Here is more information you need to know to pull off any beach wedding at the Oregon Coast successfully. My hope is that, as you go through the wedding sections of my web site, the anxiety of getting ready to tie the knot will melt slowly away.
I realize that it's quite the strain on emotions, but take it one step at a time and remember that it all doesn't have to get done in a single day. Time to breathe. ;)
Getting Your Marriage License
Marriage licenses are handled by the individual counties at the county clerk's office, rather than the state. If you have a marriage license already that was issued in another county, you can use that one with no problems.
If you do choose to get your license after you get to the coast, you can apply for a waiver to relieve you of Oregon's 3-day waiting period. There is a cost associated with getting the waiver. Also, make sure you bring proper identification with you, such as a driver's license, passport Military ID, etc. As long as it has a birth date and a photo, you're good to go. If you have been divorced within the last 6 months, you will need to supply a copy of your divorce decree.
For the latest information or questions you may have, the list of county offices below can help you out with any inquiries you may have about the beach wedding. Also, be sure to download the Wedding and Commitment Guide.
Oregon Coast Countys
An Outdoor Beach Wedding
If you choose an intimate beach wedding, with the wondrous Pacific Ocean as your backdrop and the sea creatures in attendance, you are free to do so. The Oregon Beach Bill is your friend.
In 1967 the "Oregon’s Beach Bill" was enacted under then-Governor Tom McCall. It decreed that all land within sixteen vertical feet of the average low tide mark belongs to the people of Oregon. The "Oregon's Beach Bill" guarantees the public has free and uninterrupted use of the beaches along Oregon’s 363 miles of coastline.
A state easement exists up to the line of vegetation. The Beach Bill also directed that the ocean shore be administered as a state recreation area. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is charged with the protection and preservation of the recreation, scenic, and natural resource values found on Oregon's ocean shore.
If your beach wedding only includes a few people, that will be no problem at all. If you plan to have a crowd, check the area's regulations to play it safe.
For any sort of ceremony on the sand, understand that there will be other beachcombers there. You shouldn't have an issue though, because most people are very respectful and will keep their distance when they know a ceremony is going on. Dogs that chase seagulls are another story. ;)
If you choose to access the beach through an Oregon state park, there is usually a day-use fee of around $3 per car. Many of the "most popular" coastal parks require a day use fee. There is no fee if someone just walks into the park.
You will need to reserve the day-use area and make sure that your guests are provided day-use parking passes. For permit requirements you can call the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation at 800-551-6949 or 541-265-8179 for permits.
Many of those state parks offer covered shelters that are pretty popular for receptions. The cost to use one is around $50 and you will need to make a reservation. If you choose to access the beach from a state wayside or scenic viewpoint, there is no fee.
Pulling It Together....
More often than not, you'll want to focus on the enjoyment of the day and would much rather leave the details to someone else. This is where a good wedding planner or a package from one of the local resorts comes into play. You may want to consider that as you plan your nuptials.
For any resort or hotel that offers special packages that you wish to take advantage of, it's a very wise idea to book ahead a good 6 to 12 month.
On the other hand, some of you are probably do-it-yourselfers, especially when you're dealing with the novelty of a beach wedding. My wife was someone who planned nearly everything herself and made all the arrangements (with help from her mother). If you do it all yourself, you should at least know the best ways to cut costs without sacrificing any of the quality of a truly beautiful beach wedding event.
Even though it may be cheaper to do it all yourself, you can still get a tad of help here and there. For example, helping yourselves, the Best Man, Father and Mother of the bride or groom, etc with the reception speeches is sure to take a huge burden off of them and you.
Whatever you end up deciding, make sure they day is something wonderful that you will always remember.