Where NOT to Elope in North Carolina

There are multiple locations in North Carolina that, for one reason or another, are off limits to elopements and weddings. Unfortunately there are still photographers that take clients to these spots, and geotag their posts. This pattern suggests the same idea to others, unknowingly or not. Geotagging is a separate issue, so we’ll save that for another blog. I want to help folks looking to plan their elopement – and rule abiding vendors – know where they shouldn’t be planning to tie the knot! Here are some helpful resources about where not to elope in North Carolina.

Before we begin, you can find sources for this list at the bottom of the blog. I encourage you to share this information, whether it’s this post or from the horse’s mouth. Protect our public lands, above all else!

Popular National Forest locations where you cannot elope in North Carolina:

(Additionally, the USDA has requested photographers not shoot at these locations at all right now due to parking and safety concerns.)

  • Max Patch
  • Black Balsam
  • Looking Glass Falls
  • Linville Gorge Wilderness
  • Middle Prong Wilderness
  • Shining Rock Wilderness

Please also note that the USDA website states:

Individuals or companies such as elopement planning services, wedding planning services, or photographers who are leading or transporting groups onto the national forest for payment or other gain, no matter how many people are in the group are required to obtain a permit before they offer these services to the public.

Get ya permits and support the parks!

Popular Blue Ridge Parkway locations where you cannot elope in North Carolina:

  • Bass Lake
  • Rough Ridge
  • Linville Falls
  • Crabtree Falls
  • Craggy Gardens (Pinnacle Trail, Pinnacle Scenic View and Craggy Dome parking area)

This is not an exhaustive list, but just some of the most popular spots I see folks visit. I urge you to check the link below for more information, including spots where you CAN elope in North Carolina (like the one pictured)! There are so many beautiful locations to choose from, we don’t need to continue expending the same restricted ones. These places are the brunt of so much abuse – the least we can do is our part to alleviate the stress on mother nature. If you plan to elope in North Carolina, here are some tips! And when it’s time to book the photographer, don’t forget that I come with location suggestions and an elopement guide for all my couples.


USDA information NPS information

  1. Brennan says:

    I had no idea!! This is good to know! I’ve bookmarked this page 🙂

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