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Blue Ridge Elopements : there’s something for everyone here

So you’ve decided to elope?! You are amazing badasses who have decided to ignore the wedding machine and choose a day that is super focused on you and your partner and I am so excited for you. For those of you reading this that are thinking, isn’t eloping just going to a courthouse and calling it a day? The answer is firmly NO. Eloping is a brave and awesome choice to say no thanks to the wedding day that has been prescribed and to instead craft a day that is 100% you, 100% unique and all about intimacy and being open and comfortable on this momentous day. If you want to read more about why eloping rules head over HERE, but in the meantime I am going to get back to what this post is really about. Where should you elope in North Carolina.

We all know NC is a magical place filled with so much diversity. Personally I have been called to the mountains and that is where I spend most of my time but at the end I’ll give you a little peek at my favorite NON mountain spot in NC as well 😉 But before I give you my top 5 let me remind you that there is a lot that goes into a successful elopement day, so finding an experienced outdoors photographer is super important to insure that your day is a success since things may not always go as planned. Also I’ll drop a few tips at the end to help you with choosing the right location for you! So with that out of the way, here we go.

Hiking Wedding Location #1 : Black Balsam Knob

  • Black Balsam is a short and sweet hike with absolutely magical views. It is a grassy bald that just rolls on and has views all around. Bonus, wild flowers and wild berries depending on the time of year! Total hiking is under two miles and you don’t have to do the whole hike if that is more than you were hoping for. It is relatively close to Asheville (about an hour off) so you can get in and out of town easily. PS Apple Maps hates black balsam knob so always use google to find your way there. I learned that lesson for you 😉
Hiking Wedding at Black Balsam Knob just outside of Asheville North Carolina
Hiking Wedding at Black Balsam Knob just outside of Asheville North Carolina
Hiking Wedding at Black Balsam Knob just outside of Asheville North Carolina

Hiking Wedding Location #2: Craggy Gardens

  • Craggy Gardens is the closest to Asheville at under an hour away! Ceremonies don’t take place at the top but it’s still a gorgeous place and then you can make the hike up before or after for a little adventure on your big day. Depending on the time of year you can hike through rhododendron caves up to amazing views, gorgeous crags and secret green spaces all tucked away! I mean just look at this. The fog rolled in and stole our views but daaammmmnnnn it looks like a tropical paradise instead <3
Hiking Wedding and Engagement Session at Craggy Gardens just outside of Asheville North Carolina
Hiking Wedding and Engagement Session at Craggy Gardens just outside of Asheville North Carolina

Hiking Wedding Location #3: Hidden Treasures off the Blue Ridge Parkway

  • There are so many magical locations along the parkway, too many to list. That’s why it is best to work with a local photographer who hikes these areas regularly and can let you in on the best secret spots! Hikes can range from quick half mile hikes to 3+ miles depending on what kind of adventure is the right fit for you. There are rolling knobs or big epic crags all waiting to be your special spot to say your vows! The more hidden the more intimate and magical <3  
Hiking Wedding and Engagement Session at Blue Ridge Parkway just outside of Asheville North Carolina
Hiking Wedding and Engagement Session at Blue Ridge Parkway just outside of Asheville North Carolina

Hiking Wedding Location #4 & #5: Roan Highlands or Max Patch

  • ok ok I know I said North Carolina but these two are both just over the border in TN. 1-1.5 hours away from Asheville and both are absolutely magical. Whether its a sunset in the summer or a snowy foggy ceremony in March you will be in for a treat with either of these. Both are right along the Appalachian Trail! Max Patch is down a loooooong gravel road, which is a fun adventure all on it’s own!
Hiking Wedding and Engagement Session at Max Patch just outside of Asheville North Carolina
Hiking Wedding and Engagement Session at Max Patch just outside of Asheville North Carolina
Hiking Wedding and Elopement at Roan Mountain just outside of Asheville North Carolina
Hiking Wedding and Elopement at Roan Mountain just outside of Asheville North Carolina

Bonus Location: Jockey’s Ridge State Park

  • You actually prefer the beach to the mountains? Don’t worry the dunes at Jockey’s Ridge are absolutely magical and are the perfect backdrop for your epic day. Adventure around the park and watch a magical sunset, roll down the dunes if you’re feeling real crazy. Either way NC is magical from east to west and there is a little something out there for everyone.
Hiking Wedding and Engagement at Jockey's Ridge State Park North Carolina
Hiking Wedding and Engagement at Jockey's Ridge State Park North Carolina

Tips for planning your adventure or hiking elopement:

I know I mentioned hiring someone who really knows the place you want to elope earlier but really, that is my biggest tip. The weather can really vary in NC and the Parkway likes to shut down at times throughout the colder months. Having someone who knows back up locations (and knows who needs what permits) and can really hook you up with amazing vendors to compliment your plans is going to make your day so so smooth.

How to choose the right location(s): First remember that no matter what you choose, you stepped outside of comfortable and made an intentional decision to create a meaningful and intimate day. You rock! 

First thing to do is get a picture in your mind of where you imagine saying your vows. This could look like a grassy bald with the blue mountains in the back, a craggy mountain over looking the valley, a lake with mountain views, a beach or so much more. Think about what makes you feel joy and that is going to be a great direction to head. 

Next think about the general shape of the day you imagine. Will you have any family with you? Are you imagining some off roading and adventuring? Do you see yourself wandering deep into the wilderness or taking a short hike. Will there be an dinner with family or an intimate meal from a private chef? There are so many options out there so let your imagination run wild.

Finally, what time of year do you want to elope? There are some locations that are not always accessible. There are also times of year where popular spots will be super crowded (hello gorgeous fall).

Remember you can make this day whatever you want and there a so many amazing options out there!

If you have any questions about how to plan your elopement day please just shoot me a little message HERE. I would love to help you out!

SHOW COMMENTS

Umm magical is right! Oh my gosh. These locations are incredible!!

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This gallery is filled with so much love! Incredible!

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Girl, these are super stunning. Awesome work, that cover photo is freaking amazing.

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Wow, can’t believe this is North Carolina! Beautiful photos and awesome suggestions 🙂

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I LOVE North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. There are so many amazing locations up and down the parkway — and it’s fun to see a different end of the mountains photographed!

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Wow did not realize there were so many amazing options for eloping in NC!! This guide is so helpful, shows your expertise and beautiful images with it!

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Damn girl. Way to sell these LOCATIONS! Beautiful images and fantastic write up. If I was looking for a photographer to elope in the area, I’d be all about you. Well done!

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This post was so helpful! I cannot wait to check out the Craggy Gardens! So beautiful!

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So many great locations and ideas. Also love that first colorful dress! So magical

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This is a great post with helpful information for NC elopements, I will for sure be rereading as I get closer to my trip there!

This is a great list! I would have never thought to go to North Carolina but you have inspired me to send couples that way!