Top 30 Places to Elope in North Carolina

Where to elope in north carolina

Western North Carolina is full of epic locations ready to be explored! In this blog I go over the best locations to consider when you choose to elope in North Carolina! I think that North Carolina is such a beautiful & underrated state for elopements! It may have smaller mountains than out west, but some of the mountains here are so much more beautiful! (And you don’t have to deal with altitude sickness). These are my favorite locations that I’ve scouted out for your elopement in North Carolina!

I’m always looking to add to this list, so feel free to comment any more locations that you think should be here!

Checkout my complete guide on how to elope in Asheville here.

If you have any questions about the locations on this list, feel free to contact me!

newly weds sitting on mountain having a picnic after they elope in north carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway

1. Craggy Gardens

What makes this location great: From the top of Craggy Gardens there are 180 degree views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains which makes this location perfect for sunset. Craggy Gardens is super close to Asheville & is very easy to get to. Just follow the Blue Ridge Parkway going north from Asheville for about 40 minutes.

Permits required: You are required to obtain a wedding permit to have your ceremony at Craggy Gardens. The permit costs $100 and is good for a 2 hour ceremony. Only weddings or elopements with 25 people or less are allowed. The Craggy Pinnacle trailhead is only a minute down the road & makes an excellent post-ceremony hike to get to the perfect view for your portrait photos. (No ceremonies are permitted at Craggy Pinnacle.)

Important information you should know: Craggy Pinnacle & Craggy Gardens are part of the Blue Ridge Parkway which means you must follow the national park system rules when it comes to your elopement. This means no live flowers, no props or decorations, no more than 25 people including your photographer & officiant, the road may be closed due to bad weather, wedding permits are not issued for any federal holiday or holiday weekend, & you must follow all Leave No Trace principles.

bride and groom kissing at the lump overlook after they eloped in north carolina

2. The lump

What makes this location great: The Lump is right on the blue ridge parkway. It’s only about a 5 minute walk to the top.

Permits required: You are required to obtain a wedding permit to have your ceremony at The Lump. The permit costs $100 and is good for a 2 hour ceremony. Only weddings or elopements with 25 people or less are allowed.

Important information you should know: This location is at a high elevation on a section of the parkway that closes during the winter months. Generally the road is open May through October unless there’s freezing rain or snow in the forecast.

More Blue Ridge Parkway Locations

3. Chestoa view Overlook
4. Thunder Ridge Overlook
5. Price Lake

State Parks

6. Mount Mitchell

What makes this location great: Mount Mitchell State Park is the highest point on the east coast, making the forest and the land look very different than most of the mountains we’re used to. You will feel like you’re in a fairytale storybook when you walk along the nature trail. The great part about getting married here is that it’s very accessible. You can drive your car right to the picnic area and then walk along the very maintained nature trail to take your photos. The views are fantastic even from the parking lot & it’s always at least 10 degrees cooler on top of the mountain than it is in town.

Permits required: In order to elope at Mount Mitchell, you must first reserve a picnic shelter and then acquire a special activity permit. Once you’ve filled out your permit application, email it to mount.mitchell@ncparks.gov. Just make sure you don’t send any money with the application as the prices may vary. The park will reach out to you with the cost once the application has been accepted.

Important information you should know: Ceremonies are only allowed Mondays – Thursdays (excluding holidays) from May until the end of September due to overcrowding on the weekends/holidays. Ceremonies may only be held at the picnic shelters & photos are not allowed at the summit of the mountain (honestly the photos turn out better on the side trails and parking lot because the tower on top of the mountain is kinda ugly). Only 16 people including the couple, photographer, & officiant are allowed. No plant materials including flowers are allowed, no music & no alcohol.

More State Parks

7. DuPont
8. Chimney Rock
9. Grandfather Mountain
10. Jockey Ridge State Park
11. Pilot Mountain State Park

National Forests

12. Pisgah National Forest

What makes this location great: Pisgah National Forest is FULL of beautiful locations to elope. From mountains, to waterfalls, to lush forests, it’s got it all.

Permits required: Permits are generally not required if you plan on having less than 75 guests. Crazy I know! Definitely try and avoid having anymore than 20-25 people as parking in most locations is very sparce.

Important information you should know: Some locations have restrictions on group size and holidays (such as Black Balsam).

More National Forests

13. Nantahala National Forest
14. Croatan National Forest

The Appalachian Trail

15. Roan Mountain

What makes this location great: Okay so technically this location is in Tennessee but it’s so close to the border of Western North Carolina that I had to include it. The hike to the top of the bald mountain is not very long or strenuous. It is uphill but the hike is worth it once you get to the top. There are 360 views of the Appalachian Mountains & is absolutely beautiful at sunset. Another great aspect about this location is that the roads leading up the mountain are fairly well-maintained during the winter so you won’t have to worry as much about any weather issues shutting down the road like you would with most other mountains in the area. The roads still get shutdown from time to time but it’s less often than the Blue Ridge Parkway or other popular elopement spots.

Permits required: No permit is needed for small elopements with groups of 10 or less people (including vendors, the couple, etc.)

Important information you should know: Although most people refer to it as Roan Mountain, the mountain where most people take their photos and elope at is actually called Round Bald. Roan Mountain is actually the mountain on the other side of the parking lot and is covered with trees with no views from the top.

16. Max Patch

What makes this location great: This spot is a family friendly hike with amazing views and works for both sunrise & sunset. The hike is uphill mostly along a wide fire road.

Permits required: No permit is needed for small elopements with groups of 10 or less people (including vendors, the couple, etc.)

Important information you should know: The forest service has asked that couples and photographers avoid using Max Patch if at all possible due to the land being damaged during 2020 after photos and videos of the mountain went viral. The mountain has since been cleaned up, but it is still very popular and has a full parking lot every night. Because of this, I HIGHLY recommend going with a weekday or even sunrise elopement and maybe sticking to just the two of you, me, 1 witness (I can bring an assistant), and the officiant. Also, definitely carpool as much as possible. There’s a ton of misinformation out there about this location. Because of this, I make sure to check in with the forest service once a year to make sure the guidelines have not changed as well as requiring every elopement couple to reach out on their own to the rangers pertaining to their specific elopement if they choose this location. LNT is a VERY important value in my business and I want to make sure we’re following all regulations!

17. Overmountain Shelter

What makes this location great: The views! There’s also a field with plenty of room to camp, so this is the best spot for couples wanting a true adventure elopement.

Permits required: No permit is needed for small elopements with groups of 10 or less people (including vendors, the couple, etc.)

Important information you should know: The trailhead only has enough space for 3 or 4 cars and it fills up fast on the weekends. The old barn as seen in the corner of the photo was recently torn down so that won’t be there for photos unfortunately. The hike is about a mile uphill and is not for the inexperienced. It’s not a difficult hike, but it feels long because it’s a steady uphill climb the entire time.

Private Property

flower farm elope in north carolina

18. Lady Luck Flower Farm

What makes this location great: The secludedness. The farm used to host weddings, but now it is just available to rent on Airbnb. You won’t be able to have any guests or a reception here anymore, but they have allowed a couple or two to do photos and read private vows during their stay at the Airbnb since closing the venue.

Permits required: No permit is needed, but you do need to book a stay on Airbnb.

Important information you should know: The farm is no longer focusing on growing flowers, but it’s still such a beautiful piece of land.

19. The Biltmore

What makes this location great: It’s high class! If you want fancy, this is the place for you.

Permits required: No permit is needed, but you do need to book their elopement package.

Important information you should know: Wedding photos are not allowed to be taken inside the house.

More Private Properties

20. The Ridge
21. Something Blue Mountain Venue
22. Paint Rock Farms
23. Old Edwards
24. Cabin Heaven
25. Laurel Falls
26. River North

More Places to Elope In North Carolina

bride and groom posing in front of their asheville wedding venue

check them out

27. Smoky Mountain National Park
28. Buncombe County Courthouse
29. North Carolina Arboretum
30. Jump Off Rock


How To Legally Get Married In North Carolina

North Carolina does NOT recognize people who have been ordained online. Because of this, it may be necessary for you to legally get married at the courthouse if you plan on having a friend or family member officiate.

Ceremonies must have at least two witnesses. I am more than happy to sign your marriage license as a witness & I can have an assistant come along to be the second if you’re wanting an elopement day without guests.

Choosing a photographer for your elopement in north Carolina

elopement photographer in north carolina standing on snowy mountain

Feel free to reach out! In addition to being an Asheville based elopement photographer, I also help all of my couples with the logistics of planning their perfect day! Whether you need help with location scouting, creating a timeline, applying & researching permit requirements, or more, I’m here for you! If you’re more interested in learning about my process, contact me by clicking the button below or click here for more info.

My Anywhere in The Southeast elopement package:

  • 4 Hours of Continuous Elopement Photography Coverage
  • Minimum of 120 Photos
  • 1 Year Online Gallery
  • 1-2 Locations
  • Travel Anywhere Within A 6 Hour Drive One Way From Asheville
  • Vendor Recommendations
  • Custom Wedding Photo Timeline
  • Digital & Film Photography
  • 80+ Page Wedding Planning Guidebook

$4300 +tax

*** Smaller packages are available for locations within a 100 mile radius of Asheville, NC.

Get In Touch

If you’re looking for a photographer and you connect with my work, I would love to hear from you! Please allow up to 72 hours for a response.

Weddings starting at $3000. Elopements starting at $1500. Engagement sessions starting at $600.

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