How to Elope in Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina has an amazing reputation and it’s easy to see why. With the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and Smoky Mountains National Park, plus a trendy city with incredible beer and food, there’s so much to love. If you’re considering eloping and looking for the perfect place to do so, I can’t recommend Asheville enough. The natural beauty combined with its eclectic cool-kid vibes is the perfect spot to celebrate with your partner and start your life together! 

Bride and groom exchanging vows in Asheville North Carolina with mountains in background
Bride and groom standing with arm around each other with mountains in the distance
bride and groom embracing under large pine tree in asheville north carolina

Legally Marrying in North Carolina

Your elopement day is about stating your love and commitment to your partner, but it’s also about legally uniting. If you’re traveling to Asheville for your elopement, you’ll want to make sure that you’re following their regional laws and procedures so that your big day is official! 

In North Carolina, you can pick up a marriage license from the Register of Deeds in any county. The license costs $60 and there’s no waiting period, which means you can grab it the day before or even the morning of your elopement. Marriers only need to bring their IDs, and the process is overall very simple. 

When choosing someone to officiate your wedding, you’ll want to keep in mind that North Carolina has some unclear policies, and I would recommend hiring someone professional. That being said, the state does claim to recognize some online ordinations, however, the most common source, Universal Life Church, is not recognized in the state and the weddings that they perform are deemed invalid. If you still choose to have a friend or family member become ordained to perform the legal ceremony during your elopement, I would recommend doing some in-depth research or speaking to someone at the Register of Deeds to confirm the validity of the ordination. 

Bride and groom kissing in front of the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center and Headquarters sign
Bride and two bridesmaids crossing the street in downtown Asheville
Bride and groom first look on rooftop overlooking Asheville with mountains in background

Where to Stay

Asheville is truly a gem when it comes to overnight accommodations. With options that range from campsites to luxury resorts, there’s something for everyone. Plus, they hit it out of the park with unique stays – with options to stay in a treehouse or an airstream trailer! I couldn’t possibly include all the amazing options, but I’ve listed some of my top recommended spots for you here. 

Bride and groom walking into isa's bistro in asheville north carolina
Bride and groom dancing under a waterfall near asheville north carolina
Bookshop with leather armchairs and couch

Things to Do

Part of the fun of planning an elopement is the flexible schedule. Unlike a traditional wedding day where you’re bound by a ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception, your elopement day can look like anything you want! Many of my couples opt to include a fun activity on their elopement day, so they can spend more time together doing what they love and making incredible memories. 

Asheville has so many great options for elopement day activities, in both the city and the surrounding mountains. Whether you prefer a relaxing spa day, a winery tour, or something more adventurous like a hike to waterfalls, there’s a perfect activity for every couple. 

Elope in Asheville with Evergreen Elopements

As a destination elopement photographer, I’ve been lucky enough to fall in love with cities all over the world, but Asheville will always remain one of my favorites. Whether you’re a couple who appreciates spending time in the outdoors, or you prefer to stick to the city, there’s so much to do and see in this gorgeous mountain town. I am always itching to get back to this incredible city, so if you’re looking for a photographer for your elopement day, reach out! 

Stay tuned for a Where to Elope in Asheville locations blog!

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