to insane views of the valley and the Three Sisters Wilderness. We have endless mountains, lakes, and wildflowers at this gorgeous Central Oregon elopement guide location.

Sahalie Falls

Sahalie Falls is a pretty easy hike that takes you past multiple waterfalls. This bad boy is a 100-foot waterfall, perfect for adventure elopements in the summer and couples who might want to take a dip in this insanely gorgeous water. The Willamette National Forest is full of amazing hikes to make sure you have a full elopement day of adventuring. Another incredible hike to add to this one would be the Blue Pool. An iconic spot landing itself here in my Central Oregon Guide. Closeby is also Cougar Hot Springs. If want your day to look like seeing multiple and easily accessible locations, and then soaking in a hot spring at sunset, this area of Central Oregon full of its lush forests is totally for you.

No Name Lake

For the more experienced adventure and couples who want to do an all-day hiking trip for their elopement, this is my number one recommendation. The trail is rated hard, but frankly, I think it was moderate, especially on a nice and temperate day. It’s about 5 miles in total with a lot of elevation, all leading you to this bright blue glacial lake. This is an incredible place for both portraits or a ceremony. You can take the hike a few steps furth by adding a half-mile and climbing to the top of the ridge to get a full view of another glacial lake, and the Three Sisters Mountains. Another absolutely stunning spot for pictures.

Painted Hills

The Painted Hills are an absolutely iconic location making their way into the Central Oregon elopement guide. They are insanely breathtaking with all of the colors popping off the layers of the hills. There are about four different hikes in this park, all easy, and all worthwhile. There is also a painted cove which has been used time and time again as an elopement and intimate wedding ceremony location. There’s no service here, so make sure you download your maps offline and know which hikes you’d like to do beforehand. We were able to get a motorcycle up the rocky roads so this couple could have an insanely unique elopement at this location. Really, anything is possible. You can start this hike at Todd Lake and make it 15 miles, or start at the upper parking lot and make it 5 miles.

Dutchman Flatts

A perfect elopement location during the summer and winter, but it really takes my breath away in the cold months. For those of you who want to have a winter elopement, this is an amazing spot. With views of both Mt. Bachelor and the Three Sisters Mountains all from an open snow-covered meadow. If you’re not interested in doing a long hike, you can walk to this location right from the parking lot. And in my experience, it’s barely ever busy.

Alternately, if you’re looking to add a little bit of spice, you have options. There are multiple trails for snow-showing and cross country skiing. Looking for even more? Rent out a snowmobile and make your way up Tumalo Moutain and fill free to snowboard/ski down. A winter elopement is perfect for snow lovers, be sure to get an Airbnb and hotel with a fireplace so you can cozy up after your amazing day!

Steelhead Falls

This waterfall is really incredible. If you’re looking to have a “just us” experience, I highly recommend this spot. There are quite a few locations to stop and be in the wander of the beauty just walking down the half-mile trail head. All of these spots are beautiful and fun locations for a ceremony and pictures, but they wouldn’t sustain many guests are their pretty and small spots. Albeit if it’s just you and your partner, and you have any interest in cliff jumping, then this spot is rad. Say your vows in front of the waterfall and then jump into the turquoise water. Make sure you’re wearing extremely lightweight wedding gear!

Black Butte

What an amazing view, and such a great hike. This hike is only four miles although it is rated moderate as you gain quite a bit of elevation. Once at the top, you get these insane views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. St. Helens. They’re quite the trio.

This hike can be done any time of the year. However, be aware of road conditions and how much snow we’re getting in the winter. The road is very windy and isn’t easy to drive on covered in snow. Mw being the stubborn person I am, did it anyway. The hike was icy and at the top, I was walking through six inches of snow. Although this is totally doable in snowshoes! If you want breathtaking mountain views for your ceremony, I highly suggest this under-rated hike. I loved it so much it had to be on my Central Oregon elopement guide.

Views from the top of Black Butte, one of my favorite locations in this Central Oregon Elopement Guide

Todd Lake

Todd Lake is one of my favorite locations on this list because it has something for everyone. Whether you want to picnic in the meadows of wildflowers, spend some time on the water with a paddleboard or canoe, or you’re interested in the multiple hikes it has to offer. There are two meadows here, one right as you pull into the parking lot giving you views of Mt. Bachelor. And another when you reach the other side of the lake. This hike is less than 2 miles and mostly flat, I believe it could be done by just about anyone. It also is the trailhead to No Name Lake. The 15-mile hike up to the glacial lake was previously mentioned in this Central Oregon elopement guide. There’s another way to get to the lake, but this specific trailhead will be for the more avid adventures

These are all beautiful options for an elopement day. Bend is easily my favorite part of my Central Oregon elopement guide and is strikingly beautiful with a ton of things to do. If you’d like to know more about eloping in Bend and see 20+ more elopement locations in that area, check it out here!

Venues for intimate weddings (25+ guests) Central Oregon Elopement Guide

Brasada Ranch – Brasada Ranch has an awesome opportunity for intimate weddings. You are taken to the location via horseback, and the resort is able to help you design any decor that you’d like to have included for your intimate wedding. You are high up getting views of the high desert as well as the cascade range. If you’re interested in have 25+ people at your wedding, this is an awesome option for you. Brasada also has the option to lodge your guests, fine dining restaurants, and an amazing spa. This would be the perfect luxurious yet outdoorsy intimate wedding location.

5 Oaks Farm – This location is absolutely included on my Central Oregon elopement guide because it is pure freaking magic. They have a barn that you can decorate, with huge fire pits and acres of land. What’s amazing about this experience is they will create a full-on glamping scenario for you and your guests. Camping under the stars after saying your “I do’s” with all of your closest friends and family sounds like a hell of a way to end the perfect intimate wedding.

Pronghorn Resort (Lava Cave) – Pronghorn Resort hosts one of the most epic intimate wedding locations. It’s a freaking lava cave. Bring your guests there to be wined and dined in this elegantly decorated lava cave. Perfect for intimate weddings that feel a bit more luxurious. There are all types of other things to do on the resort-like swim, play golf, get some grub, and enjoy the hell out of yourself.

Black Butte Ranch – Black Butte Ranch actually has an incredible and customizable elopement package. If you want the intimacy of a small wedding day somewhere gorgeous, this might be an awesome spot for you. Choose to set up a beautiful ceremony on the lake looking at the mountains, or take a scenic boat ride right there at the venue. They can make planning your elopement or intimate wedding pretty dang easy, click the link to read more about what they provide!

Elk Lake Resort – Elk lake resort offers intimate weddings. They essentially give you your private beach for the day and access to a bunch of recreational water sports. Paddleboarding, paddle boats, canoes, you get it. Lodging in cabins is also available if you’re looking to invite guests and have them be able to stay. Not to mention, this spot is freaking gorgeous. I have a couple planning a very intimate wedding here. Their plans are to naturally, have a beautiful ceremony, spend the day on the water, serve dinner, and have a dance party until they go to sleep in their cabins. So rad. Click the link above to check out their brochure!

Skyliner Lodge – A beautiful venue in Bend Oregon the boasts views of a river and mountains from the ceremony location. It also has a dance floor between some tall pines and a little guest house for the bride/groom/wedding party to get ready. This is a perfect spot if you want to have around 30 guests and serve dinner and do some dancing under the stars. It’s also only $500.00! Talk about getting a good bang for your buck.

These are all of my favorite locations for intimate weddings in my Central Oregon elopement guide. All of the venues and vendors have created so many beautiful experiences for intimate weddings. If you want to elope, but are planning on having a larger than average group (say around 35 people.) These will likely be your best options. Many elopements take place in National Forests and National Parks, and there simply isn’t easy enough standing room for this many guests. Again, these venues give you rad options to get views, adventures, boat rides, lava caves, horseback rides, camping, and more.

Best Places to Stay in the Central Oregon Elopement Guide

Cabin in Prineville Overlooking the reservoir

This cabin is located in Central Oregon on 20 acres of private property, which is perfect for setting up a scenic reception in the outdoors. It’s absolutely stunning and you could elope right here, although there are tons of incredible options extremely close-by such as The Painted HillsThe Ochoco National Forest, and there’s even a state park one mile from this property. This area is amazing for hiking, rock climbing, biking, boating, and fishing!

This Airbnb includes endless views that will give you some beautiful sunsets to watch with your partner but also has a boat ramp, a stone fireplace, a pool table, and a hot tub. This is an amazing location if you’re looking for seclusion and to breathe in some fresh air, although it’s also only an hour away from Bend, Oregon, and Mt. Bachelor if you’re interested in breweries, shopping, or skiing! If this Airbnb seems like a good fit for all of your elopement needs, read more here!

Luxury Cabin Near Mt. Bachelor Resort

Mt. Bachelor is a dream for anyone who skis or snowboards, surrounded by even more mountains that glow at sunset and could bring a tear to your mama’s eye. This entire area is insanely beautiful and is full of adventure, as well as some of the best and unique places to elope. In the summer, you can hike all over the Three Sisters Wilderness, there are some very easy hikes that take you to cascade lakes, glaciers, trails of wildflowers, and much more. If backpacking, day hikes, or snowboarding are on your list of things to do while eloping, this is an awesome place to check out.

This Airbnb includes a swimming dock, kayaks, paddle-boards, a fire pit, corn hole, a hot tub, and so much more. All of these amenities while being right on the lake, and four miles from Tumalo Falls. You can also inquire about the other cabins on the property if you are planning to invite some guests to your Oregon Airbnb elopement and want to house them as well, read more here!

Cabin at SteelHead Falls

This cabin with a huge patio is overlooking the crooked river that leads to Steelhead Falls. This Airbnb is about 45 minutes from Bend, 25 from smith rock, and incredibly close to the waterfall’s trailhead. This place would be amazing to soak in everything Bend has to offer, from its nightlife and hikes. You could easily spend your elopement hiking at Smith Rock, and then saying your vows in front of this beautiful waterfall and even cliff jumping after your ceremony!

There are endless options in this area, and this home is located in the perfect spot to do them all. Also, it’s incredibly romantic. Imagine enjoying a dinner made by a private chef while watching the sunset from that patio. To find out more about this incredible stay, click here!

Dome House in La Pine, Oregon

This Dome house is beautifully crafted and in La Pine! La Pine is about a 30-minute drive from Bend, my favorite place in the world for elopements. I’ve already mentioned the immense amount of things to do here in Bend. Here’s my list of the 5 reasons to elope in Bend with a ton of locations and activities! After your elopement, come home to this Dome House and have a chef cook you your own celebratory meal. The kitchen setup is so romantic. The options are endless and this location will only make your elopement in Bend dreamier.

This location is amazing for its unique design, beauty, and location in Oregon. The second floor of this Dome House is wide open with a queen bed and is as adorable as it is comfortable. There’s a large backyard with a hot tub, and it’s dog-friendly! I have personally stayed at this Airbnb and love it. The wood fire stove is so cozy and the bathtub is incredible, the host even leaves out little bath bombs and stuff to make french press coffee. Check it out here folks!

Best Hotels in the Central Oregon Elopement Guide

There’s a lot of amazing options in Central Oregon for lodging. Now that we have mentioned Airbnb, let’s talk about some of the amazing hotels and resorts in Central Oregon. There are too many to choose from and feel free to do your own research if none of these are calling your name. Although, these are some of the best in the way of being pampered and in beautiful places, which I think goes hand in hand with elopements and intimate weddings. So here are the hotels and resorts included in my Central Oregon elopement guide.

Tetherow – This resort is right on the cusp of the national forest. A good place to be winded and dined before heading up to the 14 alpine lakes or tons of hiking trails the Deschutes National Forest has to offer. Come home from an epic elopement day and get an incredible meal followed by a dip in the pool. If you want some luxury with your elopement, this is the spot.

Brasada – Brasada is a unique experience for lodging. There are 64 cabins spread out on 65 acres of land. The cabins are beautifully designed and place you in the way of beauty on this property. They also have one of the BEST spas, like in the country. They also have fine dining, golfing, the works.

FivePine Lodge – Five pine lodge both offers 8 rooms within the lodge itself, as well as 36 modern craftsman-style cabins. This lodge is known for being a romantic getaway with how beautiful the scenery is and the amenities. Hit the spa, go exploring, or relax by their gorgeous pool. This would be a perfect spot to have some privacy and intimacy after an elopement day!

Pronghorn Resort – This is obviously a perfect spot to stay if you’re planning on having an elopement or intimate wedding in their Lava Cave (previously mentioned under venues.) An extremely beautiful resort that’s also close to town and all of the national forests. This one is pretty kid-friendly if you’re planning on eloping with your kids! They will love the pool activities here while enjoying unmatched views of the mountains.

Sunriver Resort – Sunriver resort is in the heart of well, Sunriver. There is so much beauty and hiking nearby, the options for your elopement are totally endless. Take a kayak ride on their lake or stop into one of their fine dining restaurants for a fancy meal after your wedding day. This place is gorgeous with a ton to do, and their staff is SO friendly.

House on Metolius – House on the Metolius is a nature reserve right on the river. It sits on 200 gorgeous acres and is surrounded by the national forest. They have multiple cabins spread across the property so you can pick one that feels like “you” for your wedding day. They all are very private and it’s a perfect spot for a couple who want to sink into nature and relax after their elopement and wake up to gorgeous views in the morning.

Best Camping in Central Oregon

Some of us want to be totally immersed in nature, as all of the time. Even on the day of our elopement. No better way to do that than by camping for your elopement, or even having a backpacking elopement. Here are some of my favorite campsites included in the Central Oregon Elopement Guide’

South Sister – If you’re looking to do a backpacking elopement, this is an incredible way to start. South Sister is a very challenging hike and depending on all the places you want to stop and see, you could easily be out there for a few days. Make sure to hire a photographer who can keep up with you on this epic hike and your journey to saying your “I do’s” in one of the most beautiful landscapes Oregon has to offer.

Sparks Lake – Sparks lake has around 22 dispersed campsites, and they are first come first serve. This is a beautiful place to watch the sun go down over the mountains and enjoy time on the water. There are no picnic tables and the fire rings have been created by people with rocks. Always remember to pack it in and pack it out!

Devils Lake – Devils lake campground is also first come first serve, but it’s quite a bit more established with picnic tables, fire rings, and bathrooms. Its trailhead also leads to a lot of awesome hikes in the area such as Moraine Lake. Enjoy kayaking on the crystal clear water, hiking, or cooking a meal at your camp spot. Don’t forget the bug spray for this location.

Crescent Lake – Crescent Lake has a few established campsites with amenities such as tables, fire rings, and bathrooms. Each of the campsites sits on this gorgeous lake and has views for days. My favorite place to go at Crescent Lake is called Tranquil Cove. There’s a big island that you can paddle out to with a large fire pit and cliff jumping. This spot is insane

Clear Lake – Clear Lake is located in the Willamette National Forest and is known for being a popular scuba diving spot. They have campsites right on the water so if you’re into fishing, you can do it right from your spot! They also rent out paddle boats and kayaks. This dreamy location is around so many beautiful hikes and hot springs, perfect for a couple who wants to spend their elopement outdoors.

Paulina Lake – This campsite is really beautiful, giving you views of volcanic areas as well as the lake. These are established campsites with flushing toilets. There’s clean water, and a ton to do. You can start by doing the 7-mile hike around the lake, or sitting in the Paulina Hot Springs located on the hike. You can also go and check out the amazing waterfalls nearby. This in itself would be an incredible elopement location.

Central Oregon Permit Information

Time to make it legit. I added some technical stuff here into the Central Oregon elopement guide. You will need to apply for a marriage license at least 3 days before your elopement date and no sooner than 60 days. You have to do this step in person, so that can be tricky timing since it’s a waiting period of 3 days. Although, you can pay the fee to waive the wait. This is obviously super important, don’t forget about the paperwork! Most of the time, you need a permit to elope in these amazing places.

Oregon is generally quite relaxed about this. If you are eloping with less than 30 people, you normally don’t need a permit. But it’s always important to check. Once you decide where you’re eloping, call the local ranger station or national forest phone number to inquire about permitting. They are usually pretty cheap too!

Best time of Year to Elope in Central Oregon

There’s never a bad time to elope in Central Oregon in my opinion, but it’s important to know when you can and can’t do in certain seasons. Considering this, important activities are not missed.

Fall

Fall in Central Oregon is beautiful. The air is dry and temperate, which is perfect for hiking. We also have a ton of orchards to visit, beautiful fall foliage, and normally there’s no fire ban in place which means getting cozy under the night sky with your partner. One of my favorite yearly events is the Smith Rock Pumpkin Patch. Although, if hiking south sister or exploring the Cascade Lakes is on your list of things to do, you might be out of luck. Generally, the road leading to these hikes and this lake is closed by Winter.

Winter

Central Oregon has a lot of opportunities for those who love snow sports. There are about a billion places to go snowshoeing and cross country skiing all over the national forests and at the snow parks. There are also all types of hot spots to go snowmobiling. In winter, you can rent out a yurt by the Tam Mcarthur ridge and snowmobile up for some amazing backcountry skiing or snowboarding. they even have a sauna yurt. Not to mention with having both Mt. Bachelor. and hoodoo. While I personally favor Mt. Bachelor, it is really cool to have more than one nearby. Gotta catch ’em all.

Summer

Summer is probably the best time of year in Bend. With full access to the Willamette National Forest, Deschutes National Forest, and Sister’s Wilderness, there’s an insane amount of things to do. This is also wildflower season, so if you want a lot of vibrant flowers in your elopement photos, summer is the season for you. A lot of the rivers and lakes stay pretty cool year-round, but in summer people are constantly swimming, on boats, paddleboards, and enjoying the nip of the chilly water.

Spring

Spring is an interesting time in Central Oregon. Some years things like hikes and the alpine lakes are accessible by late May, sometimes not until mid-June. This definitely depends on how harsh the winter was and how long the cool weather wants to stick around for. If you’re dead set on summiting mountains or splashing in alpine lakes, Spring might be a bit risky. Although, if you’re trying to do some relaxed lower elevation heights with a hint of snow still on the ground, this would be the right time. I would say Spring feels like the most unpredictable month in Oregon. Generally speaking, everything closes in mid-October, and winter sports start in December. In spring, we just never totally know when we will have everything fully open to us again.

Vendors in the Central Oregon Elopement Guide

Hair and Makeup

Kate Hanna

K&Co

Alcohol (they’re mobile!)

The Hitch-Hiker Bar

Eats

Rogue Picnics

Florals

Bend Flower Company

Photographer

I’m your girl! I specialize in helping couples scout out and find their perfect elopement location, curate their timelines, assist in obtaining permits, and of course, document their incredible day!

Elopement Activities in Oregon

Float the Deschutes River and go over the rapids!

Backpack in the Sisters Wilderness

Visit Mt. Hood, hike, and see Timberline Lodge

Visit the Alvord Desert and take a dip in the hot springs

Go climbing or hiking in Smith Rock

Go paddleboarding or kayaking in the Cascade Lakes

Visit the iconic Blue Pool in Willamette National Forest

Soak in Cougar Hot Springs

Go picnicking at the day-use areas in Deschutes National Forset

Visit the Painted Hills

Get all of the mountain views from Pilot Butte

Go snowboarding or dirt biking at Mt. Bachelor

Check out the Oregon Badlands

These are just a few of the activities I decided to include in the Central Oregon elopement guide. There are so many activities in the area and so many of the towns have interesting communities, fun nightlives, farmer’s markets, and more!

Central Oregon Elopement Packges

4 hours of coverage, up to multi-day elopement coverage (1.5 days).

-Location Research

-Permit assistance

-Curated timeline planning

-Documentation of your incredible elopeemnt!

Starting at $3000.00

The Central Oregon Elopement Guide!

If you’ve made it to the bottom, you probably have tons of ideas for your central Oregon elopement. It’s very possible your head is spinning with all of the options, but that’s the exciting part. I’m here to help you bring it all together, prepare for your day, and have the adventure of a lifetime with your partner! Get in contact with me below to ask any questions or start the planning process. Can’t wait to hear from you!

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