How to Elope in North Carolina
Asheville LGBT+ Elopement Photographer
Recently I ventured back home to North Carolina for several weeks to capture some epic weddings, anniversary sessions and more! North Carolina is where I was raised, but the West is for sure where I call home. North Carolina offers so many great locations for couples to elope and be connected together and to the environment. Violet and Shelby’s session took place at sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville. They have a story that will make you believe in life coming together as it is suppose to and to believe in love even when you feel like you shouldn’t anymore. What started as long distance has come to a beautiful life together in the mountains of North Carolina. They celebrated their anniversary with this session! I hope you find this blog post inspiring and helpful in planning your North Carolina elopement.
Why Elope in North Carolina?
If you are on the Eastern part of the United States North Carolina is a fantastic place to consider for your elopement! Why? Other than not having to travel far….The state has it all mountains and beaches so you can make your elopement happen and your honey moon. There is so much camping, hiking trails, rock climbing, water falls, lakes, rivers and more to explore. Carolina will sure fulfill your southern cravings! There are so many breweries, good BBQ, mom and pop shops and restaurants. A lot of the areas tend to be less crowed and quieter than some of the popular elopement locations in the Western part of the United States.
Every places has a feeling and vibe. If you are looking for a place that is laid back North Carolina is a great place. With a slower pace of living you are sure to be relaxed on your elopement day. North Carolina feels welcoming. The mountain areas are will give you all of your adventure outdoor feels. The coast will give you that small local beach town vibe. Either way it is a great place to get away.
How to Legally Get Married in North Carolina
Eloping in North Carolina requires a marriage license, an officiant and two witnesses. You can apply for your license at the Deeds office. You must present your social security card and/or birth certificate. The Deed’s office you will need to go to is dependent on the county you will be getting married in. Once you get your marriage license it will expire within 60 days, you will want to elope within that time frame.
Where to Elope in North Carolina
North Carolina is a very diverse state from mountains to flat lands to beautiful beaches. Below is a list of some of the top places to consider eloping in North Carolina:
- Blue Ridge Parkway – mountain views with lots of trails & pull offs
- Great Smokey Mountains National Park – the only national park in the state, beautiful mountains
- the Outer Banks – lovely more remote beaches, sand dunes, light houses and more
- Carova – see wild horses and elope in peace where there are no paved roads and a lot of peace
- Black Balsam Knob – which is near Asheville
- Grand Father Mountain
- Linville Gorge
- Hanging Rock State Park – this is actually the location of the very first micro wedding/elopement I photographed. It is central to the triad area of the state with lots of trails and popular hiking location.
How to get to North Carolina
The largest airports in North Carolina are RDU (Raleigh) which is great for coastal elopements and CLT (Charlotte) which is great for mountain elopements. American Airlines are the main airline for both of these airports and you may find cheaper flights (depending on where you are coming from) with this company. There is also a smaller airport you can fly directly into Asheville. Keep in mind you can always drive into North Carolina especially if you are coming from any of the states in the Eastern part of the United States. the main highway system through the state is HWY-40.
As always, for your stay consider camping, Airbnb, bed and breakfasts or hotels. Some towns to consider staying in would be Asheville, Boone, downtown Winston-Salem, Raliegh/Durham, Nagshead or Wilmington.