Can you get married at Crater Lake? YES and we’ve got insider tips you need to know

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 | Photography by Sam Starns
Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 16 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Photography by Sam Starns

If you're wondering, can you get married at Crater Lake?, let this couple show you that the answer is a resounding YES! Reilly and Cory wanted to exchange vows and rings somewhere as unique and beautiful as their love, and we daresay they found it in Oregon at magical Crater Lake… and thanks to the amazing talents of photographer Sam Starns, we get to witness the awesome! I mean, *look* at this ridiculous wonder:

Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 9 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

HOW IS THIS REAL. The juxtaposition of these two lovely people dressed to the nines in a place so vast and wild… sure, they *could* have gone anywhere and looked fab, but they chose to follow their hearts to a place that for them feels like home. Keep reading for all the details about this sunrise elopment, and the pro-tips you need to know if you're wondering if YOU can get married at Crater Lake.

Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 27 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

In case all of this somehow doesn't feel mystical enough for you, let it be known that they're here at dawn on the Summer Solstice, getting majestically photobombed by Wizard Island.

Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 13 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 11 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

To get there and back again, as you might expect, they had to do some walking. In the chill morning air before dawn, Reilly and Cory made their way through the forest and snow:

For more of their tale, heed the words of Sam: “Reilly and Cory really took advantage of Southern Oregon’s beauty, which is often overlooked for more Insta-famous locations. There is nothing better than being the first people to experience sunrise when you feel like you are the only person on Earth because everyone is still sleeping.”

Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 23 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 25 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Ok, now if you're wondering can you get married at Crater Lake, here's what you need to know

The one word answer is YES, but Sam Starns wrote a great guide about how to elope at Crater Lake:

  • You need a permit. This totals a cost of $100. That's $50 to apply for the special wedding or elopement, and $50 for the actual permit once you’re approved. On the permit, you need to list first choices of locations and dates and allow 8 weeks for processing.
  • Pro Tip: The permit department at Crater Lake is notoriously slow. The permit department states that the permit is official once you sign it, return it, and then their officials sign it and return it back to you. It’s not uncommon to not hear back from them after you sign it and return it. In order to elope at Crater Lake through proper channels, please plan to file for a permit as early as possible.
  • Your ceremony/reception will be outdoors. Crater Lake does not supply or offer indoor accommodations for weddings or elopements. They have plenty of outdoor options, though, especially after late June/early July, when all the Rim Drives are typically open.
Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 29 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

A few more details about how to elope at Crater Lake, courtesy of Sam Starns:

  • If you want to elope at Crater Lake, know that amplified music isn’t allowed, and that includes portable music like a boom box. Accoustic music is totally allowed though, if it doesn’t disturb other park visitors. That means you should definitely ask your guitar friend to gift you a serenade as their wedding present
  • In addition, throwing flowers, rice, balloons, or butterflies is not permitted to keep the integrity of the local ecosystem intact.
  • Sunset is busier than sunrise, but sunrise is no less beautiful. While you can’t prevent other visitors from enjoying the park, most people will stay well out of the way of an ongoing ceremony.

Read Sam's full guide on how to elope at Crater Lake.

Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 30 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

They chose to say their vows in nearby Umpqua National Forest, and it's easy to see why: WATERFALLS.

Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 36 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 33 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Best Friend, Favorite Person.
Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 46 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 38 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 47 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

It might be freezing cold, but you'd never know it with these smiles:

Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 49 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 50 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

The best shoes for the best day:

Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 39 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

More from Sam: “Being originally from Bend and Eugene, these two had the advantage of really knowing that they could walk out their “back door” to an epic and scenic elopement that rivals anywhere else in the world.”

Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 21 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 22 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Reilly Cory Crater Lake Umpqua Elopement 17 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Wedding vendors:

Gallery of this Crater Lake elopement

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