Oregon Coast Wedding Tips | Oregon Coast Elopement Photographer


Don't Just plan a wedding, plan an Oregon Coast adventure.

Want to elope on the Oregon Coast? You’ve come to the right place. Below is some info to get you started in planning.

Listen, I GET IT.

It’s hard to make that choice to decide what’s best for you and your commitment to each other, especially if it doesn’t align with a lot of peoples’ expectations.

It isn’t selfish to want a day that reflects you and your partner to the core. It may be one of the most healthy ways to start your new life together.

Spending your days planning for a wedding that pleases everyone won’t magically mend fences or destroy friendships (ask me how I know). You have every right to have whatever kind of wedding day you want. 


Permits: If your group is smaller than 50 people (ideal for an intimate wedding or elopement), and no structures are going up, you most likely will not need a permit. Definitely contact the State Park Coastal Office (click here) for more info. If you need a permit for a larger gathering or because there will be structures, keep in mind permits are not issued from May-September. All Oregon beaches are public land, which means areas cannot be reserved, and the public technically cannot be excluded. Don’t worry, though – it’s usually pretty easy to find a quiet location and Oregonians are respectful of each other on their beloved beaches.

Oregon Marriage License Fee: $60. Your license is good for 60 days after a 3 day waiting period (which most counties allow you to void for a smaller fee!).


Something that many people forget to check:

TIDES and SUNRISE/SUNSET. Trust me, you’ll want to know this information so you don’t end up trying to avoid the incoming tide, or realizing you won’t have enough daylight! Find out tides and sunrise/sunset info here: Oregon Tide Chart


If you’re considering Cannon Beach as your backdrop, I would actually urge you to consider another nearby beach. There are so many locations that are more scenic, and more importantly: LESS CROWDED.

Parking can be a nightmare (there isn’t really a designated spot for the beach, so street parking is typical), and there’s a reason people decide to go to Cannon Beach – it’s one of the most blogged and photographed places on the Oregon Coast. If you want beachcombers in your images, then this may be the place for you, but if not…

I’ve got a list of over two dozen other significantly less crowded and more scenic locations all up and down the Oregon Coast. Let’s find you one that resonates with you.

The second thing? If you’re thinking of having a small wedding on the Oregon Coast on a Friday-Sunday, especially from May-September, be prepared for it to be insanely crowded. If you can at all, I would highly suggested moving your day to Mon-Thurs.


5 Tips for Eloping on the Oregon Coast


  1. Make sure you do (or don’t) need a permit.
  2. Check the tides on your wedding day.
  3. Check sunrise and sunset on an accurate app.
  4. Be open to locations other than Cannon Beach.
  5. Choose a Monday-Thursday to avoid crowds.


Usually it’s a relationship with a photographer who has the knowledge and investment in your day – they’re right beside you through every step. I don’t just have “clients”. I have friends, brides, grooms. I’m going to be with you to empower you and bring out ideas that you have and make them a reality.

Yes, it’s about the photos, but it’s also about so much more. It’s about having a day that’s true to you, and that happens when you’ve got someone in your corner who’s done this a time or two.

What is an Elopement?

Eloping is not about the photos.

I know what you’re thinking. What? An adventure elopement photographer who thinks eloping isn’t about the photos?! Yes, you heard me right.

Eloping is about the transformation that you can have that is the catalyst for real change in the rest of your life. Think about all the defining moments in your life. Think about those moments that made you a better person. Those moments likely weren’t easy. But I bet you those moments were 100% worth it.

Eloping is about so much more than a ceremony and great photos. It’s about doing the thing that speaks to you the most, regardless of whether it scares you, or looks hard, or mean you might face blow back. Eloping is about doing the thing that fulfills you and makes you a better person and who you were meant to be.

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Do yourself a solid and cancel your wedding, hire Sam, and run away and marry your sweetie like you really want to!


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Have to give it up for Sam! We had a blast, and the pictures turned out better than we could have hoped. She put us at ease and by the end of the day we were all laughing and just having fun!!

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Leah & Mike, Glacier National Park

Sam did more than I ever imagined a photographer would. She removed any piece that could have seemed overwhelming.

On top of all of that, she’s a fantastic photographer and a phenomenal person. Our wedding day was a group of friends, trudging through the woods (hot tea in hand, thanks to her and her husband), laughing, talking, and getting pictures along the way.

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She picked a perfect location and had a timeline sent to me in no time! I seriously just had to show up. There was not one single thing I had to worry about that day. She truly made it intimate and about us two. I would not pick any other person to capture that day.

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Tabby & Justin, Oregon

Sam helped us really figure out what we were wanting and how to achieve that feeling...and gave us the confidence to stick to our wishes, even if they were non-traditional! She honestly felt like working with a goofy friend. The pictures were more than we could have imagined...and for my husband who really is shy in front of the camera? You never would have known! Sam made it SO easy.


Noey & Jeramie, Alabama Hills/Lone Pine California

We were just overwhelmed with Sam's help in finding essentially our wedding location.
She’s everything rolled into ONE.

I can’t thank her enough for capturing what we were picturing in our heads, so well. Not only did Sam capture our wedding day but she became a friend, who I will refer just about any and everyone to now.