Crater Lake Wedding
Eloping at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon: A Guide
Crater Lake National Park, located in Southern Oregon, is a stunning and unique destination for couples looking to elope. With its deep blue waters and dramatic surroundings, it’s no wonder that many couples are drawn to the park to exchange their vows.
Here’s a guide to help you plan your perfect elopement at Crater Lake National Park:
Before You Go
- Check the park’s website for information on permits and regulations for weddings at Crater Lake National Park. Below are Permit Links.
- Make sure to apply for a wedding permit well in advance as they are required for all weddings and are limited in number.
- Plan your visit based on the season. Park’s peak season, is from late June to mid-October, when most facilities and services are available. From November to June you will most likely have little access to the lake, but it is a good time for wintery snow shoeing elopements.
- Research and book lodging in advance, as accommodations in and around the park, can fill up quickly during peak season.
- Consider hiring a wedding planner or photographer who is familiar with the area to help you plan and capture your special day. I have photographed there several times and know the area pretty well.
What to Bring
- A wedding dress or suit that is comfortable and appropriate for the outdoors
- Comfortable walking shoes, as some of the park’s best wedding locations may require a short hike
- A bouquet or boutonnière
- A small cake or other special treat to celebrate your day
- Flashlights if you plan to hike after sunset
Best Spots to Elope in the Park
- Watchman Overlook: This viewpoint offers panoramic views of Crater Lake and the surrounding mountains. It’s a popular spot for weddings and a great place to exchange vows with the breathtaking scenery as your backdrop.
- Cleetwood Cove: This trail leads down to the lake’s shore, where you can exchange vows on the beach or take a romantic boat tour of the lake.
- Rim Drive: This 33-mile road offers several lookout points with stunning views of Crater Lake and the surrounding landscape. Stop at one of these viewpoints to exchange vows and take in the breathtaking scenery.
Tips for a Successful Elopement
- Make sure to arrive early to allow enough time to get ready and reach your chosen location.
- Consider the time of day for your ceremony, as the lighting can greatly impact the mood and feel of your special day.
- If you’re having a small ceremony, consider inviting a close friend or family member to serve as your witness.
- Bring a small gift for each other to exchange during the ceremony.
- And most importantly, relax and enjoy the moment. This day is all about the two of you and your love for each other!
I hope this guide has been helpful in planning your dream elopement at Crater Lake National Park. Remember to take the time to savor the moment and enjoy every aspect of this special day. Happy eloping!
Crater Lake Permitting Information
If you are looking to get married at Crater Lake you will want to apply for a special use permit, which costs $50. I would apply within a minimum of 2 months before your wedding date.
You can find permitting and wedding or elopement restriction information HERE. And this page will have a link to download your application. Click HERE and scroll down to Wedding Ceremonies for more information.
👇Here are a few example sessions to check out👇
Crater Lake Fall Wedding
Crater Lake Winter Elopement
Crater Lake Fall Elopement
Emily and Dan are from Ohio, and they planed a several-week road trip to explore several national parks and the west coast. Their main goal was to elope at Crater Lake here in Oregon. We planned to meet here in Bend, Oregon, and then drive two hours south to Crater Lake and then drive around and find the perfect spot for them to share their vows.
We started with a first look on the east side where you can’t find a bad view.
After they were all set we headed to the west side of the lake to take full advantage of some sunset colors.
As soon as their ceremony started the colors began to show up in the sky.
A colorful sunset is definitely something that we can never guarantee, so when we saw these colors it put a big smile on all of our faces.
Crater Lake Winter Wedding
Leigha and Bryan live in Florida and they planned to get married at Crater Lake and were hoping for some snow. Oregon delivered with a beautiful view. Moments after they arrived the fog cleared and revealed this beautiful blue lake.
If you are considering eloping at Crater lake in the winter, here are some photos from last January. I joined some friends for a short snowshoeing trip and the views were amazing.