Desert inspired wedding welcome sign for Smith Rock Wedding

Smith Rock Wedding | Central Oregon

Featured, Weddings

Central Oregon has always been one of my favorite places, and Smith Rock is no different! If you’re looking to book your wedding or elopement here, I’m your girl, seriously! A Smith Rock wedding is always on my list of favorites. If you’re wanting a breathtaking background for your wedding ceremony, look no further. Of all the times I’ve visited Smith Rock to go for walks or hikes, I never knew this spot existed for ceremonies. At the very end of the road, there is a parking lot an amphitheater off to the side. Being all the way at the end, your event can remain somewhat quiet without constant cars driving by.

Central Oregon – Great Destination for Guests

Bend is a fun destination to bring your guests to. There are tons of homes available to rent in Central Oregon year-round and no matter the time of year, you and your guests can make a weekend out of it with other activities such as skiing at Mt. Bachelor in the winter or hiking, paddle-boarding, and biking in the summer. Not to mention, if you and your friends and family are fans of craft beer, there are endless taphouses to visit and even host a rehearsal or reception at.

Morganne and Brodie’s day started at their rental house in Tumalo, which is on your way into Bend from Highway 20. Their respective wedding parties got ready together on opposite ends of the house making sure to keep her dress a surprise until their first look later in the day. Getting ready in your house or rental can relieve some of the stress of the morning by ensuring that you have everything with you, and not having to pack to head to the venue first. At the house, we began with detail shots (how gorgeous) of the couple’s florals, invitation suite, shoes, and jewelry. Then we gathered the girls in their matching getting-ready outfits, and took a few shots outside. From there, it was time to head to Smith Rock!

Weather Preparations for Central Oregon

One reason I love Bend so much is the weather. The climate is so different than the typical idea of the Pacific Northwest because this is a desert! Bend gets so much sun year round that you’ll have a solid chance of getting a dry day for your wedding. That being said, you’ll need to prepare everyone for what to expect. There is almost no shade at the amphitheater, and the sun was very direct in the early afternoon. Sunscreen is a must! This was in late August, so things were hot and dry. The couple asked that guests followed a natural and light color palette, which complimented the scenery SO well! If you’re considering a color palette for your guests, do it. It looked incredible with all the shades of beige, pink, orange and light neutrals.

I grabbed Morganne and Brodie for their first look. It was such a special moment and one of the most emotional I’ve witnessed so far! Look at how sweet these photos turned out. After this and before the guests arrived, we drove over to the main park entrance and were able to take some portraits with the scenery and without the fence in every shot. I recommend taking the time to go around and take photos in various spots, no matter what your venue is, in order to get some variety. It was so sweet to be in a public area like this in wedding attire; so many tourists stopped to congratulate them!

As ceremony time approached, we headed back to the amphitheater and got everyone lined up. The dogs were included in the ceremony, another personal touch I always love to see at weddings. It was a beautiful ceremony, full of tears and sweat; and then time to celebrate! Next up was the taphouse a little further north where everyone was able to continue the celebration with food and drinks. I loved how casual their day was while still being filled with emotion.

Now, here are my final thoughts on having your wedding or elopement at Smith Rock in Bend, OR.

  1. Beautiful! I’ve never met anything that didn’t think Smith Rock was a great place to look at.
  2. If you’re not from Central Oregon, I think it’s the perfect middle ground of a destination and a local wedding. All of us were from the Portland area, but were able to make a weekend out of it.
  3. Being that it’s right off the parking lot, we did find that tourists would walk by, not realizing that this was a space reserved for a wedding. I’d recommend designating someone to help your guests find their seats and steer random tourists away.
  4. Even if you’re only hosting the ceremony here, and going elsewhere for the reception, bring water for your guests! Like I said, it was super hot and that definitely came in handy to keep everyone safe and happy
  5. Smith Rock is definitely on the affordable side of venue options since it’s a state park. There is a fee and reservations are required, so make sure you are planning plenty in advance.

I would love to come back here in 2024-25 and beyond for another wedding! No matter the season, I would be honored to tell your story and help guide you to plan the perfect day for you as a couple. Contact me today if you’re thinking about having a Smith Rock wedding!

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