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Five Iconic Salem, Oregon Destinations Perfect for Outdoor Wedding Photography

Five Iconic Salem, Oregon Destinations Perfect for Outdoor Wedding Photography

Photo by Bryan Schneider

You already know that Salem has much to offer a bride and groom – unique venues, award-winning food and wine, unmatched hospitality, and lovely accommodations. But did you know that we have an abundance of beautiful natural spaces that provide endless possibilities to get the perfect wedding photo?

We recently listed our favorite photo backdrops in and around the Salem Convention Center but what if you want to go “off-campus?” What if you’re searching for an outdoor area that complements the stunning wedding photos you’ll get here at the Salen Convention Center? Not a problem!

There are plenty of outdoor spaces – many of them free – that offer couples and photographers the opportunity to get creative and truly capture the heart and soul of your relationship.

And, here’s even better news: all of the venues on our list are conveniently located just minutes of the Salem Convention Center. So, check off “wedding picture location” from your To-Do list and start shopping for picture frames – lots of them.

#1- Salem’s Riverfront Park

Just a five-minute walk from the Salem Convention Center is Salem’s Riverfront Park, the city’s premier urban park that sits right along the Williamette River. You’ll find so many photo opportunities here for engagement photos, bridal portraits, and wedding day pictures. With beautiful green spaces, well-maintained gardens and pathways, and unique props like a handcrafted, old-fashioned carousel, a larger-than-life globe, several uniquely designed pedestrian bridges, the Williamette Queen Sternwheeler, couples AND photographers will find the perfect shot – no matter their style. www.cityofsalem.net

Riverfront Park- Willamette River - Salem Oregon

View looking down on to the Willamette Queen
credit: cityofsalem.net


Riverfront Park- Salem, Oregon

Riverfront Park- Salem, Oregon. Image credit: newslincolncounty.com


Salem's Riverfront Carousel

Salem’s Riverfront Carousel- photo credit: carousels.org

#2 Oregon State Capital

Less than a mile from the Salem Convention Center is the Oregon State Capital, a Greek-style building with a rotunda topped with a goldleaf statue representing Oregon’s first settlers. Surrounding the Capitol are modern sculptures and well-manicured gardens and grounds that are perfect for photos. If your photoshoot is in the early spring, you’re in luck: the blooming cherry blossoms will be a beautiful backdrop. www.oregonlegislature.gov

#3- Bush’s Pasture Park and Bush House Museum

Another gorgeous outdoor space is Bush’s Pasture Park and Bush House Museum. With over 90 acres full of lush, wooded areas, open meadows, mature trees, trails, and rose and rhododendron gardens, you’ll definitely find the perfect spot for an authentic Oregon landscape photo. For an even more unique backdrop, check out the Bush House Museum, a historic Victorian home dubbed “Salem’s 19th century time capsule.” www.cityofsalem.net

Bush’s Pasture Park and Bush House Museum

Bush’s Pasture Park and Bush House Museum – Credit: cityofsalem.net


 Bush House Museum

Bush House Museum – credit: bushhousemuseum.org

#4- Deepwood Museum and Gardens

Just a few blocks away from Bush’s Pasture Park is the Deepwood Museum and Gardens. The Deepwood Museum, managed by the Friends of Deepwood, is a historic Victorian home designed in the Queen Anne style that sits on a five-acre public park. The park, open year-round and free to the public, is meticulously maintained by staff and volunteers. It features two main areas – the Formal Gardens and the Grounds and Nature Area that offer lovely open spaces, a greenhouse, and walking trails. Both areas are the perfect backdrops for wedding photos.

Deepwood Museum and Gardens in Salem, Oregon, Photographer: Kara Kuh (Travel Salem employee)

Deepwood Museum and Gardens in Salem, Oregon, Photographer: Kara Kuh 


Deepwood Gardens- Salem Oregon

Deepwood Gardens Salem Oregon- credit: deepwoodmuseum.org

#5 Minto-Brown Island Park 

This 30-acre city park is not only the biggest in Salem, but it’s also bigger than NYC’s Central Park. That means there are TONS of places that would make great photo backdrops – especially if the “natural” look is your style. Acres of lush and wooded areas border lakes that serve as waterfowl and wildlife sanctuaries (if you’re lucky you’ll get a blue heron photobomb!). If you and your fiancé are dog-lovers, Minto-Brown Island Park would be a great place to include Fido – there’s a 30-acre, designated off-leash dog area where your dog could really strut his stuff for the camera. www.cityofsalem.net

Minto-Brown Island Park

Minto-Brown Island Park- Credit: oregonruns.com

With so many outdoor spaces near downtown Salem, you are sure to find the perfect canvas for your wedding photos. Now it’s just time to decide which one will grace the walls in your newlywed home.

Looking for a beautiful and flexible wedding venue in Downtown Salem where you can move seamlessly from ceremony to celebration? We are here and ready to assist with every detail to make your big day absolutley perfect. Click here to learn how to get started. 

1 Comment

  1. Melinda Thompson

    Oregon Gardens!


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