How To Elope in Asheville

a man and woman exchanging vows with the Blue Ridge mountains in the background, they are facing each other and she is wearing a white wedding dress and he is in a blue suit.

Asheville (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. And your elopement should be exactly what you want it to be– so read on to see all the info on how you can elope in Asheville (and in the Blue Ridge Mountains!)

Sections of this blog:

  1. Think of your elopement vibes
  2. Do you want to elope in a venue, or in nature?
  3. Following Leave No Trace Principles
  4. Choosing the season you want to get married in
  5. Elopement Idea link

Looking for elopement inspo? Check out these posts:

1. Think of your elopement vibes

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. Do you want to elope in a venue, or in nature?

Here are some things to think about if you want to elope in nature:

  1. Elopements along the Blue Ridge Parkway require a permit (unless you choose a location outside of their jurisdiction) with an application fee of $60 and permit fee of $40. Follow this link for more information
  2. Elopements and weddings must have less than 25 people including the photographer and officiant 
  3. You cannot get married on federal holidays, federal holiday weekends, or in October
  4. Keep in mind there are some locations that are strictly off limits at all times (such as Graveyard Fields and Devil’s Courthouse)
  5. Another idea is to get a really beautiful Airbnb and elope on the property! Make sure you get permission from the host, and that you have less than 16 people total.

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

Some example 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! (link to a florist in asheville who does silk/paper flowers)
  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.

4. Choosing the season you want to get married in

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 during your elopement. 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.

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, so our recommendation is to definitely try to elope on a weekday to avoid the crazy crowds, and try to plan in September and November as October is the busiest month (and 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! Just know that you need to have a backup plan if a winter storm comes through (so it would be best to have a small guest list, or just the two of you, so you can be more flexible.) 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.

5. Here is an example Elopement timeline to get your planning started!

Ceremony: Black Balsam Knob

Date: July 30, 2022

Timeline:

  • 6 AM – wake up in airbnb, have coffee and breakfast together
  • 6:30 AM – Photographer joins to photograph some of breakfast
  • 7:30 AM – couple gets ready together (getting ready photos)
  • 8:30 AM – couple loads into vehicle, drives to ceremony location
  • 9:15 AM – arrive at ceremony location
  • 9:45 AM – ceremony
  • 10:00 AM – couples portraits at ceremony location
  • 12:00 PM – Couple has lunch with family at The Omni Grovepark Inn
  • 3:00 – Drive to waterfall to hop in the water and get some beautiful fun photos together and just to hang out
  • 6:00 – Drive to an overlook for a picnic dinner, pop some sparkling drinks, get some photos during sunset and then head home

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 🙂

Asheville Elopement Packages & Planning Help

If you are looking to elope in Asheville, and want some beautiful photos as well as planning help, we offer elopement packages in Asheville and would absolutely love to be apart of your day. (Check out some of our information here: findyara | Information or contact us here: findyara | Contact)

Looking for more planning resources for your elopement? Here’s our post all about planning your dream elopement:

How To Plan Your DREAM Elopement 101

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Grab the Freebie!

If you're a photographer looking to up your posing game or just need some posing inspo -- I got you covered.

free posing guide

new!