You already KNOW I’m obsessed with my home state of Oregon, especially in the autumn months because of all the freaking beautiful colors we get. So for all you fellow fall lovers who are planning an elopement (or will be planning one soon) today I’m going to talk all about how to elope in Oregon in the fall!
Here’s what I’ll be going through on the topic of how to elope in OR in the fall:
Let’s get into the good shit!!
Okay y’all, first I need to talk about why you should elope in Oregon in the first place! I may be a little biased, but here are the top 3 reasons to elope in Oregon in general – let’s see if I can convince you:
If you’ve been to Oregon, you probably know that it has SO so much to offer!! I swear I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t want to come here. We’ve got every type of location you could dream of: forests, beaches, mountains, deserts, cities, everythingggg. Except for maybe tropics – but if you’re visiting OR you’re probably not looking for tropical weather anyway!
Oregon offers all kinds of different environments across the state, so you really have endless opportunities. If you elope in Oregon, you can choose whatever type of environment is your fave + is most meaningful to you and your partner.
Ocean lovers? Head to the coast!! Rather hike in the forest? Go to the southern tip of OR for the redwoods. Or do you want that beige desert glow? Take a trip to Bend!
To piggyback off of that first one, Oregon’s beauty is just truly unbeatable. Every single type of landscape it offers is STUNNING. No matter what season, there are beautiful colors and textures to see: in the ocean waves, the sand, the rocks on the coast, the tall green trees in the forest, the mountains, the list goes on and on. OR is seriously just stunning, plain and simple!!
Along with the beautiful beautiful landscapes OR offers, we’ve also got amazing tourism opportunities!!
If you come to elope from out of state, no matter where you are you’ll be able to find fun things to do.
If you elope on the coast, every coastal town is adorable and filled with local shops to visit. Or maybe you want to hit up Mount Hood – Hood River is a cozy place to stay and has beautiful views. Even the more desert-y area of OR has amazing opportunities, especially in Bend if you elope at Smith Rock!!
Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you to elope in Oregon, let’s talk about why Oregon in the FALL is absolutely epic for elopements!!
This is a bigggg one: eloping in Oregon in the spring definitely has its benefits, but if you elope in the fall you’ll likely have much less rain!
Keep in mind that if you choose to elope in OR at any time of the year, you should be prepared for rain (see more tips for that further down!). The weather here can be super unpredictable – a day can start off sunny and all of a sudden we get a downpour a few hours later. The rain can be either light sprinkles or can come down HARD, so you need to prepare for those situations.
BUT if you elope in the fall, rainy season won’t have hit heavily yet, so you’re less likely to encounter a ton of rain. Especially September/October – those are the peak fall months and will help you avoid the rainy season that comes around November!
You might still have overcast skies, since that’s what Oregon is best at, but don’t worry – clouds make for beautiful soft lighting for us to work with!!
Here’s a website that has some good info on climate data in Oregon that you can take a look at too!
This is also a big one – certain spots in Oregon can get superrrr busy in the spring and summer. In the fall, you probably won’t encounter as many tourists wherever you go!
Especially if you elope on the coast, you’ll find that the beaches are pretty dang crowded with visitors taking their spring or summer beach vacays. Oregon gets colder in the fall, so not as many people come to visit with their friends/families, so you’ll have less tourists!
Another great thing about eloping in OR in the fall is that the days are still pretty long! Winter hasn’t hit yet, so the days aren’t getting too short – you’ve still got plenty of light in the mornings and evenings.
So that means you can still have a sunrise or evening elopement and have beautiful lighting (obviously depending on the weather/if the sky is overcast) without it getting dark too soon. You can make your elopement into a full day without having to worry about the sun setting before you finish or it being dark when you want to start in the morning! Thank god for daylight savings until early November!!
This is prob the most obvious one and might be the reason you want to elope in OR in the fall in the first place: the colors!! We get THE most stunning fall colors across the state in September and October, especially in October since that’s when they’re at their peak.
Because Oregon is SO dang rainy during our rainy season, the trees get lots of hydration and that causes the colors to be more vibrant when fall hits.
Here’s what Travel Oregon says about fall colors in OR:
“Once fall comes around, Breen says leaf peepers should root for sunny autumn days and cold (but not freezing) evening temperatures. That fall mix helps produce brilliant red leaves, though overcast skies, heavy rain and wind can still mute colors and shorten the peak season.”
This article from Travel Oregon has a ton of good info about Oregon’s fall foliage, and even has a couple maps to help demonstrate – here’s a really good one that shows when the peak fall colors happen in different areas of the state!!
Now let’s talk about how to elope in OR in the fall and make sure you pack + prepare appropriately!!
Here are a few important things to keep in mind when planning your Oregon fall elopement:
Since Oregon weather can be super unpredictable, you’ve gotta prepare yourselves for any kind of weather! Even if the forecast says it’s supposed to be sunny, or barely any chance of rain, prep for a rainstorm just in case.
Bring rain gear, backup outfits, umbrellas, make a plan for your hair/makeup in case of rain, etc. The LAST thing we want is to get to your elopement location only to have it downpour and ruin your day because we weren’t prepared for it!! I’m all about going with the flow and being flexible, so we’ll brainstorm and problem-solve together – don’t you worry!
Following up on that last one, it’s important to also have a backup plan for your elopement!
If your location were to get rained out or flooded the day/week of your elopement, you don’t want to panic – you want to be prepared + have a plan B. Or maybe the trail you were going to hike is now superrrr muddy, slippery, & dangerous – time for the backup plan!!
Creating a backup plan (or two!) ahead of time will give you so much peace of mind in case something were to happen to your original planned location. I’ll help you out with this, so don’t be afraid to ask me for backup plan suggestions!!
And finally, make sure you do your research on locations! This is something I help with as your elopement photographer, but you want to make sure you know everything about your location too. Make sure you know what trail you’re going to hike on, where you’re going to park, if parking will cost money, if dogs are allowed, etc. – research any permits or passes you might need and figure out any issues you could run into the day-of. Prepare ahead of time for everything so that the day can run smooth AF one it arrives!!
Here’s a brief packing list to help get you started for your OR fall elopement to make sure you don’t forget the most important things!!
Now let’s get into my top fave Oregon locations for fall elopements!
Yes, Oregon has redwoods!! Visit the southern part of OR if you want to elope among the tall, beautiful trees of a redwood forest.
Mount Hood is a dream for any mountain lovers! Make sure to get the correct special use permit to have your elopement here. And while you’re visiting for your elopement, you can stay at the gorgeous Timberline Lodge!
This is one of my fave spots along the Oregon Coast because of its insane views and overall beauty everywhere. It gets the most beautiful fall colors!!
And finally, for any desert lovers, Smith Rock is the place to elope! Bend is such a fun place to visit when you’re done tying the knot/for your honeymoon, and the state park is just the most beautiful desert with huge rocks + golden fields, especially in the fall months.
Lastly, I’m going to give you some of my favorite Oregon elopement vendors to help you plan your fall OR elopement!!
PHEW that was a shit ton of info, but hopefully now you feel super confident and aren’t wondering how to elope in Oregon in the fall anymore!! Reach out to me if you’re in need of a bomb ass photographer to tag along on your fall elopement – can’t wait to help you plan your big day! If you want to see a full gallery of an elopement in Oregon check out this blog!