Cannon Beach Elopement Guide

Cannon Beach Elopement Guide

Everything you need to know about planning your adventure elopement in Cannon Beach!

Cannon Beach is a absolute gem on the Pacific Coast! With its sweeping coastal views and sandy dunes, the Oregon Coast makes for a romantic and secluded spot to say your vows and tie the knot. Cannon Beach, a small coastal city in northwest Oregon, is arguably the most famous stretch of the shoreline. This slice of paradise is known for its gorgeous, long, sandy shore – and Haystack Rock right off the coast. Plus, did we mention, tufted puffins?! 

To the north of Cannon Beach, you’ll find the secluded and beautiful Ecola State Park (think grassy bluffs and secluded coves) and to the south, Arcadia Beach (think stunning tide pools and rock formations). We’ve been to this area a bunch, and we LOVE the vibes, the views, and everything in between. So no matter if you elope at Cannon Beach or a different spot along the coast, you’ll never forget your gorgeous seaside elopement.

Your Cannon Beach Elopement Checklist

Your Cannon Beach Elopement Checklist

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Find Your Cannon Beach Elopement Photographer

We highly recommend finding a photographer first to make sure that he or she is available during the timeframe that you plan to elope in Oregon. We recommend choosing a photographer that you feel relaxed and confident that you’ll be able to be your natural selves. Every photographer has a different approach to how they capture moments throughout the day, so we think that it’s a good idea to ask how the photographer will guide you throughout the entire experience.

Our photography style is documentary focused to create a safe space for you and your other half to share authentic moments on your wedding day. We create a balance of guiding you if we have a specific vision for a shot, and allowing you both to melt into a private moment or experience. Our goal is to make you feel as if you’re adventuring with good friends that happen to take epic photos as we explore together!

Choosing the Best Time of Year to Visit Cannon Beach

There’s no denying it: Oregon – and the Oregon coast – can be a pretty wet place! Oregon has more than 200 waterfalls across the state, and all that moisture across the state makes Oregon a lush and magical spot to elope. 

But…it also means there’s a pretty good chance you will encounter rain (or some sort of downpour) during your elopement trip. Rain isn’t the end of the world, though! If you want to elope in Cannon Beach, just know that you might not get that perfect, sunny beach weather. You should plan to embrace whatever weather comes your way, because even some clouds and rain can make for absolutely magical photos. 

So what’s the best time of the year to elope in Cannon Beach? In Oregon, the late summer months – July, August, and September – have the driest and warmest weather. During these months, you will also maximize your chances of sunshine, particularly at Cannon Beach!

Book other wedding services

We will provide a detailed guide for you immediately after booking with us! The elopement guide will have our recommendations from years of visiting this incredible part of the country. We’ve worked with several other wedding vendors that we highly recommend, which helps speed up your research process and allows you to book whichever vendor that you connect with the most.

We do not recommend booking an all-in-one elopement package because it doesn’t allow you to have options. We’ll share recommendations for videographers, officiants, florists, hair + makeup artists, musicians, and specialty bakeries.

How to Get Your Marriage License for Your Cannon Beach Elopement

You’ll need to decide whether you want to get legally married in Oregon or your home state. Depending on the location of your elopement on the coast, your wedding permit will fall under different jurisdiction.

In Oregon, you can get your marriage license at any Oregon county courthouse. That means if you plan to stay in Portland for a few days before driving out to Cannon Beach, you can get your marriage license there!

However, if you do plan to get married at Cannon Beach and want to take care of everything in that area, you can file your paperwork in Astoria. You will need to bring the printed application with your signatures, your photo IDs for both of you, and a cashier’s check or money order for the marriage license fee.

How to Obtain a Cannon Beach Wedding Ceremony Permit

Unless you’re planning on having a large wedding ceremony, you won’t need a special use permit for your Cannon Beach elopement. In the Cannon Beach area, most intimate gatherings (like elopements) that do not prohibit the public from entering the beach are allowed to happen without a permit. 

However, if you plan to use any tables, chairs, or any other large object that requires assembly with nails or screws, you will need a permit. One workaround? Working with a vendor who has a permit. 

Like with every elopement, we will specifically examine Oregon State Park rules to make sure everything we are planning falls within the realm of possibility. 

How to get to Cannon Beach!

Cannon Beach is situated on the Northern Oregon coastline. When you’re planning your elopement, you have two ways to get to Cannon Beach. 

The quickest option: plan to fly into Portland and rent a car. Cannon Beach is about 80 miles from Portland, or just about two hours away from Portland International Airport. It’s a straightforward drive, too. You’ll take Highway 26 West until you reach Highway 101 and then drive four miles south on Highway 101 until you arrive. 

The road trip option: Looking to extend your trip a bit? Fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and drive down to Cannon Beach from there. The drive will take around four hours, but there are lots of great areas to stop if you plan to make a trip out of it.

Best Places to Stay In Cannon Beach

Best Places to Stay In Cannon Beach

Our Top 6 Accommodation Recommendations

The Ocean Lodge

The Ocean Lodge is a beautiful, small hotel located directly on the beach (and steps away from Haystack Rock!). This romantic spot is great for taking it all in!

Surfsand Resort

Steps away from the beach, Surfsand Resort offers a quiet spot near the fresh ocean breeze for your elopement weekend.

The Inn at Cannon Beach

The Inn at Cannon Beach is such a cozy, intimate spot that makes such a nice escape from reality!

This Haystack Rock home

This Haystack Rock home has a beautiful porch with panoramic views.

Seascape Retreat

Seascape Retreat, a beautiful home with sweeping views from just about every window.


This oceanfront A-frame house has beautiful views, a relaxing porch, and a barbeque deck. 

Best Activities for your Cannon Beach Elopement

Best Activities for your Cannon Beach Elopement

Top 6 Activities Near Cannon Beach

Ride ATVs on the Beach

Ride ATVs on the beach: Did you know that the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area has one of the largest collections of coastal sand dunes in the WORLD? That makes it the perfect spot to rent some ATVs and ride along the beach. You can drive up and down 40 miles of beautiful sandy beaches.

Kayaking Off the Coast

Go kayaking off the coast: Explore the beautiful southern coast of Oregon from a new perspective: on the water! Pick from white water kayaking, scenic floats, and ocean trips for your kayaking adventure. You may even spot some whales!

Snorkel off the Coast

Snorkel off the coast: Bet you never thought you could snorkel in Oregon! Southern Oregon is full of rocky reefs with lots of marine life, and there’s no better way to explore the ocean life than snorkeling.

Go Fishing

Go fishing: Fishing is a popular pastime in Oregon, and you can see why: it’s a beautiful way to enjoy the outdoors! With guided fishing tours, you can try something new (or enjoy a chill sport) while taking it all in.

Paragliding Adventures

Paragliding: Tandem paragliding may or may not be one of the most epic ways to see the coastline! It’s such a freeing and peaceful way to glide through the air while soaking up the fresh sea breeze.

Discover the Coastal Hidden Gems

Take time and explore the rest of the coastline: No matter where you chose to elope, set aside some time for some light hiking or exploring the rest of the coastline. From Cape Perpetua Scenic Area to Three Capes Scenic Loop and beyond, there’s no shortage of amazing views along the coast!

Best Beaches to Have Your Wedding Ceremony

Best Beaches to Have Your Wedding Ceremony

Top Places to Elope Near Cannon Beach

Ecola State Park

The grassy bluffs and hidden coves of Ecola State Park are perfect for your elopement! This state park, right to the north of Cannon Beach, offers breathtaking views of Chapman Point and Haystack Rock. In fact, it’s a bucket list spot for many who visit Cannon Beach.

Hugh Point Recreation Area

Hugh Point is located just a few minutes south of Cannon Beach, and it’s no less beautiful. If we catch the tide just right, Hugh Point can prove to be a lovely, intimate spot for your ceremony.

Cape Lookout State Park

Cape Lookout State Park: This beautiful state park, located along the Three Cape Scenic Route, is further south than Cannon Beach…but the VIEWS! Cape Lookout is much less crowded than Cannon Beach, and just as beautiful (if not more so!). We’ve shot here before and it’s one of our favorite sections of the coastline.


Astoria: Astoria is a historic coastal city with so much to offer, from Victorian-era homes etched into hills overlooking the Columbia River to sprawling beaches nearby. If you’re looking for that cute fishing village, Astoria is the place for you! It’s a great home base to explore neighboring areas, like Nine North Coast.

Hidden Beaches

Pick a secluded beach: Cannon Beach is one of the most popular spots to elope, but there are literally dozens of unreal spots all along the Oregon Coast. If you want to avoid crowds, we can plan your private elopement along the coast – and then stop in Cannon Beach to take photos and enjoy a nice dinner.

Oceanside Cliffs

Say your vows on a viewpoint: If you’re looking for that absolutely epic view of the coastline, why not say your views at a viewpoint? The Oregon coastline has several beautiful viewpoints that overlook the coast. Whether you plan to hike a little or walk right up to the viewpoint, there are so many awesome options!

Best restaurants to celebrate your elopement

Best restaurants to celebrate your elopement

Top 7 Dining Experiences in Cannon Beach

The Bistro

The Bistro offers a cozy, private vibe while serving up eclectic, local food. The patio is especially romantic!


Wayfarer has THE best view of the ocean with a nice, classic coastal menu. Plus, they have a whiskey bar!


Newmans serves upscale French-Italian cuisine, and it’s the perfect place to celebrate your new union. Remember: you need a reservation!

Public Coast Brewing

For a more low key vibe, check out Public Coast Brewing with tasty brews and fresh bar-style food.


Breakfast lovers, don’t look any further than Surfbird. Their simple-yet-contemporary options are so tasty!


Suzy’s Scoops

Suzy’s Scoops is a small, family-owned business with some of the best ice cream in town. 

Sea Level Bakery

One last one for your list: Sea Level Bakery has the best homemade bread (and baked goods). Plus, their coffee is out of this world!