Interested in a Craggy Gardens Elopement on the Blue Ridge Parkway? Looking for beautiful mountain experience for your wedding? Here’s a sneak peek into how we create your own adventurous elopement experience without any of the worries of a big wedding.
For even more in-depth info on eloping to the mountains, check out our complete Elopement Guide below!
Craggy Gardens Elopement | What you need to know
Permits, Restrictions, Accessibility
- Craggy Gardens is part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, so you’ll need to apply for a permit to get married here! More info in this post about planning a Blue Right Parkway Wedding.
- Keep in mind: There is some confusion between Craggy Gardens and Craggy Pinnacle. The latter is a short hike to a beautiful 360 degree view of the mountains, but it has been taken off the list of available areas due to sensitive species at the summit beyond the rock wall. Unfortunately too many have gone over this rock wall and trampled the vegetation. You may see photos from various sources showing people eloping at Craggy Pinnacle but please know that this is not allowed.
- For a Craggy Gardens Elopement, you would access the “gardens” via either the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center or the Craggy Gardens Picnic area (the latter is what we recommend). This is about a 1.5mi round trip moderate hike, so definitely something to keep in mind for your guests!
Is Craggy Gardens the right fit for your elopement?
While there are many options to get married on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we want to offer you an experience that is more intimate and intentional. Your story together deserves more than a quick ceremony at a roadside overlook.
Our process starts with us understanding more about you, starting with a phone conversation and our elopement focused questionnaire to learn more about you and your story.
What do you find yourself gravitating towards when you spend time together? Do you daydream about adventuring to a private mountain view, arriving at the summit in time to see the sun rise and exchanging your vows looking down on the world around you?
Do you envision a small, private reception in the solitude of the woods, sharing a picnic and champagne with the love of your life?
Want to snuggle together at the end of your day by the campfire, reflecting on your day together?
We learn what is important to you, so we can match you with the right locations and plan your perfect day.
A word of advice: Prioritize time together for your elopement
It’s so sad what we’ve seen over and over in big weddings. Brides rushed by a coordinator trying to keep them to a time schedule. Couples overwhelmed with stress with all the details to keep in mind. Finally, it’s all said and done, they realize they never had the time to enjoy a moment with each other.
This is the very last thing we want for your experience. The space to enjoy your day to its fullest is what you deserve.
- Pausing as you are getting ready to take in all that has led up to this day.
- Enjoying your first look, just as you wanted, appearing before each other around a huge fir tree.
- Looking deep into each others eyes as you exchange vows, with the mountain wind embracing you all around.
Moments like those don’t happen if you don’t allow them. You should be allowed to let your day truly be a day; not a ceremony pushed through in a few minutes at an overlook.
Craggy Gardens Elopement | Samantha + Aaron
Planning details for the perfect day
Samantha & Aaron came to us looking for a carefree way to experience their wedding day without all the stress of a traditional wedding. At the same time, they wanted to create a day that incorporated their loved ones. We had the answer for them in by choosing locations on the Blue Ridge Parkway! As opposed to other public lands in the Asheville area, the Blue Ridge Parkway has a straightforward permit process & many locations can accommodate up to 25 guests. Additionally, many of the spots on the Parkway are a very short walk to the views. So if you have family members who have trouble getting around, there are good options on the Parkway!
Choosing the right Ceremony location
As we guided them through our planning process, it was evident from the start that they were in love with the idea of a Craggy Gardens Elopement. However, it was also clear that they needed a location that was a short walk for their family, and the Gardens were going to be too far. Our solution: Two locations for their elopement!
We put together a plan where we would meet up with their family at different overlook which was easily accessible for their ceremony; then afterwards we would hike up to Craggy Gardens for their first dance, time to relax together & enjoy sunset on their day. Follow along to see how it all came together!
They drove all the way down from New York – family included – and we were so happy to show them the best of an NC mountain summer day. Rain had passed through just a day before, but we had nothing but sunshine and passing clouds all day.
Just before their ceremony, we arranged for their first look in a quiet part of the forest. Tucked away from the main road, they were able to share a beautiful moment as they saw each other for the first time that day!
As we arranged their family at the ceremony location, we hid Samantha & Aaron away into another quiet spot in the woods nearby. Giving couples this time alone to be together (instead of rushing them around like in a big wedding) is one of the things we love the most about elopements.
Then it was time for the big reveal! Samantha & Aaron emerged from the woods to see their family looking on and waiting for them at the overlook. So many reactions and smiles from everyone as they “walked down the aisle” together!
One of the many special things about their elopement was that Aaron’s sister officiated their wedding ceremony. Always a sweet moment to be led through your ceremony by a family member!
Aaron was true to form and full of laughs – partway through the ceremony he needed “just a little more help” getting through the vows. Too funny!
What a gorgeous summer afternoon in the mountains to get married!
After photos with family we ventured off to fulfill their vision for a Craggy Gardens Elopement. This was such a quintessential NC mountain vibe; rhododendron tunnels, coolness of the forest, and then dancing and celebrating together to the setting sun.
Popping champagne – always our favorite for laughs together!
As the sun disappeared over the horizon, Samantha & Aaron shared a first dance. Feeling on top of the world, with the mountain all to yourselves – another one of the many things we love about elopments!
Samantha & Aaron, we are so grateful for you and want to thank you for trusting us with your wedding day. Your laughter and joyful spirits filled our hearts all day, and it was such an inspiration to us to see you sharing this day together. We hope you enjoyed your time in the Carolinas, and y’all come back now, ya hear? 😊
🙏💕from Mark & Carolyn
We are experience creators for adventurous elopements
Are you ready to get started planning your Craggy Gardens Elopement? Or maybe you want to see other options in the area for getting married on the Blue Ridge Parkway We would love for you to read our detailed elopement guide where you can see everything that goes into planning your elopement experience. We handle everything from permits to umbrellas in case it rains. Think of us as your planners, photographers, videographers and personal sherpas all in one!