That's awesome! There are many reasons folks choose the Blue Ridge Mountains to say "I do!".
Asheville is a cool little mountain town with amazing food, equally amazing beer, and beautiful places to have your elopement ceremony. Whether you want a dense pine forest, an epic waterfall, or endless mountain views, Asheville has it all!
An officiant recognized by the state of NC
In order to make your marriage legal in North Carolina, you will need:
OK, first thing's first...
(cannot be the officiant!)
But what if it's just the two of us?
Don't worry! Your photographer (oh hey!) can sign as one of your witnesses. We can find the other on the trail. Or, if you're getting married at a venue, the staff is always willing to sign, too!
Where do we get a marriage license?
You'll definitely want one of those bad boys!
You'll go to the county Register of Deeds office during business hours to apply for a marriage license. There is no waiting period.
From there, you'll have 60 days to perform the ceremony and make your marriage legit. Remember the part about an officiant and two witnesses?
NOTE: The State of North Carolina does NOT recognize online ordination so you'll want to make sure your officiant is legit! Don't worry. I'll help you find one!
Here are some next steps:
1. Pick Your Date
Some of this will depend on what time of year you'll want to elope. For instance, Spring and Fall have milder temps but they're also more popular. So it might be harder to find vendors, etc. Summer offers beautiful wildflowers but much warmer temperatures. Another note about Spring: rain. That is all. :)
2. Pick Your Location
It's OK to feel a little lost on this!
Begin by assessing your hiking comfortability. Will you have guests? Are they able to hike? If you want to include parents or grandparents in your ceremony, or you're not comfortable hiking, there are still plenty of locations in the Asheville area with great views that are easily accessible. If you think a venue is a better fit for you, here are a list of 5 that have nice views! P.S. I love helping couples choose their location! I offer location scouting with every package.
3. Hire a Photographer
In some (or even most!) cases, you might want to do this first. Hiring a local photographer that also helps you plan (like me), will take a TON of stress off - especially if you're from out of town. I often have couples inquire without having a date or location set and I love that. It provides more flexibility so I can help you craft the perfect day. Some couples might already have a location picked out (or at least the type of scenery they want) and that's great too! My biggest advice is hire someone local who knows the area super well (hey, that's me!). BIG TIP: CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER YOU GEL WITH! You'll be spending A LOT of time with them. Plus, you want someone you can be comfortable and truly yourself with. The photographer can make or break your experience!!
5. Choose Your Attire
4. Find Other Vendors
After you've selected a date, it's time to start filling out your day with other things you might need. HOT TIP: Hire local vendors! I have a list of every type of vendor you might need!
First, find an officiant. Like the photographer, you're going to be spending a lot of time with this person. Find someone you're completely aligned with!
From there, you can start thinking about things like florals and hair/makeup, Do you want a cake? Some couples hire a private chef to make a special meal at their Airbnb. Start thinking all those little details you might want to include to personalize your day.
Choosing the right wedding attire can make your experience more enjoyable. Choose something you can move freely in if you're wanting to hike during your elopement. Also, choose a lightweight fabric if you're getting married during the summer months to keep cool. You can always layer up under your fancy clothes to bundle up in the cold, too! HOT TIP: If you're wearing a dress, get something super flowy! When the wind catches it, it will be FIRE in photos. Same goes for a veil if you decide to incorporate one!
6. Personalize It!
Start brainstorming all of your favorite things as a couple. Whether that's an activity like kayaking, or discovering new breweries, or maybe you're both into Star Wars, and everything in between. Infuse those special things into your elopement day. The beauty of eloping is it gives you so much freedom to truly make it all about you!
Now it's time to put it all together!
Planning your elopement doesn't have to be an overwhelming process and you don't have to do this alone. Reach out when you're ready and I'd love to help you create your dream elopement day! You deserve the most kick-ass day ever!