Oregon is an incredible place for an elopement for an array of reasons. Since there are SO many reasons, I decided to make this luxury Oregon elopement guide. You might be wondering, why luxury? Because, a small wedding is absolutely just as important as a big wedding. Making it your day more intimate doesn’t decrease it’s value. Additionally, I wanted to give ideas and samples of more minimalistic elopement ideas as well as a luxury elopement guide for those who still want to celebrate to the fullest!
How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Oregon?
Since elopements are still so new, there’s a varying amount that couples pay. You can go big or small, like a regular wedding. It seems the average is around $10,000-$15,000. There’s the lower end where you can DIY it and throw a great day together with some people you love for $5,000. Then, there’s couples who go all out and spend upwards of $20,000. My luxury Oregon elopement guide will go over both!
The modern elopement is no longer saying you vows in Vegas with Elvis as your witness. You can totally still do that, but it’s less of the standard these days. If you’re looking to stay local, say your vows somewhere pretty, and get dinner, this could total up to $2-$5k with some good food, nice wedding attire, permits, florals, and some budget friendly photographers.
Wether you want to stay local, or travel anywhere in the country, a luxury elopement has all of the bells and whistles. A lot of elopement photographers offer planning services, and are generally the most expensive part of an elopement day. Elopement photographer who do amazing work and go above and beyond range from $4,500-$10,000. I’m an elopement photographer, and you can contact me to get my rates! You can also incorporate other vendors such as a florist, a private chef, or get rentals to deck your elopement ceremony or reception. Other vendors can average around another 2k-4k, depending on which you want.
Then you’ll need to consider where you’re staying if you’re going somewhere from out of town. You have the option of a resort, hotel, or Airbnb. The budget here can vary greatly. Those looking to have more of a luxury elopement experience will pick somewhere on the higher end, which could range from $1k-$5k. This could be because you want to host a beautiful intimate reception, have somewhere gorgeous for getting ready photos, or just want to ball out on your stay together in a new place for your wedding day.
Including flights, good food, a multiple stay somewhere else, high end vendors, permits, and wedding attire, you could end up spending around $25,000 for a luxury elopement. In comparison, this high end day is still cheaper than what the low end average costs for traditional weddings, which is around $30,000.
National Parks and National Forests to Elope In
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is the only National Park in the state of Oregon. This might seem surprising considering how beautiful the entire state is, but we have tons of National Forests as well. Crater Lake is a stunning location. It’s easy to get to, so this is a perfect spot for someone who wants a beautiful landscape but doesn’t want to hike in their wedding gear, which is why it makes the list for the luxury Oregon elopement guide.
Mt. Jefferson Wilderness
Mt. Jefferson Wilderness is an incredible forest here in Oregon filled with rivers, lakes, mountains, and boasts a ton of privacy. A lot of the hikes and landscapes in this area are a lot less traffic. If you’re looking to have a day where you run into few crowds, I would definitely consider locations within this wilderness area.
Deschutes National Forest
Deschutes National Forest is located in Central Oregon. I’m sure you’re wondering, what the hell is in the middle of Oregon? A vast a beautiful high desert, multiple towering and snow capped mountains, and more glacial lakes than I can count.
Willamette National Forest
Oregon’s wine country. The Willamette National Forest is best known for having that deep green and mossy terrain everyone associates with the iconic pacific northwest. Filled with more mountains, bright green lakes, and waterfalls.
Tillamook National Forest
But what about the coast? The coast absolutely needed to be in this luxury Oregon elopement guide. The Tillamook national forest is dense and beautiful. But it also is right along the rigid Oregon coastline. Get the best of both worlds when you elope here. There’s also some breathtaking Airbnb’s in this national forest that would be incredible for a luxury elopement.
What do you Need to Elope in Oregon?
A Marriage License
To get a marriage license, you’re going to need to apply for one here. After that, you, you will want to schedule your appointment online. Going to need to bring all of the necessary paperwork Watch as your government issued ID as well as your birth certificate. After this you will pay the nonrefundable fee of $60.
Whether you would prefer for a friend or family married to get ordained online, or hire an actual officiant, you will need someone who is ordained for your ceremony. This person will also fill out the information you need to be sent out to make it all legally legit!
the two witness part is pretty easy. Basically any two people that are there with you can sign as your witness. Say for example, I am your photographer. I am able to sign as one of your witnesses. If you’re wondering, but what if I don’t plan on having anyone with me? What if it is just me and my partner? 9 times out of 10, actually 10 times out of 10, you will see someone out in public he will see you and your partner in your wedding gear that will be more than happy and excited to sign your marriage license as one of your witnesses.
While reading the luxury Oregon elopement guide, you might be starting to realize that almost anything seems possible for your wedding day. But how do you make sure you can actually elope at the location you want? You will simply want to call the office correlated with the National Park you’re wishing to elope at, and fill out an application for a wedding permit. Easy! This is something that I help do for my couples when they hire me as their photographer.
What is the Best Time of Year to Elope in Oregon?
Glad you asked! There is no official best time of the year. So for the purpose of this luxury Oregon elopement guide, I am going to go over the pros and cons of each, as well as link to a gallery shot in these different seasons!
Summer is when the wildflowers are blooming, the mountains are accessible, and you don’t need to worry about hikes being closed due to snowfall. It’s also an amazing time of the year to go skinny dipping, hike, take a romantic canoe ride, or enjoy the outdoors however you like. Once downside is that the middle of the day can be very hot, and the end of the season can get smoky because of fire season. Here’s a summer elopement I shot at Broken Top!
Autumn in Oregon is lovely. You’d think because we have so many pine trees, that we don’t get the same fall colors. This simply isn’t true. In Autumn, our forest’s are glowing with different colors. The moodiness of the pacific north west contrasted with the stark reds and yellows of the forest creates a landscape quite like no other. One thing to worry about is the beginning of the fall season, there are still a lot of wildfires going on. Next to that, a lot of trails begin to become an accessible due to snow fall around mid to late October. Here’s an Autumn elopement I shot in Bend, Oregon!
Winter is beautiful in Oregon. The entire state becomes quite the winter wonderland. The mountains are glowing with fresh snow and the rivers freeze and show off their gorgeous dark blue and turquoise tones. Some of the cons to eloping to the winter is how unpredictable as can be. Roads close, and that can be scary when you have vendors traveling to you. There’s also fewer hikes. Although, if you stay at lower elevation and pick a short hike, you’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale. Here’s a rainy winter elopement I shot at the Oregon Coast!
Spring is the perfect time to catch some of the early wild flower bloom. It’s also before a lot of the tourists come to Oregon. Which makes it more peaceful and quiet. It’s another great time of the year to be able to cozy up to a big bonfire and have s’mores, warm blankets, and enjoy whether that isn’t cold, but also isn’t scorching yet. One of the bigger cons in spring is also how unpredictable it can be. Sometimes the snow on trails doesn’t melt until later in the summer, and in spring we can receive a lot of rain. Here is a spring elopement I shot at Loloma Lodge
Places to Elope in Oregon
there are endless amazing elopement locations just outside of Portland. For example, we have Mount Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River, and a ton of local parks right within and outside of the city. Plus, the main international airport is in Portland so all of these places are fairly easily accessible if you’re coming in from out of town.
My favorite on the luxury Oregon elopement guide is Bend. Just outside of bend Oregon you have the Jefferson wilderness, the Deschutes national Forest, the Oregon Badlands, the Painted Hills, The Umpqua National Forest, and everything the sisters mountain range has to offer! Bend has its own airport located in Redmond, Oregon. Although flights into the Redmond Airport are generally more expensive than flights into Portland.
The Oregon Coast
The Oregon coast is incredibly famous for its iconic rocky shoreline mixed with it’s dense forest. Did you know there’s an elopement location where you can go on top of a natural Bridge over the ocean? And only be nine minutes away from the Oregon redwoods? There are endless beautiful places to elope along the Oregon coast. Most people eloping at the coast fly in to the Portland airport.
More Elopement Locations
For the purpose of this luxury Oregon elopement guide, I only listed a few of the main and general areas where you can start to fantasize having your own elopement. Although, I wrote an entire blog post about the best places to elope all around the state of Oregon and the best times to visit them. You can check that out here!
Oregon Elopement Packages
If you didn’t already know, I’m a luxury Oregon elopement photographer located in Bend, Oregon! I provide planning services alongside capturing your special day. Here is what I offer!
+Offering a half day, full day, and multi day packages! I also offer an all-inclusive “just us” luxury elopement package where I take care of virtually everything for you including your stay, a couples spa retreat, activities, a casual session, planning your entire elopement day, and a private chef!
+Unlimited planning assistance including as many phone or video calls to answer your questions, location planning, timeline building, permits, vendors, and wedding licenses! Whatever you two need, I’ve got you.
+A customized location list based on everything your partner want to see a do!
+A exclusive list of ideas for your day of timeline, with a custom itinerary built just for you, so you can have the perfect stress free day.
+Online gallery with all of your gorgeous images, print rights, unlimited digital downloads, and print discounts!
+My prices include any and all travel fees. What you see is what you get! You can contact me here!
+Last but not least, did you know I offer payment plans? Have a luxury elopement with the luxury to pay later. Feel free to ask me about this plan when you inquire with me!