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the best places to elope on the oregon coast

oregon coast elopement locations

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Hi! I'm Natasha! Your Oregon elopement photographer, dog petter and donut eater. While photography is my first love, connecting with people is my love language. You'll find me lovin' on the big moments, the quiet moments, the silly moments – but especially the in between moments. The moments that are unadulterated and unfiltered. The ones where you are the real you. Here on the blog you'll find all of my favorite tips, tricks and resources for planning an elopement that's all about those moments.

NATASHA CARDINAL

oregon ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER

Woohoo! So you're thinking about eloping on the Oregon Coast? Probably more like dreaming at this point, right? Well, you're in the right place! In this guide we're gonna be covering everything you need to know about how to find some of the best places to elope on the Oregon Coast! We'll cover everything from permits to recommended activities, travel and some of our favorite ways to make your Oregon Coast elopement everything you ever dreamt it would be.

IN THIS GUIDE

Why You Should Elope on the Oregon Coast
How to Elope on the Oregon Coast
The Best Places to Elope on the Oregon Coast:
Ecola State Park
Cannon Beach
Oswald West State Park
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area
Brookings
Blacklock Cliffs

WHY YOU SHOULD ELOPE ON THE OREGON COAST

Grassy dunes, magnificent sea stacks, mild weather, sparkling blue ocean, some of the most spectacular sunsets, redwood forests right up to the beach, dog friendly beaches. The Oregon Coast is one of those places that is something out of a dream. A place that you dream of roadtripping in the summer to surf, to explore rocky coves, to have bonfires on the beach, camping under massive redwoods. A place that's full of hidden nooks, and towering cliffs. It was even named as one of 100 The Most Beautiful Places in the World by National Geographic because it's so breathtaking! Not to mention, how they filmed The Goonies here. It's a place that's inspired people forever and saying your vows here would be...epic to say the least. And as an Oregon elopement photographer, I don't use that word lightly lol.

But aside from it's beauty, the Oregon Coast is an amazing place to get married because of the diverse opportunities for activities on your elopement day, and tons of very accessible adventures that you really give you the most bang for your buck. Many of the locations on this list are super close to each other, giving you tons of places to explore all in just one day, where you can ride horses, go tide pooling, hike to beautiful overlooks, have a picnic on the beach, and STILL be close to a town where you can get incredible food. The convenience above all is so great for those who want to pack in as much adventure as possible on their wedding day and still have a chef prepared meal.

And lastly, most of these locations don't require a permit to get married! Woohoo! We love some free pretty places.

couple holds hands as they stand on a cliff together at elk flats in oswald west state park for a blog about the best places to elope on the oregon coast

HOW TO ELOPE ON THE OREGON COAST: YOUR OREGON COAST ELOPEMENT CHECKLIST

Just starting your elopement planning journey? This is where you should start!

  1. Choose the time of year you want to elope.
  2. Hire your Oregon elopement photographer (ahem, me lol)
  3. Pick a date.
  4. Choose an amazing elopement location.
  5. Book your lodging.
  6. Hire your badass vendor team.
  7. Apply for your wedding permits (we'll talk about how to know if you need one later in this blog)
  8. Apply for an Oregon marriage license.
  9. Get married! Woohoo!

We even have a full guide to help you plan your Oregon Coast elopement from start to finish!
The Ultimate Guide to Your Oregon Coast Elopement

THE BEST PLACES TO ELOPE ON THE OREGON COAST

ECOLA STATE PARK

Just a quick drive from Oregon's iconic Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park is one of the most stunning parks in northern Oregon. It was even one of the locations for movies like The Goonies and Twilight! With lush Sitka Spruce forest, miles of gorgeous coastline, and insane views there is absolutely no shortage of beautiful places to say your vows or do your couples portraits. It's one of favorite places to elope on the Oregon Coast.

Permits + Passes: $5 day-use pass / no permit needed to exchange vows if you have under 50 people (you can get your Special Use Permit here for weddings over 50 people)

Distance from Portland: 1.5 hours

Dog Friendly: Yes! Dog's are welcome to join you as long as they're on a leash.

Tips for this location: Ecola has very narrow windy roads and cars with trailers, motor homes, and RVs aren't recommended. The area is prone to landslides and erosion as well so make sure to check if your preferred trails are open!

CANNON BEACH

Easily the most popular locations on the Oregon Coast, Cannon Beach is iconic! If you've been looking for some of the best places to elope on the Oregon Coast for a while, you've probably seen this one by now because it sits at the top of just about every list out there! Home to the famous Haystack Rock, beautiful beaches, interesting rock formations, and absolutely epic view points you can can't go wrong. It was even named one of the 100 Most Beautiful Places in the World by National Geographic!

Permits + Passes: No permit needed if your elopement is under 50 people, but you can find the permit for larger weddings here! Depending on your location you may be required to get a $5 day-use pass.

Distance from Portland: 1.5 hours


Dog Friendly: Yes! Oregon's beaches are extremely dog friendly and your dog is allowed to be off leash unless otherwise noted, as long as you have direct control and they aren't harassing people/wildlife.

Tips for this location: In the Summer this location is bustling with tourists and vacationers, but eloping here in September or October will still give you that beautiful weather without it being overrun by vacationers!

Recommended Locations:

Hug Point Recreation Area
Extraordinarily unique rock formations with waterfalls that cascade into the ocean (I don't use this word lightly, but...that's pretty damn epic). Beautiful sea caves carved into sandstone, the burnt orange colored cliffs, it would truly be one of the most spectacular places for your ceremony. Imagine being surrounding by beach waterfalls, tucked into a little sea cave as you say your vows in the sunset? I'm crying already.


Cove Beach
A stunning hidden gem that's hidden from the road by a gorgeous coastal forest, Cove Beach is one of the hidden gems in this area. Since gaining popularity over the last decade, most of Oregon's beaches are overrun with tourists but there are still plenty of secret beaches like this one! This beach goes by many names such as Magic Rocks Beach, for the sound that the volcanic rocks make as they move in the waves.


Haystack Rock
One of the most recognizable places in all of Oregon, Haystack Rock is a gigantic sea stack right on the beach that's home to some incredible tide pooling and bird life! While one of the most popular locations, some sunset portraits here would be something special!

OSWALD WEST STATE PARK

Oswald West is known for being one of the most spectacular state parks in Oregon, if not in the U.S.! With miles and miles of trails, there's a hike to fit every activity level here with undisputedly stunning views.

Permits + Passes: No day-use fees or parking fees here (woohoo!), and no permit needed if your wedding is under 50 people. If your wedding is over 50 people you can find the Special Use Permit application here!

Distance from Portland: 1.5-2 hours

Dog Friendly: Yes! As long as they are leashes and not disrupting other visitors or wildlife.

Recommended Locations:

Short Sand Beach
A popular surfing and boogie boarding location, Short Sand Beach is a tucked away cove that's protected from crazy weather. A short 1.2 mile walk from the parking lot, it's an unbelievably beautiful walk that leads you right onto the beach. You'll be surrounded by cliffs, big trees, and will likely see sea stars and other tide pool creatures on the rocks!

Elk Flats and the Devil's Cauldron Overlook

About 2.9 miles round trip, this hike is one of the most beautiful and dramatic places we've ever been in Oregon! The trail towards the end is a bit steep, but worth it for the insane views you get of the massive cliffs, sea save glittering blue water below.

Cape Falcon

A 4.5 mile roundtrip hike with so many highlights along the way. You'll have views of short sand beach from above and a little detour to get down to the beach, a view of Neahkahnie Mountain, sections through old growth forest. It's a gorgeous part of the Oregon Coast Trail and you'll hear the crashing waves below throughout the hike.

CAPE KIWANDA STATE NATURAL AREA

Famous for it's gigantic dunes (some 250 ft. tall!), sandstone formations carved by millions of years of waves and weather, and sandy beaches stretching in either direction, Cape Kiwanda is the perfect spot for an unreal coastal elopement. You can even see Haystack Rock in the distance as you look north towards Cannon Beach.

Permits + Passes: $10 day-use pass / no permit needed for elopements under 50 people

Distance from Portland: 2 hours

Dog Friendly: Yes! Dogs must be leashed but are welcome.

BROOKINGS

We saved the best for last on this list, because Brookings has SO much to offer that it would be hard to beat if we put it higher up on this list. And is only 30 minutes from Redwood State and National Park if you wanna hit up both for your special day! From hidden beaches, to some of the most insane rock formations (hence, the name Natural Bridges), with foamy waves crashing below, it's one of the most spectacular places we've ever been and is one of the most beautiful elopement locations in the world (yeah, I said it). There are TONS of trails we recommend here, but here are some of our favorites.

Permits + Passes Needed: None! There is no day-use fee or permit needed when eloping here if you have under 50 guests.

Distance from Portland: 5 hours

Dog Friendly: Yes! But dogs must remain on leash at all times and/or not be disruptive to other visitors in areas where they're allowed off leash.

Natural Bridges
Not a trail for the faint of heart, this trail is very narrow and extremely steep but is absolutely stunning. I only recommend this trail to experienced and sure-footed couples that are down for some adventure on their elopement day. Due to recent falls, there are now signs asking people to not climb down to the bridges themselves, but the trail remains open. Due to it's popularity I only recommend this location for sunrise elopements as well.

Harris Beach State Park

A beautiful location anytime of year! Rocky outcroppings and sea stacks make this place absolutely teeming with sea life, and makes for some extremely dramatic sunsets. In the winter people come to watch the dramatic storms roll in, in the spring it's bustling with new life...there's truly no bad time to visit.


Secret Beach

A 1.8 mile hike out and back this trail rivals the beauty of Natural Bridges without the nerve-wracking trail. A bit of a steep climb coming back up the trail, but absolutely worth it for the gorgeous views and photo opportunities. You'll have the quintessential sea stacks that make the Oregon Coast so beautiful, and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.

Arch Rock State Park

Named after the massive arched rock that sits in the Pacific Ocean, Arch Rock State Park is full of interesting and unique rock formations that would make for the most romantic tucked away elopement ceremony! There are trails to go from here to Secret Beach, multiple view points, and no shortage of things to explore.


Ariya's Beach

A little hidden gem, but no less beautiful than the other beaches on this list. Ariya's Beach is a lesser visited beach that is full of wacky sand and rock formations like much of the rest of the coast but without the crowds. Beautiful sea grasses line the short, and if you visit at low tide you can explore the rock formations and all of the sea life they hold.

BLACKLOCK CLIFFS

Located in Floras Lake State Park, these unique black and gray cliffs are a wild shift from the rest of the surrounding areas burnt oranges and peachy sandstone cliffs, but are so beautiful! With breath taking view points from some of the higher lookouts in the area, it's a magical place full of elegance that reminds us a little bit of Scotland. And is a great place to finish off our list of the best places to elope on the Oregon Coast!

Permits + Passes: No day-use fees or permits required for elopements under 50 people.


Distance from Portland: 4.5 hours

Dog Friendly: Yes! Dogs are welcome and may be off leash in some areas.

MORE PNW ELOPEMENT LOCATION GUIDES

hudson valley wedding photographers the cardinals

We're Natasha and Brian! Your Oregon elopement photographers, dog petters, and donut eaters focused on creating the dreamiest and intentional photos of your elopement. But we're so much more than just photographers. When you work with us, you get built in Oregon Coast elopement planning experts, guides for all of the parks most beautiful trails, snack holders, dress fluffers, tissue providers, and friends.

We know exactly what it's like to elope, because that's what we did too! We eloped on a misty August day on Mt. Baker with our sweet dog Fern, 7 of our closest friends, and it couldn't have been more us. Creating an experience that's undeniably you and honors your relationship is what we know best.

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