How To Elope in Asheville, North Carolina

A man and a woman embracing and eloping in Asheville, North Carolina. The Blue Ridge mountains are behind them, and there are wildflowers all around them

Asheville, North Carolina (and the Blue Ridge Mountains) is the best place to get married. With beautiful mountain and waterfall views, delicious cafes and restaurants downtown, and wineries and breweries throughout the area – there is so much you can do for your elopement. Your elopement should be exactly what you want it to be. Read on to see all the info on how you can elope in Asheville, North Carolina. (and in the Blue Ridge Mountains/Western North Carolina!)

Table of Contents:

  1. Planning an Elopement in Asheville, North Carolina
  2. What is an Elopement?
  3. Why you should elope in Asheville, North Carolina
  4. Best Places to Elope in Asheville, North Carolina
  5. When you should Elope in Asheville, North Carolina
  6. The Legalities of getting married in Asheville
  7. What is the cost of getting married in Asheville, North Carolina
  8. Step by Step How to Elope in Asheville, North Carolina
  9. Asheville Elopement Packages
  10. Asheville Elopement Photography

Planning an Elopement in Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina – to us – is one of the most perfect places to get married. With beautiful mountain views, waterfalls, fields, forests, and then the city itself filled with amazing restaurants and literal castles like The Biltmore, there is so much to do and enjoy here. Asheville has a special place in our heart and we just want to share it with you guys. 🙂 This guide is filled with everything you need to know for an elopement in Asheville, North Carolina, so keep reading to get all the info!

Firstly – What IS an elopement?

The definition of an elopement has changed a lot since its origins. Although it used to mean something along the lines of “running away from your family and getting secretly married” now, the definition is more along the lines of “choosing to get married in a way that is different from what a traditional wedding is.”

There are so many different ways that you can do your elopement. You can have a day that is just the two of you on top of a mountain. Or, you can have a day where you rent a château in Europe (cheaper than a wedding venue) and stay there with your closest family and friends. You can even have have a two day wedding where you can get a day with just the two of you and a day with your family and friends! TRULY, the possibilities are ENDLESS.

Eloping is about creating a wedding day that is a reflection of who you are your love are. We truly believe it’s one of the best ways to get married. We love that you are considering it for your day!

Why you should elope in Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina and western North Carolina in general is truly one of the most beautiful places. With a backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains filled with rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and forests – it is such a serene place to get married. The area is also filled with some of the most amazing restaurants, cafes, breweries, wineries, a castle like The Biltmore and so much more. We love showing our couples the beauty and fun of Asheville, NC!

Best Places to Elope in Asheville, North Carolina

There are so many gorgeous places to elope in Asheville, North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountains offer such a unique landscape all across Western North Carolina. Here are some of our favorite spots in the area!

Get married in the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic drive going through the Blue Ridge Mountains that starts in Shenandoah National Park, near Waynesboro, VA (Milepost 0) and ends with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Cherokee, NC (Milepost 469). Western North Carolina takes up most of the parkway, and is filled with so many beautiful hikes to choose from. The best part of it is that there are hikes that are less than 30 minutes that can get you some of the most beautiful views of the mountains! Note: there is a permit you need to obtain to get married in the Blue Ridge Parkway (here is the info: https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/wedding-permits.htm)

Elope in Pisgah National Forest

There are three districts in Pisgah National Forest, all of them beautiful and actually quite different from each other. These are: The Pisgah, The Grandfather, and the Appalachian Ranger Districts. Pisgah National Forest is more remote, and offers so much adventure and fun. There are no permits needed for this area, but keep yourself up to date with what they allow in regards to weddings – most areas don’t allow more than a group of 10 people! Here is some more info on the area:

Pisgah Ranger District (South of Asheville)

This area is known as the Land of Waterfalls – it’s home to more that 250 waterfalls. The area was even featured in the Hunger Games (Triple Falls & Bridal Veil Falls were in the movie, if you were wondering!). There are also so many beautiful clear rivers that we love jumping around in and love soaking in the sun. One of our favorite things to do in this area is go to a watering hole at the bottom of a waterfall and take a dip. BEST FEELING EVER.

We are big waterfall and river lovers, so we absolutely love coming to this area with our couples 🙂

Appalachian and Grandfather District (Northeast and Northwest of Asheville)

This area is the more mountainous part of Pisgah National Forest. There are mountains that are rolling grassy hills, there are mountains that offer 360 views, there are mountains that have a more rocky terrain, there are truly endless options with the type of mountains you can get here!

The Biltmore

I had to include this as an option because – how could I not? The Biltmore is an 8000 acre estate filled with mountains, fields, rivers, lagoons, gardens, and most importantly the “castle” or a Châteauesque-style mansion that is huge and absolutely gorgeous. It feels like the best of both worlds to have a castle on your wedding day but also you can go into the nature and enjoy the beautiful forests and mountains that surround the Biltmore House. We absolutely love going there and think everyone should enjoy this area at least once in their life!

Private airbnb

We have had many couples who rented an airbnb with their family, and had a ceremony there before going off to take some photos in the mountains. It’s such a best of both worlds combo! There are so many beautiful airbnbs that offer amazing views. We highly recommend this option especially if you are wanting to have your family and friends be part of it all!

When should you elope in Asheville North Carolina?

Asheville’s mountains have extreme temperature differences from what you may expect in the city. Give altitude and windchill, a nice 60 degree day in downtown Asheville could mean 30 degrees on the mountain peaks! Even in the middle of the summer, you should expect it to be cool on top of a mountain. If you would rather not wear a thick jacket during your ceremony, or are really cold-natured, a winter/fall elopement would not be the best for you. 

Summer

Summer is a great time to elope in the mountains. Not only will it be cooler at the top of the mountains, and you can get in the waterfalls and rivers, you will also be surrounded by beautiful greenery and a late setting sunset. We recommend choosing a weekday so we can try to have the mountains to ourselves. This is one of our favorite options for an elopement!

Fall

Fall is an absolutely beautiful time in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The colorful foliage, the crisp mountain air, apple picking, everything is perfect. This is also the busiest time in the mountains. Our recommendation is to definitely try to elope on a weekday to avoid the crazy crowds. Try to plan in September and November as October is the busiest month. (Note: you are not allowed to elope in october if you plan on doing so along the Blue Ridge Mountains) 

Spring

Wildflowers, the air turning warmer, creeks and waterfalls, it is just such a beautiful time in the mountains. Early spring might be cold and roads still might be closed, so late spring will be your best bet.

Winter

It will be very cold. Now, we totally get the want to have those winter/fall vibes with the dead trees and possible snow, it’s a great vibe! Know that you need to have a backup plan if a winter storm comes through. If you plan on a winter elopement, plan on it being a two person wedding (so that you have more flexibility). You may end up having to move your elopement by as much as a week while roads are cleaned and re-opened. 

Since it will be incredibly cold, your dress, shoes, suit, or whatever you decide to wear should be winterized and winter themed. Some awesome ways to do this would be a large beautiful fur jacket, and a thick dress that offers warm layers.

When couples elope with us, there are two ways that they usually do this:

  1. This is the option that most people choose. Get legally married (all the paperwork) done separately on a different day in their home state. Then you can focus your elopement day on doing a symbolic ceremony.
  2. Get legally married with an ordained officiant on the sight. In order to be legally married in North Carolina, you need to register for a marriage license with a NC Register of Deeds Office. You will need to apply no more than 60 days before your wedding date. For Asheville, you can apply for a marriage license at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office. Then you pick it up when you arrive for your wedding!

What is the cost of an elopement in Asheville, North Carolina?

The fun thing about elopements is that they can truly cost whatever you want it to cost! You can do a two person elopement on top of a mountain and just have the cost of a photographer. Or, you can rent a gorgeous airbnb with your family and have an extravagant nature filled party! The prices for an elopement in Asheville, North Carolina can range from $100-$30,000. It truly is depending on what your wants are for your day!

So, here’s your steps on how to elope in Asheville, North Carolina!

1. Think of your elopement vibes + choose your date (or season!)

When you imagine your wedding day – what do you think of? Are you imagining one day of adventuring around the mountains and waterfalls with your love, having a picnic, and then doing a dinner and reception with your family and friends the next day? Are you imagining just the two of you in the mountains? Try to envision your day and what you want to see, smell, feel. Here is a link to an elopement we did in the North Carolina mountains for some inspo!

2. Hire your Asheville, North Carolina Elopement Photographers

The reason this is so high up on the list of importance is because your photographers is integral in helping you figure out all of the little details in planning your elopement! They can help you figure out where to go, when to go, guide your through the permit process if necessary.

We absolutely love helping our clients create the most beautiful and fun elopement day! Not only are we there to photograph it in a beautiful and cinematic way, we also love helping you through every step of the way. Our services include sending over our in-depth Elopement Planning Guide, building a timeline that works for you, helping you think of what you should do and so much more! We absolutely love Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and we are so happy to share our love of the area with you. 🙂 Contact us here if you are ready to plan your elopement!!! (or if you have any questions at all!) www.findyara.com/contact

3. Book your stays + vendors

There are so many beautiful airbnbs going from yurts and cabins by a river to extravagant homes and mansions with stunning mountain views. The possibilities are endless here! Make sure to book these as far in advance as possible.

Depending on what kind of elopement day you are having, you may want some vendors for your day. This can include a florist, videographer, baker, private chef, venue etc! You can be as simple or as extravagant as your heart desires 🙂

4. No matter if you want a venue or an outdoor elopement, make sure you follow Leave No Trace Principles

Some examples include:

  1. You cannot have live plants, butterflies, birdseed, ribbons, balloons, or open flames, arches, or amplified speakers. If you are having a wedding in nature, keep that the core of your day. Be present in the natural features, the sounds, the sights, and take in the beauty. You truly don’t need all the extra fluff. 
  2. Silk or paper flowers work beautifully if you are really wanting a bouquet or flowers for your day!
  3. No arches, stands, balloons, risers. Let nature be your backdrop 🙂
  4. No amplified speakers pls — it disrupts wildlife and takes away from the surrounding beauty.

For more information about Leave No Trace, follow this link.

Asheville Elopement Packages – Are You Ready To Elope?

Overall, Asheville is one of the best places in our opinion to elope. With beautiful mountain views, waterfalls, fields, and then the city filled with amazing restaurants and literal castles like The Biltmore, there is so much to do and enjoy here. Asheville has a special place in our heart and we just want to share it with you guys 🙂

If you are ready to start the conversation of eloping in Asheville, North Carolina –

We’re Yara & Christian, and we are SO READY to help you out! We love creating beautiful photographs and amazing experiences for our eloping couples. If you’ve loved what you’ve seen so far we’d love to be there for you. We offer elopement packages in Asheville and would absolutely love to be apart of your day. (Check out some of our pricing + information here: findyara | Information or contact us here: findyara | Contact)

If you are wanting to elope but are thinking about somewhere outside of Asheville, we are also available in Europe! Check out our blog post of a beautiful elopement in Switzerland:

Contact Us HERE!

Looking for more elopement inspo? Check out these posts:

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