Dreaming of a Boone NC Elopement? Love epic mountain views and Blue Ridge Parkway sunsets? Read on to see more of this beautiful day!
Boone NC Elopement | Leigha & Paul
Seriously y’all, we were incredibly blessed to spend the day with these two. There were so many amazing things about eloping with these two, we cannot just pick one. So, we’ll say two – witnessing their natural romance together, and how sweet all their family members were to us. When we imagine all the right things about eloping with your family, this is the day that comes to mind. Experiencing the family bond in their intimate wedding really touched our hearts.
Leigha and Paul came to us looking for an adventurous & intimate wedding experience to match their spirit as a couple. These two were used to epic adventures – one college summer they hopped in Paul’s Jeep and set out for a road trip to California and back from Virginia. Camping almost the entire time, they ate hot dogs and bologna sandwiches while adventuring to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Redwoods… so many places! They’ve even been to Alaska together.
The first thing that came to mind for them when we were planning their day was to recommend Linville Gorge – often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the east. They immediately fell in love with the idea and off we went!
The Boone, NC area is fairly close to Asheville, so if you’re looking for more info on eloping in the area, check out our Guide to Planning your Epic Asheville Elopement. You might also be interested in taking a peek into how we create customized Asheville Elopement Packages, or our post on what you should ask your Asheville Elopement Photographer. Just a few resources we’ve created to help you get started!
Linville Falls Airbnb | Boone NC Elopement
Our top suggestion for finding a place to stay: Always rent an awesome Airbnb or VRBO nearby your elopement ceremony location that matches your vibe. There are a few reasons we recommend this:
- Having a home away from home will allow you relax at the start of your wedding day
- It adds so much to your getting ready photos vs. a standard hotel room!
- Weather. A covered porch or large living area inside comes in handy if there is a lot of rain!
We started our day on a beautiful and cool March day in the mountains near Boone. We had planned for their elopement near Linville Gorge, so they selected a cabin to stay at just near the Linville Falls community, a short drive from the gorge.
Getting ready at the cabin
Their cabin had really cool details inside and out. The cozy covered front porch dining room, with lots of natural light, is where we chose to take their detail shots, and we loved the contrast of the antique furniture with their glowing details.
Leigha had a locket to remember a family member, and the box had a detail engraving in French on top. Blue shoes (something blue, right?) and a gorgeous wood flower bouquet. Yes you read that right, wood flowers! We love how they are more durable than live and will last pretty much forever after your wedding day. Instead of having to preserve live flowers you can set these in a vase and you’re done! Leigha’s bouquet came from Sola Wood Flowers.
If you look really close, you can see that Paul’s ring had “Bagged and Tagged” engraved on the inside. I’d say that was incredibly fitting, as you’ll see later in their first look that she can leave him speechless!
While we were taking detail shots, we had the opportunity to talk a little with both sides of the family. We learned that Paul has relatives who also work in photography and it was really special to share how our photography journey brought us to elopements!
As we were winding down our shots of details for Leigha and Paul, this was our absolute favorite – her beautiful dress with all the lace details at the front of the cabin:
As Leigha was getting ready, we had the opportunity to photograph Paul on his own outside. Check out these cool Dr. Suess socks – “all the places we will go!”
Paul, being in the Marine Corps (soon to be a pilot), had a cool detail for his tie: a clip showing the eagle, globe and anchor of the USMC. And a great smile to go along with it too – looking sharp!
First Look | Boone NC Elopement
Arranging everyone for Leigha & Paul’s first look, we had Paul stand outside of the cabin facing off into the woods so he wouldn’t see her just yet. As he was waiting, Paul took on a more somber look, and you could tell he was anticipating seeing his beautiful bride.
Just inside the cabin, in the enclosed porch where we had just taken detail photos, we had Leigha hidden away from sight. In this final moments, it was so sweet to capture Leigha and her mom together, then with the rest of her family outside before she walked down the stairs towards Paul.
As Leigha put her hand on Paul’s shoulder and he turned around – he literally had no words. Probably a good 5 minutes he couldn’t say a thing and could barely look her in the eyes – it was so precious!
After a little while Paul worked up the courage to look into Leigha’s eyes – we loved how they were able to share this moment with their family looking on from above. Eventually Paul was to his old self again and cracking jokes!
Arriving at Linville Gorge
After their first look, everyone hopped in their cars and we drove to their ceremony spot at Linville Gorge. This place is 4 miles down a bumpy gravel road, but so worth it to get there! It was so sweet to see the two of them walking the path on the way to their ceremony and then seeing the view for the first time together.
Love the smile on Leigha’s face as they walked down to their ceremony spot! Fun fact – would you believe she had just bought this awesome wrap just a day before at a nearby dollar store? What a great find!
Ceremony | Boone NC Elopement
When we planned out the elopement timeline for Leigha and Paul, knowing they wanted an afternoon ceremony, we chose a time to balance the best light. Photographing here can be a bit tricky as the sun is setting away from the view. Too early, and the light is too harsh – too late and you lose the light entirely. We have tricks up our sleeve to know when is best though!
Our friend Megan Roberts officiated for Leigha and Paul and we so appreciate working with her! As the family settled down to observe the ceremony, we just loved how the quietness of the gorge took over. With just a slight breeze over the mountain, it was like time stood still for their ceremony together.
Each couple that we photograph leaves an impression on us in so many ways. We spend so much time with them that we get a feel for their natural interactions with each other (and then keep encouraging them in those interactions to make for authentic photos!). For Leigha and Paul, it was how tenderly they would hold hands. How he held her hand during the ceremony, right after the ring exchange, was such a great example of that.
After a prayer together, you can imagine what’s next – first kiss!
Then again – remember what we said about them holding hands?
This part we just loved – each dad signed as a witness on their marriage license. How cool is that!
Standing on the edge of the world together
The most wonderful thing about elopements is how it gives couples space to be themselves. Even for an elopement with family, we feel it’s important to give a couple alone time, sometime during the day. It usually works out that right after the ceremony is the best time for this. Of course, their whole family was super sweet about it as we “stole” Leigha and Paul away for a few photos at the “ledges.”
But first, a few photos with Leigha just before Paul ran up to join us!
This is literally a drop off into the gorge so you need to be super careful here! Paul hopped down here with Leigha in hand – such an epic shot together
We cannot get enough of the beauty of Linville Gorge. It truly earns it’s nickname as the Grand Canyon of the east.
Beautiful Early Spring Sunset | Boone NC Elopement
Right after the ceremony, we left Linville Gorge to a spot we knew would work well for group photos. While we love where we were for their ceremony, it can be a little “tight” for group photos at the overlook. Just up the road though, we knew of a place that had a wide open field and great light for sunset!
These two were so awesome together and a literal joy to photograph. Thinking back to our first phone call, we heard from them what we tend to hear from a lot of couples: concern over feeling awkward in front of the camera. Yet, experiencing an elopement is so magical, we knew they would end up being comfortable and natural. This is exactly how the day played out – we give a little direction, and then they just make it their own. These micro moments together, as we just step back and let it happen, is how these authentic moments come through.
Don’t you just love the way he looks at her?
When you have such a romantic sunset, it inspires you to the perfect dip!
Enjoying the time with family
We are so thankful for how sweet the whole family was to us. Everyone was super nice and fun – loved being able to capture Leigha and her sisters wrapped up in the blanket together! Our favorite might be Leigha and her dad together, such a great moment.
Champagne Celebration & Dancing together
There was something incredibly special about the sunset on this day. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that for weeks prior we had so much rainy weather, making the clear sky and warm sunshine that much more amazing. It was so much fun to see them share champagne & dance in the field together. We love how they celebrated as if they were in a ballroom – yet in their very own wide open space in nature.
Dogs are family!
One of the things that Leigha and Paul wanted to remember from their day was a few moments with their dog Dexter. I think he was really excited to give Leigha a kiss too!
Then before the sun disappeared behind the trees, we had time for just a few more shots of Leigha under the gorgeous sunset light.
We are so thankful that we had the opportunity to put this day together for Leigha & Paul! Earlier in the day, while Leigha was getting ready, Mark had the opportunity to chat with Paul a bit. What he said really struck us – that they didn’t see what they wanted to do in the wedding industry and what is communicated to them about “how to have a wedding.”
We take this as a reminder that there is such a need out there for elopements. There are couples out there that are searching for something else because everything out there is not fitting what they need. To be able to do this for them is such a blessing, and we are so grateful for these two and their families! Congratulations Leigha & Paul!
Venue: Linville Gorge
Officiant: Megan Roberts
Hair and Make-up: Kristin @ Pure Beauty Asheville
Florals: Sola Wood Flowers