Oregon Coast Elopement Guide: How to Plan Your Oregon Elopement
Photos of an Oregon Coast Elopement - bride and groom on the Southern coast
Photo by Dawn Photo

Your ultimate guide to an epic Oregon Coast elopement.

As you plan for an elopement on the Oregon Coast, there are so many factors to consider and things to plan for! You might be feeling a tad overwhelmed as you navigate all the decisions you need to make. That’s why I created this Oregon Coast Elopement guide for you! In this post, we’ll cover everything from where to elope to top Oregon wedding vendors to hire. You’ll be given all the tools you need to successfully plan your day.

If you are choosing to elope, chances are, you are looking for something unique and memorable! You don’t want the same old wedding experience you’ve seen a million times before. You want to do something original that feels true to who you are as a couple. I’m totally here for that and want to support you every step of the way!

How to elope in Oregon

To get married in an epic adventure elopement, you’re going to need to:

  1. Pick an awesome location.
  2. Find a photographer and videographer you adore (Say hello here).
  3. Make things legal. (Read our blog post for obtaining an Oregon Marriage certificate here)
  4. Hire your other wedding vendors.
  5. Decide where to stay.
  6. Decide how to celebrate.

*How to get an Oregon Marriage Certificate:

You must apply for a marriage certificate in person in the county you are planning to get married in. Typically, there is a 3 day waiting period, but it can be waived for a “good cause” and a small fee. The standard fee for the certificate is $60 and it does expire within 60 days. You’ll need someone ordained to officiate and two witnesses (I’ll be one for you if needed!). You can read all about the rules here.

Locations for your Oregon Coast Elopement

General tips for choosing a location:

  1. Scout beforehand if able.
  2. Ask your photographer or videographer for recommendations/suggestions.
  3. Assess how much hiking you can/want to do.
couple at Ecola State Park at Cannon Beach near Portland, Oregon - where to have your Oregon Coast Elopement
Ecola State Park Photo from Marcella Laine

Cannon Beach & surrounding areas

Ecola State Park:

This is an epic spot to park and see a great view of the ocean and Haystack Rock from afar. You do have to pay to park here, but Indian Beach is also right next to this parking lot and that’s become a favorite local spot too. Note: since the ice storm of February 2021, the road has been closed from trail/road damage so it might not be available right now.

Haystack Rock:

The most iconic rock on the Oregon Coast! This rock has been photographed and been the backdrop of so many weddings, postcards and landscape photographers since the beginning of camera technology. For it being so close to the beach, it’s an easy park and walk for a lot of people so this beach can be very busy. Although, in our opinion, it feels like a giant dog park from all the families with their dogs so this would be a great spot for your fur babies. 

Hug Point State Park:

This spot has a ton of different things to see and do in just one small area! We recommend you get there for low tide because if not, the other half of the beach will be inaccessible! First, check out the trails in the forest right next to the parking lot to get an easy view of Hug Point beach from above! (if you were looking out at the ocean, the trail is on the right!) It’s super easy; just a couple hundred feet of walking.

Next, go down the stairs to see the beach! Take a right and you’ll see a cave built into the rock that a lot of families will tell their kids is a “pirate cave.” In our opinion, it probably was!! Then, go around the rock wall (just to the left of the cave) to access another beach that has more caves and an epic waterfall! Again, this is ONLY accessible during low tide. Do NOT try to get to this beach if the water is crashing against the rocks too much! 

UNNAMED AREA (available upon request)

This is a LOCAL’s only type of beach. Not a lot of people know of this spot so please be courteous and tag responsibly to keep it a private spot for elopements. This beach is best during low tide and is a great spot for sunset! This beach is about a 10-minute drive from Cannon Beach and is the PERFECT backdrop of rocky sea cliffs while being super accessible from the road. There is flat sand with plenty of room for a ceremony setup and easy waves to play in! We prefer not to tag this spot since this is a local’s secret type of spot, but if you hire us to do your wedding video, we can absolutely guide you in this area!

UNNAMED AREA 2 (Available upon request)

This is another LOCAL’s only type of spot. It features very Ireland-type vibe of epic sea views from tall cliffs. It’s a 15-minute hike in, but so worth the extra work! Here’s a youtube video of an elopement I did that shows some footage of this specific area as well as Hug Point State Park!

Best places to eat in Cannon Beach, OR: 

  1. Pelican Brewery — Great atmosphere to bring family and drink beers. This is also a great spot to sit by the outdoor fire as you wait for your table and unwind after a long beach day! 
  2. The Wayfarer Restaurant – This is our favorite spot for a sunset dinner meal with your significant other. It’s dark and moody interior with it’s carefully crafted menu calls for all of the intimate and romantic vibes! 
  3. Osprey Café — the BEST Bloody Mary’s can be found at this cafe! Their homemade vodka is soaked in bacon fat and is literally amazing. This is also a restaurant where we’ve had the best Bahn Mi’s EVER. Please go here and then come back and thank us 😌

Fun Activities for your Cannon Beach Elopement:

If you’re trying to find fun beach activities to do while you’re here, you have to check out Seaside! It’s only a 15-minute drive from Cannon but it has a lot more adventurous type of activities and shopping! 

  1. Thrift shop on Broadway St. There’s a bunch of places to thrift around Seaside to get vintage dishware, wicker furniture and sea glass for cheap! Our favorite thrift store is the Seaside Antique Mall on Broadway St. across the street from Ace Hardware. 
  2. Rent a family sized bike car from Wheel Fun Rentals! Great for families or for a fun time with friends! You’ll see them everywhere, especially on a sunny weekend! 
  3. The Seaside Aquarium! This one was a ton of fun as you get to feed seals and see a whole array of ocean life. The employees are also walking around offering to give any information they can to any fish or crustacean you have a question about! Our personal favorite was the color changing octopus 🐙 
  4. Do a quick helicopter tour of the Oregon Coast! We’ve done this company and had a lot of fun! It’s a quick ride and it’s best to do this on a clear day so you can enjoy the views better! https://www.seaside-helicopters.com/

Where to stay in Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach Hotel! Central to all the areas mentioned above, this New England Historic style Hotel that has rainfall showerheads, a vintage lobby, crown molding and rooms with fireplaces gives this hotel the ultimate romantic experience. But also, they have AMAZING customer service and the amenities in the room and lobby are very well thought out for your experience.

Cape Kiwanda Elopement

For a mix of sand dunes and epic sandstone sea cliffs: look no farther than Cape Kiwanda! It’s only 1.5 hours south of Cannon Beach in Pacific City, OR.

Southern Oregon Coast Elopement Spots

If you’re willing to travel a little bit farther for your elopement, then look no further than the Southern Oregon Coast! Just like Cannon Beach, you can hit up a ton of spots in just one day. We’ve left some of these places unnamed to protect spots from being overrun with tourists. If you’re interested in eloping here, hire us to do your wedding video and we’ll be more than happy to guide you! 

Bandon State Natural Area

This is a gorgeous beach and nature area with epic rock formations and endlessly amazing views. You might even see seals here! There are also sand dunes and pine trees, giving you some variety of location for your photos and video.

Make sure to call to inquire about permits in any state park area.

Photo by Richard Griffin

Boardman State Park

This is a giant stretch of the Southern tip of the coast and there are a ton of different spots to check out including natural bridges, rocky beaches and PNW forests. It’s also only an hour away from the Redwoods so it’d be super easy to incorporate that area as well! If you want a photo/video team to take you to a bunch of local’s spots – inquire with us here!

Photos by Dawn-Photo.com

Places to get dessert after eloping in Brookings, OR

  1. Slugs’n Stones’n Ice Cream Cones
  2. Bakery by the Sea
  3. Honeybee Bakery

Places to stay on the Southern Oregon Coast: 

  1. This Ocean View cabin
  2. This forest retreat
  3. Beachfront Inn Brookings

If you hire us for your wedding videography, we’ll give you an even bigger list of super rad airbnb’s to check out including a treehouse airbnb with a waterfall!

Things to do the morning of your elopement: 

Go surfing or take a dip in the water! Be warned, it can be very cold!!

Photo by Maria Hussey

Other activities to include on your elopement day:

  1. Brewing a cup of coffee and walking out to a viewpoint
  2. Cooking breakfast together before getting ready
  3. Calling family to hear their well wishes
  4. Painting “Just Married” wedding signs for later

For a full list of elopement activities, check out our blog post: “Elopement Activities to add to your Day”

What to Pack for your Oregon Coast Elopement: 

  1. Hiking Boots
  2. Mosquito Repellent
  3. Headlamp
  4. Umbrella
  5. Rain jacket
  6. Oregon Local Pendleton Beach Blanket

Oregon Coast Elopement Vendors to hire: 

Photographers:

Dawn Photo

Emily Noelle Photo

Liza Standish Photography

Officiant:

Officiant Jimmie

Florals:

JessLynneFloristry

Novella Theory Floral

Plan/Design:

Curated Mess Co

Private Chef/Charcuterie Boards:

Dakota Eats

You now have all the tools needed to plan an epic Oregon Coast elopement!

And you know who to hit up to help document your wild, adventurous elopement day! I’m your girl for videography needs and would love to help you with any step of the planning process you could need. From taking you to secret locals only locations to sharing my timeline planning tips, I’m here for you, friend! Reach out to start the process here.

  1. […] If you’d like a more in-depth guide of how to elope at the Oregon Coast, check out this page! […]

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