Eloping in Oregon
Wanting to elope in Oregon but not sure where to start? If you are up for an adventure and beautiful views than Oregon is the place! With diverse landscapes to choose from and no shortage of things to see and do it is no wonder that Oregon is a popular place to elope.
Our Elopement Packages here at Myrtle Creative Co. are all-inclusive, complete with location recommendations specific to you, itinerary creation & we are your travel guide with other suggested sights and local restaurants to visit. We do more than just photograph your day, we are your complete Elopement guides to ensuring you have an awesome experience! And we hope this information is helpful in your beginning stages of planning your Oregon elopement.
Interested in a hiking elopement at a beautiful location but cannot decide between the rugged Oregon Coast, the vast Columbia River Gorge, which one of the 238 waterfalls, which scenic mountain, Crater Lake National Park or the barren Alvord Desert? We totally understand! With 9 Ecoregions, Oregon offers some of the most diverse landscape available for your elopement and travel enjoyment. The great thing is that it is possible to enjoy multiple areas within one trip and we do offer multi-day Elopement Packages so do ask about customizing yours! Eloping at a beautiful waterfall before enjoying the afternoon hiking in the gorge followed by a Day After Adventure Session on the Oregon Coast is totally possible.
Marriage License Requirements
You can apply for your marriage license at your local county office. If flying in and staying in Portland, this would be Mulltnomah County. The marriage license is $60 and you must apply in person no more than 60 days before your wedding day. There is a 3 day waiting period, with the option of a $5 waiver request form that can be submitted upon application if needing to use the marriage license immediately. You are required to have an officiant and two witnesses.
For more information and to begin your application, visit the Multnomah County Website.
For an officiant up for hiking, we highly recommend Officiant Jimmie.
Travel & Logistics:
If flying into Oregon there are two international airports available. Portland International Airport (PDX) is the largest, most well known and offers the most flight options with 16 airlines. This would be ideal if eloping in the northern half of the state including the Columbia River Gorge, Northern Oregon Coast, or Bend.
The Rogue valley International-Medford Airport (MFR) is much smaller with only 5 airlines but if eloping on the southern Oregon Coast, Crater Lake National Park or similar proximity I would recommend checking it out. You might be happily surprised with a shorter drive time which means more time to explore this beautiful state!
Oregon has many major highways and interstates that make travel relatively easy throughout the state, depending on the time of year. During the winter, there are major highways and access roads that are closed for the entire season such as around Crater Lake National Park, and areas of the Cascades. If planning a winter elopement, checking ODOT's tripcheck information would be advised.
On an average day, driving to the Oregon Coast from Portland is about 1.5 – 2 hours. Portland to Bend is 3 hours and Portland to Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge is 30 minutes. Medford to Crater Lake National Park is about 1.5 hours, and Medford to Brookings on the Southern Oregon Coast is 2.5 hours.
With 9 Ecoregions, Oregon has a lot of different landscapes to offer. There is the Coast Range, Willamette Valley, Cascades, Eastern Cascades Slopes & Foothills, Blue Mountains, Klamath Mountains, Columbia Plateau, Snake River Plain, and the Northern Basin and Range regions. That means a lot of different locations to choose between when planning your elopement.
The most popular areas for Elopements are those that are readily accessible, but if looking for something more remote – there are some great options for that as well. We often ask our couples what general area they are wanting to stay within first just because there are so many options out there. Unless they are looking for something very specific that can only be found in one area, such as Crater Lake National Park or the Alvord Desert.
Let’s say you want to stay in Bend, OR as your home base and looking for either a waterfall, lakeside or mountaintop elopement within 1 hour of Bend. No problem! Same for if Portland is going to be your home base for your Elopement. We know of some awesome locations and hikes that don’t get as much traffic as others in even more remote areas if interested – just ask!
Weather & Climate Regions:
If you are looking for a sunny summer Elopement then planning for a late June – September Elopement in Oregon would be recommended. If wanting a snowy Elopement, then December – early March would be ideal. Oregon’s weather does tend to fluctuate a lot with rain making up a fair amount of the winter and spring months depending on what area of the state you are in.
Also, weather in Eastern Oregon looks a lot different than the Coast Range. In May, it could be warm and sunny in Bend but pouring on the Oregon Coast. Elopements can be nice because you can usually be a bit more flexible with your day and work with the weather if needed but in general, we do recommend that our couples embrace the weather and be ready for anything. Try to plan the best you can but being out in the great outdoors means working with the elements. And we come prepared with either hot packs, umbrellas or water bottled depending on the need.
Basic Tips for Planning Your Oregon Elopement:
Oregon is a beautiful place and it can be really hard to narrow down your location of choice to say your vows. This is why we rarely have an Elopement day all in one location. Most elopement days include a ‘First Look’ at one location, ceremony at another and then sunset at yet another location. We customize each package to best meet your needs and to include as much adventuring as you like. Here are a few quick tips for planning your Oregon Elopement:
Select or be available for a weekday Elopement. Public areas during their peak season (when the area is best for visiting) are very busy. Especially the summer months, even a weekday is going to be busy and might require a sunrise Elopement for an intimate experience.
Determine your ‘must haves’ first. For example if the beach is a must, or only having to drive an hour from your Airbnb, or if you want to be able to climb a mountaintop and see the stars on a clear night without any city lights. Sit down together and list out these type of ‘must haves’ first to keep you grounded on what you really want.
Next, look up ideas and start a Pinterest board of things & places you like. This is a great way to see what you are drawn to most and If you start seeing a theme such as all waterfalls, or mountaintops or lakes. It can be fun to see some great options but don't spend too much time here just yet.
Now is a great time to reach out to your preferred Elopement Photographer, such as us here at Myrtle Creative Co. Have your list of 'must haves', a Pinterest board with some things you like and be ready to chat about yourself because with this information, your photographer should be able to provide some additional guidance and local information that is going to be key to your Elopement coming together just as you always imagined it.
For example, if you saw a photo of the gorgeous Oneonta Gorge and began planning around that location you might not know that the trail is closed until further notice. Other locations require visiting during certain times of the year for either high or low waterflow or winter weather. Some are insanely busy unless visited at sunrise, etc and this is where your Elopement Photographer (such as us) can help you out.
We love working with our couples to assist in their planning process and highly recommend reaching out to us early on so we can be of the most help to you. If you come to us with a date range, a few locations you really like and are interested in, and a general travel range you would prefer to stay within then we would be in the most ideal situation to jump right in and assist in planning your Elopement Day.
And while some locations require planning a year in advance due to renting an Airbnb on location for access, others can be planned within a couple weeks if wanted. Whether you are looking for something super unique and remote or you want to bring your Pinterest dreams to life with those iconic Oregon locations – eloping in Oregon is for the adventurous at heart! Ready for your Oregon Elopement Adventure? We would love to chat with you!
Documenting Memories. Capturing Love. Creating Experiences.
Myrtle Creative Co. is your traveling wife + husband photography team specializing in vibrant + bold photography for the adventurous at heart. We are all about those real moments and capturing your love story in an authentic way. We take the time to get to know you, listen to your dreams and do our part in making those dreams become memorable experiences you want to re-live again, and again.
We provide both one and two photographer packages to best meet your needs. Our focus is on Elopement, Wedding + Senior Photography. We are based in the Pacific Northwest with regular travel to the Southwest and available worldwide.
We are nerdy and outdoor enthusiasts who love getting to know you and creating the best photographic experience possible for you. Being creative, going on adventures and having fun with you is what we live for. Come, let’s go explore together!