Being from the southeast US, we’ve always dreamed of getting to shoot an elopement on the west coast, in the desert and ESPECIALLY in the PNW. Lucky for us, our dear friends Callie + Dillon asked us to be their photographer and videographer for their August Elopement on the coast of Oregon, just 15 minutes from Cannon Beach! When I tell you guys it’s like nothing we’ve ever seen, IT’S LIKE NOTHING WE’VE EVER SEEN!! The beauty of the Pacific coast is literally something most photographers only dream of getting to capture.
Fortunately and also unfortunately for Emi, she was going to be 36 weeks pregnant on August 1st so she was not able to tag along for the 5 hour plane ride and 20+ mile backpacking trip that I had planned for the week before the wedding. But we both know that our sweet boy Zealand is worth every second of time caring for him at home in mamas womb vs. risking having him on an airplane 30,000 ft in the air. LOL. So, we had to hire our amazingly talented and awesome friend, TJ Rosemond, to fly out with Andrew and capture what turned out to be an incredibly moody elopement day of our wildest dreams!
The weather was absolutely perfect!!! We are so used to our shirts being covered in sweat just taking a walk down the street in August in Georgia but the weather on the Oregon Coast was such a nice change in temperatures. It wasn’t so cold that you needed a jacket except for in the early mornings and late evenings and it wasn’t super hot, even at the hottest time of day. Late July and early August may very well be one of the best times of year to elope on the Oregon Coast or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest due to the fact that it is the driest time of year.
So, if you are looking to stay dry and catch some sun flares on your wedding day keep that in mind! Although it was not the case for us, nearly the entire time we spent on the coast it did not rain but twice and it was sunny all the way up until it was time for Callie + Dillon’s elopement ceremony with their closest family members to begin. Some dreamy fog started rolling in just in time and the clouds created a perfectly moody atmosphere. We truly couldn’t have asked for a more prefect day! If you want to plan for a more moody and rainy elopement, just choose anytime during the spring or fall as it’s sure to be raining at least part of the day.
There are so many amazing things you can plan for your special day on the coast of Oregon or Washington. Although this couple did not plan a first look (which was totally worth the tears coming from the groom) if you want more pictures together than what time is allotted for after the ceremony, we would highly recommend having an earlier ceremony OR having a first look! First looks give you the opportunity to share a super intimate moment with your partner and help settle any nerves/anticipation of having the wait all day to see your special someone. We love capturing the raw authenticity that first looks bring to an elopement day.
Another amazing way to have a super epic elopement at Cannon Beach or Indian Beach in Oregon is to have a bond fire on the beach! YES! WE SAID IT!! BOND FIRE ON THE BEACH!!! We couldn’t believe that this was an option! We were so shocked when we asked a local couple on the beach enjoying their warm fire, “do you have to have like a permit for the fires or….??” Many of the local stores around the coast sell firewood and it burns super fast on the beach due to the open winds, so make sure you stock up on plenty if you plan on enjoying a nice evening under the stars on the beach, next to your toasty fire.
HUGE TIP – Remember that Ecola State Park (Indian Beach) does have a closing time and the gates will be locked past a certain point. So it may be absolutely worth heading over the Cannon Beach if you plan on having a late evening bond fire on the beach.
ALSO, please remember not to have your fires too close to any brush on the upper parts of the beach to prevent wildfires! AND LEAVE NO TRACE. For the fires on the beach, do not bury your coals as this will allow the coals to remain hot and could burn someone walking or start a wildfire. Put your fires out with the water from the ocean! 🙂
After a long day of hiking around the Oregon Coast and enjoying time with one another you are bound to be hungry. Bring lots of snacks in an easily accessible backpack and plenty of water as well! We can even carry it for you if we need to! 🙂 It’s important to us to make sure our couples are happy and hydrated, not hangry and irate! We highly recommend having a nutritious breakfast and lunch (even if lunch is to go for a picnic) so that you can make it through the rest of the day with just snacks and water.
Something that a lot of our couples choose to do is have a delicious warm dinner after their ceremony or exchange of vows and after their portraits of just the two of them. If family or friends are attending your intimate wedding or elopement this will definitely be easier if they can go pick up something for you. Otherwise a fresh pizza to go or a catering company would be so worth it to enjoy together.
We absolutely love it when our couples choose to get ready together. You can skip the first look and go straight into helping each other get dressed and prepped for the big day that lies ahead of you! It’s such a beautiful thing and it’s so non-traditional (exactly what we adore). It also helps tremendously with logistics for the couple and the photo/video team as well! For this elopement for example, our groom got ready in Rockaway Beach, OR and our bride got ready in Seaside, OR. Rockaway is 45 minutes away from Seaside, 1 hr 15 min away from Indian Beach. So, there was no way we could capture the groom getting ready in his airbnb while still capturing the bride getting ready at Saltline Hotel. Saltline is absolutely gorgeous inside and out by the way and this would make an amazing place to get ready.
If you plan on getting ready together though, we would highly recommend getting an airbnb with really good natural light (big windows lots of sunlight). There are so many unique options for places to stay on the coast in the PNW and if you book ahead of time you’re sure to find a great deal on a beautiful spot! If you plan on getting help with hair and makeup be sure to check out Alyssa Underwood Makeup! She crushes it every single time and is by far one of the most talented hair and makeup artists in the PNW. Also, huge shoutout to Cannon Beach Cottage Flowers for making such a beautiful bouquet of flowers for our sweet bride!
We are Andrew + Emi (: two adventurous sole-mates 🥾 madly in love with each other. We have a burning desire to capture God's most amazing creation's, which we believe are YOU, YOUR LOVE, and NATURE. With these three beautiful things you can have your wedding day the way it's supposed to be, ABOUT YOU! We love to help our couples plan the elopement or intimate wedding day of their dreams. Your elopement day will be uniquely you, adventurous, epic and everything that you want it to be when you throwout the wedding rulebook and dump those silly wedding day traditions that take away from your true love story! Whether you want to elope on the coast, in the desert, forest or on top of a mountain, we'll be there for you!