5 Helpful Tips for your Asheville Elopement

August 27, 2022

Asheville elopements are some of my all-time favorites to shoot for so many reasons. The gorgeous mountain views, the stunning changes of seasons, and its overall great-outdoors-vibe make eloping in Asheville a trip worth remembering. And, while you can plan your Asheville elopement to be as in-depth or as simple as you want it to be, there are a few things that may be worth noting before you begin your elopement journey. If you’re anything like me, a mountain elopement sounds like an actual slice of heaven, and believe me, it is (but if you’re more of a beach person, I’ve got elopement options for you, too)! But let’s go over a few things to make sure you’re well-prepared for your Asheville elopement.

Do your location research

Asheville is home to so many landscapes, and the Blue Ridge Parkway is truly one big, endless photo op, but each spot has its own aesthetic. For instance, if you like mountain views: would you prefer to elope with sweeping views behind you, or be on the top of the mountain itself? Do waterfalls interest you, or do you prefer a more dense, forest vibe? Are you hoping to wake up early and say “I do” during an epic sunrise, or does hiking to your perfect location to have a sunset ceremony sound more like you? Once you establish what exactly you’re looking for, the list of locations can become more precise. Take, for instance, this incredible couple who eloped in Asheville with their two pups at Max Patch. They were down for a bit of a trek, and wanted to make sure they had 360-degree mountain views as they read their vows to one another. Max Patch was the perfect spot for them because the hike to the bald wasn’t too difficult (but did require some energy!), and there are mountains every which way you turn. If they were to instead elope somewhere like Pisgah National Forest ‘s Black Balsam Knob, they would have been met with a forest-like hike with a slightly more challenging route to get to the summit. If you know what you want, but have no idea where to look, don’t worry: I can help you plan your Asheville elopement and find the perfect location for you by reaching out here.

Know which season is best for you

If you’re eloping in Asheville, chances are it’s going to be gorgeous no matter what month you choose. But there are some things to be aware of, especially if weather is particularly important to you! If you’re looking for some juuuuust-right temps, September through November or early spring might be perfect for you (though don’t be fooled, it can get cold at any time of the year in the mountains!). Of course, fall is the most popular season for stunning foliage, but bear in mind that rain and hurricanes are never out of the equation. I always tell my couples to come prepared for any kind of weather: whether it’s rain, snow, or heat, bring the right equipment (like rain jackets, weather-resistant boots, and water bottles) to ensure a seamless, stress-free day no matter what the forecast says.

Understand accessibility requirements

There’s a big difference in terms of accessibility when it comes to all of the places you can elope in Asheville, so if you’re having any friends and family come along for the celebration, you’ll want to make sure guests are physically able to get to your ceremony venue. For instance, reaching the pinnacle at Craggy Gardens is immeasurably different from the walk to Cataloochee Valley. Read up on your potential venue before choosing it as your elopement location to make sure that there won’t be any challenges for you or your guests.

Read up on elopement rules and regulations

Because Asheville has such a variety of places to elope, you’ll find that many venues require different things from couples who are choosing to get married there. So, while elopements with less than 25 people are allowed on the Blue Ridge Park with a permit (which you need to apply for!), elopements go through a different permit process if your ceremony location is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (which, again, you’ll need to apply for!). Knowing which places need permit approval might help point you in the direction that feels best for you.

Also, be aware that some things simply don’t fly on the Blue Ridge Parkway: real flowers or rice for throwing is not allowed and can actually damage plants native to the area. Similarly, things like balloon releases, candles, and alcohol are also not permitted. Be sure to read all the signage that you come across to make sure you’re not doing anything that may damage the beauty around you!

Make the day unique to you

Eloping in Asheville is unique in its own right, but I always encourage my couples to really incorporate the things that feel like “them” during their elopement. Whether that means having a celebratory picnic on a mountaintop or bringing your pups to witness you tying the knot (just like my couple did!), go all in on an experience that will make your hearts happiest. My couple went all out and incorporated their two sweet dogs into every bit of their elopement, from the getting ready portion all the way to having a first dance with their pups! They even tied a knot of three cords during their ceremony… to be used as a play toy for their dogs for years to come. A genius new tradition if you ask me!

If you’re looking to elope in Asheville and want an elopement photographer who can be there every step of the way, go ahead and reach out to me here!

Hair and Makeup: Brushes and Braids

Wedding Dress: Rachel Ann Bridal