Cannon Beach Elopement Guide: For A Calm Epic Elopement

Text at top of photo "cannon beach elopement guide" with wave lines in the left hand corner and arrows framing a photo of a bride holding her flowers down as they drape with her blue wedding dress

A Cannon Beach elopement is what I dreamt of as a kid growing up in the desert, but I had no idea how absolutely stunning the Oregon coast was! You see, I grew up going to the California coast and wherever a cruise ship could take us, but when work took me to the Oregon coast for the time, I fell in love.

couple with a vintage car having a Cannon Beach elopement at sunset. Groom is kissing bride on the shoulder and she's turning her head towards him

Maybe you, too, have fallen in love with Cannon Beach so much that you want to have a Cannon Beach elopement, but you’re not sure what you need. Don’t worry friend, as an Oregon local and elopement guide and photographer with 10 plus years of experience, I’ve gathered all you need to know about how to have your very own Cannon Beach Elopement:

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Know The Rules

Each area along Cannon Beach may be a part of Oregon State Park and may have different rules for each area. It’s your job to know these rules and follow them. Many times in the state parks there will be signs as you enter the area letting you know about hazards (like a tsunami) you may need to be aware of while in the zone.

Pro Tip: Did you know that a Tsunami can occur quickly and with little warning?  Beachgoers may only have about 5 – 15 minutes to evacuate to higher grounds.

As you can see, it’s important to know if you are in a tsunami zone and read the signs to protect yourself and the wildlife in these areas.

Cannon Beach Wedding permit

You may not need a permit if your elopement headcount, including your photographer and officiant, is less than 50 people. But you can call this Oregon State Park hotline number provided to help you know if and where you may need a permit! 1-800-551-6949. If you do require one, you can find the special use permit here.    

Know if the beach is open

The last thing you want is to plan to have your elopement at a beach or state park that is closed. You can check out Oregon State Park’s website map to see what’s open.

Pro Tip: If you hire someone like us, an Oregon elopement photographer and guide, then we’ll  always have backup locations that will be just as lovely!

How To Access Cannon Beach for your Cannon Beach Wedding

couple in swimsuits, bride holding flowers as they walk down to the beach for a swim

Depending on where you want to go on Cannon Beach, there are many access points. Scroll down to our, “Where to have a Cannon Beach Elopement” section to figure out how to get access to a specific location!

Hire Vendors Who Can Help You

In our 10+ years of work as wedding and Oregon coast elopement photographers, there’s one thing we’ve found to be in common with all brides: you may feel overwhelmed and possibly stressed out. This is exactly why hiring the right team to come alongside you on even your elopement day can be a game-changer for your stress levels and your overall wedding experience.

Cannon Beach Elopement Officiants

Hiring a Cannon beach wedding officiant can help you direct your ceremony, take care of all the legalities of getting married in Oregon and guide you in putting together a wedding ceremony that is more than just exchanging your rings and vows. 

Cannon Beach Elopement Florist

bride holding her flowers down as they drape with her dress as she has a Cannon Beach Elopement

Flowers are such a beautiful wedding tradition and can really add a lovely touch to your wedding day experience and help you feel more bride- or groom-like. Florists are great to work with to help style your wedding a bit more. 

Pro Tip: Don’t throw out the idea of silk flowers, they are a great option if you’re traveling and you want to be more mindful of not leaving behind any petals in the area that are not native to the area.

Cannon Beach Elopement Photographer + Guide

We would also adore coming alongside you to help you navigate all the rules, permits and locations around the beach for your wedding experience as your guides and photographers.

Brittany and Emmy, Colorado and oregon elopement photographers in a beautiful location

We believe that your wedding day is meant to be cherished as an experience and not just an event. We’d love to help guide you in crafting a wedding day experience that you’ll never forget. Learn more about hiring us as your Oregon elopement photographers.

How To Get Married in Oregon

Get A Marriage License

In the state of Oregon, you have to get a marriage license from the county you’ll be getting married in.

Pro Tip: You can find Cannon Beach’s marriage license office here.

Understand The Requirements

  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or have a signed consent form from either parent or guardian. 
  • The fee is $60 as of October 2020, which is non-refundable if you change your mind.
  • You have to wait three days after you get your license to get married. (It can be waived with special permission).
  • The license is valid for up to 60 days if you have to reschedule.
  • You don’t have to be a resident in the county to get married there.
  • Two witnesses over the age of 18 need to be at the ceremony (many times this can be your photographer and officiant if you do not want any other parties present.)
You can read more details about getting a Cannon Beach marriage license here.

Hire An Officiant

You’ll need an officiant to get married in the state of Oregon, but Oregon doesn’t require the officiant to be registered with the state or county before performing the ceremony, so that means your best friend could be ordained online through The Universal Church in about fifteen minutes and become your officiant!

For more tips on what is an elopement and how to elope check out our guides!

Consider Your Wedding Day Experiences

Do you want to have an Oregon adventure elopement? Do you value your experiences over hosting a party? Check out our how to elope guide to help walk you through truly casting a vision for your wedding day experience and all that it could include.

You know, like starting your day off with some yoga, playing frisbee on the beach with your beloved pup, a romantic fireside picnic, dancing as the sun sets to your favorite tunes, then tossing your wet suits on to go surfing!

P.S. Did you know Emmy is a portland yoga teacher too? She’d love to guide you in a flow to start your wedding day experience!

couple doing yoga before their Cannon Beach Elopement

Where to Have a Cannon Beach Elopement

Ecola State Park

view of cannon beach from Ecola state park

As of 2020, many of the trails and lookouts in Ecola state park are closed due to some reconstruction. With stunning views of Chapman Point and Haystack Rock, it’s no wonder this is a bucket list location for all Cannon Beach goers. When the state park is open, there is a small parking fee. 

Chapman Point

Tucked away behind a rock, you’ll find Chapman Point on the northside of Cannon beach.

Accessing Chapman Point Oregon

the view access chapman point of Cannon Beach

You can access this point via Chapman beach off 5th Street or park along Oak Street, being mindful of any residential signs for no parking. Depending on the tide level, you can access this cove walking around the beach or scrambling up the rocks if the tide is high and you’re feeling more adventurous. 

Pro Tip:  Be mindful of stepping on any plant life and having a forecast of the tide so you don’t get stuck in a spot you can’t get back from if the tide comes in quickly!

Haystack Rock

Just south of Chapman point is the prominent Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach’s well known landmark. This is usually a busy spot, but close to sunset mid-week or during the winter, you’ll find the beaches starting to empty out.

Accessing Haystack Rock

Haystack rock on a negative tide

You’ll find a public parking lot off Gower Ave and S Hemlock St. There are public restrooms across the street. If you follow W Gower Ave west, then turn left on Ecola Ct, you’ll find yourself at the beach!

Accessing Haystack Rock Via Tolovana Beach

Another place you can access near Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock is the Tolvana beach state recreation site. Here you’ll find ample parking, restrooms, a boat launch, and a water spigot to rinse off the sand. It is a bit of a longer walk but still accessible!

Silver Point

silver point sea rocks near Cannon Beach

Further south along Cannon beach, you’ll find another series of sea rocks creating Silver Point. This is a perfect place for coastal elopements. The best access point is Tolovana Beach, but be aware it is still a decently long walk. If you do a bit of driving around,

being mindful of private residential parking and signs, you can find some spots to park. 

Other Locations South of Cannon Beach

couple walking after sunset on Cannon Beach

Hug Point Elopement

 A few minutes south of Cannon Beach is Hugh Point Recreation Area with a modest-sized parking lot, restrooms, and a short walk to beach access. Depending on the tide, there are lovely spots for an elopement ceremony. 

Client Only Locations

a couple at an alternative Cannon Beach elopement location

We love exploring around our stomping grounds, so for our clients we work hard to find more exclusive, lesser-known areas for your Cannon Beach elopement! We’d love to help you find the perfect Oregon coast elopement location!

Cannon Beach Elopement Photographer + Guide

We would adore coming alongside you to help you navigate all the rules, permits, and discover the hidden gems we’ve found!

Brittany and Emmy, Colorado and oregon elopement photographers in a beautiful location

We believe that your wedding day is meant to be cherished as an experience and not just an event. We’d love to help guide you in crafting a wedding day experience that you’ll never forget. Learn more about hiring us as your Oregon elopement photographers.

Map of Cannon Beach Elopement Locations

Want more locations? Check out our best place to elope guide!

Where to stay

We’re big fans of the Wayside Inn as my husband and I stayed there once on a vacation before we moved to Oregon! It is such a charming hotel with lovely ocean views on the west side of the building, and is a three minute walk from the beach.

We also love the option to rent a rental home so you can host a small gathering after (with permission of your rental property) to celebrate with some close family and friends or have a privately catered meal!

Home Stays Like AirBNB ProsHome Stays Like AirBNB Cons
A private place to yourself: if you select this
Weekly Cleaning
Supporting local homeownersHave to make your own bed
May have a very curated guidebook to the areaStaff isn’t usually on site
Usually has kitchenOwners may not be reachable 24/7
Feels more like home
More affordable for needing more than one room
More remote locations
Having a local stay feel

We love these airbnb’s in Canon Beach!

 

When To Have A Cannon Beach Elopement

Oregon is indeed known for its luscious landscape which means a lot of rain, but did you know that into September there can still be warm sunny days? Getting married here mid-week at sunrise or sunset is your best bet. 

Crowds tend to arrive late morning or mid-day to catch the warmest beach time. July and August are peak beach-going seasons so make sure you know of some lesser-known locations if you don’t want to have “extra wedding guests.”

Summer Cannon Beach Elopement

While the busiest time of year for the beach, it is a wet climate here in Oregon.
Expect some rain showers early in the summer and cooler temperatures in May or June. Sunset or sunrise may the best time to elope at Cannon Beach to escape some of the crowds.

Summer can still be windy and chilly, so don’t forget to bring a coat to warm up for a few minutes if you’re feeling cold!

Fall Cannon Beach Elopement

You can expect to have rain on your fall Cannon Beach elopement, or at the very least some fog. We recommend you just embrace the mood and trust your Cannon Beach Elopement photographer to guide you. Enjoy playing in the rain!

Pro Tip: Did know in some cultures rain on your wedding day is a sign of good luck?

Winter Cannon Beach Elopement

Winter is chilly, rainy, and foggy, but if you love the juxtaposition of the power of your love story mixed with the mood swings of the weather, it can create for an epic experience and stunning photos if you’re working with the right photographer (hint hint).

The key to staying warm is taking breaks if it’s super rainy or looking at the forecast for periods with only fog or cloud cover.

Spring Cannon Beach Elopement

Couple splashing in the water on their beach wedding

The wettest season in Oregon can extend into the spring, so be mindful of that when choosing a Cannon beach elopement wedding day, and skip back up to our tips about a winter elopement!

Tips For Your Cannon Beach Elopement

Have the right layers

If you aren’t going full on barefoot (which we highly recommend for a beach wedding), having some good waterproof boots with wool socks are a good idea to keep you warm–yes, even in the summer. 

Pro Tip: We love Columbia coats to keep the wind and rain out. Columbia windbreakers have been my personal go to to enjoy the coastal winds!

For more on what to wear for your elopement, check out our how to find your elopement wedding dress guide!

Watch the Tides

The tides can create some epic experiences. A negative tide can usually allow you to get closer to Haystack Rock or access more coves like Chapman Point. 

Pro Tip: Practice “Leave No Trace” principles when near these marine life areas. They are home to many species of wildlife. So watch where you step and don’t bring anything into these environments, especially trash or compost.

You can look up the tide forecast for Cannon beach here.

 

The Beach Is Windy

a windy foggy day on Cannon Beach

A silly tidbit, I know, it seems obvious, but for someone like me who grew up in the literal desert, this fact didn’t occur to me until I was there in person!

If you grew up near the beaches, you’ll know they can be very windy. At times there can be blowing sand which may be unpleasant. It’s good to be aware of this and try to roll with the changes in the weather or have a backup good plan and alternate location if the wind is too much. 

Check the forecast ahead of time. Typically winds over 15mph are what start to feel uncomfortable to be in unless you love the wind blowing your hair around wildly.

Celebrate Again After

A good meal is always a must on any celebration day. Here are some local favorites for the best places to dine after your Cannon Beach Elopement. We crowdsourced from our couples and other locals for the best places and here is the list for you!

  • Newmans at 988
    • Supposed to be amazing!
    • Came highly rated!
  • The Table
  • Bistro
  • Castaway’s
    • “Incredible food and delcious cocktails”
  • Stephanie Inn
    • Comes very highly rated!
    • May be a perfect fit for couples looking to have a private venue and wedding cake. We hear their catering is amazing!
  • Lazy Susan’s (breakfast/lunch only):
    • Fresh, seasonal, made in house, down to earth.
  • The Wayfarer
    • High class and highly rated!
    • Has great food and great views of Haystack Rock
    • Pro tip: Make reservations ahead of time!

If you don’t mind driving to Lincoln City, word on the street is  Blackfish Cafe has some of the best steak around!

Cannon Beach Elopement Packages

couple having a cannon beach elopement as the sun sets illuminating them as they snuggle together

We’d adore coming alongside you and helping you plan out your Cannon Beach Elopement experience, research permits for you, familiarize ourselves with the tide for that date, look up forecasts and what time of day to catch the best light! Our Oregon elopement packages begin at $1500. Click to read more about our Cannon Beach Elopement Packages.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Check out our free elopement checklist to help guide you in the process! You can also download our free elopement checklist pdf too!

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Hey, I’m Emmy, the main voice behind Celebrate Again. Here you’ll find ways to live the Celebrate Again lifestyle. I want to help you to embody the joy of life by learning to Celebrate Again in everything from the practice of intentional breath to taking on major life events. I believe your life should be full and be what you make it. Whether you’re joining me to plan your wedding, celebrate an anniversary, adventure around the USA, stay connected to your beloved, practice yoga or whip up a plant-based recipe, I’ve got you covered, friend.
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