Cozy towns, majestic lighthouses and beaches that stretch into the morning fog – now there’s a romantic backdrop for a beach wedding! Oregon’s nearly 363 miles of pristine coastline is made up of cliffs and forests as well as sand dunes and those stunning long beaches – all public land, giving you plenty of choice for a wedding by the sea.
From Astoria in the north to Brookings in the south, the coastline is dotted with quaint towns with rustic accommodation, breathtaking views and stunning scenery, galleries and museums. And with mild temperatures year-round, Oregon is the perfect setting for romance.
Seafood lovers will also be impressed as the Oregon coast dishes up freshness and variety. There are crabs, clams, oysters, scallops, shrimp, prawns, mussels, calamari and an array of fish. So don’t forget to include some local seafood on the wedding menu!
Most Popular Beach Locations
Bandon - The historic town of Bandon is a 5-hour drive from Portland. It’s one of those charming rustic places, with the Old Town area made up of galleries, restaurants, and antique shops. With a population of just 2900, it’s quiet and relaxed – perfect for a wedding escape. (Except for September, when the town expands with the Cranberry Festival, steer clear of that, unless you love cranberries!) The beaches are lovely, and there are some amazing rock formations – great backdrops for your wedding photos.
Cannon Beach - One of the most identifiably Oregon images is that of Cannon Beach. You’ll often see it on postcards. The beach is more than 9 miles long - perfect for walking hand-in-hand. And along the way you’ll see Haystack Rock, at 235 feet high, it’s the third-largest coastal monolith on the planet. The area is also home to a variety of marine bird – which might be a nice addition to your wedding album. Cannon Beach, the town, is another one of those adorable Oregon places with that small-town, home-cooking, friendly feel.
Lincoln City - Lincoln City is the place to cuddle up and watch the storms roll in over the coastline. So if you like very mild temperatures (it ranges from 45ºF to 80ºF) and the possibility of a little sprinkle of rain (it’s meant to be good luck!) then this could be the place for you. With more than 7 miles of beach, there will also be lots of opportunities for romantic strolls and finding your own space for the all-important exchange of vows. Just make sure to miss the town’s main annual events (the kite festival and Japanese glass float hunt) and you’re set for a romantic escape.
Neskowin Beach - One of the most romantic beaches along the Oregon coast is nestled within the small town of Neskowin. The beach has wide areas of sand and a history of romance. There’s a huge monolith called Proposal Rock, where, according to legend, each one of nine daughters was proposed to – not a bad vibe for a wedding.
Rockaway Beach - A seaside town in the north of Oregon, with seven miles of open beach, Rockaway Beach is picturesque and private. No crowds or interruptions, it’s the perfect place if you want to revel in your day in peace and quiet.
Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc). How to get there. - You can fly into Oregon via Portland International Airport from within the US or outside of the US. From there you can hire a car and head west to the coastline.
Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. - If you are from Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand you do not require a visa to enter the US. You only need a valid passport and proof of ongoing or return travel as long as your stay does not exceed 90 days. Citizens of other countries will require a visa. Note that the US government administers a strict entry regime. If in doubt, you should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate about your specific circumstances.
Languages Spoken / official language - The official language is English.
Currency - The official currency is the US dollar.
Tipping - In the US, most waiters and bartenders are paid below minimum wage, as they’re expected to make up the rest in tips. So if you’re in the US, you really should tip. A good rule of thumb is to tip 15 percent of the food bill to the waiter, and if the alcohol consumption has been substantial, split that part of the tip between the waiter and the bartender (if there is one). Always remember to pay the tip in cash directly to the person who has provided you with the service. Of course, if you think the service was terrible then you shouldn’t tip. For large groups, check your bill first as sometimes the tip is added automatically.
Taxes - In the US sales tax is applied to retail goods at the point of sale. There are also airport taxes, however generally these are paid along with the purchase of your airline ticket.
Electricity - The electrical systems in most residential and commercial sites in the US use 120V and 60Hz. The electrical plug in use is known as the Type A electrical plug, which has two flat parallel prongs.
Other (immunizations, health issues) - All travellers going overseas should be up-to-date with their routine vaccinations, which are usually given to babies and children, with some boosters given in adult life. Adults should have had a Tetanus booster in the last 10 years and consider having an Influenza vaccination if they have not had one in the past year.
Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information
As state and county marriage license requirements often change, it’s important that you verify all information with a local marriage license office or County Clerk before confirming your wedding or travel plans.
Currently the Following Applies:
- You do not have to be a resident of Oregon to get married there.
- You need to apply for a marriage license from a County Clerk.
- You will need to provide a driver's license or other form of ID that contains a photo and your date of birth.
- It will cost between $50 and $60. Cash is required in most counties.
- There is a 3-day waiting period after submitting your application. Some counties may waive the waiting fee for an additional payment of $10.
- If you are divorced, you only have to wait one day after your divorce is final to get remarried. The date of the final divorce decree is needed on the marriage license application. Some counties may require a copy of the final divorce decree.
- You need to be at least 18 to get married without parental consent, and at least 17 to get married with parental consent.
- Two witnesses who are at least 18 years of age must be present at the wedding ceremony.
- Same-sex marriage is not permitted.
- Marriage ceremonies can be performed by Judges, County Clerks or their Deputies, Justices of the Peace, and Ministers, Pastors, Priests and Rabbis.
Requirements for a Beach Wedding:
- For small weddings with only a few guests, there are no real requirements with the authorities.
- For larger functions there might be requirements, so you should check your plans with the relevant county before proceeding.
- The authorities will also be helpful if you need to access the beach from a state park. They can help you with getting day-use parking passes for your guests (about $3 per car) as well as reserving the day-use area and covered shelter for your guests and reception (the shelters are popular for receptions and cost about $50 to reserve).
- For permit requirements and to enquire about the shelters, contact the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation on 800-551-6949 or 541-265-8179.
Tourism Office Information
Other Oregon Related Websites
Climate Information & The Best Time to Travel
Oregon has a temperate climate, with relatively heavy precipitation and moderate temperatures in the coastal areas compared with relatively little precipitation and more extreme temperatures inland. The best time for a wedding is in July, when normal daily temperatures sit around 70°F, as the winter is quite cold (around 45°F in the coastal areas).
High & Low Season for Travel
As with most places, the low season is when it’s cold (unless you’re after a ski resort!). So if you want a good day for a wedding in Oregon, it’s best to pay the extra dollars for warmer weather. You could also consider weekdays (Monday through Thursday), when you’ll find cheaper airfares and accommodation rates.
Map of Oregon
Local Attractions & Must Do’s
If you’re on the coastline then there’s nothing better than exploring nature’s wonderland. One of the amazing things about the State of Oregon is that the entire coastline is public land, so that means it’s accessible via numerous state parks, beachfronts, and other landscapes.
Not to mention the lighthouses, rustic townships with friendly folk, the freshest seafood cuisine and numerous museums and galleries.
You can connect with the ocean through tours such as Marine Discovery Tours at Newport, savour gourmet foods at places like the Blue Heron French Cheese Co at Tillamook, and get into outdoor adventure activities like sand boarding at Sand Master Park in Florence, the world’s first sandboard park.
For a comprehensive list of what to do on Oregon’s coastline, check out Visit The Oregon Coast.
Top 5 Most Popular Hotels
There are so many fantastic places to stay along Oregon’s coastline. Here are five luxurious ones, but you can investigate more at http://visittheoregoncoast.com/accommodations/
Cannery Pier Hotel, Astoria - Astoria's newest luxury boutique hotel, the Cannery Pier Hotel is built on the site of the former Union Fish Cannery 600 feet into the river. The hotel offers unparalleled views of a real working river, as well as views to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. For those after something a bit different.
Overleaf Lodge & Spa, Yachats - At Overleaf Lodge & Spa every luxurious room overlooks the magnificent Oregon coast. You can take an oceanfront trail from the lodge to beautiful vistas, tidal pools, sandy beaches and hidden coves, and watch the sunset through your window.
Salishan Spa & Golf Resort, Gleneden Beach - Located between Siletz Bay and the Pacific, and surrounded by forests, the Salishan Spa & Golf Resort has earned a spot among Travel and Leisure's Top 300 Resorts and Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List of best places to stay. It is absolutely luxurious – perfect for a honeymoon.
Stephanie Inn, Cannon Beach - The Stephanie Inn is Oregon’s premier oceanfront destination and a preferred romantic getaway or lovers. With views of Haystack Rock, the Pacific Ocean and the Oregon Coastal Range, the Stephanie Inn is both country inn and sophisticated boutique resort hotel.
WildSpring Guest Habitat, Port Orford - Set in a quiet forest of 100-foot trees, WildSpring Guest Habitat is a small eco-friendly resort overlooking the ocean on the south coast. Offering luxurious cabins in a peaceful environment, the spectacular open-air slate spas are worth a visit.