Adventurous Latourell Waterfall Elopement in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

adventurous latourell waterfall elopement in columbia river gorge oregon


Love has a mysterious way of finding its path, and for Sarah and Chris, it all began in the hallways of high school. Sarah, a freshman, crossed paths with Chris, sparking a friendship that would eventually blossom into something more. Chris went off to college, but during Sarah’s senior year, the two reconnected.


Over the years, their bond deepened, and five years into their journey, Chris decided to make it official and pop the question. Fast forward three years to the day they exchanged their vows at the foot of the picturesque Latourell Falls in Oregon.


Given their shared love for travel and the outdoors, an elopement beside a majestic waterfall deep in the heart of Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge seemed like the perfect choice.


Opting for a full-day elopement, Sarah and Chris ensured that every precious moment was captured — from the anticipation of getting ready to the magical exchange of vows, and the golden hour sunset. This is one of the many reasons I love full-day elopements. There’s plenty of time to fit everything in without feeling rushed on your elopement day.


We started the day at their private cabin in Rhododendron. They had chosen to get ready together, which I thought was such a sweet and intimate way to start their special day. While they enjoyed some quality time together inside, I headed outside to capture some detail shots of Sarah’s wedding dress, a few of their wedding day accessories, and the rings.


They also had the cutest matching Mr. and Mrs. t-shirts that they wore as their getting ready outfits, so of course, I had to get photos of those! Afterward, they slipped into their wedding attire, and we ventured to a secluded spot near the cabin, where they completed the finishing touches to their outfits.



After we finished up at the cabin, we set out on a short hike to Latourell Falls for their ceremony. The falls provided a stunning backdrop as they exchanged vows beside the cascading water and officially became husband and wife. After signing their marriage license, we explored various spots around the falls, capturing the joy and magic of the moment.



The adventure continued as we explored various locations, with a stop along the Columbia River. I loved this location because the scenery had so much to offer, from tall grassy fields to sandy riverbanks, each spot had its own unique charm. 


As the sun slowly dipped below the horizon, we captured some more photos as Sarah and Chris strolled hand-in-hand along the beach, wrapping up their day along the Columbia River with a beautiful sunset. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.



Eloping in the Columbia River Gorge

Just east of Portland, the Columbia River Gorge boasts lush forests, breathtaking vistas, and cascading waterfalls. Coursing through the Cascade Mountains, the mighty Columbia River meanders along a deep canyon surrounded by dense old-growth forest and rugged cliffs. With over 90 waterfalls, the Columbia River Gorge is my go-to spot for Oregon waterfall elopements.


Where to Elope: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls


Latourell Falls

Standing impressively at 220 feet, Latourell Falls is a single cascade down a basalt cliff. Being one of the closest waterfalls to Portland, it can become quite crowded, but don’t be discouraged! To reach the falls, you’ll embark on an easy 2.4-mile round-trip hike.


Multnomah Falls

Oregon’s tallest waterfall stands at 620 feet and boasts two stunning cascades that flow year-round. It’s immensely popular for good reason so it can become crowded, especially in the summer. For a more intimate experience, consider eloping during midweek or early morning in the high season.


Wahkeena Falls and Fairy Falls

Two in one! While the three-tiered Wahkeena waterfall may not be the tallest, it’s still stunningly majestic. Getting there requires a moderate hike with several switchbacks. Once there, you can continue on to Fairy Falls, where water gushes over a rocky cliff — the perfect backdrop for an elopement.


Horse Tail Falls

Conveniently located off the historic Columbia River Highway, Horse Tail Falls plunges 176 feet into a serene blue pool. Easily accessible, a short hike beyond the base unveils Upper Horse Tail Falls, where you can walk behind its cascading water.


Bridal Veil Falls

Fitting for the occassion, Bridal Veil Falls is another enchanting two-tiered waterfall that would make for a magical elopement spot. Water flows over moss-covered rocks, descending 120 feet into a pool below. A short hike leads to the falls, and an additional half-mile offers an overlook with breathtaking views of the Gorge.


Where to Stay: Portland, Hood River, Mt. Hood



Portland not only boasts a major airport for convenient flights, it’s also just a 30-minute drive from the Columbia River Gorge. Known for its vibrant and quirky culture, the city offers outstanding restaurants, coffee shops, breweries, and attractions, making it an ideal hub for your Columbia River Gorge elopement. Some of my favorite spots to visit include the Portland Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, Forest Park, and Powell’s City of Books. You’ll also find plenty of lodging options, from boutique hotels to charming neighborhood Airbnbs.


Hood River

Nestled in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River provides a perfect small-town feel for your stay. Whether you opt for a hotel, cozy Airbnb, or campground, Hood River offers a more intimate setting. While smaller than Portland, this town still has so much to offer. With the stunning Columbia River Gorge at your doorstep, a delightful food scene, breweries, fruit orchards, and nearby wineries, Hood River is a charming and lovely place to stay.


Mt. Hood

Just a short drive away, Mt. Hood is full of alpine charm and offers a serene setting for your elopement stay. From cozy cabins to mountainside lodges, there are several accommodation options to choose from. While there, explore iconic spots like Timberline Lodge, enjoy outdoor activities at Government Camp, or take in breathtaking vistas at Trillium Lake.


When to Elope

Deciding when to elope in the Columbia River Gorge comes down to the vibe you want for your elopement day. Spring means fuller, cascading waterfalls. While the season may bring a higher chance of rain, it also sets the stage for a moody elopement vibe, if that’s what you’re looking for. Summer brings pleasant weather and sunny skies, but be prepared for larger crowds. If you’re drawn to the allure of vibrant autumn colors and crisp air, consider eloping during the fall. This season also brings beautiful weather and fewer crowds. Ultimately, the best time of year to elope depends on your vision and preferences for a memorable elopement experience.


Thinking about an Oregon waterfall elopement in the Columbia River Gorge? Check out my post Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Waterfall Elopement Locations.


The way you captured the couple and the waterfall is absolutely stunning!

I love these, I could tell it was the PNW right away without even reading it yet, I love this waterfall, so beautiful, what time of year was this? Gorgeous photos and adorable couple!

These pictures are AMAZING! I absolutely love the double exposure pictures wow wow!

Oregon really does have it all! A waterfall one second and a beautiful grassy field by a lake the next. Unbelievable place to elope.Also, obsessed with her boots is an understatement. I love that you included other locations for a similar vibe as well! Beautiful photos of this elopement in the columbia river gorge!

I love the attention to detail on these. They are stunning! Especially that double exposure!

Just wow, so many stunning images here! Oregon seems like such a magical area to elope in. And I couldn’t help noticing, the rock formations at the waterfall look a lot like the ones we have in Iceland! Great job, Naomi 🙂

What a beautiful day for these two! Great locations and that dress – stunning! Love that they got ready together too! Beautiful photos of a wonderful day – love it!

This is such a beautiful spot to elope, and I like how natural the bride and groom look–right in their hiking element.

Wow! Oregon really does have the most incredible waterfalls. Definitely makes for the perfect elopement location! Your photos definitely showed off the beauty and I also love their tshirts, so cute.

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