I can smell the pine. Dense groupings of evergreens covered with dew. Each droplet eventually falling to the bottom of the forest floor, so soft you can’t hear the footsteps of the family of deer looking for food. There is a crispness in the air that accompanies the fresh new day as it dawns feet away from a swirling gray ocean. Sounds sort of moody? That’s what makes eloping in Oregon such an amazing and unique wedding adventure!
For an elopement photographer Oregon is a dream, and not just because of the beachy forest vibes. Smack in the heart of it is Portland, so it’s a great balance of urban and isolation. There’s so much to think about, though – which is why I decided to write this adventure elopement guide to Oregon in the first place! Let’s get to the real questions. The biggest and most important one being…
Is Oregon A Good Place To Elope?
Oregon. Is. Gorgeous. Seriously. Gorgeous. There’s something about the way you can set a tone with Oregon elopement photography – maybe it’s the natural beauty of the landscapes, or the way light tries to break through the thick fan of pine needles created by patches of forest that grow wild. Maybe it’s the way the beaches change with the mood of the skies, shifting from turquoise water and white sands when the weather is bright to black sand and tumultuous gray skies when it’s not.
How Do I Plan An Adventure Elopement In Oregon?
The summers here rarely get too hot, which makes outdoor weddings highly feasible from June to August. Oregon also happens to be a hub for music festivals of all shapes and sizes, though, and you may have to fight tourists during festival season, which overlaps. Considering most of the trees are of the evergreen variety, fall can also be a wonderful time to get married – just don’t expect the same red, orange, and yellow hues that you would from other parts of the country.
Truly though, any time is the best time to elope in Oregon. The toughest part is figuring out where to go. Are you fiending for a forest? Longing for low tide? Trying to catch a film festival of 1950s PSAs before you say I do? Keen to visit a haunted mansion and a spooky cemetery while eating a Voodoo donut? Oregon has all that… and an inordinate amount more.
Weird, Wild, And Wonderful: All The Places We Can Go
There’s a reason locals adopted the motto “Keep Portland Weird.” It is a place unlike any other. First of all, Portland has a fervent passion for all things coffee. As of last count there were over 2,000 coffee shops in the city alone, not counting the burbs. There’s the infamous Voodoo Doughnuts, the Funhouse Lounge, which is chock full of clowns, and underground clubs that are filled with live music scattered around the city. Oh, and remember I mentioned haunted houses? How about a haunted hotel?
The Heathland Hotel
The Heathland Hotel is home to a touch of the paranormal. According to a variety of local myths, a former guest still haunts the hotel to this day. But even if you aren’t into the supernatural, the Heathman Hotel is a gorgeous space – it’s one of the oldest buildings in the city, and has been kept in pristine condition. Shining cherry wood, brick, gold, and warm tones offer a surprisingly comforting contrast to the darkness of the hotel's urban legends.
The Painted Hills
In what I compare to a canvas painted by the hands of the Universe, the Painted Hills in Mitchell, OR, are the fossilized remains of a force of nature. Formed 35 million years ago, the Painted Hills were created by a consistent stream of volcanic eruptions that sent millions of mineral particles into the air. The colorful striations of purple, red, orange, yellow, and pink are the layers of those minerals settling together. Located in the John Day Fossil Beds, there are no bad angles in this area, and therefore, amazing elopement photos.
Cannon Beach in Cannon, OR, is so freaking adorable. I wish there was a better way to put it, but this quaint beach town is just so wholesome – its white-sand beaches are so pure, its turquoise waters so unnaturally blue, that it feels like this town was made specifically to be put on a postcard. Though the beaches stretch for miles, my favorite spot happens to be right by Haystack Rock, a behemoth of a boulder smack in the middle of the sand.
Silver State Falls
Could this place be any more gorgeous? I’m not sure. From the trees covered top to bottom in layers of velvety moss, to the way the sunshine can never find the ground and is instead absorbed by the foliage, to the constant mist created from the splash of the falls casting an ethereal vibe across the land… Pure magic. It’s a little bit of a hike, and we’d definitely have to bring a change of clothes – but I promise the end results would be absolutely worth it.
From the weird, to the wild, to the wonderful, there are so many reasons to make Oregon your adventure elopement destination. I’ve spent a lot of time here, so I can’t wait to show you all the other hidden gems I keep close to the chest. Reach out to me and we can get started!
Featured image by Atanas Malamov on Unsplash