Vintage Solstice Crater Lake Elopement at Sunrise

Reilly and Cory had a magical Crater Lake and Umpqua National Forest waterfall elopement. When they reached out to me, I was stoked to find out they are from Eugene! It’s super cool for me when I get to photograph couples who I consider to be “locals” (even though we are 75 miles apart). We were super fortunate to get some time to hang out by going to an escape room together and having dinner together in the month leading up to their elopement in Crater Lake and the Umpqua National Forest. 

We started off summer solstice at sunrise, which I would argue is a double-edged sword. There is nothing better than being the first people to experience sunrise when you feel like you are the only person on earth because everyone is still sleeping. The downside is if you want to experience the sunrise on the summer solstice, you will be waking up extra early.

Reilly started her hair and makeup at 3:30 am (with the amazing Meaghan Whalen of Fleurt Beauty Company) and met me at the trailhead at 5:00 am.

Crater Lake wedding venues aren’t the traditional pavilions or other enclosed spaces. Sure, you have the Crater Lake Lodge (which books up well in advance for lodgings), but for the most part, you have all of the trails along the rim and beyond to say your vows. You just need coordinates for the ceremony permit! And don’t worry, that’s something I help with 😉 .

We traversed snowdrifts due to excessive snowpack and rainfall this year (so thankful for that in order to combat wildfires). We experienced the sun peaking over the caldera of Crater Lake, which was so absolutely breathtaking. We made our way to some amazing local waterfalls while taking a quick lakeside picnic at Diamond Lake. The final waterfall trip led us closer to Roseburg along highway 138. This is one of my favorite waterfalls in the entire Pacific Northwest!

Because of the extra rainfall and snowpack, the water flow was incredibly strong with mist barreling off the cliffsides and the base of the falls to the point where we only had a few moments to get some epic images before getting soaked. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Reilly and I bonded over things like The 10th Kingdom (Scott Cohen as Wolf, if you know, you know).

Reilly & Cory really took advantage of Southern Oregon’s beauty which is often overlooked for more Insta famous locations. Being originally from Bend and Eugene, these two had the advantage of really knowing that they could walk out their “back door” to an epic and scenic elopement that rivals anywhere else in the world.

Want to know more about eloping at Crater Lake? Click here for your guide!