Spanning 363 stunning miles, the Oregon Coast is best known for its wide, driftwood-filled beaches, breathtaking rock formations, soaring sea cliffs, abundant marine wildlife, and charming coastal cities. If you’re planning an Oregon Coast elopement and want to learn about all the best ceremony locations, accommodations, and activities — you’ve come to the right place! I’m an elopement photographer who’s fallen in love with capturing wedding ceremonies along Oregon’s magical coastline. I’ve written a guide complete with all my favorite planning tips and tricks in hopes that it’ll help (or even persuade) you to plan a romantic, adventurous elopement! Keep reading to learn and uncover my best-kept Oregon Coast elopement secrets!
There’s nowhere in the U.S. quite like the Oregon Coast. It’s a dreamy destination full of wonder and adventure. From Seaside to Brookings, you and your partner can unwind and experience some of the best hiking, kayaking, camping, wildlife viewing, and sightseeing the Pacific Northwest offers. Whether you’re doing a road trip along the coast or just visiting one of Oregon’s many cozy towns, you’ll be in awe of the enchanting allure of the Oregon Coast!
The Oregon Coast is beautiful year-round, and each season has something different to offer visitors. The best time to visit the Oregon Coast is Summer or Fall. June – August is peak season. Crowd levels will be high, but the weather is very nice — I’m talking mid-60s to low 70s! The sun shines most days, and there’s a much less chance for rain than in Winter and Spring. If you want to avoid the crowds but still enjoy comfortable weather, Fall is ideal! From September – November, crowd levels dip, and temperatures are pleasant and perfect for a light sweater. If you drive from Portland to the Oregon Coast, you’ll even be able to see some Autumn colors!
Now, let’s talk Winter and Spring. The Oregon Coast sees between 65 to 90 inches of rain annually, most of which happens in Winter and Spring. From December to April, on-and-off rain showers will likely occur daily. During these two seasons, the Oregon Coast can also get very cold and sometimes windy. Still, it’s nothing an umbrella and rain jacket can’t combat! Don’t let the weather deter you! Winter and Spring offer quiet beaches, whale watching, and epic storm viewing!
Between Seaside and Cannon Beach is Ecola State Park. This Oregon Coast park has the best of both worlds: a lush, green pine forest and a wide, rocky beach. Couples can hike through groves of wild ferns and wander beneath soaring Sitka Spruce trees before saying I Do next to the Pacific Ocean. Depending on the size and details of your elopement or intimate wedding, you may need to obtain a permit for a ceremony in Ecola State Park, but as your elopement photographer, I can assist with securing that permit! Sometimes, this park can close because of weather conditions, so be sure to monitor the park’s website before and during your visit.
Arguably the most famous coastal town in Oregon, Cannon Beach is home to notable rock formations such as Haystack Rock and The Needles. Cannon Beach and its coastline are quintessential Oregon. It’s mystic and romantic, especially on foggy days! Its beautiful shoreline is made up of coarse mineral sand, driftwood, and small sea shells. From April to July, Tufted Puffins nest on Haystack Rock! During low tide, you can walk out to rock formations and observe their surrounding tide pools. Cannon Beach is the perfect elopement location for moody, intimate celebrations. The beach is dog-friendly and doesn’t require a permit for celebrations of 50 guests or less. Parking can be tricky during peak season, but there are plenty of nearby accommodations within walking distance that offer complimentary parking for guests!
Although Bandon is pretty far south down the Oregon Coastline, it shouldn’t be overlooked! For starters, it’s not as crowded as many other Oregon Coast towns, and temperatures are milder here year-round. It’s also home to Bandon State Natural Area, a great elopement location for outdoor lovers and camping enthusiasts! The park has excellent hiking trails, year-round fishing, and opportunities to observe seal pups lounging on the beach’s rocks.
Whether planning a luxurious elopement or intimate wedding, Crook Point in Pistol River, Oregon, is a family-owned coastal ranch with eight private homes, six wedding venues, and two miles of secluded coastline! From bungalows to beach cottages, Crook Points accommodations all feature sweeping ocean views with cozy coastal interior design touches. The ranch’s six wedding venues are just as breathtaking! Couples can choose to elope on an overlook or host a wedding ceremony on the beach. Crook Point is a beautiful accommodation and ceremony location all wrapped in one, perfect for couples celebrating their love with or without guests!
Located in Brookings, Oregon, a small, quaint town with big coastal charm, the Natural Bridges Viewpoint is an epic place to get eloped along the Oregon Coast. Carved by crashing waves of the Pacific, the Natural Bridges are large, arched rock formations in a tucked away cove within the Samuel H Boardman State Scenic Corridor. If you want a vow ceremony with jaw-dropping views, THIS is the location for you. Parking at this location can be tricky, as there’s only a small gravel lot, and it’s a popular tourist destination. So, I recommend visiting this beautiful spot during non-peak seasons and weekdays. Lastly, the state park highly advises visitors not to venture past the lookout and onto the bridges, as it’s very dangerous due to slippery and uneven conditions.
A modern retreat amongst the rustic landscape of the northern Coast of Oregon, Casa Esquina sleeps up to 8 guests and features three bedrooms, coastal views, beach access, and an outdoor firepit with a lounge area. The home also has a large and private fenced-in backyard.
An oceanfront accommodation unlike any other along the Oregon Coast, The Ocean Lodge has over 40 guest rooms with cozy gas fireplaces and stunning sea views. The lodge lobby greets guests with complimentary fresh-baked cookies and features a library and a floor-to-ceiling fireplace. The lodge also provides a continental breakfast every morning and is pet-friendly, in case you want to bring your furry friend!
Just a short stroll from Cannon Beach, Cannon Beach Bubbles is a relaxing, remodeled home with three bedrooms and an outdoor hot tub! It’s less than a 10-minute drive from great shopping and dining in downtown Cannon Beach and a 5-minute drive from Haystack Rock!
Located in a quiet coastal community in Pacific City, Alta Pacific is a luxurious modern home with ocean views and a large, unique wood-burning stove. The accommodation offers many amenities, such as a BBQ grill and wifi.
Depending on the season, there are many amazing activities along the Oregon Coast. Here are some of my favorite activities while visiting the Oregon Coast!
If you’re traveling to the Oregon Coast from out-of-state, the easiest way to get there is by flying into Portland International Airport and renting a car! The airport is easy to navigate, and its rental car center is on-site. While you’re on your way to the Oregon Coast, you’ll pass by downtown Portland. Portland is well-known for its eclectic and vibrant culture. From cozy coffee shops to funky fusion restaurants, it’s a great place to get a quick bite to eat before heading to the coast!
No matter the time of year, there’s always a chance for rain along the Oregon Coast! Early mornings and evenings can be chilly, even in the Summer, so packing layers is a must. The beaches along the Oregon Coast can also be windy at times! Even if it’s not raining, you may get wet while strolling along the sandy shores! Strong breezes sometimes blow over the crashing waves of the Pacific, creating dense fog and a gentle, salty mist.
You may have heard this before, but Portland isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Since the early 2000s, the city has fostered the slogan “Keep Portland Weird.” While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s worth a visit if you’ve never been. The locals of Portland are super laid back and hospitable. The city’s food scene is also great. If you’re flying into Portland, I’d recommend staying along the Oregon Coast and spending most of your time exploring all Oregon offers outside its major cities. It’s a different vibe from the state’s urban life once you’re out exploring its magical lush green landscape!
Obtaining a marriage license in Oregon is a relatively straightforward process, but there are a couple of things you need to know ahead of time! First, if you’re planning to elope without guests, it’s important to note you’ll need an officiant and two witnesses to make the marriage official. As your elopement photographer, I am happy to serve as a witness to your marriage and assist in finding someone to be the second witness! I also want to mention that there is a 3-day waiting period after you obtain your marriage license in Oregon. For a fee, you may be able to waive the waiting process under time-sensitive circumstances. Click here to learn more about Oregon’s marriage license requirements!
The local vendors of Oregon are amazing, talented, and welcoming. I always recommend working with local vendors to help bring your elopement to life, and Oregon is no exception. Here are some of my favorite vendors along the Oregon Coast:
I hope my Oregon Coast elopement tips helped you feel less stressed while planning your elopement! If you’re ready to say I do along the Oregon Coast, I’m your go-to adventure elopement photographer! It’ll help make your ceremony as stress-free as possible. I assist couples with location scouting, permits, timelines, and more! You can check out my photography packages here, and tell me all about your vision for your special day by filling out my contact form! If you need some Oregon wedding inspiration, check out this Magical Cannon Beach Elopement!
A destination wedding and elopement photographer based out of Colorado! You can usually find me with a hot cup of coffee in my hand, sporting some comfy tennis shoes, or in pursuit of my next big escape!
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