Are you planning to elope in North Carolina? Discover everything you need to know about this beautiful state and how to make your special day unforgettable!

As an elopement photographer, I know that eloping is a beautiful and intimate way to celebrate your love and commitment to each other. If you're considering tying the knot in North Carolina, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make your dream wedding a reality. From scenic locations to unique and romantic experiences, North Carolina has something for every couple who wants to elope. 

The Best Places to Elope in North Carolina

North Carolina offers an abundance of beautiful and picturesque places to exchange your vows. Whether you're looking for a mountain backdrop, a beach setting, or a quaint downtown area, you're sure to find a location that speaks to you. Here are some of the best places to elope in North Carolina: 

The Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains, bordering North Carolina and Tennessee, are one of the most popular places to elope in North Carolina. This area is known for its breathtaking views and peaceful surroundings, making it the perfect place to say "I do." Some of the most popular places to elope in the area include the Indian Creek Falls, the Newfoundland Gap, and the Cataloochee Valley.

The Outer Banks

The Outer Banks is a string of barrier islands along the coast of North Carolina. This area is known for its stunning beaches, charming lighthouses, and gorgeous sunsets, making it the ideal spot for a beach elopement.


Asheville is a charming and artsy city located in the western part of North Carolina. With its vibrant downtown, picturesque mountains, and unique wedding venues, Asheville has countless opportunities for a romantic and unique elopement. 

Black Balsam Knob

One of the most breathtaking, yet easier, hikes along Blue Ridge Parkway is the Black Balsam Knob Trail. This peaceful and intimate hike features a large open meadow surrounded by towering trees, panoramic views, and stunning mountain peaks.

The North Carolina Arboretum

Located on the Southern edge of Asheville, the North Carolina Arboretum is a beautifully landscaped 65-acre garden space offering a serene environment for your North Carolina elopement. Some of the most popular gardens for elopements include the Heritage Garden, the Quilt Garden, and the Stream Garden giving your elopement a classic and elegant feel. 

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The Biltmore North Carolina

The Biltmore North Carolina, located in Asheville, is a historic mansion that offers a unique and luxurious elopement option. Throughout the property are beautiful gardens, and unique architecture to make for a sophisticated and romantic elopement. They also have a hotel, an inn, and a winery, to add even more options to make your time here a truly unforgettable experience.

Triple Falls NC

Located inside the DuPont State Forest is a towering waterfall called Triple Falls NC. This location combines both natural beauty and adventure for couples who can't get enough of the outdoors. The crystal clear water and surrounding forest make for a scenic, yet simple, elopement backdrop.

Rough Ridge

For a spectacular mountain overlook, without having to do too much hiking, it’s hard to beat Rough Ridge. This overlook offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountain peaks, dramatic cliffs, and sweeping views of the surrounding area making this a breathtaking elopement location.

Jump Off Rock

Located about 5 miles outside of Henderson, North Carolina is the popular overlook known as Jump Off Rock. This overlook offers stunning views of both the Blue Ridge and Pisgah mountain ranges with a few small trails to also enjoy. The overlook has plenty of room to exchange vows, and even bring a few friends and family along for your elopement.

Elkin Creek Vineyard

In the heart of Yadkin Valley wine country is the Elkin Creek Vineyard. With its rolling hills, beautiful vineyard, rustic cabins, and delicious restaurant, this vineyard is a perfect designation for couples to have a sophisticated and romantic elopement getaway. 

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How to Plan Your Elopement in North Carolina

Planning an elopement can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some steps you can follow to ensure that your special day goes off without a hitch:

  • Choose a date and location: Start by deciding on the date and location of your elopement. Take into consideration the weather, whether or not you’ll need a permit, and any special events that may be taking place in the area around your elopement date. 

  • Hire a wedding planner or officiant: Consider hiring a wedding planner or officiant to help you with the logistics of your elopement. They can help you obtain any necessary permits, coordinate with vendors, and ensure that your day goes smoothly.

  • Choose your attire: Select your attire for the elopement, taking into consideration the location and the time of year. 

  • Invite those closest to you: If you're planning a small elopement, consider inviting your closest friends and family to join you. If you prefer a more intimate ceremony, just the two of you is perfectly fine as well.

Frequently Asked Questions About Eloping in North Carolina

What is the process for getting married in North Carolina?

To get married in North Carolina, you'll need to obtain a marriage license and have a ceremony performed by an authorized officiant. You can find more information on the process on the North Carolina Vital Records website. 

Do I need to have a witness present for my elopement in North Carolina?

Yes, you'll need to have at least one witness present for your elopement ceremony. Your photographer can sign as a witness!

Can I have a beach elopement in North Carolina?

Yes, you can have a beach elopement in North Carolina! Just be sure to obtain any necessary permits and check with the local authorities for any restrictions. There are also numerous venues and resorts throughout the state that offer weddings and elopements on the beach. 

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