Are you dreaming of a natural, romantic backdrop for your elopement? Look no further than Oregon’s waterfalls. Nestled throughout the state’s breathtaking landscapes, these cascading wonders offer a magical setting for an intimate and unforgettable wedding ceremony. With their roaring sounds and misty atmospheres, Oregon’s waterfalls provide a sense of serenity and awe-inspiring beauty that will make your special day truly extraordinary.
Imagine exchanging vows with the backdrop of a majestic waterfall, surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sound of flowing water. Whether you choose the iconic Multnomah Falls, the hidden gem that is Tumalo Falls, or any of the other countless cascades scattered across the state, you can’t go wrong with choosing an Oregon waterfall for your dream elopement.
Aside from their natural beauty, these waterfalls also offer endless opportunities for breathtaking wedding photographs. Your photographer will capture the essence of your love amidst the mist and shimmering sunlight, resulting in a collection of images that are as stunning as they are romantic.
Benefits of choosing a waterfall for your elopement
A waterfall elopement offers a range of unique benefits that make it a truly special and memorable experience. Firstly, the natural beauty of waterfalls provides an awe-inspiring backdrop that is impossible to replicate. The cascading water, lush green surroundings, and mist-filled air create an ethereal atmosphere, adding a touch of magic to your ceremony.
Additionally, the sound of flowing water serves as a natural soundtrack for your vows, creating a serene and romantic ambiance. As you exchange promises of love, the soothing sounds of the waterfall will enhance the emotional connection between you and your partner, making the moment even more meaningful.
Furthermore, waterfalls are typically located in remote and secluded areas, offering privacy and intimacy for your elopement. You can escape the crowds and immerse yourselves in the beauty of nature, allowing you to focus solely on each other and the commitment you are making.
Choosing to elope at a waterfall not only provides a stunning backdrop for your ceremony but also offers a unique and adventurous experience that you and your partner will cherish for a lifetime.
It’s important to not box yourselves into the thoughts of what your day should look like. There are NO RULES! Throw out your craziest and funniest ideas and see what sticks. Eloping in Oregon is supposed to be your big adventure, so make it epic!
HERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT ASPECTS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN PLANNING A WATERFALL WEDDING.SO I HAVE MADE A LIST OF QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT.
Choose the right waterfall location for your elopement ceremony.
Acquire permission from the landowner, town, organization, or national park. You will also need to pay any requested fees, permits, etc as needed.
Decide how you will travel to and from the waterfall during your desired time of year.
Find out if there are bathrooms on-site or if you will need an alternative option.
Choose the correct wedding attire for the location and time of year. If in Oregon its good to be prepared for pretty much anything.
Decide how long you will spend at the location for the ceremony, wedding photos, exploration, etc.
Decide how you will set up the location. What specific spot within the location will you choose for your waterfall wedding ceremony? Will you require chairs for a seated ceremony? Music? Are there any other decor features that you would like to include?
Decide if you would like something celebratory to eat or drink after you say “I do”, like a Champagne toast!
Plan to leave the location as you found it.
1. Spirit Falls– This waterfall is absolutely stunning. Rock formations create a bowl-like atmosphere, and add texture to your pics. Because this waterfall has such a tall drop-off point, the falls look long and slim. Green plants sweep across the rocks, adding some of that signature Oregon greenery. This waterfall is probably the easiest to access. There is a pull off with a sign for the fall trail. The walk down is about .25 miles and is not very steep. The trail is very easy to use. There is a picnic table at the base of the waterfall for a celebration.
2. Wahclella Falls– This is one of my favorite spots because it’s a small hike to get there. What I love about that is that you can tell more of a story of the adventure. There are tons of beautiful spots to shoot along the way to the falls, so it’s fun to stop a few times for photos. This hike is 2.4 miles roundtrip. The hike is not steep, so don’t stress about getting super sweaty. This waterfall is a little further from Portland, so it’s slightly less trafficked than some of the other easy-to-access falls. However, it’s still pretty popular and I do recommend aiming for a weekday if possible.
3. Panther Creek Falls – Panther Creek Falls is a large, layered waterfall with multiple streams. This waterfall is super easy to access, and a small amount of walking is involved. This waterfall is actually in Washington but with waterfall elopements or weddings, I am happy to travel anywhere!
4. Latourell Waterfall -There’s no permit needed as long as you fall within these guidelines, making it an excellent option for eloping. Also!! you can bring your pups with you – just keep them on their leash(es)! to get to Latourell Waterfall it is a moderately difficult 2.4-mile loop hike that follows along a creek and crosses a few small wooden bridges before arriving at this falls. This is a papular spot so I always recommend Trying to plan a sunrise or sunset hike to see this beautiful waterfall.
5. Tamanawas Falls– This falls is about a 3.4-mile out-and-back hike. The waterfall is reduced to a thin veil in late summer and fall, but summer wildflowers and beautiful green colors totally make it worth it. During the winter months, it is cold and the water freezes over which makes a beautiful icy wonderland, and Snowshoes are needed. But with elopments, this could be perfect if you want to snowshoe!
6. Tumalo Falls– Situated just outside of Bend, Tumalo Falls is a hidden gem known for its beauty and accessibility. The waterfall cascades down a scenic canyon, surrounded by lush forest, making it an idyllic location for an intimate ceremony.
7. Silver Falls State Park– Known as the “crown jewel” of Oregon’s state park system, Silver Falls State Park is home to the Trail of Ten Falls. This trail showcases ten breathtaking waterfalls, each with its own unique charm. You can choose any of these stunning falls as the backdrop for your elopement.
8. Proxy Falls– Located in the Three Sisters Wilderness, Proxy Falls is a true natural wonder. The waterfall features two distinct cascades that merge into one, creating a mesmerizing display of beauty. The surrounding lush greenery and volcanic rock formations add to the enchanting atmosphere.
These are just a few examples of the many incredible waterfalls in Oregon that are ideal for elopements. Whether you prefer a towering, dramatic waterfall or a hidden gem tucked away in the wilderness, Oregon has a waterfall to suit every couple’s dream elopement.
LOGISTICS OF PLANNING A WATERFALL ELOPEMENT WITH GUESTS
You’ve decided to bring guests to your waterfall wedding – YAYY!! Let the planning begin!
So, let’s take a step-by-step look at all of the logistics involved in planning waterfall weddings with guests.
Whether you are planning a large or a small wedding, you’ll need to answer the following questions…
#1: WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO PLAN A WATERFALL WEDDING?
When deciding to elope in Oregon, it is important to think about the time of year. Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to temperature, budget, and desire for activities. If planning an Oregon wedding on a budget it is best to visit between March-May and October-November as prices in accommodation are typically lower. Also if you are up for the rain or snow, the best month is the end of December-February.
#2: HOW DO I CHOOSE THE BEST LOCATION FOR MY WEDDING CEREMONY?
What type of waterfall intrigues you? If seeking a less touristy waterfall, as a photographer, I have tons of recommendations! Most of the private waterfalls are tucked away on back roads. Therefore, having a local is extremely beneficial to ensure you can find the perfect fit.
#3: WILL I NEED TO GET PERMISSION TO MARRY AT THE WATERFALL?
In planning for guests to join you for your waterfall elopement ceremony, it’s very important to acquire in advance permission from the landowner, town, organization, or national park. Note: Fees for usage, a permit, etc may apply. Some waterfalls are public and there will be no permits needed.
#4: HOW WILL WE TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE WATERFALL?
How will you get to/from the waterfall during your desired time of year? By car? Bus? off-road? Or your own two feet? Make sure you know what conditions will be like so you are not surprised or run late because of snow levels, rough roads, etc. Another reason it’s great to have someone local who knows what it will be if traveling from out of state.
#5: WILL THE WATERFALL HAVE RESTROOM FACILITIES?
Are there bathrooms on site at your waterfall wedding ceremony location? If not, how will you handle it? For example, booking a bus with a bathroom on board, knowing that it will be out in the wilderness, or bringing along your very own towed porta potty.
#6: WHAT ATTIRE SHOULD YOU WEAR TO A WATERFALL WEDDING?
It’s likely that your guests will wonder what they should wear to an elopement or how to pack(if traveling), as well as how to pack a “go bag”. Keep in mind the weather as you plan to because more often than not locations can get extremely muddy quickly.
#7: HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD WE ALLOW FOR A WATERFALL WEDDING?
When you have guests joining you, it’s important to have a schedule in place. For instance, how long will you spend at the location for the setup/tear-down, ceremony, group photos, family/friends photos, exploring, and portraits of just the two of you? Here is a rough draft of the timing details I have seen.
Setup: 5-15 minutes (or longer for a more elaborate setup).
Ceremony: 10-30 minutes.
Group Photos: 15-30 minutes (depending on your group size).
Exploration: 15-20 minutes of exploring
Portraits of just the two of you, 20-40 minutes.
Tear-down: 5-15 minutes.
#8: HOW WILL WE SET UP THE WEDDING CEREMONY LOCATION?
Firstly, it’s good to have an idea of the approximate location you will need to setup the ceremony. Secondly, what is included in your waterfall wedding ceremony setup? Some ideas to consider follow:
Ceremony Seating: Will you be having your guests stand or sit? Many couples feel having a seated ceremony is important not only for guest comfort but also from a photo and video perspective. However, if you choose against this because you need to be budget minded or the location does not allow it, I recommend having a “coordinator figure” or planner. This individual can help place your guests so that there can still be an aisle way for you to walk down.
Sound System: Regardless if you wish to have music played, having a battery (or generator) powered weatherproof speaker and mic is important. After all, your guests have traveled so far to hear your ceremony, allow them to hear it over the powerful waterfall sounds!
Other Decor Features: Such as arch, lighting, greenery, candles, lanterns, fire sources,rose petals, etc.
#9: FOOD AND DRINKS AFTER THE CEREMONY?
What celebration would be complete without food and drinks? Many times couples love the idea of ending their ceremony with a Champagne toast. Depending on the location, there might be tables there or Air BNB close that can be rented for after.
#10: HOW CAN WE ENSURE THAT WE TAKE APPROPRIATE RESPONSIBILITY AND CARE AT THE WATERFALL?
The rule of thumb regardless of the location is that you leave the location better than when you found it. Leave no Trace. For example, if you’re having a rose petal aisle way, bring something to clean them up to make sure they can compost. Even though this may be your only visit to the waterfall location, others will follow behind you at some point so it’s important that you take responsibility for your time there and care about the area too.
FINALIZE THE TIMELINE
The most important thing is that your day is everything you want it to be. I work with couples to make sure that the timeline includes everything you want to experience. This is an unforgettable experience for YOU TWO and I want your day to match that.
MAKE YOUR ELOPEMENT OFFICIAL
Remember to make it official! I always recommend signing papers etc to make it official before or leaving them at home for later. The last thing you want to do is lose your marriage paperwork.
IT’S YOUR BIG ELOPEMENT DAY!
This is it, and we’re going to make the absolute best of it. What you can expect on your elopement; hiking, laughing, and taking in the landscape of one of the prettiest places on the planet! I really do have the most incredible job, being able to capture this day that you’ve made your own.
I’ll take photos of the most EPIC day ever.
READY TO GET STARTED?
My name is Kiarha Lou, and I can’t wait to help with your adventure!
It’s truly an awesome experience, and I’m stoked every time I get to document your day.
Sound like the perfect match? Reach out if you’re ready to elope at a waterfall in Oregon!