| February 25, 2020

5 Free Wedding Venues in Oregon

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5 Free Wedding Venues in Oregon

(Or Nearly Free Wedding Venues!)

Picture it.

You and your partner in gorgeous Oregon on your elopement day. You’re taking hands. You’re reading vows. You’re pledging your lives to each other. Everywhere you turn you’re surrounded by jaw-dropping landscape. Maybe it’s the rugged Oregon coast dotted with haystacks and that signature PNW moody fog. Maybe you’re at the top of a snow-capped mountain overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. Maybe you’re canoeing out to the middle of a lake to catch the sunrise.

It all sounds perfect, right?

Well, what if we told you there’s a way to make your Oregon elopement even more perfect?

What if we told that you that in Oregon — in this stunning, incredible state — there are tons of free places to get married?

It’s true. It’s totally possible. And we’re going to tell you how.

We absolutely adore Oregon for so many unique reasons. Many of those reasons (we believe) make it the perfect place to elope — we even wrote up an entire blog post about why we think Oregon is the best place to elope.  

Oregon is otherworldly and magical. It’s this stunningly diverse state that’s straight out of a storybook. It’s lush, soft moss that climbs the branches of centuries-old trees. It’s the Pacific Ocean crashing against the rugged coastline. It’s volcanic mountain peaks punctuated by the dreamiest casts of alpenglow you’ve ever seen.

Tack on the fact that there are several, beautiful spots in Oregon where you can elope for free (or nearly free) and you can probably understand why we think Oregon is filled with some of the best places to elope.  

One of the photographers on our Adventure Instead team, Tori, lives in Washington, and throughout her time exploring the PNWonderland, she’s curated lists upon lists of absolutely epic Oregon elopement spots. And, of course, she’s compiled an amazing location list of the best free places to get married in Oregon, too.

As professional elopement photographers, we’re incredibly jazzed about these locations. As experienced guides, elopement planners, and your personal cheerleaders, we’re absolutely ecstatic that there are so many free places to get married in Oregon. We’ve shared our top five favorites with you here!

COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE

This magical place is absolutely overflowing with exceptional, challenging hikes as well as gorgeous, easily accessible locations that all make for stunning elopement spots. With plenty of stunning viewpoints throughout the gorge, spots along the river itself to enjoy, and waterfalls nearby (including Latourell Falls and Government Cove), there’s a little something beautiful for every eloping couple in the Columbia River Gorge.

NEED-TO-KNOW DETAILS:

  • You’ll need a permit for your elopement or wedding if you plan to have more than 75 people in attendance or plan to use structures like chairs, tents, water stations, etc.
  • The Columbia River Gorge is a very popular spot—if you plan to elope here, it’s recommended that you avoid peak visitation hours and peak season!
  • You will need to pay for entry into the park, which ranges from about $5 to $35 depending on which pass you purchase (daily, weekly, annual, etc.)

CANNON BEACH

An Oregon classic if there ever was one, Cannon Beach is truly a stunning, iconic location for any Oregon elopement. There are so many unique, amazing spots all around this popular coastal town that would make for the perfect elopement location. With haystack lined beaches, cliffs overlooking the water, and lush forests jutting up the coastline, it’s a truly epic (and perfectly PNW) place for your elopement.

NEED-TO-KNOW DETAILS:

  • If your elopement group is smaller than 50 people and you don’t plan to use structures (arches, etc.), it’s likely that you will not need a permit.
  • Contact the State Park Coastal Office for more information about when a special use permit might be necessary for your Cannon Beach elopement.

SKAMANIA OLD STONE HOUSE

Truly a hidden gem, Skamania Old Stone House sounds, well, exactly like the name describes — but with a magical twist. It’s an old stone house all right, but it’s absolutely covered in green moss and set within an Oregon forest that’s straight out of a storybook.

NEED-TO-KNOW DETAILS:

  • No permits to link you to or sites to link you to — we’ll be happy to personally tell you all about this one. It’s a little bit of a treasure hunt!

CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK

An Oregon icon that features a huge, crystal-clear, unreal lake that circles about 26 miles, Crater Lake National Park is truly one of Oregon’s wildest landscapes. With dramatic views, exceptional stargazing, and even a teeny island to explore in the center of the lake, this beautiful spot has over 90 miles of trails and unlimited excitement for all.

NEED-TO-KNOW-DETAILS

  • There are no indoor facilities at Crater Lake that can act as plan B for your elopement, but there’s plenty of outdoor areas that are jaw-dropping, epic, and perfect for an adventure elopement.
  • You’ll need to pay a $50 application fee and fill out a completed form in order to request to have your elopement at Crater Lake. The office suggests about 8-10 weeks of buffer time before you receive your approval, so make sure you plan accordingly.
  • Check out their site here for more permit information.

SMITH ROCK STATE PARK

Stunning and deep river canyons, beaches, red rock cliffs, mountains, and more, this gorgeous state park is a literal paradise — especially if you’re a rock climber. Smith Rock State Park is exceptionally scenic year-round and has both challenging and super accessible areas that would make for the perfect elopement ceremony. With thousands of climbs in the park, lots of hiking and mountain biking trails, and ample opportunity to spot wildlife, this unique and epic Oregon state park is a must-elope spot!

NEED-TO-KNOW DETAILS:

  • Pets are allowed — we totally encourage you to bring your doggos to your elopement.
  • There’s tons of great camping, hiking, and exploring to be had at this park — but you’ll need to make sure you have a day-use permit to enter! Check out more information about Oregon park’s day use permits here.
  • You’ll most likely need a special use permit for your elopement, but it’s hugely recommended you give the park a call at 800-551-6949 so you can talk directly with a ranger about what type of permit you’ll need to obtain for your elopement.

No matter where you end up eloping, whether it’s Oregon or Iceland or your backyard, all that matters is that you and your partner are creating a day that’s a perfect, intentional reflection of what matters most to both of you. That’s the beauty of eloping — you get to forgo all the rules, craft your version of perfect, and authentically choose your partner forever in the way that makes the most sense for you. For us, that’s all we ever hope for the couples who choose to partner with us to create their wildly different wedding days.

If you’re ready to chat about your Oregon elopement, want to hear about more free spots, or are interested in more eloping in Oregon logistics, give us a call. We’re ready to help you get your Oregon elopement going!

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Maddie Mae

Elopement Photographer

& Planning Consultant

Three photographers

About us

Adventure Instead

Your Elopement Photographers & Planning Consultants. We are Maddie Mae, Amber, and Tori. We're your photographers, your elopement consultants, your cheerleaders, and your go-to adventure buddy on the day you say your vows.

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