asheville elopement at Black Balsam Knob

Asheville Elopement | Your Guide to Eloping in Asheville *Updated for 2023*

This guide contains everything you need to know to start planning your elopement in Asheville, North Carolina

Why you should elope in Asheville:

This beautiful city located in the southern Appalachian Mountains and is a meca for lovers of the great outdoors, fine cuisine, craft beer, great music & a thriving arts scene. There is a little bit of something for everyone so it’s no wonder that couples are choosing Asheville as the place to say I do. This post is filled with tons of information to help you plan your Asheville Elopement.

How to Elope In Asheville Quick Tips:

  • You + Your Partner (have close family + friends join to if you’d like!)
  • Set a budget for your Asheville Elopement
  • Elope on a weekday if possible to avoid crowds
  • Apply for marriage license
  • Have an inclement weather plan in place, weather in the mountains of Asheville change quickly
  • Book an elopement photographer you connect with who knows the area. Send me an inquiry to set up a free consultation!
  • Think about the general setting you’d like to say your vows; City/Urban, Waterfall, Woods or Mountain Top. See my list of top Asheville Elopement ceremony locations below.
  • Make sure you secure the proper wedding permit for your ceremony location! You can find some basic info below. Feeling overwhelmed with permitting laws? Reach out, this is a service I offer all my couples.
  • Don’t forget an officiant. This can be a friend or family member who is ordained or there are a few officiants I can recommend who specialize in outdoor/adventurous Asheville elopements.
  • Plan on saying your vows close to sunrise or sunset for the best light!
  • Think about how you want to spend your day; make it a full day adventure! Yu can see sample activities and timelines below!
  • Consider hiring a private chef to come to your Air BnB or making reservations a nice restaurant in Asheville for your wedding dinner.
  • Spend your elopement day adventuring together, creating amazing memories and celebrating your love for each other!
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Looking for more elopement inspiration?!

Check out these related posts:

Making the decision to elope allows you to have a wedding day that focuses solely on the one thing that matters; the two of you and your love for one another. The intimacy of an elopement ceremony is unmatched. Just think about saying your vows, full of emotion on top of a mountain or beside a waterfall with no one to hear you except (if you choose) the few people who mean the very most to you!

Real Asheville Elopement Inspiration

A peek some recent elopement adventures in the Appalachian & Blue Ridge Mountains:

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Black Balsam Knob Elopement

Max Patch Elopement

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Blue Ridge Mountain Elopement

You might be saying “Okay, an elopement sounds great and Asheville is amazing but whats next, how do I actually do this?!”… First of all, answering this burning question for couples is what I do as your Asheville elopement photographer and guide. So yes, I had fun writing this post and I hope it helps you plan your dream elopement in Asheville but if you want more personalized assistance, I’m also here to help!

Planning your Asheville elopement doesn’t have to be overwhelming! I’m here to do the heavy lifting!

Set up a free consult and let’s start crafting your experience:

How to plan your Asheville Elopement; Rough Ridge Elopement on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Asheville Elopement Guide

Asheville is quickly becoming one of the top elopement destinations in the United States. With amazing restaurants, craft breweries, hiking, climbing, waterfall chasing and endless outdoor opportunities your Asheville elopement can be a one of a kind, adventure fill experience! So, let’s dive right in with all the good information to help you plan your intimate celebration in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Asheville elopement photographer at Rough Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Getting Your Marriage License in Asheville

North Carolina marriage laws are similar to those in most states. Any two people over the age of 18 may apply for a marriage license. Your marriage license is valid for 60 days and there is no hold/waiting period so as soon as you have it in hand you can get married!

Buncombe County Register of Deeds Hours: 9-5 (You must arrive by 4:30)
You must bring a valid drivers license & social security card.

Getting your marriage license is simple in Buncombe County; Click here to view the Buncombe County Register of Deeds webpage & apply online

Permit Information For Your Adventurous Asheville Elopement

Many of the locations shared below require a permit specifically those on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Be sure to plan ahead and apply for your wedding permit early. A quick summary with links:

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Blue Ridge Parkway Elopement

Permit Cost: $100 – Click Here to Apply for a Permit

Best time of year to elope on the Blue Ridge Parkway: April-September

Things to keep in mind for your Blue Ridge Parkway wedding:
Live florals are not allowed, instead, consider a silk bouquet as a beautiful alternative.
Plan on a weekday or non holiday weekend for less crowds. You cannot get a permit for federal holidays & federal holiday weekends, as well as for the entire month of October.

Regardless of where you are planning to say your vows if you’re looking to get legally married during your Asheville elopement be sure to get your marriage license:


Couple embracing in a forest during their epic North Carolina elopement

Where to Elope in Asheville?

How to Choose The Perfect Location For Your Asheville Elopement Ceremony

The mountains of Western North Carolina are vast and there are endless options for your adventurous Asheville elopement. From the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains to the higher more rugged Black Mountains to an endless number of waterfalls and wooded forests to explore; Asheville has options for any kind of elopement vision. I’ve listed some favorite locations below divided up into different general areas.

When choosing the place for your elopement ceremony in it’s important to keep in mind a few things:

  • Accessibility: How far do you or you & your guests want to walk?
  • Privacy: Does have a private location to say your vows matter to you?
  • Time of year & road closures
  • How far are you willing to drive from you lodging?
Black Balsam Knob Elopement

Best Asheville Elopement Locations

Here are some of the most popular locations to elope in or near Asheville NC. Most of these options are about an hour from downtown Asheville with fairly easy access so they tend to be busier which is why having a middle of the week elopement is always recommended!!

Bride on a rocky mountain during her Black Balsam Elopement

Best Boone Elopement Locations

The Boone, Blowing Rock, Linville area… Often referred to as the North Carolina High Country, is one of my favorite places to explore! From the rugged Linville Gorge Wilderness to Boone’s bustling downtown; there is something for everyone! Below I’ve included some of my favorite locations to elope near Boone North Carolina.

grandfather mountain elopement
bride and groom in the wild during their hawksbill elopement in the linville gorge wilderness area

Great Smoky Mountain Elopement Locations

West of Asheville lies the Great Smoky Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with some adorable mountain towns! Included below are just a few of the most beautiful places to elope in the Great Smokies!

  1. Spence Cabin
  2. Charlies Bunion
  3. Cades Cove
  4. Waterrock Knob

Looking for a location to elope near Asheville (or anywhere else in the mountains of western nc) that is a little more off the beaten path? I have secluded locations that I choose to keep off social media and favorites lists! Reach out if you want to chat more about your adventurous Asheville elopement!

Great Smoky Mountains waterfall elopement

Asheville Elopement Venues

Booking a beautiful location for your elopement ceremony is a great option especially if you have guests joining you that may not be quite as mobile. remember if you’re craving an adventurous mountain experience you could always say private vows at sunrise in the mountains before meeting up later for a ceremony with friends/family. I offer full day elopement packages because I truly believe in creating a memory filled experience for my eloping couples.

Best Asheville Elopement Vendors

It’s important to choose vendors who will listen to your vision and are excited to help you craft your dream day! Here are some incredible local to Asheville vendors who specialize in elopements & small weddings.

Officiants For Your Adventurous Asheville Elopement Ceremony

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Hair and Makeup Artists for your Asheville Elopement

Asheville Elopement Videographers

Musicians for your Asheville Elopement

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Asheville Elopement Florists

  • Flourish Flower Farm
  • Blue Ridge Blooms

    Keep in mind: If you’re getting married on the Blue Ridge Parkway or any National Forest Land they don’t allow live florals because of the concern over introducing invasive species onto wild land. Consider a silk bouquet instead!

Where to Stay for Your Asheville Elopement

From a cabin in the mountains to a treehouse in the forest to a luxurious boutique hotel; Asheville has so many amazing places to consider for your stay during your elopement celebration in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some of my favorite places to stay in Asheville are below:


Bed + Breakfasts/Inns:

For something a little different:

Where to Eat During Your Asheville Elopement

Asheville’s known for some pretty incredible food but here are my favorites for a post wedding dinner:

Or consider having a private chef come to your airbnb. Contact me for recommendations!

While you’re exploring downtown don’t forget to check out one of Asheville’s amazing craft breweries like Wicked Weed Funkatorium and after dinner hit up the popular French Broad Chocolate Lounge for a wonderful dessert!

eloping in North Carolina, how to plan an epic Asheville elopement


Sure you could just have a normal day but chances are since you’ve decided to elope you might be craving a day a little out of the ordinary. Consider including one of these fun and adventurous activities into your elopement day timeline! A sunrise hot air balloon ride, what better way to start your wedding day?!

Asheville Elopement Guide: Sample Elopement Timelines and Tips

I offer custom elopement day timelines + activity ideas for all my couples! To get you started though I want to share a couple sample timelines for your Asheville elopement and some basic tips to make the most of your day!

Quick Tips to help you have the best day ever:

  • For the best light (which means the best photos!) have your elopement ceremony within a couple hours of sunrise or sunset. First figure out which time of day you’d prefer to say your vows and then start planning the rest of your day around that!
  • Choose sunrise for less people
  • Choose to elope during the week for less people, especially during Asheville’s leaf peeping season when the Blue Ridge Parkway is packed with tourists!
  • Make your elopement experience a full day adventure
  • Choose Asheville vendors you connect with!
  • If you’re including friends and family think about taking a few hours just the two of you two adventure together!
  • Best time of year to Elope in Asheville is between March and October with Spring and Fall being the ideal temperature wise as it can get hot during the summer months.

Sample Timelines For Your Asheville Elopement

Full Day Asheville Adventure Elopement

  • 9:00am: Adventure activity – Explore local waterfalls for some swimming fun, go on a mountain hike, Hire a climbing guide and go rock climbing. Take a hot air balloon ride over the Blue Ridge mountains
  • 12:00: Lunch at one of Asheville’s awesome restaurants or breweries!
  • 1:30pm: spend time getting ready at your adorable tree house air bnb – hair, makeup, getting fancied up
  • 2:15pm: Have a romantic first look at your air bnb!
  • 2:30pm: Hop in cars and jump on the Blue Ridge Parkway; destination an epic hike to an off the beat path location where you’ll say your vows! Stop and get out along the way for epic portraits
  • 4:30pm: Arrive at trailhead and begin the hike!
  • 5:30pm: Find the perfect ceremony spot, you’ll know when you see it! Maybe it’s the end of the trail or maybe it’s a beautiful place along the way!
  • 6:30pm: Ceremony and vows, enjoy a first dance on a mountain top or by a roaring waterfall.
  • 7:00pm: Have a picnic + enjoy your favorite beverage while cuddled up somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains watching the sun go down!
  • 7:30pm: hike down trail and head back to Airbnb where a private chef is preparing dinner for you!
  • 9:00pm: arrive back at Airbnb and enjoy dinner + bonfire with s’mores
  • 10:00pm: photo coverage wraps up!

Half Day Asheville Elopement

  • 2:30pm: spend time getting fancied up
  • 3:15pm: have a romantic first look
  • 3:30pm: hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway for your elopement adventure and head to ceremony location, stop and get out along the way for epic portraits
  • 5:30pm: arrive at ceremony location, explore and adventure around while we wait for any guests you’ve invited to join!
  • 6:00pm: ceremony and vows! Maybe you enjoy a first dance on top of the mountain?!
  • 6:30pm: Take a few minutes to enjoy your favorite beverage while cuddled up somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains
  • 7:00pm: Sunset and final portraits
  • 7:30: Elopement Photographer Coverage Wraps up!

Asheville elopement photographer


Asheville Elopement Package Pricing:

  • 6 Hours to Full Day Photography Coverage
  • Custom location assistance and timeline help!
  • Online gallery w/beautifully edited images + digital downloads of your high resolution images with personal printing rights.

    Beginning at $4500

    Want to know more about having me photograph your elopement? Head over to my Elopement Packages page to find out more about booking me for your Asheville or destination elopement!

    Want an all inclusive experience that includes lodging, florals, officiant and more?! My All Inclusive Packages would be a great fit!

FAQ’S | Asheville Elopement Photographer

Do you offer elopement packages? Yes, My elopement packages begin at 4500 & include planning assistance. My most popular elopement package is the full day package, this allows for the most freedom to plan/have documented a fun, relaxing and amazing elopement experience!

How many images will I receive? There are many variables, but I usually deliver about 50 images per hour of coverage.

Can I print the images? Yes! You will be able to download your high resolution images and receive a print release so you can make your own prints!

Do you edit all of the images? Yes!

How do you deliver the images? I send a beautiful online gallery where you can view, share and download all your images.

Do you travel for weddings? I travel for a large number of elopements and weddings each year, in fact when you book my full day elopement package my travel fees are included for all destinations within the United States.

How do we book you as our elopement photographer? Drop me a note to get started but it’s super easy. My contract is online and can be filled out securely in about 5 minutes, Contract + A retainer of $1500 books me for your day!

I would be honored to document your elopement here in Asheville or beyond! Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or to get started planning your dream elopement!

Asheville elopement guide by Asheville adventure elopement photographer

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Adventurous Wedding & Elopement Photographer for Bold & Adventurous Couples

Set up a Free Consult & Lets start planning your dream elopement!

Hey Adventurers

adventure elopement photographer amw studios

I'm Ariel

I'm stoked you're here!

As an elopement photographer and outdoor enthusiast I get absolutely giddy with excitement when helping fellow adventure seekers, travelers, dreamers & fun-loving couples plan their experience based, intentional wedding days.

I live on the road full time traveling the country in my dream home on wheels – a 38' long fully off grid, converted bus.

Some of my favorite adventures include: Backpacking and ice climbing in Alaska, hiking the Napali Coast on Kauai, trekking in the jungles of Costa Rica.