How to Elope in Cannon Beach, Oregon in 2024

Vast stretches of sandy beaches, towering basalt sea stacks, and amazing ocean views, Cannon Beach is the perfect place to elope on the coast. Situated along the northern Oregon Coast, this quaint seaside town is most well-known for the iconic Haystack Rock. Jutting out from the sandy shores, the basalt sea stack isn’t quite like the others. It stands 200 feet above, and though impressive in photos, it’s even more impressive in person.


As an Oregon elopement photographer, Cannon Beach is definitely high on my list of best places to elope on the Oregon Coast. Only an hour west of Portland, it’s proximity to the city and it’s incredible scenery make it hard to beat.


The Best Time of Year to Elope in Cannon Beach

how to elope in oregon with wedding photographer naomi levit

Cannon Beach is fairly temperate year round but certain seasons bring better weather and fewer crowds. I may be slightly partial to early fall due to its warm weather, sunny days, and more relaxed vibe.



Spring on the coast can be somewhat unpredictable in terms of the weather. Although the temperatures generally don’t get too cold, there’s more of a chance for rainy weather. Even still, rainy elopements are some of my fave! After all, that moody, mystical weather is part of the appeal of eloping in the PNW.



Although summer is the high season and it can get pretty crowded, it’s still one of the best times to elope. The weather is warm and there’s less chance of rain. I recommend the months of June through September. And don’t worry, there are ways to avoid the crowds (sunrise elopement anyone?!).



From September to mid-October, you’ll find sunny days, warm temperatures, and less wind. Early fall is often referred to as the “second summer” by locals for these very reasons. I highly recommend eloping during these months for the best chance of pleasant weather and fewer summer crowds.



Winter brings coastal storms with rain, wind, and big waves. Most of the rain falls during this time beginning in late October and subsiding in early May. Although it’s always a possibility that you’ll have a sunny winter day in the mid-50s!


The Best Elopement Locations in Cannon Beach

cannon beach oregon elopement with wedding photographer naomi levit

oregon coast elopement at hug point and the majestic cliffside


Haystack Rock

It’s pretty much impossible to talk about Cannon Beach without mentioning Haystack Rock. The infamous rock rises high above the sandy shore and it’s absolutely breathtaking in person. It’s no wonder so many people visit Cannon Beach to see the behemoth rock outcropping up close in all its glory. Haystack Rock makes for a stunning natural backdrop for a coastal elopement.


Ecola State Park

Just a few miles north of Cannon Beach lies nine miles of untouched coastline in Ecola State Park. Here you’ll find picturesque ocean vistas, rugged sea cliffs, secret beach coves, and the historic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. There’s also a bunch of hiking trails and incredible lookouts with unbeatable views.


Hug Point

Just south of Cannon Beach is a 43-acre state park known as Hug Point. Here you’ll find incredible seaside cliffs, rock outcroppings, and secret sandy coves. The name “Hug Point” actually comes from the stagecoaches that once traveled along the beach. During low tide, the stagecoaches would have to “hug” the cliffs as they went up and down the coastline. Today, when the tide goes out, the water recedes, uncovering a hidden beach cove surrounded by staggering sandstone cliffs and a magical waterfall.


Chapman Point

On the northern end of Cannon Beach, you’ll discover Chapman Point. A bit further from the action of Haystack Rock, Chapman Point is usually less crowded but no less beautiful. It’s the perfect place for a quiet elopement. When the tide is low, you can even explore some of the unique rock formations and sandy coves.


Where to Stay for your Cannon Beach Elopement

intimate wedding on the oregon coast at hug point

How to get to Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is only about an hour drive from Portland, making it one of the most accessible beaches in the state (especially for out-of-towers!). If you’re flying in from out of state, it’s easy to fly into Portland International Airport (PDX) and rent a car from there.


Where to stay in Cannon Beach

From cozy beach cottages to quaint seaside inns, there are a ton of places to choose from when you elope in Cannon Beach. You can also find some other great lodging options in the nearby town of Seaside.



The Best Activities for Your Cannon Beach Elopement

oregon coast elopement at hug point and the majestic cliffside


What fun would an elopement be without an epic activity to celebrate your marriage?! Here are a few ideas you can incorporate into your big day to really make it one to remember:


  • Go kayaking: There are some amazing places to kayak in and around Cannon Beach. The Neawanna River near Seaside is a favorite!

  • Take a surf lesson: Learn something new together out on the water by taking a surf lesson! Cannon Beach is well-known for its epic waves.

  • Hike the coast: Not only is Ecola State Park a beautiful place to elope, it also has some awesome hiking trails. Get out in nature and explore the breathtaking coastal scenery of the northern Oregon coast.

  • Cruise the coastline: Hop in your car and hit the road. Spend a day (or a few) driving the famous Highway 101 along the Oregon coast. Explore the seaside towns and soak up the diverse scenery of the expansive coast.

  • Explore Portland: Spend a couple of days before or after your elopement exploring Portland. Don’t miss it’s quirky neighborhoods, breweries, and fun shops.


Permits Needed for Eloping in Cannon Beach

Depending on where you plan to elope, you may need to get a permit. Not to worry though! I’m happy to help you through that process once you’ve settled on an elopement location. It’s usually pretty simple and straightforward!


How to Legally Elope in Cannon Beach

When it comes to eloping in Cannon Beach, you’ll need two things to make sure your eleopement is legal in the eyes of the state of Oregon. First, you’ll need a signed marriage license, and second, two witnesses for your elopement ceremony.


Getting your marriage license in Oregon is pretty simple. If you’ don’t live in Oregon, you can start the marriage license application process online, but you’ll still have to go to an Oregon county clerk’s office to complete and sign your license. If you’re local, you can head straight to any Oregon county clerk’s office to get your license.


Some important things to note:

  • You’ll need your signed marriage license at least 3 days before your elopement but no sooner than 60 days prior

  • The cost of a marriage license in Oregon is between $50 and $60 depending on the county

  • Apart from your license, you’ll need two witnesses present during your ceremony (don’t worry, your photographer counts as one!)

After your ceremony is over, you’ll just have to return your license to the same county clerk’s office that issued it, and you’ll be good to go!


Book Your Cannon Beach Elopement Photographer

intimate wedding on the oregon coast at hug point

Ready to make all your Cannon Beach elopement dreams come true?! So am I! I’d love to be your elopement photographer, Cannon Beach tour guide, and new friend. Reach out and say hi! I’d be happy to help you in any way I can. Contact me!



I’ve always wanted to visit Cannon Beach! This is such a perfect guide for anyone who wants to visit OR elope here! Thank you!!!!

I absolutely LOVE Cannon Beach, one of my fave places. Its the perfect place to elope!

Omg you provided so much information, so helpful!! ???? Cannon beach looks like it’s drowning in gold, so pretty!

This is such great info on how to elope in Cannon Beach! I love the images you included – thanks for sharing!

What a great guide for eloping in Cannon Beach. It looks like such a magical place to elope.

Love that this guide covers so many important details to consider when eloping in Cannon Beach, Oregon – from time of year, to location recommendations and even activity recommendations!

That reflection photo is absolutely amazing! Such a helpful blog for Canon Beach elopement locations and inspiration.

Cannon beach looks like an unreal place to elope! I love that you share what to expect in each season ,I think I’d be planning for Spring! Thanks for sharing!

Cannon Beach area is one of my favorite places I have been! So perfect for an elopement. This is an awesome guide for any couple looking to elope on theOregon Coast!

I love ho diverse cannon beach is. it’s like, all the same area, but you can get so many different vantage points depending on where you go or what direction you face. I’m gonna toss in the recommendation to check out Sleepy Monk Coffee while you’re in Cannon Beach proper. It’s the best and the people there are the nicest!

Such a great guide for couples wanting to elope at or near Cannon Beach! I love all the variety of beaches and landscapes that are so close!

This is such a great resource for couples wanting to elope at Cannon Beach! Cannon Beach is definitely a bucket list location for me!

This is such a handy guides for couples looking to elope in Cannon Beach!! Wish I wasn’t married already cause this looks beautiful!

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