The Oregon Coast is such a stunning place to capture your elopement day! When I first chat with my couples, some have such a hard time choosing the exact location they want to venture to. Which, Oregon is absolutely gorgeous everywhere so it’s a very understandable dilemma. This blog post is meant to be a valuable resource in case you are trying to plan your Oregon Coast elopement and need a photographer’s opinion! You’ll find my top 5 favorite locations for your Oregon Coast elopement day below!
Samuel H Boardman State Scenic Corridor is a gorgeous area to have your elopement day! This stretch of the coastal highway 101, has SO many incredibly scenic beaches and pull outs. They’re filled with gorgeous cliffside views and turquoise waters perfect for a dreamy PNW coastal elopement. Some of the spots require a bit of hiking and some don’t, but all of them are 100% worth it. Some of the beaches along this route are a bit hush hush and I don’t want to name names. However, rest assured that if you hire me to capture your day, I’ll show you some incredible options and take you along to some of the most gorgeous views!
Sunset Bay State Park, Coos Bay is my next favorite if you are searching to stay around the Southern Oregon Coast! This is a state park that is well known and loved and for good reason. The tree covered cliff-sides create a gorgeous bay of water with beautiful views. If you go at low tide, there’s some stunning tide pooling to be done here as well, which makes for a perfect coastal wedding day activity. You can also pop down the road a few blocks to the Shore Acres Botanical Gardens, which are lush and green even in the summer! If you keep venturing around, you’ll hit Bastendorff Beach, which has a wide, sweeping beach dotted with seagrass covered dunes.
This beach is unique for several reasons! It has gorgeous tree lined cliffs framing the little bay, along with Heceta Head Lighthouse standing on the hill above the beach. There is also a stone bridge on highway 101 and the architecture is absolutely iconic. This location also features a gorgeous creek that runs into the ocean and mossy hillsides. If you want those lush forest feels but also want to be on the beach, this is the perfect spot. Bonus, you can take the paved trail from the parking lot up to the lighthouse, which also has an adorable bed and breakfast right next to it!
Yachats is again one of those areas with so many beautiful beach options, it’s a coastal dream! Neptune Beach is one of my favorites and has two trails, the regular trail down to the beach, and a second hidden trail looking over the beach and ocean that would be perfect for saying your vows. At low tide, Neptune beach has rock features that are a stunning backdrop for any elopement and so unique! If you adventure closer to the town of Yachats, there is another gorgeous half moon shaped beach with a backdrop of the cliffside town. Going even further down the 101, are several little easily accessible beaches too. You truly can’t go wrong with picking this area for your Oregon elopement!
Cannon Beach itself is of course an iconic location, but as such can be crowded with not much privacy. This can make it less than ideal for a ceremony or vow exchange! So, enter the jaw dropping area of Hug Point. Just a few miles down the road from Cannon Beach, there is the gorgeous location of Hug Point! It is a unique beach at the bottom of a pretty steep parking lot, but trust me it is so worth it. It has gorgeous caves carved out of the cliffside making for some fun exploring and really fun, adventurous photographs! When it is low tide here, you wan walk around the point to view a stunning waterfall.
Although this beach has been getting more popular, if you time it right it’s a much more private spot for your big day! If you truly want Cannon Beach shots though, head there for portraits! I recommend to do your ceremony at another spot, or consider being there at sunrise or on a weekday to avoid crowds! Cannon beach also allows beach campfires during certain seasons (please check with the parks office first), which could be a fun activity for the end of your elopement day; s’mores and a toasty warm fire.
It doesn’t matter what time of year, be prepared for rain and fog. Although sunny days at the coast happen, they are much rarer than the usual overcast skies and creeping marine layer of fog. June through September however would be the best months to elope on the coast.
Check for permits! If you plan on having an elopement or micro wedding, you usually won’t need a permit for the ceremony unless you’re planning on doing a set up involving chairs or an arbor, but always check with the nearby state park office or your photographer to make sure!
Make sure to always check the tide charts for your location. If you can, try to plan for low tide if the timing works out for you! If not, plan on a location with wide beaches, like Sunset Bay State Park or Cannon Beach where even at high tide you can still have your ceremony a safe distance from the ocean.
I am in love with my state and the gorgeous elopement locations that are available to plan the most stunning experience. Let’s create the most epic elopement of your dreams and I will capture all of the moments for you! Let’s make it official and start the planning! You can fill out my contact form here and I can’t wait to hear from you!
Riley is an elopement + wedding photographer located in Southern Oregon - available for travel worldwide!