The choices are endless when you choose to elope in Asheville, North Carolina!! There’s the Blue Ridge Parkway, endless options for breweries and wineries, all the trails and waterfalls explore, and the amazing and unique architecture for beautiful photos. This guides includes all the info you need to know from sharing locations, activities to do, answering FAQs, and more!
Where is Asheville, North Carolina?
Asheville is in western North Carolina, right in the middle of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Asheville is located about 2 hours from Charlotte, North Carolina; about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Knoxville, Tennessee; and 1 hour and 10 minutes from Greenville, South Carolina. Asheville is a boho mountain town known for its breweries, art, live music, and, of course, its stunning view of the mountains.
How to Get to Asheville, North Carolina
There are 4 airports that are close to Asheville.
- Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) is about 16 miles outside of Asheville or 22 minutes away
- Greenville/Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) is about 67 miles away or 1 hour and 15 minutes away
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is about 124 miles away or about 2 hours away
- Knoxville Airport (TYS) is about 129 miles away or about 2 hours away
If you’re planning on driving to Asheville:
- A bunch of highways pass through Asheville: I-40, I-240, I-26, U.S. 19/23, 70, and 74
- There are parking garages and street parking available. Street parking must be paid Monday through Saturday between 8am-6pm.
- Rush hour in Asheville is considered to be from 5-6pm Monday through Friday.
Towns Near Asheville
Although Asheville is known as the “big town” in the area, there are tons of smaller towns nearby that you could explore and/or stay at too!
- Bryson City
- Black Mountain
- Hot Springs
- Lake Lure
Why Should You Elope in Asheville
Asheville is a busy mountain town in the Blue Ridge Mountains with breweries, art, music, and stunning mountains to create an epic elopement day. This mountain town is located between a few national parks and surrounded by lush nature including hundreds of hiking trails, waterfalls, forests, rivers, and more!
FAQs About Eloping in Asheville
Do I need to live in or be from Asheville to get a marriage license? Nope! You do not need to be a resident of North Carolina to get a marriage license from them. The marriage license is only good for North Carolina though.
How much does it cost to get a marriage license in Asheville? It costs $60 to attain a marriage license in Asheville. After attaining your marriage license, you have up to 60 days to get married. You can read more about the process and what you need to get your marriage license in Asheville here.
Can we have a family member or friend perform the ceremony? Unfortunately, no. In the state of North Carolina, only “an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, a magistrate, or a federally or state-recognized Indian Nation or tribe” (as stated on the marriage application website) is allowed to ordain a ceremony. However, you can get legally married in a courthouse, and then hold a ceremony where a family member or friend performs the ceremony during your wedding or elopement.
Will we need a witness to get married? In North Carolina, you will need 2 witnesses for your marriage. You can ask either two guests to be your witness, two vendors (your photographer and videographer, for example), or you can ask two strangers that are hanging out near your ceremony. I’m always happy to sign your witness paper if you do not want any guests present at your elopement in Asheville too!
Best Locations to Elope at in Asheville
The options are truly endless on where to get married in Asheville – and you really cannot go wrong with beautiful views anywhere!
In the Mountains
Blue Ridge Parkway
Weddings and elopements with 25 people or less are allowed in the Blue Ridge Parkway with a permit (the application fee is $60 and the permit fee is $40). The permit covers two hours for a ceremony (no receptions allowed). Permits are not issued on federal holidays or during the month of October (due to it being the busiest tourist month). From mountaintops to waterfalls, there are many choices to choose from for a ceremony spot. However none of the options are private, so you may have some onlookers. Make sure to follow Leave No Trace principles (here is Why LNT is Important): no live plants, no balloons, no open flames, no alcoholic beverages, etc. are allowed. Check out the Blue Ridge Parkway website for Wedding Policies and Permits here.
Pisgah National Forest and Nantahala National Forest
A permit is not required if you have 75 or fewer people. However if you want to get married at a developed site with an office, you must notify them first. Otherwise, you can have a ceremony anywhere on public forest land. Be mindful of other visitors and do not block trails. Make sure to follow Leave No Trace principles (here is why LNT is Important): you are not allowed to bring in decorations, live flowers, or extravagant food.
A gorgeous historic stone castle built in the 1920’s with the option of either an indoor or outdoor ceremony space. The manor is surrounded by gorgeous gardens – which is a perfect spot to celebrate! Check out the website for Homewood here.
The Ridge and Chateau
This stunning venue is European-inspired with stunning 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, making it an absolutely beautiful location for your elopement. You have the choice to have your ceremony at The Chateau under the gorgeous chandelier or the pergola, or exchange vows outdoors in The Ridge with the stunning view of the mountains. Check out the website for The Ridge and The Chateau here.
The Omni Grove Park Inn
This is the ideal place to host a ceremony, celebrate with a few loved ones, and you can stay here. You have a few different options of where to exchange your vows: a scenic mountain view, by a waterfall, or inside by the stone fireplace. Check out the website for The Omni Grove Park Inn here.
This historic castle is an amazing spot for any elopement! With the endless possibilities for an intimate ceremony, you are likely to find the most perfect spot to exchange your vows. You’ll have access to the estate grounds, along with the opportunity to enjoy a romantic dinner, a wine tasting, or a special carriage ride around the property! Check out the Biltimore website here.
The Best Time to Get Married in Asheville
Honestly, you cannot go wrong with getting married during any time of the year. Asheville is truly beautiful throughout the year! There are a lot of activities and events to do throughout the year, is very dog-friendly, and has lots of good restaurants and breweries to try.
Weather: In Asheville, it is pretty consistently warm and sunny from the beginning of April through the end of October. It does rain pretty often in Asheville, but it does not usually last all day, so plan accordingly and have a backup plan just in case. Even during the winter time, where you do have a higher chance of having colder weather, there’s still a pretty good chance of having weather in the 40s and 50s. Typically, there is no huge snowfall that occurs in Asheville or surrounding areas. The summer time is hot and can get pretty humid, so the best time for a ceremony is either at sunrise or sunset or having it indoors. Spring and fall has the most ideal weather with the temperature typically in the 50s and 60s in the mornings/evenings and warming up in the afternoons.
Crowds: Asheville is the most popular during the fall months (September to November, although October is the most popular by far). Summertime and December are close contenders for crowds too. The least likely time of year to deal with crowds is in the winter and spring (January through May).
Where to Stay in Asheville
Airbnb’s in Asheville
Hotels and Resorts in Asheville
Campgrounds in Asheville
Activities to Do On Your Elopement Day in Asheville
- Go hiking! There are endless trails to check out for everyone with varying levels of experience needed.
- Go on a sunrise hike or a sunset hike (or both). Or just watch the sunrise or sunset from a good lookout spot together.
- Check out the Biltmore Estate. Take a tour inside, take photos outside the building (only allowed with written permission, which you can get by emailing them here), and explore the outdoor gardens.
- Have a picnic lunch in the mountains or at a park. There are a ton of picnic companies that will go all out in creating a special picnic with charcuterie, champagne, and more. Check out Asheville Picnic Company or Picnic Pop-Up.
- Go to a brewery or winery. There are tons of cool breweries throughout Asheville to check out including Asheville Brewing Company, The Funkatorium, Hillman Beer, Thirsty Monk, and more!
- Go zip lining! It’s a unique way to see the mountain views and be above the trees. There are a lot of zip lining companies to reach out to.
- There are a lot of interesting and quirky museums to explore in Asheville: The Asheville Pinball Museum, Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum, the Asheville Mystery Museum, Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum, the Moog Museum, and more!
- Go to a concert or music festival. Asheville is known for its folk and indie artists that perform live. Look up a concert schedule or a music festival schedule and see if your favorite artist will be in town at the same time as your elopement!
- Spend time on the river. Go white water rafting, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, tubing, swimming, and/or go down Sliding Rock.
- Go out to eat for some good southern food. There’s Katie Button’s Cúrate (tapas), Peter Pollay’s Posana (farm-to-table), Linton Hopkins’ H&F Burger, Green Sage and Laughing Tree Cafes to Plant, Rosetta’s Kitchen, and plenty more!!
Asheville Elopement Photographer
Well hey there – if you didn’t know me already, I’m Emily! I’m an Asheville elopement photographer based in North Carolina. I spend a lot of time photographing adventure elopements of rad couples around the world. I’m obsessed with all things elopements, being out on the water, outdoor adventure, and am truly so grateful that I get to call this my job!!!
If you’re looking for a photographer for your Asheville elopement who will:
- Photograph your beautiful Asheville elopement ceremony and activities through storytelling photos that you can look back on for the rest of your life
- Help you come up with your dream elopement day and itinerary
- Help you find activities in the Asheville area to make your elopement intentional, unique, and memorable
…then I’m your person!!!
Visit my website to learn more about me, get to know my approach to elopement photography, and then reach out to me if you think we’re a good fit. I cannot wait to hear from you and start planning your dream Asheville elopement!!
Final Tips for Eloping in Asheville
- Make sure to have your permits in place if you’re planning on getting married on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Embrace the weather and any unexpected circumstances that may happen. Don’t be afraid to have a backup plan (and even a Plan C) in case of bad weather, etc. Be prepared for the potential rain especially in the summer!!
- Here are 12 Ways To Make Your Elopement Unique
- How to Plan Your Dream Elopement (Advice from Someone Who Eloped)
- To maximize your time with your photographer and other vendors, here are All-Day Elopement Timeline Examples