Here’s your beginners guide on how to elope in Oregon. Lush pine forests, natural hot springs, vast deserts, snow capped mountains, rugged coastlines… I could go on, but Oregon really does have it all! No matter what kind of backdrop you’re looking for, an elopement in this gorgeous corner of the pacific northwest will never disappoint. If you’re planning to elope in Oregon (or you’re thinking about it), keep reading this guide to learn all about how to make it happen!
SCHEDULING AN ELOPEMENT DATE
First things first, you’ll need to decide on a date to tie the knot! Before you start flipping (or scrolling) through your calendar, there are a few things you should know about the best time to elope in Oregon.
WEATHER IN OREGON
Oregon has a lot of different microclimates, and if you travel from one side of the state to the other, you can experience different weather in just one day! In general, early October to mid July are often rainy throughout the state. The good news is that when it rains, it drizzles – it rarely pours in Oregon!
The best time to elope in Oregon if you’re eloping in the mountains or in a high elevation area is summer, when the weather is warm and sunny. Trails can remain snow covered into mid summer, so your best bet for open roads and clear trails is to elope in late July or early August. For lower elevation areas in mountainous regions, early fall can be a great opportunity to see the leaves change after the summer crowds have cleared out! Coastal areas are gorgeous in the summer as well, though often foggier than the areas more inland. September on the Oregon coast is stunning, and the good weather often lasts into October.
For desert elopements, fall and spring bring optimal temperatures. There is less rain throughout the year than the rest of the state, but winters can occasionally see a light dusting of snow. Summers can get up into the 90s, and with no tree coverage it can be brutal!
Whether it’s Mount Hood or the peaks surrounding Crater Lake, Oregon has plenty of incredible hiking trails that cross the alpine terrain. Elope in the summer and you might be met with fields of wildflowers!
There’s something magical about Oregon’s lush forests and the way the fog often settles over the tops of the trees. You can explore coastal Redwoods close to the California border, or groves of pine trees in the Tillamook National Forest (and yes, the nearby town of Tillamook is home to Tillamook cheese). Head to central Oregon and spend your elopement day relaxing in a natural hot spring surrounded by woods!
MAKING IT OFFICIAL
Now to the… less fun stuff. Paperwork! To get legally married in Oregon, you’ll need to brush up on the local marriage laws. Don’t worry though, I have all the important info right here.
To elope in Oregon and get legally married, you’ll need to get a marriage license. This can be done in person at any county clerk’s office in the state, though many offices allow you to apply ahead of time online. Make sure to bring a photo ID and some cash for the marriage license fee (which varies by county, but is usually around $55). There’s a three day waiting period after obtaining the marriage license before you can use it, so if you’re traveling from out of state, make sure to give yourself enough time to do this!
Marriage licenses must be signed by an officiant, but you have a few options. You can hire an officiant who can join you on your adventures, or have a friend or family member get ordained! It’s quick, easy, and free on ULC.org, so if there’s someone you trust to perform your ceremony, this can add a really great personal touch to the day.
I’m also ordained, so if you want to say your own vows to each other and bring an additional witness we can make this thing happen 🙂
You’ll need two witnesses to sign as well – but if you were hoping for a guestless elopement, don’t worry! The only requirement is that they be over 18, so your photographer or any other vendors can sign, and you can even find two strangers anywhere throughout the day. People are always super excited to help out!
Booking Your Elopement Vendors
This might just be the most important thing you do when you elope in Oregon (other than the actual ceremony, of course). A good team of elopement vendors can make the planning process so much easier, and guide you through the entire thing!
As a destination elopement photographer, I might carry the camera, but my job is so much more than that. I’m your planning assistant, cheerleader, and hiking buddy, and I’m here to make sure you have the best day of your life. That looks different for everybody, and no matter what you’re dreaming of, I’m here to tell you we can make it happen! If you’re ready to elope in Oregon, ready to start planning and to get married in a way that reflects who you are as a couple, and ready to have an adventure, contact me!