Looking for more info on what a Cloudland Canyon Wedding or Elopement looks like? Check out our Planning Guide for inspiration!
At StoryBright Films, we’re all about crafting personalized experiences for your wedding day. Our elopement packages are designed to do more than just mark one moment on a special day; we focus on turning your vision into an unforgettable experience!
We pay attention to every detail, ensuring that your wedding day is seamless and filled with moments you’ll cherish forever. This approach was perfectly embodied in Amy and Cameron’s wedding at Cloudland Canyon State Park. Their celebration was not just an event, and more than a 30 minute ceremony; but a journey through nature, filled with personal touches that spoke to their love and adventurous spirits.
Amy & Cameron’s wedding day was just what they were looking for when we first spoke about their day — a beautiful blend of nature and intimacy, set against the awe-inspiring landscape of Cloudland Canyon State Park. Here are some highlights from their unforgettable day!
- An early morning start with Sara to capture a breathtaking sunrise over the canyon, offering them a peaceful and private moment.
- Hiking down to one of the park’s waterfalls, enjoying the solitude of the canyon with no one else around – a truly priceless experience.
- Returning to their cute Airbnb for an intimate ceremony, set against a picturesque farm backdrop with the mountains in the distance.
- Thoughtfully choosing to have their ceremony at a location separate from the park for reasons of privacy, convenience, and accessibility for their guests.
- Wrapping up their special day with a reception with close family and friends, marking the beginning of their new journey together.
Amy and Cameron’s day at Cloudland Canyon was a perfect illustration of how we craft wedding day experiences, beautifully intertwined with the natural world.
Cloudland Canyon Wedding & Elopement | An introduction
Set in the lush landscape of Northwest Georgia, Cloudland Canyon State Park provides a captivating setting for weddings and elopements. Known for its expansive canyons, rugged cliffs, flowing waterfalls, and rich forests, this park offers a perfect mix of natural beauty and adventurous charm for those special moments. It’s a favored destination for couples who desire a wedding day that’s as thrilling as it is romantic.
It takes a lot more than a gorgeous spot to make for a good elopement location though! In this post, we’ll explore why Cloudland Canyon is a sought-after destination for weddings and elopements. From the easily navigable park with ample parking to the variety of ceremony locations, such as the picturesque overlooks and the tall waterfalls, we’ll cover what makes for a Cloudland Canyon Wedding or Elopement. Plus, we’ll share insights on nearby accommodations and vendor options, ensuring your wedding plan is as seamless as it is scenic.
Cloudland Canyon Wedding | Amy + Cameron
Crafting their Personalized Adventure
Amy and Cameron approached us with a dream of a wedding that was uniquely theirs, one that would blend their love for nature with the majesty of Cloudland Canyon. Our mission was to create an experience that was not only visually stunning but also deeply resonant and personal to them.
As we started our Planning Questionnaire process together, these key points stood out to us as we started to design their experience:
- Definitely wanted private time for just the two of them to avoid tourists as much as possible
- Open to sunrise to have the quietest time of the day (also, to have the coolest part, because this was a June elopement!)
- While they wanted private time, they also wanted a setting that worked for having their family along to attend their ceremony and also a reception too
- Finally, the whole day needed to work seamlessly — while it needed to be planned ahead of time, it needed to have a spontaneous feel. Specifically, they wanted the exact opposite of a hectic, scheduled and stressful wedding day.
With these key points in mind, we drew from our experience and knowledge of locations all across the mountains of the eastern US – and landed on a Cloudland Canyon wedding experience. Here are the highlights of their wedding day plans!
First we started with the beauty of Cloudland Canyon at sunrise. This early start was not just about capturing the spectacular views but also about experiencing a moment of tranquility in the park before the rest of the world woke up. Their hike to a secluded waterfall was a journey into the heart of the canyon, offering an intimate setting that was just for them.
Their choice to have the ceremony at their Airbnb, set against a rustic farm backdrop with mountain views, was driven by the desire for a more private, intimate gathering with their closest family and friends. This decision reflected our emphasis on tailoring every aspect of the wedding to fit the couple’s unique preferences and needs.
Pro tip: It happens quite often that we talk to couples who fall in love with a particular location for their elopement but then realize it’s incompatible with their guests accessibility needs. This is the exact reason we designed Amy & Cameron’s day the way we did — one part just for them to experience the grandeur of Cloudland Canyon for their elopement, and a nearby Airbnb property that had the space needed for them to have an intimate ceremony with family. So our advice is to keep an open mind with your plans and let’s chat about the possibilities. There is always a way to create just what you’re looking for!
Now let’s step through each part of Amy & Cameron’s day!
Starting the day with Sunrise
Meeting up just after the gates opened to the park, this gave us precious moments to have the park all to ourselves. We can’t emphasize enough how awesome it is to have that feeling of being all alone in the big wide open spaces we have in our public lands. Often, you have to work a little harder than everyone else to experience that (like getting up before dawn and planning on a weekday elopement). But it was totally worth it, because Cloudland Canyon which can get crowded quickly!
Hiking to the falls
After taking in the golden glow of sunrise, we hiked down to one of the falls in the canyon. Again this was so early in the morning that we had the trails and boardwalks all to ourselves. Just a few hours later these would be covered with people. Definitely with being able to experience this place in solitude, and feel like the whole world stops just for you.
Cloudland Canyon Wedding | Ceremony
So you might be wondering … why not have the ceremony at the park? There’s lots of reasons why we sometimes recommend for a ceremony at a different location than where the views are. Privacy, convenience, accessibility for guests … these are just a few things we are considering when planning your day, so it can be carefree and the best time ever!
When you have loved ones along, planning a Cloudland Canyon elopement needs to take into account their needs and abilities too. We could have tried to have their ceremony at a park overlook, but there would have been compromise to work out. The family probably would not be so open to meeting there at sunrise; if we were to meet up later then there could be a parking limitation (the park closes the gate when the lots are full); plus you’re not guaranteed privacy for a ceremony.
This is why we decided on the best of both worlds, to have a sunrise hike for just the two of them to take in all the scenery, and then plan on a ceremony at a nearby Airbnb. This makes it really easy for family to help with preparations for your ceremony and for a reception too!
In the planning process we settled on this super cute farm stay Airbnb only 20 minutes from Cloudland Canyon. It had an open lawn which worked perfectly for the ceremony and a view of the mountains too!
Cloudland Canyon Wedding | Reception
Right after their ceremony and photos with guests, we explored the property with these two for photos just before the reception. This is often a planning “hack” we take because it gives you time to be alone and usually with guests along, they’re finishing up final touches on the reception space too.
Then to finish off the perfect day, everyone gathered together at the farmhouse for an intimate reception together to celebrate!
Planning a Cloudland Canyon Wedding or Elopement
At the time of this writing, to have a wedding at Cloudland Canyon you don’t need a permit. However it’s important to call the park about your date (as of this writing they only allow one wedding per day). More details below about planning a Cloudland Canyon Wedding!
1. Choosing the Perfect Spot within the Park:
- What locations are available for ceremonies? Cloudland Canyon offers a range of gorgeous spots for your ceremony, from the main overlook with sweeping canyon views to the peaceful ambiance of the waterfalls. Pro-tip: You’ll need your photographer’s advice on the best locations for time of day and best light!
- Can we have our ceremony by the waterfalls? Yes, but … remember that reaching these spots will involve a hike, so consider this in your planning. It’s easy to hike down, and not so easy to hike back out! Also, the waterfalls are fed by streams which are highly dependent on rainfall. Sometimes late summer to early fall the falls dry up completely. If you want to make sure you have an epic falls for photos then we recommend springtime!
2. Reservations and Fees:
- Do we need to reserve a specific area in the park for our wedding? While there currently is no fee for hosting your wedding within the park, it’s essential to contact park rangers about your date. Currently, they allow only one wedding per day.
- What about parking fees? A $5 parking fee per vehicle applies.
3. Accommodations and Facilities:
- Are there accommodations within the park for guests? Cloudland Canyon offers cottages and yurts, providing a rustic state park experience and convenient stay for you and your guests. We would consider the compatibility of these lodging types with your plans, however. Often we recommend lodging outside the park for our couples as it provides the space and convenience for getting ready and a first look (and a reception too).
- What facilities are available for receptions? The park has group shelters and pavilions that can be rented out for your reception. Remember that these are outdoors and electricity may or may not be available. Another reason why we sometimes recommend for our couples to rent a vacation home just outside of the park so there are more conveniences for you and your guests.
4. Vendor Selection:
- Can we bring our own wedding vendors? Yes, you are free to choose your own photographers, videographers, and other vendors. However, don’t make the mistake of hiring a traditional wedding vendor who isn’t familiar with the park. We help you with the planning, coordination and photography too and we know this park well. Reach out to us to see how we would create a personalized elopement experience for you!
5. Best Time for a Wedding:
- When is the best time to have a wedding at Cloudland Canyon? Spring and fall offer moderate temperatures and beautiful foliage. While the park has mountain views, it is not at an especially high elevation so summer can be quite hot (so we recommend early morning in the summer). To avoid crowds, consider a weekday wedding or plan for a sunrise/morning ceremony. The park seems to be always busy & they will close off the main gate when the parking lots are full, so keep this in mind when planning!
6. Park Regulations:
- Are there any specific regulations we should be aware of? We follow a ‘leave no trace’ policy with all our elopements. This means no confetti or birdseed, and make sure that all decorations and waste are removed after the ceremony.
Short answer on all of the above — ask us for planning help! Everyone’s day is different, and every group has different needs and abilities. Please don’t fall into the trap of trying to copy someone else’s elopement day you see online. There are plenty of planning and logistics decisions that go into making sure your day is both adventurous for you and with the right level of convenience too. It might work out well for you to experience your entire wedding day in the park, or it might make more sense to combine outside lodging and/or reception spaces with locations in the park.
We have years of experience planning elopements in outdoor locations like Cloudland and many more. We’re here to help you with your planning journey!
Cloudland Canyon Wedding & Elopement Planning Guide | Nearby attractions and Activities
Cloudland Canyon State Park is not only a scenic venue for your wedding but also a gateway to an array of attractions and activities in the surrounding areas, particularly in between the park & Chattanooga. Here’s what you and your guests can explore:
1. Scenic Beauty and Outdoor Adventures:
- Cloudland Canyon State Park: Beyond your wedding day, the park offers over 64 miles of hiking trails and more than 30 miles of bike trails. Bring the mountain bikes and spend a couple days exploring!
- Hiking to Waterfalls: If you’re not able to incorporate the falls on your wedding day, definitely come back and explore on your own!
- Horseback Riding: For an adventurous twist, enjoy the park’s trails on horseback!
2. Exploring Chattanooga:
- Rich Cultural Scene: Just 35 minutes away, Chattanooga is known for its vibrant cultural scene, including art galleries, museums, and music venues.
- Riverfront Charm: The city’s riverfront area is a romantic walk amongst fine dining, scenic views of the Tennessee River, and the Tennesee Aquarium too!
- Lookout Mountain Attractions: It is kind of a touristy stop, but if you’re in the area then you need to see Lookout Mountain! Not only are there incredible views, but also Ruby Falls, Rock City’s enchanting rock formations and gardens, and an incline railway too.
3. Dining and Culinary Experiences:
- Local Chattanooga Cuisine: Check out this dining guide to see what’s out there! Chattanooga has a diverse culinary scene. You can get classics like BBQ and burgers, incredible fine dining spots and everything in between.
- Wine and Dine: Brewpubs, beer gardens, dog friendly spots, wineries and distilleries too!
4. Accommodation Options:
- Vacation rentals: As Airbnb hosts ourselves, we are quite partial to the convenience and personalization of renting a vacation home in the area all to yourself! Lookout mountain from Georgia up towards Chattanooga have lots of selection. If you want to be convenient to all the Chattanooga has to offer there are also amazing hotels too!
Cloudland Canyon area and nearby Chattanooga make a great combination for a destination elopement in the area. There’s a ton of options to choose from so lean on our experience to not only design the perfect wedding day for you but to also recommend places to see and where to stay in the area!
Ready to get started planning your Cloudland Canyon Wedding or Elopement?
At StoryBright Films, we’re more than just photographers; we’re creators of extraordinary wedding experiences as unique as each couple’s love story. Our commitment is to turn your vision into an awe-inspiring reality, ensuring that your wedding day at Cloudland Canyon is not just an event, but an unforgettable adventure that matches your “why” for your day.
Our approach to weddings and elopements is deeply personalized. We focus on every detail, from choosing the perfect spot at Cloudland Canyon to weaving in experiences in and around the park. With our in-depth planning expertise and day-of coordination, you’ll be free to relax and enjoy a day crafted just for you.
Your love story is unique, and we’re here to help you create the perfect day to narrate it. Whether it’s your ceremony overlooking the expansive canyon, a private moment at a waterfall, or an intimate reception at the perfect Airbnb nearby, your wedding will beautifully reflect your journey together.
Have you been dreaming about a Cloudland Canyon wedding, but not sure where to start? Contact StoryBright Films today for a free consultation! We’re here to help you plan the perfect Cloudland Canyon wedding personalized just for you. Get in touch with us today, and let’s make your dream day a reality!
🙏💕 Mark & Carolyn