Planning to skip the big wedding and elope in Asheville? Awesome decision! This is the ultimate guide for crafting an ideal intimate elopement in the mountains of this beautiful city. From where to stay, what to eat, and where to elope, I’ve got the low down on how to have your dream Asheville elopement!
Marriage License & Witness Rules In Asheville
Before you can say “I do,” you’ll need to get your hands on that all-important piece of paper – the marriage license. No worries, we’ve got you covered on how to make it happen, Asheville-style!
Where to Apply
First things first, you’ll need to apply for your marriage license. Head over to the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office, located at 205 College St., Suite 4000, Asheville, NC 28801. It’s the spot where all the marriage license magic happens.
Both of You Must Be Present
Yep, both of you need to show up in person to apply for the license. No sending your cousin or your bff, sorry!
Bring Your IDs
You’ll need to bring valid photo IDs with you. Your driver’s license, passport, or military ID should do the trick. Make sure it’s not expired, of course!
You will need at least two witnesses and the officiant can’t be one of them. Your elopement photographer may be able to supply an extra witness if needed!
Can I bring My Dog To My Asheville Elopement?
Many of my couples have brought their dogs to their elopement! Private venues may have their own rules about this, but most of the best and most scenic spots in Asheville forests and parks will allow you to bring your pet. So pack up Rover, outfit him or her with a bowtie or flower collar, and have the cutest wedding guest by your side.
Where To Stay When Eloping In Asheville
Now, let’s talk about where to stay. Sure, hotels are cool, but how about adding a dash of uniqueness to your special day? Here are some rad Airbnb options to consider for your Asheville elopement.
A few cute Asheville Airbnbs
Elope In A Cabin at The Pond House
Have an A-Frame Elopement in this Scandi-Style Airbnb
Where To Eat In Asheville
Pick up pre-wedding brunch at Sunny Point Café
The day of your elopement, start with a casual and cozy breakfast or brunch at Sunny Point Café. They’re all about Southern comfort food with fresh, local ingredients. Dig into their famous Huevos Rancheros or a plate of heavenly pancakes. It’s a delicious way to start your married life together.
Craving a taste of Spain and some tapas for lunch on your elopement day? Curate’s got your back. It’s a tapas paradise right here in Asheville. Think small plates meant for sharing – it’s intimate and flavorful. Don’t miss out on their paella; it’s a game-changer. And why not clink glasses with some Spanish wine to celebrate your epic day?
For a taste of Asheville’s local flavors, Pack’s Tavern is a must. Located in a historic building downtown, it offers a diverse menu featuring regional favorites. Whether you’re in the mood for a juicy burger, Carolina BBQ, or a vegetarian dish, Pack’s Tavern has something for everyone.
Post-Wedding Chocolate Bliss at The Chocolate Lounge
Craving something sweet to celebrate your elopement? Look no further than The Chocolate Lounge. This dessert haven serves up an array of decadent chocolates, truffles, and desserts. Pair your treats with a glass of wine or a craft cocktail for the ultimate indulgence.
For some late-night desserts after your elopement transport yourselves to Europe at Old Europe, a charming bakery and café. Enjoy a taste of European pastries, sandwiches, and coffee. It’s perfect for a leisurely breakfast or a cozy afternoon treat. Their authentic flavors will make you feel like you’ve crossed the Atlantic for a moment.
Unique Asheville Elopement Activities
Picnic For Two
After saying “I do,” how about kicking back with a picnic in a scenic spot? Grab your favorite snacks, sandwiches, and a cozy blanket, and find a spot with a view. Whether you choose a mountaintop, riverside, or a quiet forest grove, a picnic adds a personal touch to your elopement. Check out Asheville Picnic Company for some of the coolest picnic baskets.
Soar High in a Hot Air Balloon
Want to take your love to new heights? Consider a hot air balloon ride over the breathtaking landscapes of Asheville. Floating serenely above the hills, forests, and rivers is a dreamy way to celebrate your love. Plus, it’s a fantastic opportunity for some awe-inspiring aerial photos.
Dinner and a Movie – With a Twist
For a laid-back evening, why not head to one of Asheville’s dine-in movie theaters? You can have pizza and wine delivered right to your comfy theater chair and table! Snuggle up, order delicious grub, and enjoy a film together. It’s a fun and unique way to cap off your elopement day with a touch of Hollywood glamour. Asheville Brewing Company is the place to be for your super chill elopement flick.
Tube Down a Mountain River
Embrace your inner child and go tubing down one of Asheville’s mountain rivers. Grab some tubes, hold hands, and let the gentle current take you on a scenic ride. It’s a refreshing and playful adventure that’ll have you both laughing and making memories.
Visit a Local Brewery
Asheville is renowned for its craft beer scene, and what better way to toast your elopement than by visiting a local brewery? With numerous breweries in town, you can embark on a beer-tasting journey. Sample an array of handcrafted brews, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, all while soaking in the laid-back brewery atmosphere.
Many breweries in Asheville offer tours, allowing you to dive into the brewing process and learn more about the art of beer-making. You can even create a customized flight of your favorite brews to celebrate your special day. Whether you’re a craft beer connoisseur or just enjoy a casual pint, visiting a brewery is a relaxed and enjoyable way to cap off your Asheville elopement.
Sierra Nevada is one of my favorite breweries to visit during an elopement!
Where To Elope In Asheville
Let’s take a leisurely stroll through some of Asheville’s most idyllic elopement locations. These are just a few of the amazing options you’ll find in the mountains within a short drive of the city.
Jump Off Rock
Don’t fancy a hike? Drive up to the views! A great option if you’ve got guests.
Mountains for days and a little privacy to boot? Sign me up! Check this one out for that in-the-wilderness vibe without the long trek.
Meadows and mountains are on display here, you’ll get the best of both! Have your ceremony in the tall grass of the meadow and then hike up to an overlook for your after photos.
If you’re city-spirited and up for an urban elopement, downtown Asheville is full of character. With its vibrant street art, quirky shops, and charming courtyards, it’s an unconventional yet fun choice for a city elopement.
Will You Need A Wedding Permit?
If you’re eloping on the Blue Ridge Parkway then you will need a permit and can apply for one here: Get your permit to elope in Asheville.
Certain locations outside the parkway do not require permits! If you’d rather skip this part then your elopement photographer will have a list of locations where you can elope without any red tape.
What to Wear During Your Elopement In Asheville
When it comes to dressing for an Asheville mountain elopement, think comfort meets style. You’ll be trekking uneven terrain, so you’ll need gear that lets you move freely while still looking your best.
Hiking Boots or Trail Shoes (check out these elopement-ready boots from REI): You’ll need comfy hiking boots or trail shoes too, so you can explore with ease.
Warm Winter Coats
If your mountain elopement is in colder months, you’ll want a winter coat that’s both cozy and stylish.
A heated jacket is an ideal choice for those chilly winter months in the mountains so you can warm up in between elopement photos.
Before the big day, make sure to check the weather forecast so you’re dressed just right. You’ll want to feel comfortable and warm while you exchange vows amid Asheville’s breathtaking mountains.
When it’s time to say your vows, you’ll need a qualified officiant. This could be a minister, magistrate, or even a judge. They’ll sign your license, making it all official-like.
Here are a few of my personal favorites that my couples have really loved working with:
A Brief Example Timeline For Your Asheville Elopement
As a general guide, you’ll want to try and plan your ceremony around sunset for the best light that will give your photos that lovely golden glow. Your elopement photographer can help you plan out every detail and exact times based on your elopement date, but here’s a quick outline of how your day could unfold.
Morning: Begin your day with a leisurely breakfast or explore Asheville’s downtown area. This is a perfect time for some candid pre-ceremony photos either while you two are cooking up some waffles at your airbnb, or relaxing on the patio at Sunny Point Cafe.
The First Adventure: If you’re planning a full-day elopement then this is when you’d head out for your first adventure of the day. Check out a waterfall in the area, visit a different hiking location, or stroll through Asheville’s vibrant downtown.
Late Afternoon: Head to your chosen elopement venue or ceremony spot in the mountains. Ensure you arrive with plenty of time to spare so you can relax and soak in the atmosphere. Traffic can be hectic on the freeways here so always allow a little extra time just in case. Now that you’ve arrived you can jump right into your first look if you’ve decided to have one, and then hike on up to the place you’ll say your vows.
Ceremony: Exchange vows against the backdrop of Asheville’s stunning scenery. Capture the moment with beautiful photographs and perhaps a video to share with loved ones who couldn’t attend.
Exploration: Extend your adventure after the I-Dos by exploring the location for your after photos! Take in a short hike, have a picnic, and enjoy the view all while your photographer captures every moment.
Celebration: After the ceremony, savor a romantic dinner back at your Airbnb catered by a personal chef, or meet friends and family at a local restaurant so all of you can party it up together!
Ready to start your adventure? As an elopement photographer in the beautiful Asheville mountains, I can’t wait to help you capture the magic of your special day. Here’s to love, adventure, and the beauty of an Asheville elopement!