Want to learn how to elope in Oregon? If so, you’ve come to the right place! This Oregon Elopement Guide is here to provide you with inspiration, location ideas, timeline advice, and more. Whether you want a romantic beach ceremony or a breathtaking mountaintop view, Oregon has plenty of elopement locations to choose from. So read on for our guide to the best elopement locations in Oregon!

Why Elope in Oregon?

Oregon is the perfect destination for couples looking for a unique and intimate elopement experience. With its stunning landscapes, diverse natural beauty, and relaxed atmosphere, it offers endless possibilities for creating unforgettable memories.

One of the main reasons to choose Oregon for your elopement is its breathtaking scenery. From the majestic Mt. Hood to the rugged Oregon coast, there is a location for every couple’s dream elopement. Imagine saying your vows against the backdrop of towering mountains or exchanging rings on a secluded beach.

In addition to its stunning scenery, Oregon offers a wide range of elopement activities. You can hike through ancient forests, explore charming coastal towns, or indulge in world-class wine tasting in the famous Willamette Valley. With so many options, you can tailor your elopement to suit your adventurous spirit and create an experience that reflects your unique story. Sold? Here’s how to elope in Oregon:

How to Elope in Oregon

How to elope in Oregon consists of a few major planning steps. When you choose to elope, there’s still a lot of planning involved. Elopements are personalized experiences catered to the desires of the couple. That being said, you’re basically just figuring out everything you want for your day, and then the logistics.

As an Oregon elopement photographer, I help my couples with each of these planning steps. I’ve got the process down to a science, so read on to learn how to elope in Oregon.

1. Creating an Oregon Elopement Budget

This is a pretty important step in the planning process. Not only to set a budget that you can stick to, but also so you can allocate funds to the things most important to you. Elopements and weddings are very different, and how you spend your money is one of the big differences. For example, you might want to elope out in nature. A permit might cost you $150 instead of spending $10,000 on a venue. You’re not spending $10,000 feeding 200 guests, so why not spend $800 on a private chef to make you a 5 course meal? Consider what is most important to you during this elopement planning step when deciding how to elope in Oregon.

2. Come Up With an Elopement Date

Choosing an elopement date feels like a pretty big step in the elopement planning process. I go very into depth on how to pick an elopement date in this blog post here. But, here are the main things you probably want to consider: Do you want it to be warm? Pick a summer month. Do you want less crowds and more vendor availability? Pick a weekday. Is family traveling to your elopement? Consider a weekend.

You also don’t need to have a firm date to do things like inquire with an elopement photographer. Often times, a photographer can also help guide you to picking a date that would be smart based off of knowing your needs. So if you want to just get a general month in mind, thats okay!

3. Hire an Elopement Photographer

If you’re thinking “I don’t have enough figured out to hire an elopement photographer,” pause, and read through this entire section. Hiring an experienced elopement photographer is going to be one of the biggest elopement planning steps in this whole process. Why? Because when shooting elopements became a thing, there were no such things as elopement planners. We helped our couples. We learned how to scout out locations, get permits, find other vendors to help us bring ideas to life, give timeline recommendations, and more. Basically, we know the steps on how to elope in Oregon.

That being said, many experienced elopement photographers are going to help you with your planning. Each is different, so make sure to hire one that helps you with the things that are causing you stress. And remember, newer or cheaper elopement photographers might not offer this. Here’s what I offer: helping with date selection, sending comprehensive custom location recommendations based on your need, vendor recommendations, securing lodging, permits, and your marriage license, as well as timeline curation. If reading that made you feel a weight lift off your chest, chat with me here! My elopement packages do the planning for you. This way, you can get started without the stress.

4. Decide on Guest Count (if any)

Deciding on your guest count (if any) is a huge step in figuring out how to elope in Oregon. It’s important to decide early as it will change your possible locations, activities, etc. As a reminder, modern elopements are NOT about getting married in secret. They are about intentional, experience based days. Generally, elopements cap guest counts at 25. This is simply because planning starts to become more about guest experience than the couple. Although, it’s totally possible to have up to 50 guests and still have a more experience focused day.

5. Choose an Oregon Elopement Location

At this point, you should have an idea of your guest count and your elopement photographer. Now is the time to choose your Oregon elopement location! I send a customized location list to my couples based on the type of scenery they want to be in for their day. However, it’s always okay to find your location yourself, too. Once you finalize your locations, the rest of the planning for how to elope in Oregon gets a whole lot easier.

how to plan an elopement

6. Hire Your Oregon Elopement Vendors

You have your location, photographer, guest list, and you’re starting to see your day really come together and know how to elope. This is the time to hire any vendors you might want during your day. Some examples are a videographer, hair and makeup, florists etc. There are also vendors who can set up rentals for a intimate reception at an Airbnb or small ceremony.

There’s even vendors that can set up luxury glamping, boho picnics, as well as private chefs. They are the final touches for anything specific you might want to bring to life. Get them booked, as each vendor likely has limited availability.

7. Book Flights and Accommodations

This is another important planning step when figuring out how to elope in Oregon, because obviously you need to get to your location and have a place to stay. But that aside, some couples use their accommodations for a lot more than couples having a traditional wedding. In the past, I’ve even seen couples book Airbnb’s in stunning locations with private land, and eloped right there. Read more about having an Airbnb elopement here.

This is also important if you’d like to host an intimate reception for guests and don’t want to be on public land or use a venue. If you’re planning on doing this, ALWAYS check with the host first. Finally, maybe you and your partner really want to star-gaze in a hot tub. Maybe you really want to make s’mores by a bonfire, or spend time hammocking eating cheese and drinking wine. Picking a accommodation option that can easily include you desired activities can really help make your day stress-free by having a home base that’s relaxing, and fits the vibe of your day.

8. Make a Timeline

When going through the steps of how to elope in Oregon, your timeline start to organically come together. And by that I mean you start to envision what your day is going to look like, and everything you’re going to include. This is the part where we intentionally put everything together. It’s important to be meticulous about your timeline planning. You want to add buffer time so that you don’t ever have to feel rushed or stressed. You’ll also share this timeline with your guests and vendors so everyone is in the loop.

I have my clients fill out a questionnaire that helps me figure out what they want their day to look like. Then, I send a timeline first draft with activity recommendations, the best times for each event, and so on. We go over it together, make any desired changes, and suddenly you have an entire day-of timeline that emulates the kind of elopement experience you want to have.

9. Obtain Permits and Marriage License

Here’s how to elope in Oregon and make everything legally legit. When I scout your elopement locations, I make sure up front that we are legally allowed to be there. But, most permits you can only get within around 90 days in advance. So that’s why we don’t secure them until about 2-3 months out. Each location is different. Some permits you can get 6 months in advance, and it’s a good idea to do so for popular locations. But rest assured, I help you with all of this. All you have to do is fill out the permit application I send you.

Getting your marriage license is pretty easy and straightforward. You’ll want to apply through the county clerks office within the county that you plan on getting married in. Then, you will have to pick it up in person and bring valid ID. Your marriage license is then ready to go in three days. If you want it sooner, we will call and pay a fee to waive the three day waiting period.

Stunning Oregon Elopement Locations

When figuring out how to elope in Oregon, you have to get an idea of where you want to elope. 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 Oregon elopement guide!

Proxy Falls

Proxy Falls is a huge waterfall in Central Oregon. This 1 mile loop is easy, and gives incredible and unique views. Enjoy the scenic drive that gives you multiple places to stop at and get gorgeous mountain views and pictures. Then go into sisters and visit the sno-cap for the worlds best milkshakes, or get a romantic dinner.

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.

Mt. Hood

One of my favorite places for elopements. Mt. Hood has endless hikes, both easy and difficult. There’s also a ton of simple drive up spots with incredible views such as trillium lake. There’s tons of free camping in the area for a gorgeous glamping reception. As well as rivers, lakes, and waterfalls.

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!

Hood River

Hood River is a little gem of a town in Oregon. It also is filled with incredible wine, views, and orchards. A fall elopement in one of the many orchards would be nothing less than incredible. You can even pamper yourself prior at the the society spa. This place has an amazing cafe, soaking pools, a sauna, cold plunges, spa treatments, and you can even rent out an adorable cabin there to stay at. Follow this up with an amazing dinner on the river

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 Oregon elopement guide location.

Columbia River Gorge

There are 90 waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. If you’re figuring out how to elope in Oregon and have a day filled with exploring waterfalls and rivers, this is absolutely the place for you. The gorge is lush, green, and there are so many locations that are incredibly low-traffic. Meaning, if you’re looking for a more private location, you’re easily able to find one here.

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.

Soda Creek

A stunning location on the Cascades Lake Scenic Byway. Easy to get to with amazing mountain views. This location would be easy to bring guests along to, and perfect for a ceremony. It’s best at sunrise and sunset. It’s also incredibly close to Sparks Lake, Devils Lake, and Todd Lake. You could easily add any of those locations into your day as well!

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.

Samuel H. Boardman

Easily on of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been. This is where you can find the best rugged coastline in Oregon. There are tons of trails that will take you to stunning sea stacks, natural bridges, beaches with waterfalls, all while exploring the green forest surrounding it.

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.

Cape Kiwanda

Sand dunes, sea stacks, and an amazing brewery with great food right on the beach. This location is perfect for a one-stop coastal elopement. You can easily stay in the hotel right on the beach. Walk to coffee shops, bakeries, and of course, Pelican brewery. Explore the hikes and coastline here, or include a short drive to other amazing locations nearby to add even more to your day.

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!

Indian Ford Meadows

Indian Ford is one of my favorite locations for couples who want a jaw-dropping ceremony location surrounded by mountains, but don’t want to do any hiking. Alternatively, maybe you do want to hike, but you want to start your day off with a ceremony that guests can easily join in on. This location isn’t well known. Your guests will be able to get out of the car and walk about a quarter mile to experience incredible views of the sisters mountains.

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!

Jedidiah State Park

The Oregon redwoods are absolutely stunning. If you want to be surrounded by massive trees and old growth, this is the place for you. Spend the day exploring the forest, saying your ceremony among the giants of the forest, and then head to the beach for a luxury picnic. This location is a 10 minute drive from multiple beaches, making it the perfect place to get multiple backdrops for your day.

Venues for intimate weddings (25+ guests) 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. If you’re trying to figure out how to elope in Oregon with a luxurious yet outdoorsy setting, this is a great 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 $700.00! If you’re trying to figure out how to elope in Oregon on a budget but still want a venue, this is a great spot.

These are all of my favorite locations for intimate weddings in my 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 good 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 Oregon Elopement Guide

When deciding how to elope in Oregon, you’re going to need somewhere to stay. While there are a ton of different options, here’s a list of Oregon elopement lodging locations that I absolutely love.

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!

The 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!

Airbnb’s in Oregon

If you need more options for awesome lodging in Oregon, check out my list of the best Airbnb’s in Oregon for your elopement! These are all over the state, some including beautiful locations right in your vacation home’s back yard. These will help you making decisions when figuring out how to elope in Oregon.

Best Hotels For Oregon Elopements

There’s a lot of amazing options in Central Oregon for lodging. Now that we have mentioned Airbnb’s, let’s talk about some of the amazing hotels and resorts in Central Oregon, as some people prefer a catered stay when deciding how to elope in 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 Oregon

Figuring out how to elope in Oregon but be totally immersed in nature? No better way to do that then by camping for your elopement, or even having a backpacking elopement. Some couples even rent a group campsite and turn it into an outdoor reception area. 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.

Oregon Permit Information

Time to make it legit. I added some technical stuff here into the 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. Most of the time, you need a permit to elope in these places, so don’t forget the paperwork when figuring out how to elope in Oregon.

Best time of Year to Elope in Oregon

As you are figuring out how to elope in Oregon, I’d highly consider figuring out what type of weather you want to be in. Warm sunny weather? Moody fog and rain? Each season and location bring out different temps and weather. Here’s what the different seasons in Oregon look like.


Fall in Oregon is beautiful. The color of the leaves changing and temperate weather. At this point of the year, snow on all of the trails have been melted, there’s less tourism, and it’s still not totally cold. You can get some really warm days in early fall. There’s also a mix of some rainy ones too, depending where you are. Central Oregon such as Bend, normally receives very little rain. However, that makes it prone to smoke during the fire season.


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.


Summer is probably the best time of year in Oregon. With full access to the Willamette National Forest, Deschutes National Forest, Mt. Hood 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 is an interesting time in Central Oregon. Some years things like hikes and the alpine lakes are accessible by late May, sometimes not until late 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.

Choosing Your Vendors for Your Oregon Elopement

Choosing the right vendors for your Oregon elopement is essential in creating the perfect day. From photographers, florists, private chefs, picnic vendors and more. You don’t need all of these vendors. Although, if you have a specific vision, they can really take the stress off of you to bring it to life and make the day relaxed. Here’s some Oregon vendors!

Elopement Activities in Oregon

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!

Oregon Elopement Packges

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

  • Explore anywhere within Washington, all travel fees included in the price!
  • Packages from half day elopements to multi-day elopements
  • Recieve a customized location list
  • Included timeline design
  • Help obtaining your permits
  • A planning checklist
  • All of your stunning photos delivered under three months
  • Day of polaroid sneak peeks

All day Oregon elopement packages at $6800. Want more information on my pricing and what’s included? Click here

Best Airports for Oregon Elopement Locations

If you’re thinking about having your elopement near Portland, Mt. Hood, or The Columbia Gorge River, the Portland International Airport is going to be your best choice. This is also ideal for Cape Kiwanda, Cannon Beach, and the Tillamook National Forest.

For Central Oregon such as Bend, The Deschutes National Forest, and Willamette National forest, the Redmond Airport is closest to all of these. The airport is tiny, so it’s sometimes a bit more expensive to fly into this one. But it’s so easy to navigate and fully stress free to come in and out of, with mountain views as soon as you land.

If you’re flying into Southern Oregon for Samual H Boardman, The Oregon Redwoods, or the coast, you can fly into the Eugene airport. This is another tiny airport in a small college town, but gets you the closest to Oregon’s beautiful southern locations.

Ready to Elope in Oregon?

This Oregon elopement guide is a way to get you excited about all the possibilities of what your day could look like, and now you know how to elope in Oregon! 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 California 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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