asheville elopement at Black Balsam Knob

Asheville Elopement | Your Guide to Eloping in Asheville

Today I’m sharing everything you need to know to plan your adventurous elopement in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina

Elopements are quickly becoming a popular way to get married and a lot of couples are choosing to elope in Asheville, North Carolina. This beautiful mountain city is a meca for lovers of the great outdoors, fine cuisine, craft beer, great music and a thriving arts scene 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.

Asheville Elopement Guide | The Ultimate How to Elope in Asheville Guide
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You might be wondering, why elope: Click here to read some reasons why my couples are ditching a big wedding and eloping instead! In short; 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!

backpacking elopement photographer for adventurous weddings

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!

Set up a free consult and let’s start crafting your Asheville elopement experience: Contact Ariel

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

Planning to elope beyond Asheville and don’t know where to start? See my elopement guide which talks you through how to get started planning your adventure elopement: How to Elope

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!

Couple embracing in a forest during their epic North Carolina elopement

10 Tips for Your Asheville Elopement:

  1. You + Your Partner (have close family + friends join to if you’d like!)
  2. Book an elopement photographer you connect with who knows the area. Send me an inquiry to set up a free consulation!
  3. Think about the general setting you’d like to say your vows; City/Urban, Waterfall, Woods or Mountain Top – Your photographer will be able to suggest exact locations based on your vision. See some of my favorite places below!
  4. Apply for marriage license
  5. Make sure you secure a permit for the location chosen; different areas have different restrictions you can find some basic info below! This is something I help my eloping couples with!
  6. 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 elopements.
  7. Plan on saying your vows close to sunrise or sunset for less people and the best light!
  8. Think about how you want to spend your day; you can see sample activities and timelines below!
  9. Consider hiring a private chef to come to your Air BnB or making reservations a nice restaurant in Asheville for your wedding dinner.
  10. Spend your elopement day adventuring together, creating amazing memories and celebrating your love for each other!
Couple embracing in forest during their elopement near the Great Smoky Mountains

Asheville Elopement Guide

Let’s dive right in with all the good information to help you plan your intimate celebration in the Blue Ridge Mountains!


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.

Asheville Elopement Location Options

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!!

  1. Black Balsam
  2. Craggy Gardens
  3. Max Patch
  4. Looking Glass Falls
  5. Bear Wallow Mountain
  6. Botanical Gardens at Asheville
  7. Roan Highlands
Bride on a rocky mountain during her Black Balsam Elopement
backpacking bride during her Max Patch elopement

Boone Elopement Locations Options

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.

  1. Grandfather Mountain
  2. Hawksbill Mountain
  3. Rough Ridge
  4. Chestoa Overlook
  5. Wisemans View
  6. Linville Falls
  7. Julian Price Lake

Let’s Start Planning your Boone Elopement!

grandfather mountain elopement
bride and groom in the wild during their hawksbill elopement in the linville gorge wilderness area
Rough Ridge elopement along the Blue Ridge Parkway

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

Let’s Start Planning your GSMNP Elopement!

Great Smoky Mountains waterfall elopement

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!



Most of the outdoor locations shared above require you to apply for a permit. Be sure to plan ahead and apply for that early. A quick summary with links:

Blue Ridge Parkway Elopement
Permit Cost: $100
Best time of year: April-September (many sections of the parkway are closed in winter)
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.
Click Here to Apply for a Permit

Great Smoky Mountains Elopement –
Permit Cost: $50
Best time of year: March-November
Click Here to Apply for a Permit

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



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.


This will be updated as needed with even more Asheville elopement vendors. If you’re a vendor who specializes in Asheville elopements (and the surrounding area) feel free to reach out if you’d like to be added to this list

Asheville Elopement Florists

Flourish Flower Farm

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!

Blue Ridge Parkway Elopement

Hair and Makeup Artists for your Asheville Elopement


Asheville Elopement Videographers

Magic Hour Creative

Elopement Musicians for your Asheville Elopement

Ben T Warner


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:


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:

  • 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:

  • Four hour to Full-day coverage available.
  • Custom location assistance and timeline help!
  • Online gallery w/beautifully edited images + digital downloads of your high resolution images with personal printing rights.

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

Reach Out

If you have an elopement idea a little out of the ordinary and you want to chat about it let me know.

If you’re looking for more incredible location ideas, send me a note.

Let’s Start Planning your Asheville Elopement!

FAQ’S | Asheville Elopement Photographer

Do you offer elopement packages? 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! I do offer the option to add an album or an engagement session to your elopement package

How many images will I receive? There are many variables, but I usually deliver about 75 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 $1000 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




What a great resource for anyone wanting to elope in NC!


Wow, can not believe all of this amazing information! Absolutely saving this for later, thank you for all your research and insight!


Wow you have a lot of great advice on here… and the images you have along with it are so stunning!! Thank you for the INSPIRATION <3


What a lovely and informative guide for eloping couples! beautiful photos and great info.

Katy HOman

Wow – such a useful goldmine of info about ELoping in North Carolina! Such inspirational images, too!

Liv Hettinga

This was SO well researched!! You literally filled this post to the brim with helpful info! Giving people everything they need!

Erica swantek

Love all the suggestions im this great AsHEville, North Carolina elopement guide!

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