May 3, 2021

Winter Elopement in North Carolina

A couple is getting married on a rock with a large mountain range behind them.

Not many people will choose to even consider a winter elopement due to the risk of chilly weather and closed roads. But, if you are willing to make a good backup plan and brave the colder temps, there are some really amazing aspects of a winter wedding!

Winter elopements are lovely for multiple reasons:

  • There are usually way less people on the trails and in public spaces. This gives you the chance to have a higher chance of privacy and seclusion to say your vows.
  • If you get lucky with some snow that is still accessible, it can be beautiful. But even without snow, the winter colors are moody, soft, and unique.
  • There are more views in wooded areas like WNC than there are in the other seasons. The bare trees give way to mountain vistas that were hidden by leaves before.

The Couples Winter Elopement Story:

Dani and Mel decided to have a winter elopement and planned around the full moon. Unfortunately the cloudy sky covered the moon from us on their elopement day. Thankfully that didn’t keep them from squeezing every ounce of special moments out of their experience.

I love sharing the actual timeline I created with the couple, to help when it comes to imagining your own winter elopement. I hope you enjoy the truly special story of their day!

Elopement Package Details

Location: Western NC (Blue Ridge Mountains)
Month: November
Timeframe : 1 PM to 7 PM Eastern Standard Time
Package : Half Day (up to 6 Hours) / Photo + Video
Permit: Blue Ridge Parkway Wedding Permit

Watch their Winter Elopement Film:

1 PM – Coverage Begins
Kathryn arrives at house rental

Detail shots of house, rings, clothing, pup, etc.

1:30 PM : Getting ready
Mel’s sister will help her get ready
Dani’s best friend will help Dani get ready.

Somehow these two snagged an adorable little mountain cabin not far from their ceremony location to stay in. It looked right out of a fairytale situated beneath the pines so perfectly. They had a little box full of all the rings, vows, and letters, and few special stones to hold during their ceremony. They also had their sweet doggie with them who was such a good pupper!

A cabin sits surrounded by woods in western NC.
Interior photograph of a lamp on a table inside a cabin in the North Carolina mountains.
Elopement vows are written in a leather bound book sitting in a custom box.
A dog sitting on a hardwood floor inside a cabin.
A woman getting a wedding dress off of the hanger before elopement.
A friend helping a woman put on her wedding dress before her elopement day inside a cabin.
Friends hugging before wedding.
A woman puts a scarf around her neck while sitting on a bed.
A close-up photograph of a monogrammed scarf around a person’s neck.
A person takes a suit off a door inside a cabin in preparation for their winter elopement.
A friend helps with fitting a suit inside a cabin before a winter elopement in Western NC.
A person snuggles with a dog before their wedding in Asheville.
A person sitting on a bed puts on their shoes before an elopement.
A woman laces up boots while wearing a wedding gown inside a cabin.
A woman fixes her hair in the mirror before her wedding day.

2:00 PM – First Look @ cabin
Couple portraits around cabin afterwards

Dani and Mel wrote letters to each other in addition to vows (which I loved – the more sweetness the better)! Right before their first look, they read these letters to themselves. They wanted to stay connected with hands intertwined & wrapped around the corner of the cabin. As you can tell in the photos that follow and the video above, their goofy and joyful nature with one another is contagious!

Handwritten love notes sit on a windowsill.
A couple exchanging handwritten love notes around a corner of the cabin before an elopement in Asheville.
A couple standing on different sides of a cabin reading handwritten love letters to each other before eloping in western North Carolina.
A couple holds hands around the corner of cabin before their elopement.
A woman in a long sleeved wedding dress, a hat, and boots stands reading a letter by the side of a cabin.
A couple stands against opposite walls of a cabin reading love letters that they exchanged before their elopement day.
A couple hugs after doing their first look before wedding.
A couple shows off their wedding attire to each other outside a cabin before they get married.
A couple stands outside embracing during first look before their winter elopement in Asheville.
A couple reaches for each other and looks at each other after first look outside a cabin.
A woman pins a boutonniere on her partner before their elopement.
A woman fixes the boutonniere placement on her partner’s suit before their wedding.
A couple stands outside of cabin in the western NC mountains holding hands.
A laughing couple standing outside a log cabin while holding hands.
A picture of a couple’s shoes while standing outside.
A couple holding hands and smiling, looking excited to get married.
A couple snuggling outside a log cabin during wedding portraits.
A couple kisses outside cabin during wedding portraits in western NC.
A couple talks to their little dog outside a log cabin.
A couple laughs while taking pictures of their dog outside their cabin.

2:30 PM – Sign Marriage Certificate

Sometimes signing the marriage certificate doesn’t get captured. I actually find it a really special moment to memorialize the legal side of the experience if it is a part of a couples day. I know this is a particularly special moment for LGBTQ+ couples who haven’t had the right to legally marry until 2015. It’s a really powerful and emotional experience that deserves celebration!

A couple looks at their friends who sit at a table signing their wedding license.
A person holds their arms outstretched excitedly after their wedding license is signed.

2:45 PM – Family/loved one Portraits

Pro Tip: always suggest making a list of all the groupings of your family and loved ones that you would like to have photos of. This makes things so much smoother and quicker on your elopement day. When posing and smiling for the camera for these official portraits, your cheeks can get tired!

A formal family wedding portrait with a dog in North Carolina outside a log cabin.
A couple kisses outside of their log cabin before their adventure winter elopement.
A woman holding a large floral bouquet.
A close-up shot of a couple kissing outside a cabin.

3:10 PM – Leave for Ceremony Hike Location
16 minutes without traffic

3:30 PM – Arrive at Ceremony Hike Location

3:45 PM – Begin
0.6 miles total – out and back
Take portraits along trail
Can go into the woods near the top for a forest vibe

Pro tip: Making sure you account for travel time in your elopement timeline is key. Those in-between moments really do add up!

We had a short little hike up to a beautiful rock face with a mountain view. Thankfully the trail was surrounded with rhododendron and evergreens that gave us some beautiful green color to enjoy even in the winter. Also, isn’t Mel’s silk bouquet so beautiful stuffed in her yellow backpack?!?

A couple holds hands and walks up a forested mountain hiking path while wearing backpacks.
A couple wearing backpacks hikes up to elopement destination in NC mountains surrounded by trees.
A couple kisses among rhododendrons in NC mountains.
The wooden Mountains to Sea Trail and Beacon Heights trail sign in the forest.
A couple wearing backpacks hugs among the rhododendrons while hiking up to a mountain in Asheville.
A couple wearing backpacks and wedding clothes walks across a large rock to their elopement ceremony site with mountains in the distance.
A woman in a dress leans her head on a person in a suit while they both stand on a rock and overlook a mountain vista.

4:14 PM – Arrive at top
Settle in, hydrate, get mic’d up for ceremony

4:30 PM –  Ceremony
Officiant: Gina Angel of All the Things ceremonies

Gramophone song to Mel walking down the aisle
grounding ceremony to begin
exchange vows
small crystals to exchange

Dani knew they wanted to see Mel walking up the “aisle” to them with a certain song playing in the background. Of course we made that dream come true! Their elopement ceremony was full of really special and personalized moments to embrace the emotions of the experience. You can hear some of their amazing vows in the video at the top of the blog post (you don’t want to miss them)!

A woman in a wedding dress and hat carrying a bouquet walks down a mountain path toward her elopement ceremony.
A person in a suit and coat stands smiling on a mountaintop with a wedding officiant in the background.
A couple saying their vows during their winter elopement on top of a mountain with an officiant behind them and a mountain range surrounding them.
A couple exchanges vows during a mountain winter elopement in western North Carolina.
A woman wearing a white coat and a brown hat closes her eyes during her wedding.
A person wearing a suit and boutonniere closes their eyes during their elopement.
Hands exchanging wedding rings during mountain elopement in NC
A couple stands on top of a mountain during an intimate elopement ceremony in western NC.
The first kiss of a married couple on top of a rock overlooking a mountain range in North Carolina.
A couple excitedly embraces after their elopement on top of a mountain.

I loved this little moment where these two just straight up broke out into dance mode right after their first kiss.
Their joy is everything life is all about!

Two people laughing and dancing on top of a mountain following their wedding ceremony.
A couple takes a selfie on top of a mountain after their adventure elopement in NC.
A person takes a cell phone picture of their newly married partner on top of a mountain.

5:00 PM – Couple portraits
Details of clothing, florals, rings on hands, vows, box, crystals

A woman smiling while holding a bouquet of flowers and wearing a white dress and brown hat surrounded by mountains.
A close-up picture of hiking boots worn underneath a wedding gown.
A close-up picture of a woman’s head wearing a hat with a buckle with mountains in the background.
A woman holding a unique wedding bouquet of peach, tan, and pink flowers.
A closeup photograph of a woman’s wedding ring on her hand while holding her bouquet.
A woman wearing a white coat, brown hat, and holding a bouquet of flowers posing for pictures in Asheville.
A portrait of a person wearing a suit and coat smiling while standing on top of a mountain.
A close-up of a bright orange boutonniere pinned to a dark brown suit jacket.
Close-up picture of a person’s brown dress shoes while standing on top of a large rock.
A couple holding their fingers with fake mustaches drawn on them under their noses and laughing.
A couple holding hands while standing on top of a rock and overlooking the mountains in wedding attire.
A portrait of a couple embracing on a rock with trees in the background after their winter elopement in the NC mountains.
A couple holding hands and hiking in the woods.
A closeup portrait of a couple embracing after Asheville elopement.
A couple holds each other in the middle of the forest in the winter.
A couple hikes through bushes on their way up a mountain wearing wedding clothes.

5:20 PM – First Dance around sunset
Gramophone song
Electric candles/lantern

Since it was a cloudy winter day for an elopement, we didn’t really get a legit sunset. Sometimes that just happens! You can’t control mother nature. So we did what we could and embraced the moody clouds that were secretly preparing for a beautiful snow the next morning. They brought some electric candles to place around them in a circle to mark their dance floor. As the song played they sang and danced and hugged and giggled as the sun began to fade.

A phone connected to a vintage gramophone sits on a rock.
A couple dances on top of a mountain surrounded by candles after getting married.
A couple dances their first dance while holding each other surrounded by candles.
A couple laughing and dancing together surrounded by candles on top of a rock with trees in the background.
A couple dances on top of a mountain overlooking a vast vista surrounded by candles.
A couple hugs and dances on top of a mountain on a cloudy winter day in Western NC.
A couple has an outdoor first dance with candles on top of a mountain on an overcast winter day.

5:40 PM – Tea time picnic as dusk settles

These two are big tea lovers like me! They hiked in a thermos of hot water, 2 mugs, and their favorite tea bags to enjoy on the mountain top. Such a perfect way to slow down and take in the day so far.

A couple sits on top of a blanket on a rock with trees in the background to have tea.
A person pours tea out of a mug on top of a plaid blanket in the winter on a mountaintop.
A couple has a winter tea break after their elopement on a mountaintop.
A woman wearing gloves holds a mug full of tea while sitting on a plaid blanket and wearing a wedding dress.
A couple drinks tea on top of a mountain in the winter on a plaid blanket surrounded by candles.
A couple sits on top of a rock with pine trees in the background while they drink tea on a picnic blanket.
A couple sits overlooking the mountains on top of a blanket with candles.
A couple kisses in the dark surrounded by candles as the sun sets behind mountains in the background.
A couple sits in the dark and looks at each other while illuminated by a lantern.
A couple sits in the dark with a lantern and some candles on top of a mountain.

6:00 PM – Head back down to cars
Headlamps for hike down

6:15 PM – Drive back to airbnb rental

With two trusty headlamps and a really cool LED lantern, we packed up and made our way back down the mountain. This was their first time hiking in the dark and I love when couples get to experience that new feeling on such a special day like an elopement day!

A couple stands in the dark on a rock with headlamps on.
A woman wearing a wedding dress and a headlamp puts her bouquet of flowers back into her backpack.
A couple laughs in the dark while wearing headlamps.
A couple standing in the dark looks at each other while wearing headlamps.
A couple stands on top of a mountain in the dark wearing headlamps in Asheville as the sun sets behind them and you can see the city lights.

The couples loved ones had stayed back at the cabin while we had their private mountaintop experience. They were so sweet had spent those few hours setting up a sweet dinner and table. It was full of tacos, chips, charcuterie, a cake, and cupcakes! This is what we arrived to once we got back to the house!

An elopement food and dessert bar sits waiting on a table inside a log cabin.
A Mrs & Mrs wedding cake decorated with flowers.
Glass bottles of coke sit in a bowl on a table.
A picnic table set up for elopement dinner with bowls and glasses.

6:30 PM – Start a fire
Beautiful cuddle shots by the fire
Bonfire hang out at house with loved ones

Mel’s dad made a little bonfire as the couple got changed into some comfy cozy clothes. They had some solo time to snuggle up by the warmth before their family came out to join them. A perfect way to end a chilly winter elopement!

A couple sits in the dark outside a lit-up cabin after their elopement.
A person building a fire in the dark.
A couple relaxes by a cozy fire pit in the dark in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
A couple snuggling by a fire in the dark on a cold night in Asheville.
A couple kisses by the fire in the dark.
A couple sits by the fire and kisses in the dark.
A person holds a woman covered in a plaid blanket while sitting next to a fire in the dark.
A couple cozies up by a fire and snuggles their heads together in the dark.
Friends and family sitting around a campfire in the dark with a cabin in the background.
Friends and family join an elopement celebration around a campfire at night and talk.
People sit around a fire with friends in the Blue Ridge Mountains to celebrate an elopement.

7:00 PM – Coverage Ends
Say goodbye and enjoy the rest of the evening with a dinner and good convo!




I believe everyone deserves a wedding experience that feels genuine to them.
That’s why I help those who value intimate, unique, & adventurous memories
have a celebration they cherish for a lifetime.
If you’re dreaming of an elopement immersed in the natural beauty of Western NC,
get in touch and I’ll help you bring everything to life!




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