From stunning waterfalls to breathtaking beaches, Oregon is definitely one of the best places to elope in the PNW! This state is a quick drive from my (Henry’s) home state Washington and I have considered it my second home for a while now. Take it from a photographer who actually eloped in the Pacific Northwest, I really can’t wait to share with you all we know. We are so excited you have considered Oregon because we know it will 100% have at least one thing that would fit your visions for your elopements.

Two brides standing on a rock in the ocean during their Oregon Coast elopement

How To Elope In Oregon: Everything You Need To Know To Plan An Unforgettable Elopement Experience

1) Determine whether an elopement is the right decision for you

Anyone can elope but eloping is not for everyone. You don’t have to know exactly where, when, or how many guests you want to invite to your Oregon elopement, but one thing you do want to make sure is: Is Eloping The Right Decision for You and Your Partner?

Read our article on 6 Things To Consider Before Eloping and explore Elopement Stories on our blog to learn everything you need to know about eloping.

You don’t want to regret anything about the day you marry your partner for life.

2) Find The Right Oregon Elopement Photographer & Book Your Oregon Elopement Package

We guess this is the part where we are supposed to “sell” ourselves and this is also the part where our hearts are beating fast and our palms are sweaty. We really don’t enjoy talking about ourselves or try to “sell” you anything you don’t need.

We would, however, love to share with you how we view and live our lives. Adventure elopements have been quite trendy lately but for me, it was never a trend. My husband and I eloped when eloping meant one thing: running to the courthouse to get it done.

Sergio and I give 110% of ourselves to all our elopement couples because we were in your shoes not so long ago.

We understand the importance of intimacy and the value of intentional experience that couples seek for when they elope because elopement is so so so much more than epic photos, it’s all about you and whom you love, together, all at once, experience one of the most important moments in life.

And last but certainly not least, we do believe that the right Oregon Elopement Photographer needs to not only capture important moments you might have missed but also know how to prepare you for the best experience by assisting in location scouting, elopement planning, photography permit, and so much more.

3) Find The Best Location To Elope In Oregon

After all, this is what this article is all about. Scroll down to read all about the beautiful landscapes Oregon has to offer.

One of our absolute favorite things about Oregon is that it has EVERYTHING: waterfalls, mountains, wildflowers, gorgeous beach, moody forest, dramatic coastline, and even desert (did you know that most of eastern and central Oregon is considered desert?) 

Explore some options below for example photos and blog posts.

If you knew that you want to elope in Oregon for sure but don’t have an exact location in mind, it’s ok, feel free to reach out anytime, we do have way more beautiful locations in our little notebook that we’ve been waiting for the right couple to elope at.

4) Book Your Oregon Elopement Date

Truly depending on the landscape you’re in love with, that would determine when you should elope.

For example, some mountain trails are frozen until late summer so might need to be a flexible when it comes to making sure we can get the optimal weather for the beautiful location you pick, or if you want more of a foggy coastline but don’t want to have too much rain, you might want to consider mid Fall. Continue reading this article to learn more about Oregon landscapes and weather elements

Once you are ready for a complimentary consultation, please reach out. We can provide insights, tips and tricks, and all the necessary details for what would work best for your elopement plan.

Pro tip: Whether you consider us for your Oregon elopement or any other photographer, the sooner you find and book a photographer, the better as some couples are booking anywhere between 6 – 18 months in advance.

5) Oregon Elopement Planning: Wedding Permit, Marriage License, Elopement Checklist, and everything else

With a traditional wedding, your venue is your private event site. With elopements, we use public lands like National Parks, National Forests, or State Parks, therefore you will need to obtain some sort of wedding permit.

As adventure elopement photographers, oftentimes, we are the only resource for couples. Therefore, part of our services is to help you with navigating permits and licenses, as well as equipping you with Elopement Resources and Checklist.

For information on marriage licenses and the legality of officiants and witnesses, continue scrolling.

6) Elope & Celebrate Your Marriage YOUR WAY

We’ll adventure around the location you picked, take in the beauty of Oregon, create memories, and we’ll photograph the heck out of you guys

Eat the cake, pop the champagne, and celebrate your marriage! Yay!!!

Best Places to Elope in Oregon


1. Oregon Coast

2. Columbia River Gorge

3. Oregon Waterfalls

4. Bend and The High Deserts


Why Elope on the Oregon Coast

The Oregon coastline in our opinion has some of the most beautiful views in the Pacific Northwest. For those who haven’t been here, these beaches are nothing like the typical ones you would think of. From the haystack rocks to stunning and breathtaking cliffs, you just have to see this place for yourself.

Best Places to Elope Around the Oregon Coast

Some of the popular places you probably have heard of are Cannon Beach and Manzanita Beach. One thing to keep in mind is that, if you have heard of it, it’s probably crowded with tourists. If the Oregon Beaches are what you are interested in, we are sure we can take you guys to some more private areas so your elopement can be more intimate. Some of our all-time favorite Oregon Coast locations are Cannon Beach, Manzanita Beach, Lincoln City, Southern Oregon Coast, and of course, all the secret spots that we have spent lots of time on doing research and scouting.

Best Time of Year to Elope on the Oregon Coast

At Henry Tieu Photography we are all about moody, romantic photos, and the moodier the better. Although all the seasons are a good time to visit the coast, we especially love the fall months as the PNW mood hits just right. Winter is also a great time to visit due to smaller crowds, but Spring and Summer are equally as beautiful.

How to get to the Oregon Coast

Depending on which area of the Oregon Coast you are traveling to, you have a couple of different options. If you are traveling from out of state, the closest (and largest) airport in Oregon is Portland (PDX). You can fly into Portland and rent a car to explore the city or drive down the coast which is our favorite way to explore this beautiful area.

If you are eloping in Southern Oregon, Medford (MFR) is the closest airport to Brookings and other beautiful areas on the Southern Oregon Coast.

Important Information You Should Know About Eloping on the Oregon Coast

As the Oregon Coast spans the whole western side of the state, there are tons of areas to consider for your elopement. Cannon Beach is the closest to Portland. From Portland, it will take about 1 – 1.5 hours to get here. This area has lots of local restaurants and shops and it’s known to be a tourist area. Some of our couples have chosen to look for a place to stay around here for easy access to groceries and food and venture to other areas with us. Depending on where exactly you are interested, some of the more beautiful places are located around 2 – 3 hours away from Portland and I would 100% recommend those places over Cannon for better crowd control.

*Important to know about Natural Bridges:

Two brides hold hands while walking across Natural Bridges during their Oregon Coast elopement

One beautiful location on the Oregon Coast that you might see posted on our website or other places on the internet is Natural Bridges. In 2022 the state of Oregon officially closed this site and put up a “Do Not Cross” sign due to several deaths that have occurred on this trail (learn more here).

While we are sad that this beautiful place is no longer available, we never ever want to endanger our couples or ourselves or break the law trying to take beautiful photos. Natural Bridges might not be available anymore, but we still have tons more beautiful locations to choose from for your elopement which we will be more than happy to share with you when we start planning together.

Oregon Coast Wedding and Elopement Permits

Unless you are getting married in a state park, a lot of places around here won’t require a permit, not even a parking permit. Just make sure you have your Oregon Marriage License and you will be good to go!

See more beautiful elopements on the Oregon Coast


Why Elope at the Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge is the closest place to Portland which offers beautiful waterfalls, water, and mountain views. With a quick hop onto I-84, you can spend anywhere between half an hour to an hour driving along this beautiful highway. It connects downtown Portland to Mt. Hood and hosts some of the most iconic sceneries around Oregon.

Best Places to Elope around Columbia River Gorge

This area is known for its waterfalls. You probably have heard of Multnomah Falls but there are so many more you can find around this area: Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Wahclella Falls, Horsetail / Pony Tail Falls and so so so many more.

Best Time of Year to Elope at Columbia River Gorge

Is there a bad time to visit the Columbia River Gorge? Not that we know of! Though this location is beautiful to visit year-round, some of our favorite months to visit are between April – August. In the spring months, the wildflower fields are in full bloom, while warmer temperatures come in the summer months. And in September – October, the crowds will start to disappear and the fall foliage will create a stunning backdrop, so no, we don’t think you can go wrong with eloping at the Columbia River Gorge any time of year.

How to get to the Columbia River Gorge

If you are traveling from out of state, the closest (and largest) airport to the Columbia River Gorge is Portland (PDX). You can fly into Portland and rent a car to explore the city or drive around the PNW which is our favorite way to explore this beautiful area.

Important Information You Should Know About Eloping at Columbia River Gorge

Some of these trails are quite easy to get to and as mentioned above, these places are quite close to Downtown Portland. So what does that mean? That means this place CAN GET CROWDED EASILY. If you come here on a sunny weekend, you can’t even park. So what can we do? Timing is crucial with this specific area so you can have the most intimate elopement with beautiful views. But we also know some other locations nearby we can help with. We are so excited to share with you soon.

Columbia River Gorge Wedding and Elopement Permits

You won’t need a permit to elope but depending on the exact location, you might need a parking permit. Check out this website for more Northwest Forest Parking Permit information.


Why Elope at Oregon Waterfalls

Besides all the beautiful waterfalls around Columbia River Gorge, there are so so so many more beautiful waterfalls in Oregon. When we think of Oregon, we honestly think of all the lush green forests filled with ferns and a stunning waterfall in the background. Truly, if you ever consider a waterfall for your elopement, you have to do it in Oregon 🙂

Best Places to Elope in Oregon for a Waterfall View

Panther Creeks Falls, Umpqua Falls, Abiqua Falls, etc…

Best Time of Year to Elope at an Oregon Waterfall

Depending on which waterfall you choose may impact the best time of year to visit, but as we’ve already mentioned there really is no bad time to visit Oregon in general. Fall is always one of our favorite seasons in the PNW due to the added layers of fog and mist that create a dramatic and moody backdrop.

How to get to the Oregon Waterfalls

Many of Oregon’s most beautiful waterfalls are centrally located near Portland, Oregon. If you are traveling from out of state, we recommend flying into Portland (PDX) and renting a car to explore the city before driving 1-2 hours to explore some of the many waterfalls in this beautiful area.

Important Information You Should Know About Eloping at Oregon Waterfalls

Since these waterfalls are spread out in the state of Oregon, and depending on which waterfall you are in love with, it might determine where you need to look for lodging. These waterfalls could be anywhere between 2 hours to 6 hours away from Portland.

Oregon Waterfall Wedding and Elopement Permits

Many of these places require the Northwest Forest Parking Permit and some are actually on private property. Of course, we will be right there to do research with you and to assist with looking into which ones require what.

See more from this Mt Hood Elopement with Two Brides


Why Elope in Bend, Oregon

Yes, the desert does exist in Oregon. Just like Washington, most of the middle and eastern sides of the state are high deserts. In addition, some of these places are surrounded by rugged mountains with beautiful lakes on top which contain some amazing viewpoints you won’t find anywhere else but the Pacific Northwest.

Best Places to Elope in Bend Oregon

Smith Rock State Park, Dillion Falls, etc…

Best Time of Year to Elope in Bend, Oregon

As with most summertime months in the PNW locations can get quite crowded. We will work with you on planning to help you find a secluded spot for your elopement. In fall, the crowds will start to go down as the air cools. Spring is also a beautiful time to visit due to the wildflowers in bloom.

How to get to Bend, Oregon

Depending on which area you are eloping in Bend, the closest airport is the Redmond (RDM) airport. You can fly into here and then head up to Portland to explore more of Oregon, or head west and go up and down the coast for a full Oregon elopement experience.

Important Information You Should Know About Eloping in Bend, Oregon

Since it’s quite a drive from Portland, you can actually fly right into Bend Municipal Airport. It’s a smaller airport but it would save us much time if you are not interested in visiting Portland prior to your elopement. Bend also offers some cool restaurants and wineries. It’s truly a perfect place to relax and hang out after your elopement.

Bend, Oregon Wedding and Elopement Permits

Smith Rock is a state park so you might need a permit depending on how big or small your elopement is and many other factors. The best way is to contact Smith Rock directly.

Best Time of Year to Elope in Oregon

Bride and groom eloping on a cliff looking over the ocean in Southern Oregon Coast

Unlike Washington where the best time is mostly during summer time (check out this blog post for more tips on eloping in Washington), Oregon is so much more versatile and you can easily elope year-round.

With that being said, please keep in mind the sceneries and the vibes you’re going for would be the most important factor on when you should elope.

Rain, sun, fog, snow, what should we do?

  • The thing about Oregon (or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest) is that the weather is so unpredictable. We can look up the weather app and everything is fine but then the next day, it could turn 180 degrees.
  • Whatever it is, we are skilled at photographing AND making sure you guys look beautiful in any weather condition. We’ve gotcha 🙂
  • If it rains, dance in the rain. If it’s sunny, feel the sun on your skin. If your cake fell over, play with it. If your dress got dirty, get it dirtier. Focus on what’s important, not the little things. And we will take care of the rest and make sure you look epic as heck

Marriage License, Guests, Transportation, Accommodation, Pets, and EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW to elope in Oregon:

Bride and groom kiss while exiting their outdoor Oregon elopement ceremony

Marriage License: How to Apply for a Marriage License to Elope in Oregon

  • Per state law, you will need to apply for a marriage license at least 3 days before your elopement date. You can only apply for a license within 60 days of your elopement date.
  • Although there’s a 3-day waiting period before you can get married, the state of Oregon does offer the option of paying just a small fee to waive the waiting period
  • More Information on your marriage license can be found HERE
  • You will also need an officiant and 2 witnesses. If you have family and/or friends who can be there for you, that’s amazing. If not, it’s ok, often time, we are one or both of the witnesses, and we can recommend a list of officiants for you.

Permits: How to Apply For a Wedding Permit in Oregon

Depending on the location where you will be getting married in Oregon, you may need a permit. Most of the locations on the Oregon Coast do not require permits for elopements with less than 50 guests, however, if you are getting married in a state park, then a permit will likely be required.

Each location has its own requirements, so once you have decided on a location, you will want to research the requirements for your chosen location.

If all this sounds like a lot, don’t worry. As your Oregon elopement photographer, we help every step of the way to ensure that you can get legally married in the place that you love.

Guests: Can We Invite Guests? How Many People Should We Have at Our Oregon Elopement?

We’ve photographed elopements that consist of just the couple and we have also photographed intimate weddings where 150 family members and friends also came along with the couple. There are no rules when it comes to having your wedding day as you have envisioned it. If you want to read more on this topic, we have written a blog post on 6 Things To Consider Before Eloping.

In terms of legality and paperwork, you will need 2 adults who are 18 or older to sign as your witnesses. If you choose to not have guests, it’s ok. Oftentimes, we become one or both of the 2 witnesses and we have a list of options for the second witness if needed for when we plan together.

Accommodation: The Best Places to Stay for Your Elopement in Oregon

Where you decide to elope in Oregon will help determine the best place to stay. Since these areas are quite spread out, it’s hard to name the locations one by one here. However, two things we do want you to think about when renting an Airbnb for your elopement:

  1. We will be using this Airbnb for your getting-ready photos and potentially first look. If you do choose to have family and friends attending your elopement, you might use this space to host a cute backyard reception or picnic.
  2. When it comes to adventure elopements, It’s not uncommon to drive 1.5-2 hours to get from your Airbnb to your ceremony location so keep this in mind when planning your elopement timeline.

If all this feels like a lot of information, don’t worry! When we start planning your adventure elopement, we will provide recommendations and help narrow down places that are more relevant to your needs.

Pets: We Have a Dog or Two – Can We Bring Our Pets Along With Us to Our Oregon Elopement?

If you are thinking about bringing your pets to Oregon, follow the BARK acronym:

  • B: Bag your pet’s poop
  • A: Always wear a leash
  • R: Respect wildlife
  • K: Know where you can go: Not all trails are dog-friendly

As a dog father of 3 fur babies, Henry knows how important it is to include your pets on your elopement day. This is why our job is more than just photographing your day; rather, by assisting you from day one with planning and finding the right resources for your elopement day, we can help make sure you guys can include everything that’s important to you.

Hire Your Oregon Elopement Vendors

Bride and groom walk across the beach during their elopement on the Oregon Coast

A common misconception about elopements is that it is just the couple and an officiant. While this is sometimes true, elopements can also take just as much planning as a small wedding.

While it’s not required to hire any particular vendors, oftentimes the couples we work with choose to work with a few vendors for their special day. Hiring high-quality vendors who can help you bring your vision to life will not only elevate your experience but also showcase your unique style, making your elopement day truly your own.

Below is a list of the most common vendors that you might want to consider for your Oregon elopement or intimate wedding as well as links to a few vendors that we absolutely love!

Plan Your Oregon Elopement Activities

Eloping is all about creating a day filled with meaning and intention and one of the best ways to fill your elopement day with meaning is by incorporating activities that you love and that SCREAM YOU!!

Intentional activities allow you to spend intentional time together and therefore, create an intentional experience where you get to immerse yourselves into the day.

Activities can be as simple as getting ready together, hiking, or picnicking or it can also mean going offroading, taking a helicopter ride, or kayaking together.

We’ve written a blog post on Unique Elopement Ideas where we share some tips you can read to help you choose activities for your Oregon elopement, but one of the most important things we tell couples is that you don’t have to pick activities that you think an elopement “should have”. Your activities should reflect you so if hiking isn’t you, you don’t have to hike. If you’re afraid of heights, you don’t have to do a cliffside picnic.

Elopement activities can mean trying something you’ve never done before or revisiting a favorite activity that you both love! This is the time to get creative and dream big! There isn’t a right or a wrong way to elope. Elopement means freedom so don’t feel like you have to do something just because other couples have done it.


As experts in adventure elopement photography, we care a whole lot about “Leave No Trace”, which is where we go on adventures for photos but also make sure we leave things the way they are by doing our parts to preserve the beauty of nature. Here are something we do and expect our couples to do (not limiting to):

  • Stay on trails
  • Not climbing over fences, roped-off areas, or places with visible signs of “Do Not Trespass”
  • No meadow stomping
  • No confetti inside national parks or any other places with fragile plants, flowers, and wildlife (doesn’t matter if they are bio-degradable or not): Each of these beautiful places has its own living organisms, plants, animals, etc… By us leaving things behind, we can harm these living organisms. Bio-degradable confetti takes a while to degrade and might need rain or water to speed up that process. In the meantime, other animals might still be able to ingest them. If you are thinking about confetti, we can do so at your cabin/Airbnb (if allowed)

Sample Oregon Elopement Timelines

The best thing about planning your Oregon elopement timeline is that we can customize it completely to whatever you envision for your day.

Want to have a reception meal before your ceremony? We can do that! Want to wake up early for a sunrise first look and then go hiking for adventure photos at sunset? Anything is possible!

Below are a few sample timelines to give you an idea of what’s possible for your Oregon elopement.

Half Day Elopement

Half Day elopements are one of the most common elopement options. This timeline includes 6 hours of coverage and allows us to experience a beautiful location at either sunrise or sunset.

  • 2:00 pm: Photographer arrives at cabin for getting ready and detail moments
  • 3:00 pm: First look & travel to ceremony location
  • 3:30 pm: Intimate vow exchange ceremony
  • 4:00 pm: Sunset adventure portraits / Activity
  • 7:00 pm: Travel back to cabin
  • 7:30 pm: Reception, eating, dancing, celebrating
  • 8:00 pm: End of a beautiful day. Start of a whole new beginning!

Full-Day Elopement

A Full-day elopement is great for couples who want to experience multiple locations or include lots of activities into their day. It’s also a great option for elopements or intimate weddings with guests as you will need more time for everyone to get to each location.

  • 10:00 am: Photographer arrives at cabin for getting ready and detail moments
  • 11:30 pm: First look & travel to ceremony location
  • 1:30 pm: Ceremony
  • 2:00 pm: Formal portraits with family and friends
  • 3:00 pm: Reception, eating, dancing, celebrating
  • 3:30 pm: Travel/Driving/Hiking
  • 5:30 pm: Private vow exchange
  • 6:00 pm: Sunset adventure portraits and private first dance
  • 8:00 pm: End of a beautiful day. Start of a whole new beginning!

Two-Day Elopement

When you want to get the best light for both sunrise and sunset, or there are so many locations you want to try, or you have family and friends traveling to be there for your special day, then a two-day elopement is often the best fit. There are so many ways a two-day elopement can look and it all comes down to what you want!

Day 1: Intimate Wedding with guests

  • 12:30 pm: Photographer arrives at cabin for getting ready and detail moments
  • 2:00 pm: First look & travel to ceremony location
  • 3:30 pm: Intimate vow exchange ceremony
  • 4:30 pm: Formal portraits with family and friends 
  • 5:30 pm: Travel back to cabin
  • 6:30 pm: Reception, eating, dancing, celebrating
  • 8:00 pm: End of Day 1

Day 2: Private Adventure Elopement Portraits

  • 2:30 pm: Getting ready together + cute indoor portraits
  • 4:00 pm: Travel/Driving/Hiking
  • 6:00 pm: Private vow exchange
  • 6:30 pm: Sunset adventure portraits and private first dance
  • 8:30 pm: End of a beautiful day. Start of a whole new beginning!

Oregon Elopement Packages

– Photograph by Henry or Sergio

– Explore anywhere in Oregon. From breathtaking rocky cliffs on the coast to towering waterfalls and woodland forests, this beautiful state has it all.

– Coverage from 4 hours to Full Day

– A personalized elopement experience with unlimited guides and resources as promised above (click here to see everything that is included)

– All your breath-taking photos in a secure & private online gallery

– Travel fees included for anywhere in Oregon

Starting at $7,900

(Ranges between $7,900 – $14,200)

Oregon Elopement FAQs

One of our absolute favorite things about Oregon is that it has EVERYTHING: waterfalls, mountains, wildflowers, gorgeous beach, moody forest, dramatic coastline, and even desert, yes desert!

On average elopements cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 though you can legally get married for as little as $50 – $200. Depending on what county you decide to elope in Oregon will determine the legal cost of your elopement. Typically, the application fee in Oregon is between $50 and $60 but it is best to call the County Auditor’s office to verify and confirm what type of payment is accepted. For additional information, check out our blog post “How Much Does It Cost To Elope?” to learn more about the costs of elopements as well as try out our handy elopement calculator tool. And remember, however much money you spend on your wedding/elopement day doesn’t say anything about who you are or what your values are.r

Yes! Your officiant can be from any state within the U.S. as long as the ceremony takes place in Oregon.

Two witnesses – at least 12 years old or older – must be present at the ceremony. Many times, if our couples do not have any guests present, we act as one of the witnesses for them.

Per state law, you will need to apply for a marriage license at least 3 days before your elopement date. You can only apply for a license within 60 days of your elopement date. If you are getting married in a National or State park a Special Use permit may be required as well as a parking permit, but if you are eloping on the Oregon Coast, the good news is that most coastal locations do not require you to obtain a permit. And if all this feels like a lot, don’t worry! We will be there every step of the way to help make sure you have all the information you need for your elopement day.

The best time to elope in Oregon is when you want to! No seriously, there are no bad months in Oregon. If you’re looking for all the PNW moody vibes or a winter wonderland then October – May is the best time! And if you want clear views and wildflower-covered fields, then June – September are some of the most magical months for hiking adventures.

That’s like asking us to pick our favorite fur-baby!!! In all reality, there really is no bad location to elope in Oregon as you can really experience it all, from snowy mountains, wildflower fields, rugged beaches, moody forests, dramatic coastlines, and even the desert! Oregon is known for its moodiness so if you’re having trouble narrowing down a location, contact us and we can help find the perfect location for you!

Ready to elope? Need our help in finding the most perfect location for you? Need more clarification?

Henry Tieu & Sergio - Elopement Photographers

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