Creative Oregon Coast Elopement at Cape Kiwanda

The Oregon Coast is absolutely stunning. The moody, rich colors are some of my favorite to photograph, and I love the atmosphere. When Holly and Steve asked me to photograph their Oregon Coast elopement, I knew their photos would be special. Their wedding portraits at Cape Kiwanda might be some of my favorite work I’ve ever done.

A couple in blue wedding attire hikes up an orange and brown sandstone cliff at Cape Kiwanda.

A Creative Oregon Coast Elopement

Holly and Steve’s Oregon Coast elopement didn;t go according to plan, though you’d never know it from their beautiful photos. Their original venue canceled on them at the last minute, so they moved to a new venue. Holly was able to adapt her vision for an artistic ceremony and reception. You can see more from this portion of their celebration here

A man in a blue suit leans into a white SUV.
Steve pushes Holly's hair off her face as they walk onto the beach.
Steve puts his arm around Holly on the beach at Cape Kiwanda.

Even though Holly and Steve had to shift their wedding inland, we still were able to drive out to the coast two days later. We took some dramatic photos of them in their wedding attire. I love that we were able to capture those Oregon Coast elopement vibes on a day when there wasn’t actually any timeline. We could get creative and see everything we wanted to see.

Holly lifts her wedding dress on the beach at her Oregon Coast elopement.
A wide angle shows a couple walking in the distance on the beach at Cape Kiwanda.
A man and woman in blue wedding attire hold hands on an Oregon beach.

Another great thing about doing this Cape Kiwanda portrait session two days later was that we could pause to document the romantic moments between Holly and Steve. With no distractions, they could really be present with each other – and, in some cases, their cute pups. That connection is the heart of their story, after all.

The wind blows through Holly's veil on Cape Kiwanda beach.
A couple walks over a large sand dune.
Holly and Steve walk down a path toward the water during their Oregon Coast elopement.

Because Holly is an artist, she put a lot of thought into the color palette for their wedding. Her dress was a shade of dusty blue that was meant to compliment the dramatic colors of the rugged Oregon Coast. Her dress had so many layers that moved with her as we wandered the cliffs and shoreline. They looked like waves crashing around her. It couldn’t have been more perfect for Cape Kiwanda!

Holly and Steve stand close on top of a dune at their Cape Kiwanda wedding.
Steve carries Holly's wedding bouquet for her.
The couple sits close wearing hiking boots with their wedding attire in the sand.

Stunning Wedding Portraits at Cape Kiwanda

Cape Kiwanda is an incredible place for an Oregon Coast elopement. Located near Pacific City, it’s actually a natural area that’s part of the Oregon State Parks system. It’s a popular spot for flying kites among the giant dunes. Local fishermen also launch dory boats, the region’s traditional fishing vessels, from the area. When you walk along the water, keep your eye out for tidal pools. You can spot a rainbow of anemones and sea stars.

Holly and Steve stand side by side on a windy beach.
Holly looks up at Steve smiling at their Oregon Coast elopement.
A wedding couple looks over a cliff on a cloudy Oregon beach.

The sweeping sandstone cliffs might be Cape Kiwanda’s most unique features. They’re definitely part of the magic of these Oregon Coast elopement photos. Sandstone isn’t very strong, so the powerful sea constantly reshapes these cliffs. Hiking up their winding trails is always an adventure.

Steve and Holly lean towards one another.
Steve kisses Holly's forehead with cliffs in the background.
A bride holds her husband's hand and looks over her shoulder while they walk away from the camera.

The cliffs’ colors make these images especially breathtaking. Stripes in dozens of shades of reds and browns create an incredible backdrop. They also contrast beautifully with the grays and blues of the sea and sky. Holly and Steve’s blue wedding attire stood out beautifully against the sandstone.

Holly and Steve pose in front of red and brown sandstone cliffs at Cape Kiwanda.
A couple sits in the grass on a dune at Cape Kiwanda.
A couple embraces during their Oregon Coast elopement photo session.

As cool as the cliffs are up close, I love the way rock formations look rising up in the distance. They feel moody and mysterious. In the image of Holly and Steve looking out across the water, the damp sand reflects the bottom of their clothes like a mirror. You get a sense of nature’s vastness but also a window into an intimate moment between the newlyweds. 

Steve helps Holly fix the train of her blue wedding dress.
A couple stands close on the shoreline at an Oregon beach.
Steve and Holly look over their shoulders at their Cape Kiwanda elopement.

The Perfect Spot for an Adventurous Couple

Holly and Steve live in the state, but before their Oregon Coast elopement, they hadn’t been to Cape Kiwanda. This couple loves the outdoors. It was such a treat to witness them experiencing Cape Kiwanda for the first time. 

A couple explores Cape Kiwanda's shore during their Oregon Coast elopement.
Holly and Steve stand on the beach looking at the camera.
Steve and Holly kneel on the sand with their dogs around them.

These two really are some of the most adventurous people I know. Holly has done a lot of solo traveling and collects momentos representing the places she’s been in the form of tattoos. The couple also loves to adventure together from places like Oregon to Hawaii. They aren’t strangers to camping or van life, and often they want to take the path that allows them to connect to nature the most. I can’t think of a better place to have taken their wedding portraits!

Holly bends forward to greet her dogs on the Oregon beach.
Holly pets a brown dog laying in the sand.
A wedding couple embraces on the beach at a Cape Kiwanda elopement.
Holly leans back against Steve on the misty beach.

Are you looking for a photographer for your Cape Kiwanda elopement? I would love to document your intimate experience. Let’s connect

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