Waterfall weddings, who could ask for a more magical wedding venue than that? Hey new friend, we’re Celebrate Again, we’re on a mission to help couples break down all the rules of weddings so that they can then go celebrate in ways that reflect them and not old traditions or obligations that don’t match their wild, adventurous hearts.
Based in Colorado and Oregon, we’ve fallen literally head over heels for waterfalls. They take your breath away, sweep your hair back and make you feel alive (and maybe get you soaked!). And while we wish these states held the best of the best, we know that there are so many amazing waterfall wedding venues throughout the world, which is why we’ve gathered some of our friends to have them share their favorite waterfall wedding venues to give you plenty of options to choose from.
But before we begin, we want to share with you some of our best tips about how to have a waterfall wedding and make it a success. Ultimately, you’ll find having a guide like us or our friends through the process is going to ease all the stress. Nonetheless, we hope these tips will help you in your planning and dreaming.
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Tips for Waterfall Weddings & Waterfall Wedding Venues
One of the most important thing as Oregon Elopement photographers that we come across for couples is guest size and time of year. But first let’s start with,
Can you get married by a waterfall?
Yes, you can! Check with who owns the land. You can read more about permits down below. Having a local photographer or elopement guide like us to guide you through the process is extremely helpful!
Guest Size & Time of Year
Due to the rugged landscapes most waterfalls due not have paved trails, meaning most will require a hike to get to. For this reason we recommend guest size be limited to 10 people or less and guests are able to access the particular waterfalls.
The most popular waterfall in Oregon is Multnomah waterfalls which we would never recommend as a weding venue due to it’s popularity and crowds. It’s better as a quick stop for one or two photos just with the couple, plus we know of many more with way less crowds! 😉
As for time of year waterfalls are flowing the most in late spring (May/June) and early Summer (June). Come July-October the waterfalls aren’t as big due to the lack of rain espeically in Oregon and Washington. However winter waterfall weddings can be super beautiful, but at least in Oregon be prepared for a rainy day!
Dealing with the conditions and what to wear to a waterfall wedding
Many times, waterfalls are located in water-heavy areas, meaning that summertime may be the only time the trails aren’t muddy, but depending on where you are in the world, it may just be muddy constantly. So make sure to read below about recommended gear.
- Waterfalls are loud: You’ll also want to be mindful that waterfalls generally are loud especially if they are dropping from hundreds of feet. It can be hard to hear for your guests which is something to consider if this is an important piece of your ceremony.
- Large waterfalls spray: as you get closer to them, you will get wet. Depending on how close you get to them or where a good spot is for your actual ceremony, this may be part of the experience.
- Waterfalls are cold: Most waterfalls are very cold as they are coming from snowmelt off the mountains. However, in some tropical areas they can be warm, keep in mind it still will be chillier than some tropical ocean waters.
- Bugs, snakes, and critters: Depending on where you’re at in the world you may be dealing with different critters. Talk to your local photographer about what to prepare for.
Pro Tip: here in Oregon you usually only have to deal with mosquitos and in some parts of the woods, ticks. A decent bug spray and staying on the trail will keep most ticks off of you.
- Crampons: are a wonderful addition to have if you know the area you’ll be in is going to be muddy. This will help you have more traction as you’re hiking or walking around.
- Ponchos: if you know you may hit some rain it can be helpful to not get completely soaked.
- Good hiking or walking shoes: are a must for you and all your guests unless you are going to an easily accessible waterfall. If you have a pair of shoes you love that aren’t walking-friendly we recommend putting them in a bag and changing when you get to your exact ceremony spot.
Elopement Packing List: if you’re looking for a full packing list check out our packing list for elopements!
Work with your local photographer or contact the landowners (usually forest services, state parks, or other government agencies) to check about the current status of permits. While many locations may have some info online, it’s always best to check in real-time for updated information as things can change quickly and some articles online may have not been updated especially if they are from third-party websites. Waterfall Wedding location permits can range from zero to hundreds of dollars depending on the location. Which is still a far cry from the thousands most traditional wedding venues cost.
Leave No Trace
Please make sure to stay on the trails, follow the area’s rules (read them when you arrive or ahead of time), pack out whatever you bring into the area, and don’t disturb wildlife. This includes not using champagne sprays, as this attracts wildlife to the trails and things like confetti or smoke bombs which historically have started large wildfires in dry areas. As elopement photographers, we want to make sure that we all respect the places we are going to so that we can all enjoy them for years to come.
Let’s keep these places more beautiful than when we arrived. We want you to be able to go visit your anniversaries and Celebrate Again too. 😉
Waterfall Wedding Locations in Oregon
With over 238 known waterfalls in Oregon, it’s no surprise this is one of the best states to come to if you want to have a waterfall wedding. Some of the most popular waterfalls you’ll find are in the Columbia River Gorge and many more are peppered throughout the state. Some are accessible. Some requiring long hikes and a few are hidden on coves of the beaches.
While we wish we could say we’ve been to all 238, we’ve really only visited a handful and often discover new ones with all our exploring. So, here are our top favorites that are perfect for a waterfall wedding in Oregon.
This waterfall has stolen our hearts in particular because of the turquoise pool it creates, boundaried by fallen logs and a river that you can go splash in on a warm summer’s day. We love that it’s only 1.9 miles even though it’s a little uphill (223 feet elevation gain to be exact). The parking lot is small, so expect crowds if you pick a weekend or busy holiday season. Don’t forget to head to rec.gov to purchase your $5 parking pass! For more info about having a wahclella falls wedding check out our more detailed guide!
Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls is a lesser-known location, that cannot accommodate many guests. We wanted to include Bridal Veil Falls because it is gorgeous on its own, with rocks you can climb at your own daredevil risk and an overlook. This is a lovely spot for some afternoon exploring. If you love bridges you’ll also find this has a lovely one that crosses the stream below.
Iconic for its 620-foot drop, the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon, it will take your breath away, but make sure to remember there will be lots of gaping mouths right next to you (its very crowded). For this reason, it’s not a very recommended ceremony spot but perfect for sneaking some pictures after dinner when all the crowds have gone home. You’ll find parking at exit 22 instead of along the Columbia river highway unless you have a handicap permit. So, when asked if you can elope at Multnomah falls we’ll answer yes but recommend you work with your Oregon elopement photographer (learn more about us as Oregon elopement photographers to find a less crowded place.)
Silver Falls State Park
Full of 10 waterfalls along an 8-mile loop this park will hit all the itches for waterfalls. North and South falls have been the ones we’ve visited and fallen in love with. However it isn’t ideal for a group and would just be a spot for a ceremony on South Falls bridge or behind North Falls in the cave, that will accommodate 4-6 people. This area also requires a fee with Oregon State parks.
A Hug Point Wedding: check out this guide on Cannon Beach Elopements where you can see more photos from this Hug Point wedding.
A place that has forever changed our lives, Brookings holds these magical coves that also have some small waterfalls. We love these places so much and they require a bit of scrambling to get to so we like to save this spot for our couples ready for a true adventure where you’ll get dirty, wet, and maybe collect some other war wounds to get down the more moderately rated trail.
We cannot wait to be your Oregon elopement photographers! Let’s start dreaming!
Want to find your stay first? Check our list of airbnb wedding venues in Oregon!
Waterfall Weddings in Colorado
While Colorado is mostly known for its epic mountains like Rocky Mountain National Park weddings and Telluride Weddings we love all the tucked-away waterfalls. We haven’t explored every waterfall in Colorado and some of them are so special we won’t give full details here as to where they are, but, we have to share them with you because they are too cool not to.
There are many places named blue lakes in Colorado (which I find quite funny, as it may be hard to find). Its obscurity is helpful to keep the crowds down, and is another reason to hire us as a guide to know which one holds the waterfalls! We love this area because it’s a very short hike to a gorgeous place that is very accessible. We’ll accept the altitude that may get any sea-level dwellers out of breath, but we hope you’ll be well hydrated to enjoy these high desert wonders.
Bridal Veil Falls
Fish Creek Falls
We’re big fans of winter wonderlands which is why we also have Fish Creek Falls. Gorgeous year-round, these falls are famous for ice climbers but we also love how accessible they are tucked in the canyons just outside of Steamboat Springs. Bring your snowshoes or crampons if you want to play in the wintertime! And don’t forget your swimsuit to head to the iconic Strawberry Hot Springs after to warm back up!
A Real Fish Creek Falls Wedding: check out this real Fish Creek Falls Wedding in Steamboat Springs!
We wanted to bring you the best of the waterfalls around the world so the rest of the waterfall wedding venues are from other photographers! We highly encourage you to work with a local or someone who has been to your location for your elopement as they will best know the details and nuances of what it means to get eloped in that area plus give you all the insider tips!
Waterfall Weddings in Tennessee
Fall Creek Falls
Waterfall Weddings in Washington
“Franklin falls is an absolutely stunning location for summer and fall elopements. A short 1 mile hike to the falls is accessible for most hikers. There is no cost associated, but you will need a permit from Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This location is best for small groups (less than 10), as the area in front of the falls has a lot of rocks and fallen trees.” – Van Gachnag a Washington Elopement Photographer
Waterfall Wedding Venues in Georgia
Cloudland Canyon State Park
“Boasting stunning overlooks, delicate forests, expansive meadows, and two cascading waterfalls, Cloudland Canyon State Park has a little bit of everything. It’s a popular destination for both elopements and weddings alike as it offer pavilion and cabin rentals for even large wedding groups. Experiencing this location in autumn will blow your mind as the trees are known for being brilliant in color set against the stunning waterfalls. Do keep in mind that the hike down to the falls does require a strenuous decent down 600 stairs! Yes, it’s crazy but worth it!!”- Jessica Kovach Photography a North Carolina Elopement Photographer
California Waterfall Wedding Venues
“Burney Falls is an epic waterfall located within the mountains of Northern California. Known as the 8th wonder of the world, Burney Falls makes an incredible place for an elopement. If you want a quiet ceremony here, opt for an evening during the fall. The stunning colors compliment the beautiful blue water, and there are hardly any tourists. There are also multiple hiking trails around the area so you can see the falls from various viewpoints.” – Briana Parks Photography
Lower Yosemite Falls
Waterfall Wedding Venues in Hawaii - Kaui
Kauai's Red Dirt Falls
“Kauai’s Red Dirt Falls are extremely accessible and located within the famous Waimea Canyon. Known as a seasonal waterfall, these falls are at their peak during the winter months. If you’re wanting the falls to yourself, opt for a sunrise or sunset time. The red soil is easily transferred onto clothes, so don’t be afraid to get your dress or suit a little dirty! Unfortunately, ceremonies are not permitted within the canyon, but photos are, so don’t skip out on this hidden gem!”- Briana Parks Photography
Maui Waterfalls Road To Hana
Lumalia here, I just had to pipe in about The Road to Hana in Maui. This road has endless waterfalls. Usually they are packed and most of them aren’t ideal for having more than your two witnesses and a photographer. I recommend you carpool too. But this one is worth sharing. I loved that people were jumping into the waterfall too which I only recommend with the utmost caution. You never know how deep the waters are currently. It gets muddy here with the amount of rain Hana gets, so be prepared to get dirty.
Let’s start dreaming about how we can be your Hawaii elopement photographers!
Waterfall Wedding Venues in Kentucky
“Creation Falls in Red River Gorge is one of the most magical places to elope in Kentucky! As if the falls weren’t reason enough to love the area— just downstream is Red River Gorge’s only arch that goes over water— so you get two amazing sights on one trail. If you visit in the spring you’ll be treated to rhododendrons blooming along the ravine, in summer it feels amazing to wade in the water, & in autumn the leaves put on an amazing show!”- Sarah Katherine Davis Photography Kentucky elopement photographer
Waterfall Wedding Venues in North Carolina
“High Falls is an epic find at the end of a short, but relatively grueling, hike near Tuckasegee, NC. Conveniently located near a small public park on a lake, there is ample parking and primitive bathroom facilities right across the street. No permit or usage fee is required. Bring plenty of water for your way back up, and remember to Leave No Trace!”- Leah MacDaniel with Flit Photography Virginia Elopement Photographer
Waterfall Wedding Venues in Virginia
“Wigwam Falls, along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, is a must-stop location along the parkway. The falls are less than a quarter mile from the small parking area, and there is a neat old, disused logging railroad nearby. This location does require a permit from the Blue Ridge Parkway, and can be busy especially during peak “leaf season!” Plan to go during the week and/or early to have the area to yourself. “- Leah MacDaniel with Flit Photography Virginia Elopement Photographer
Waterfall Wedding Venues in Washington
Kyle + Sam, adventure elopement photographers from our sister company, the Dropped Pin are obsessed with these falls that are nestled right outside of Mount Rainier National Park. There are multiple access points allowing you to choose a quick jaunt to the falls, or create a longer hike following a trail through an old growth forest. See more of this Mt. Rainier Wedding and get all the info you need to plan your own Mount Rainier Elopement from our fave Washington elopement photographers
Sol Duc Falls
Another one from the adventure elopement photographers at our sister company The Dropped Pin! Sol Duc Falls is a must see when you’re visiting Olympic National Park. The trail is easy and roughly a little over a mile on a well-maintained trail. You’ll find yourself surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees as you meander through this old growth forest leading you to the falls. Check out views from the trail from this Washington Elopement shot by our Washington elopement photographers
Waterfall Wedding Venues Outside the USA
Wailing Widow Falls - Scotland
Argyll + Bute - Scotland
Skogafoss Waterfall - Iceland
Chutes de la Marmite aux Sorcières - Montreal Canada
“It’s an easily accesible waterfall 5 min from the parking lot. It’s defenetly not a touristy attraction and more of a secret place only knowed by locals. The shape of the falls are like nothing I’ve ever seen in Canada it’s trully magical to be there in the summer.” – Mirona Photographie
Other Waterfall Wedding Locations Around The World
Sutherland Falls outside of Milford Sound in New Zealand
Plitvice Lakes National Park
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Learn more about hiring us as your Oregon elopement photographers.
- 🧐Should I Elope Quiz
- ✨How To Make Your Elopement Special
- ⌚️Elopement Timeline
- 👗Elopement Wedding Dress For Your Outdoor Wedding
- ☑️Elopement Checklist
- 🏠Eloping with Family
- 🧳Elopement Packing List
- 💦Waterfall Wedding Venues
- 🏞Best Places to Elope