The first time I visited Asheville, I knew it was going to be a special place for me. And I was so, so right. Asheville, North Carolina is an artsy vibrant mountain town with some of the most stunning views the east coast has to offer. With the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Smoky Mountains, and the Pisgah National Forest all within reach, there’s no shortage of places to have your engagement session, elopement, or wedding. From an Asheville photographer’s perspective, this means you have the world as your oyster and can plan a day that feels authentic to you. But there are a few things that may be worth your while to read up on before your event, whether it’s an Asheville elopement, engagement session, or otherwise!
Find your favorite Asheville season
You’re up in the mountains, and that means the seasons here are strikingly beautiful, but with each season comes different backdrops and temps. Spring and fall are easily the most popular seasons for eloping in Asheville (or any other session, for that matter!), because the temperatures are a bit. more mild and the colors are simply unbeatable. In the springtime, the flowers are blooming and colorful, and in the fall, the leaves and trees changing colors are nothing short of striking. It’s pretty hard to find a bad spot during these seasons! Summertime offers warmer, later evenings perfect for sunset-watching, but prepare for daytime heat if you’re planning on having an all-day event. Winter is the off-season, which does mean less crowds – however, you’ll want to be mindful of the potential road closures due to bad weather.
Choose your location wisely
If you’re looking for an Asheville photographer’s perspective, you truly can’t choose a “wrong” location, but there are certain spots that might be more than you bargained for in terms of hiking and elevation! For instance, you might be surprised to know that Craggy Gardens – which has the most stunning panoramic mountain views – is pretty high in elevation, but the hiking trail (which is equally gorgeous) is actually not that difficult! Just because a location looks “high” or “low” in elevation doesn’t necessarily mean the hike is easy or difficult, so you’ll want to do your research to make sure your location doesn’t pose too big of a challenge. Similarly, if you’re planning an Asheville elopement with guests, you’ll want to read up on accessible locations that require little-to-no hiking for guests who may be unable to make a strenuous trek.
Pack the right equipment
It might seem like a no-brainer to pack things like water bottles and energy bars, but you’ll want to cover all your bases if you’re planning to hike anywhere in the Asheville areas. Depending on the weather and the season, these things can vary, but below you’ll find a helpful list of things you might not think you need:
- bug spray
- a headlamp or flashlight
- a rain jacket, coat, fleece, or scarf
- sunglasses or hats
- thermal undergarments
- an extra pair of socks
- hiking boots
- a portable phone charger
- a small first aid kit
I always say that I’d rather have something and not need, than need something and not have it! While I usually have a lot of things on hand for my couples, I always encourage them to pack any additional items that they may find helpful during our time shooting.
Be mindful of Mother Nature
I practice so much gratitude for the land that I get to explore, and with that comes respecting the rules and restrictions (and some obvious things to be aware of). First, be sure to look up the Leave No Trace principles, which essentially means to leave the area you are in better than how you found it, dispose of any waste properly, and to protect our parks and respect our wildlife. Another thing to be mindful of is the fact that you are in nature, which means you may not have cell service! Download any maps offline that you may need, or, if you’re frequently hiking in areas without service, you may want to buy something like Garmin’s In-Reach Satellite Communicator, which works without internet. Lastly, I make sure that any Asheville engagement session or elopement I shoot obeys any rules and restrictions, and we don’t trample through protected areas of the park. There are reasons for certain areas to be restricted (usually because of the precious flora and fauna on the ground floor that cannot be disturbed for any reason), and it’s imperative that we do our part in making sure the land we are on is respected and not taken for granted.
If you’re planning an Asheville elopement or engagement session and are looking for a photographer, go ahead and reach out here to get in touch and plan the most epic day ever!