The Ultimate Guide For Your Asheville Elopement
A dreamy outdoor Wedding experience
Choosing to elope in Asheville is perfect for nature lovers and adventurers, so you are in the perfect place.
I'm actually a local who was born and raised in the area! I'm also an elopement specific photographer & videographer. That means I know just about everything there is to know about experiencing the elopement day of your dreams here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. So, keep reading to learn how to elope in Asheville, NC and have the day of your dreams!
Table of Contents
Whatever scenery you are envisioning for your elopement in NC, you’re sure to find it in one of the states many state forests or national parks!
Here are a few of my favorites:
The Blue Ridge Parkway begins in WNC and runs all the way up to Virginia. There are incredible spots for elopements the entire way, not just near Asheville. Great for quick and easy access views. Perfect for a ceremony with loved ones or for couples who don’t want to hike. One of my top picks for couples who want to elope in NC!
These two forests make up a majority of WNC, so there are lots of spaces to choose from when eloping here. Pisgah is more visited than Nantahala, so if you want to avoid crowds, head west. Both areas are beautiful and similar in what they offer - waterfalls, views, rivers, camping, and trails galore.
*Popular locations such as Max Patch, and Black Balsam are in Pisgah National Forest. I try to avoid these locations since they are over-crowded with tourists and photoshoots and don’t usually provide a peaceful and unique experience.
There are many private spaces Western NC where you can ensure your alone time during your elopement. We have so many flower farms, wedding venues, rental homes, and spaces that will accommodate a private event. That means you don't have to worry about other people being present and can set up more items like chairs and a wedding arch!
Half of the National Park is in NC and the other half is in TN.
A bit of a drive from Asheville, but worth visiting and exploring the different areas of the park. Great for easy access locations OR long hike/backpacking lovers. You can elope in NC or TN when getting married inside this national park (it crosses state lines)!
FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT EACH LOCATION - CHECK OUT MY BLOG POST:
The rest of public land in WNC is made up of state parks such as Gorges, Grandfather Mountain, and Mt. Mitchell. These are also really beautiful spaces to explore and usually have facilities close by like campgrounds and restrooms. A great place to elope in NC if you want/need to be closer to those accommodations.
When is the best time of year to
elope in Asheville?
March - May
The Spring in Asheville is beautiful. The temperature is warming up from winter and the colors are beginning to pop back out. Everything down in the valleys are in bloom! It’s important to note though, that the higher up the mountain you go, the later in the spring it will be before things start to bloom. It’s late May to early June before everything is green on the mountain tops.
Spring and Fall are the most popular seasons for elopements here in Western NC, and for good reason. The spring blooms, fall colors, and mild temperatures are hard to beat.
Summer can be hot (so including a river dip during your day would be ideal), but also busy since school is out.
If you are open to an off-season experience during winter, you will reap the rewards of less crowded everything and views you can only see when the trees are bare!
June - august
Summer in the mountains is lovely. It can still get quite warm and humid but it’s a lush time of year when everything is bright and colorful. Summer elopements are the perfect time for waterfall exploring and river swims, so if you'd like to spend time in water, this is the season!
september - November
The fall is the absolute most popular season to elope in Asheville? Why? The colors! There’s nothing like when the trees turn red, orange, and yellow, lighting up the landscape. Plus the weather in the fall is decently warm but with a nice crisp chill to the air. The downside to eloping here in the fall? Crowds. LOTS of people visit here to “leaf look” So finding locations, where you can avoid the tourists is key.
december - february
If you get lucky enough to get snow when you elope in Asheville, Winter in the mountains can be magical. But, even if there isn’t any snow on the ground, lots of trails have less people and there are extra views through the tree branches that don’t exist any other season. Just note that some locations aren’t accessible at all (or without a longer hike) due to road closures.
Shoot for a week day - the less crowded the trails, the better.
Make sure the location where you want to elope is open or provides permits that time of year (For example, the Blue Ridge Parkway doesn’t give out wedding permits for the entire month of October).
Tips for picking
your Date to
elope in Asheville
Avoid holidays - another way to try and avoid crowds and get some privacy.
Decide what type of weather you want to experience, and pick a month based on that.
Do you have any personal time off that will lend itself easily to a stress free elopement? That’s a great place to start!
All the Fun Activities to Choose From:
You have so many fun activities you can do when you elope in Asheville, NC! Even the days before and afterwards are time you can make memories! Your elopement doesn’t have to be just a ceremony and a few photos. It should be an experience full of things you love most, or new things you want to try!
Camping (backpacking & car camping)
hot air balloon rides
kayaking (lakes & lazy rivers)
river days at swimming holes
yoga, massage, meditation, spas
delicious food & beer (vegan/vegetarian options too!)
To elope in Asheville
How to Get Around When You Elope in Asheville
Asheville is a smaller town, not a big city. Therefore, it doesn’t have a lot of taxi or ride-share services like Uber or Lyft. There are a handful, but there aren’t many.
I highly recommend renting a car.
Having your own car will allow you the freedom to explore when and where you want. Plus, there are a lot of outdoor areas that don’t have service around here, so you wouldn’t be able to call a ride anyway.
If you are feeling adventurous and want to make sure you have access to everything,
I suggest renting an SUV.
There are a lot of bumpy dirt roads and pull-offs that need a higher clearance vehicle that would make navigation much easier.
Where to Stay to Elope in Asheville
I’m a big fan of house rentals or straight up camping for the privacy and natural spaces they provide.
There are BEAUTIFUL and really cute rentals all over Western NC. Some also allow elopements to take place on their property - just be sure to ask beforehand to make sure.
You can search for local rentals on airbnb or vrbo.
My suggestion is to try and support locals who have spaces to rent (instead of people who live other places and have rentals here - it helps the local economy more this way).
Hotels are usually incredibly expensive, and not that exciting for photo or video shots in my opinion, so I don’t recommend them.
Try to pick where you stay after you’ve picked where you want to explore on your elopement day. It’s not uncommon to have to drive an hour or two to get to some of the best spots in the area, so picking a place to stay based on your elopement ceremony location will be helpful!
What to wear for your elopement
If you’re wearing a dress, something loose around the hips and legs is great so you’ve got enough range of motion to hike in. Also, having some layers that you are comfortable having photos taken in each option will give you flexibility for the weather.
Check out my blog post for more detailed info on how to pick your elopement dress.
Shirts & Pants
For those wearing a more shirt and pant style outfit, make sure you’ve got something that is a bit stretchy.
You wouldn’t want your pants to rip stepping up on a big rock!
Also, make sure you've got some layers that you are comfortable having photos taken in. This will help keep you comfortable and give you flexibility for whatever the weather throws at us!
Your clothes are going to probably get a bit dirty. You’re in the great outdoors - gotta embrace it!
If you’re hiking during your elopement day, legit hiking boots are the way to go. They will be the most comfortable and comfort is key! Make sure you wear them in if you buy new boots to try and avoid blisters. If you prefer not wearing boots, wear something with good tread at least!
If you prefer to have something a bit less rugged or aren't hiking around during your day, then just make sure your shoes are comfortable.
Photography & Videography
Hey ya’ll, Im Kathryn
I was born and raised here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC. Thankfully, I grew up hiking these trails with my Dad. I spent summers swimming in these rivers with friends, picking the wild blueberries on the parkway, and catching fireflies in the summer sunsets.
Being in nature is my happy place.
My heart loves every nook and cranny of these hillsides.
What an honor it would be to guide you through an elopement day that is full of your own mountain memories, similar to the ones I’ve grown up experiencing.
Most elopement companies offer short and small packages, covering 1 or 2 hours of time, and thats all.
You might even think that’s really all you need for an elopement, because what else is there to do?
The secret is - There is SO MUCH you can do.
The best part about eloping is that you get to choose things that are tailored just for you.
No going through the motions of traditions and timelines that are meaningless.
You aren’t eloping because you value your experience less, but because you just want something DIFFERENT.
Maybe you want something that is more about you as a couple than making everyone else happy.
Everyone deserves an elopement that is stress free, personalized, and that truly represents what you love and value in life.
I help my couples have an elopement day that is filled to the brim with memories,
ranging from 4 hours to a full day of adventure!