The Ultimate Broken Bow Wedding Guide for 2024

July 3, 2023

Welcome! If you’re here, you’re probably planning your own Broken Bow wedding or elopement, and need all the details, yeah? You’re absolutely in the right place. In this jam-packed guide to Broken Bow weddings, we’ll cover how to get married in Broken Bow, activities to add to your day, places to eat and stay, and more!

In this guide, we’ll cover:

  1. Where is Broken Bow?
  2. Why should you get married in Broken Bow?
  3. FAQs about Broken Bow Weddings
  4. Broken Bow Wedding and Permit Info
  5. Best Elopement Ceremony & Photo Locations in Broken Bow
  6. Best Time of Year to Get Married in Broken Bow
  7. Where to stay in Broken Bow
  8. Broken Bow Wedding Photography Pricing
  9. Broken Bow Wedding Sample Photo Timelines
  10. Broken Bow Wedding Vendors
  11. More Wedding & Planning Reources

Where is Broken Bow?

Broken Bow is a small city in southeastern Oklahoma. It’s a gateway to Hochatown and Beavers Bend State Park, which boasts lush hiking trails for all levels, a lake, and plenty of cabins, camping, and local eateries and activities. Lots of scenic locations as you’ll be in the beautiful Ouachita mountains. Broken Bow Lake has islands, beaches, boat ramps and lots of fishing, as well. 

Closest Major Cities/Towns:

This area of the state is a perfect destination for anyone looking to get into nature and spend time in a cozy cabin surrounded by rivers and mountains. Here are the closest cities to Broken Bow:


  • Driving time from Broken Bow: 5-10 minutes

Hochatown is the town just North of Broken Bow on Highway 259. This is the town where Beaver’s Bend State Park is located, and it’s home to the newer restaurants, breweries, and attractions that are driving new tourism and new, luxury homes to the Beaver’s Bend area. It’s also where you’ll find new, hip local spots along with tried and true places. Additionally, it is also the closest town to Beaver’s Bend lake, so you’ll be able to rent boats, kayaks, or paddleboards in town for some fun on the water!

  • Driving Time From Oklahoma City: 3.5 Hours
  • Driving Time From Dallas: 3.5 Hours
  • Driving Time From Little Rock: 3 hours

How to Drive to Broken Bow

Find the best route to get to Broken Bow here!

The Broken Bow area is easily accessible from major cities. The route is mostly highway, until entering the town – where there are two main roads – Highway 3 and Highway 259 – which can be heavily trafficked during peak tourist seasons!


Why Should You Get Married in Broken Bow?

Where should I begin? This is such a beautiful part of the state, and the comfort of cabins, pine trees, streams, and lakes makes this place tranquil and so peaceful. You need to get down here for the scenic trails, viewpoints, rocky beaches, and luxury vacation homes and cabins. From 2 people to 25, spending a wedding weekend here is a FRACTION of the cost of a traditional wedding venue.

Broken Bow might be the wedding or elopement location for you if:

  • You’re in love with the outdoors
  • You want to explore rocky beaches and lush trails
  • You want to say your vows overlooking a gorgeous lake with rolling mountains 
  • You like getting up at dawn to experience a stunning sunrise
  • You want to pay less for a scenic wedding venue
  • You want to plan an experience for your wedding that’s all about you
  • You want to stay in a peaceful, luxurious cabin
  • You love to be cozy and relax in a tranquil place
  • You’re at your happiest when you’re exploring and trying new things with your partner
  • You want to sit around the campfire with your partner & closest friends and family and soak up your beautiful wedding day

If you’re looking for a tranquil getaway to have your wedding or elopement, this is the place. This place is a gem in Oklahoma that has everything from rolling mountains to pine trees, hiking trails, rivers, and comfy, well-equipped cabins for you and your guests to relax and be present with you. The proximity to Beaver’s Bend state park also allows for lots of short, easy hiking and water activities.

Broken Bow and it’s closest town, Hochatown, have recently grown in notoriety, and have experienced a surge in the number of luxury cabins available, making it a destination for those who want a peaceful getaway with all the creature comforts you might need for a wedding weekend, for half the cost of what a traditional venue would be for a day.

FAQs About Broken Bow Weddings

  • Is it legal to elope in Oklahoma? Because of Oklahoma’s laws, eloping is possible but requires an officiant and witnesses present for your ceremony. Eloping is perfectly legal, so long as these 3 things are met. Of course, there are always other options if you are looking for a “just us” ceremony. Check out my guide here on how to elope in Oklahoma for more details!
  • Can I have a ceremony outside in Broken Bow? Yes! You can have a ceremony outdoors in Broken Bow, you do not need a special permit to have a ceremony outdoors.
  • Can I get married at a cabin in Broken Bow? Absolutely! Since many cabins in the area are privately owned, it is always best to ask your host if you are allowed to hold a ceremony at the property before booking. There are many luxury cabin rental companies in the area even advertise weddings at their properties and can help with rentals and food delivery.
  • Do you need a permit to get married in Broken Bow? No, you do not need a special permit to get married in Broken Bow or Beaver’s Bend State Park. You will need an Oklahoma marriage license.
  • How do you get a marriage license in Broken Bow? It’s easy! Visit the Mccurtain County clerk’s office to obtain your marriage license. Find more detailed information on this process in the next section!


Broken Bow Wedding & Elopement Permits

You do not need a special photo permit to get married in Broken Bow, or inside Beaver’s Bend State Park.

Marriage License for Broken Bow

You will, however, need an Oklahoma marriage license, a registered officiant, and 2 witnesses for your ceremony. You can get your marriage license by visiting the Mccurtain County Clerk’s office. Licenses in this county are valid for 30 days, the clerk’s office takes cash only, and it’s always best to call ahead to check their hours. Visit this link for detailed information on how to obtain your Broken Bow marriage license!


Best Elopement Ceremony & Photo Locations in Broken Bow

If you are looking for a scenic spot for your wedding photos or for an elopement ceremony in the area, these are a few of my favorite locations! Broken Bow is a great area because of its proximity to Beaver’s Bend – there, there are many hikes that are all varying levels – meaning there’s really something for everyone at any fitness level to be able to explore and take in the gorgeous scenery.

1. Friends Trail Loop

This trail is a moderate loop, with little elevation. It has rocky beaches with a river. Perfect location for a ceremony if you’d like to be near running water.

Hike info:

  • 1.5 Miles
  • 280 ft elevation gain
  • Easy-Moderate
  • 45-1 hour to complete the loop
  • Trailhead location can be found here.

2. Beaver Lodge Nature Trail 

The Beaver Lodge Nature trail is a moderate out-and-back trail that follows the river, with little elevation. Perfect for a small hike to your ceremony location with time to stop along the way.

Hike info:

  • 3 Miles
  • 250 ft elevation gain
  • Easy-Moderate
  • 45-1 hour to complete the loop
  • Trailhead location can be found here.

3. Cedar Bluff Nature Trail 

This is an easy to moderate loop trail that begins a bit steep, but gives you views above the river. It is a popular hiking spot, so it would be best during morning or evening hours. Perfect if you want water views but don’t necessarily want to be next to running water.

Hike info:

  • .9 Miles
  • 157 ft elevation gain
  • Easy-Moderate
  • 45 minutes to complete the loop
  • Trailhead location can be found here.

4. Crystal Point

Crystal Point is a spot along Beavers Bend Lake that is accessible by car. Features a rocky beach, rock faces, and incredible sunrise and sunset views. The road leading to this point also has many pull-offs that are equally scenic! This is a popular spot for swimmers and families during the day.

  • Location can be found here.

5. Eagle’s Nest

This is a lookout above the lake that is accessible by car. It’s a bit more secluded than areas right on the beach, but you may still encounter cars and groups here. The road to access this area can be bumpy and is less maintained, but still driveable and relatively easy to access.

  • Location can be found here.


Best Time of Year to Get Married in Broken Bow

The best time for a wedding or elopement in Broken Bow is always tough to give a clear answer to, because it depends on what type of weather you’re dreaming up for your wedding or elopement. Next, let’s go through what these seasons tend to look like in each season in this part of Oklahoma; that way, you can decide for yourself which season will help you craft the day you’re envisioning!


The first part of the year in Oklahoma is cold. Trees in the area will not have much foliage, and most outdoor activities will be closed until summertime. The benefits to this time of year are the cost and crowds – most cabins and vacation rentals will not be occupied, making the availability of cabins high. If you’re imagining a cozy, fireside winter wedding, these may be the perfect months for your wedding.


These months are when the trees begin to fill in, temperatures begin to rise, and temperatures will be moderate – meaning it’s perfect for hiking and exploring. Temperatures are mild and offer the ability to hike and have an outdoor ceremony. Moreover, trails will be accessible and it will be easier to be outside longer, meaning there will be time to explore, and having an elopement ceremony in a scenic spot is more doable.


Summer in Oklahoma is hot. This part of the state can often experience humidity in the summer, making outdoor activities difficult for long periods of time. In this situation, perhaps the “summer deals” that some vacation rental owners will run on their cabins and homes make this an opportune time for those who are wanting to do something quick or last-minute!


Fall in southeast Oklahoma is absolutely breathtaking. Not only do the temperatures begin to cool, but the leaves begin to turn, and when the lush rolling hills and many pines in this part of the state start to turn, it literally draws tourists from all over the area to come out to see. Benefits for this time of year would be how beautiful the fall foliage is, but a potential con would be the limited availability of cabins or vacation rentals during this time. If planning a fall wedding in Broken Bow, I would advise planning 6-8 months in advance.

Where to Stay Near Broken Bow

In Broken Bow and Hochatown, you’ll find a mixture of privately owned cabins, luxury vacation homes, campgrounds, or hotels. Most are found on AirBnb or VRBO. In addition, many vacation rental companies in the area maintain multiple, larger properties. Be aware that some of these listings have limited availability throughout the year. Below are a few of my favorite spots in the area.


Stardust Cabin
Starry Pines Cabin
The Pretty Girl Cabin
Blushing Beaver Cabin
Little Wildflower Cabin

Luxury Cabin Rental Companies

Companies may own multiple properties, but you’ll find these types of properties are larger, can accommodate larger groups, and often include concierge services like grocery delivery, even furniture rental. In addition, these properties will often allow weddings to take place on the grounds.

Beavers Bend Adventures
Beaver’s Bend Creative Escape
Blue Beaver Luxury Cabins
Luxury Broken Bow Cabins

Hotels, Lodges, & Resorts

Beavers Bend Lodge
The New Hochatown Lodge


Glamp at this property close in Hochatown!

Hickory Campground – This campground doesn’t do reservations, so drive in or contact the ranger for more info.

More Lodging Resources

If you’re booking your own accommodations and need tips for picking the perfect rental for your wedding or elopement, check out my Guide to Picking the Perfect Vacation Rental for photos, here! 


Hi friend, I’m Lexi – your Broken Bow Wedding Photographer, adventure buddy, right-hand woman, tour guide, lover of weddings that are intentional, laid-back and all about you. I’m a big believer in the power of crafting an intentional wedding day that represents you and your partner in the most authentic way possible, so that’s what I’m here to help you with.

Not only will I capture the moments of your day for you to have as memories forever; I’m here to encourage you to build a day that looks and feels like YOU, not anybody else. I’m pretty freaking good at doing this – just ask any of my past couples! – I’m so confident in my ability to give you an incredible wedding day experience as a whole, in addition to telling the story of your day through photographs that you get to keep and cherish, forever.

Click here to email me!

Starting from

Sample Broken Bow Wedding or Elopement Timeline

Trying to envision what your own wedding day in Broken Bow could look like? Check out these sample timelines below!

Full Day,  2 person Elopement Timeline in Broken Bow 

This timeline is based on my full-day package.

  • 7:30 AM set out for a sunrise kayaking trip on Broken Bow Lake
  • 10:00 Make breakfast and coffee together
  • 11:30 Hang out and write out vows
  • 12:00 Start to get ready
  • 1:30 finishing touches to getting ready
  • 2:00 First look together at your rental cabin
  • 2:45-3:45 Begin the hike to the ceremony destination along Friends Loop Trail or drive to Eagle’s Nest
  • 3:45-4:45 ceremony 
  • 5:00 Pop champagne together to celebrate!
  • 5:00-6:00 champagne toast and picnic together by the water
  • 6:00 – 7:00 Sunset portraits along the lake
    7:00 Head back to the cabin for dinner together
  • 8:00 Start up the fire pit, snuggle up together for a few cozy nighttime portraits
  • Photo coverage ends

Half-Day Wedding Timeline with guests

  • 1:30 detail photos, getting ready photos, candid photos with family at your rented cabin
  • 3:00 finishing touches and getting to see each other dressed for the first time
  • 3:30 a few couple’s photos together
  • 4:00 set up for a ceremony on the cabin property
  • 4:30 Wedding ceremony
  • 5:00 a few just married photos with friends and family
  • 5:45 Head to local brewery with family and friends to celebrate
  • 7:00 Drive to Beaver’s Bend lake for sunset couple’s portraits
  • 8:00 Head back to your cabin for an intimate dinner with friends and family 
  • 8:30 Dinner, toasts, dancing at your cabin
  • 9:30 A few night-time portraits
  • 9:45 Photo coverage ends

Broken Bow Wedding Vendors




Since this area of Oklahoma is somewhat remote, and especially if your wedding will have a handful of guests, I highly recommend looking into hiring a private chef for your meals. Not only will you get fresh cooked food, you’re likely to pay less and you will without a doubt have a totally unique experience with a menu that’s just for you.

Local Catering, Breweries & Other Catering Options

  • Abendigo’s Grill | abendigos.com/catering/
    Local restaurant serving up seasonal, fresh cuisine. Will cater at your cabin in Hochatown, they also have a private patio for weddings & events.
  • Two Board Girls | twoboardgirls.square.site/
    Charcuterie – need I say more?
  • Girls Gone Wine | www.thegirlsgonewine.com/
    A boutique winery that offers tastings and bottles – they can even make a custom bottle for your wedding day!
  • Beavers Bend Brewery | www.beaversbendbrewery.com/
    Seasonal brews with a view of the Hochatown strip. Enjoy a locally brewed pint on the large patio!


Ordained ministers in the area

  • Ralph O’Brien | 580-236-5524 | ralphob50@gmail.com
  • Russ Willingham | 580-584-9351
  • Virginia Hudler | 903-244-1987 | vhudler@ymail.com

Final Tips for your wedding in Broken Bow

Broken Bow is a scenic place that attracts guests from all over, year-round. I recommend planning your wedding or Broken Bow elopement 4-6 months in advance, to ensure you’ll have appropriate lodging and ample time to hire any other local vendors you want to use for your day! 

Keep in mind that you’ll be celebrating your day in the great outdoors, remember to practice Leave No Trace principles, to be respectful of the land you’re on, and to treat locals kindly – after all, they work to make this a wonderful place to have your wedding!

click to read more

click to read more

click to read more

Activities to include in your elopement

How to plan an Oklahoma elopement

Everything you need to know about micro-weddings

Let's do this!