Choosing your elopement location in the Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge offers an amazing variety of gorgeous elopement locations. You could stop almost anywhere along the river and find a perfect spot to say your vows and capture gorgeous photos. There are more than 90 waterfalls in the gorge, so how do you choose your elopement spot?

Consider what's important to you - do you want to say your vows standing on the edge of a mountain or in front of a gorgeous waterfall? Do you want to elope alone or bring your close family/friends? Do you mind being around people or do you want to stay secluded?

My recommendation is to find a slightly less popular spot. While Multnomah Falls is gorgeous, it's often crowded and you don't want to worry about tons of people becoming wedding crashers.

Just down the road from Multnomah Falls are multiple gorgeous waterfalls that offer a beautiful view without as much foot traffic.

eloping at Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls

We chose Latourell Falls for Veena + Jade's photos - it's a beautiful 224-foot waterfall on the South side of the Columbia River.

There's an overlook on the top to view the falls, then you can walk down an easy paved slope to the base of the falls - it's a short walk and fairly accessible.

At the base of the falls, you can walk pretty close to the falls to get some super dramatic photos of the water pouring down behind you.

dramatic waterfalls to elope at in oregon - Latourell Falls
couples photos waterfall columbia river gorge oregon
wedding photos at Latourell Falls

Next to the falls is a historic bridge that makes for a great aerial shot, then you can continue on to a trail on the other side if you want to do a bit more hiking.

Wedding and Elopement Permits in the Columbia River Gorge

Wherever you decide to elope, it's important to look into permits well in advance, some locations such as national parks can require you to apply for a permit weeks or months before your elopement date.

According to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, you do not need a special permit to get married in Oregon State Parks as long as it's a small wedding (less than 50 people) and you're not setting up structures or excluding the public from the area.

Leave no trace

Even though you don't need a permit, we always want to make sure we're not harming these beautiful areas. Make sure you're following the LNT (Leave No Trace) principles for your elopement!

  1. Plan Ahead + Prepare
  2. Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Others
wedding and elopement permits in the columbia river gorge

Mountaintop Views in the Columbia River Gorge

After the waterfall, we wanted to capture blue hour on top of a mountain, overlooking the river and mountain range. We drove a few miles west to Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint, which has beautiful views of the gorge. You can even catch a view of the famous Vista House in the background.

Eloping on a mountain in the columbia river gorge
Mountainview Vista House Columbia River Gorge

No matter where you go in the Columbia River Gorge, you're going to end up with beautiful photos and an amazing experience.

I'd love to help you plan your perfect elopement or couple's session, you can send me a message here!

oregon columbia river gorge elopement photographer