Are you dreaming of a North Georgia Elopement? Check our guide for everything you need to know – planning tips, locations and more!
How to Plan a North Georgia Elopement – What you need to know
Here is what we’ll cover in this guide:
- Why planning ahead is important now more than ever
- How to know if you need expert help for your elopement
- Location ideas and tips
- Why an Airbnb/VRBO is a key component of your elopement day
- What is the best season to elope in North Georgia?
- Back up plans and other tips!
Why it’s important to plan ahead for your elopement
While we still book many couples that intend to elope in a shorter time frame (what we would call 1-3 months out from their date) – we cannot understate the importance of planning further in advance. Why? Finding lodging & the right ceremony location are two of the biggest hurdles to planning a North Georgia Elopement. More info below!
Airbnb / rental home availability
We’ll describe later why your choice of lodging is a key component to your elopement day. But with tourist demand for Airbnbs and VRBOs in North Georgia being the highest it has ever been, you will need to plan ahead to have the best selection of places to stay. For example, the best peak fall season properties will book a year in advance! For recommendations on places to stay, check out our post Airbnb Wedding Venues in Georgia.
Ceremony location availability
Elopements have become super popular and with that the demand on public lands. Many of the spots out there require advance notice to the government agencies tasked with the stewardship of these areas. Quite often the best spots are “claimed” 6-9 months or even a year in advance. For example, in some state parks, we’ve seen them “book up” at the same time lodging in the park becomes available (around 12 months in advance). Here are some links below to permitting agencies to contact for more info.
First – consider expert help when planning your North Georgia Elopement
At first glance it may seem easy to plan your elopement on your own, but before jumping in – let’s start with two questions:
Are you the personality type that craves the management side of planning your own wedding and dealing with all the details?
Or are you prone to worry about things and above all want to have a stress free experience from the planning through your wedding day?
Truth be told, many couples discover too late that planning an elopement on their own is actually more complicated than they thought. True, it is usually less to manage than a big wedding – but there are still many details to handle from start to finish.
If the thought of a stress-free and dreamy day is what you are gravitating towards – then we should talk! We are here to take all that worry off of your shoulders and show you the way towards your best day ever in the Georgia mountains.
Location Ideas and Tips
Here’s the number one thing that will impact your choice of available elopement locations – how many guests you plan to have along.
The reason is simple – the more guests you have, the more limited choices there are. Usually with guests come mobility restrictions and the need to have a ceremony spot that is a short walk from parking. While North Georgia has many beautiful spots to elope, that list shortens dramatically the more guests you have and the less able they are to hike. For an overview guide of what’s available in North Georgia, check out our locations info below!
Or if you are set on a guest list of about 25 and need the most selection of drive-up overlooks to choose from – maybe we would suggest looking at North Carolina as the Blue Ridge Parkway has many options too! More info below if you’d like to browse:
Why you need the right Airbnb / VRBO for your North Georgia Elopement
Three big reasons why it’s important to book the right rental property for your elopement:
- Often it is the most convenient & private to have your elopement ceremony at your Airbnb
- Without a traditional wedding venue, where you’ll be staying is where you’ll be getting ready & probably where you will have your first look (if you choose to do so). You’ll definitely want to be in a place that photographs well!
- Even if you have your ceremony elsewhere, an Airbnb is a super convenient place to have a reception afterwards!
We cannot stress the point enough here that not just any Airbnb will do for an elopement. For example, the log style cabin style house might be a cozy place to stay – but often they don’t have much interior light and are very dark. You’ll need to speak with your photographer first for advice before you book your place to stay!
For inspiration and tips on unique rental properties for your wedding day, check out our post Airbnb Wedding Venues in Georgia.
What is the best season to elope in North Georgia?
All four seasons are definitely possibilities for eloping in North Georgia, but each with their pros and cons. We’ve listed our top tips below for each season!
- Spring: A great time to catch the blooms but note that at higher elevations March and April will still very much look and feel like the last part of winter (not much green on the trees at all).
- Summer: It’s the south y’all and it gets humid! If you love waterfalls then this can be a perfect time for enjoying the water. We would strongly consider sunrise or early morning in this season otherwise!
- Fall: Sometimes thought of as the “perfect” wedding season, it is very popular for a reason. The mornings are cool, the afternoons mild, and the leaves are changing. What’s not to like? Well, its the fact that it will feel like “everyone else” is getting married in the mountains too – or is at least visiting. Remember, North Georgia is a short drive from metro Atlanta so expect a LOT of tourist traffic and full trailheads, especially in October. Our advice? Book a private Airbnb and/or plan a ceremony at sunrise to beat the crowds. And definitely elope on a weekday if you can.
- Winter: Some locations close road access due to winter weather, so it’s very important to have a backup plan. Additionally, rain in the winter is far less tolerable than in the summer, so often we bank on using an Airbnb location for wintertime as a primary ceremony location. But if you like the off season and less tourists, this is a great time of the year!
Backup plans and other tips
Here are more tips from us, that we use to help every couple we work with to plan their perfect day:
- Start with your “why” first. It’s easy to jump in with lots of assumptions about your elopement plans without thinking it through first. Many couples first think about just choosing a ceremony spot – which is certainly important – but there is so much more to consider when planning your elopement day. Think about what kind of experiences you like to enjoy together. Want to paddleboard together? Swim below a secluded waterfall? Hike to the top of a mountain for sunrise together? Go where your imagination takes you!
- Consider a weekday. We have spent much of our lives adventuring in the mountains and we can tell you without a doubt that there has been an explosion of traffic at popular spots in the mountains ever since the pandemic. This is not slowing down, and it works against you when you’re trying to have an intimate, private experience for your elopement. However – the large majority of people are still visiting on the weekends. If you want to avoid this altogether, choose a Monday or Tuesday for your elopement day!
- Set aside assumptions about eloping. Somewhere many have gotten in their heads that an elopement is a quick ceremony and then you’re done. We couldn’t disagree more. Traditional weddings take all day and there is no reason you don’t deserve the same kind of day, being immersed in the experience of being together and saying “I do.” Would you be surprised to know how many couples actually book us for multi-day elopement experiences? It’s definitely a thing!
Let’s get started planning your North Georgia Elopement!
You might be thinking this is a lot of information to take in when planning your elopement – in fact this is just the tip of the iceberg!
There are many more details to think about when eloping and we would love to help you for every step along the way! We hope this guide has shown you a big picture view of what to think about, and if you’d like to take that next step towards experiencing a stress-free and dreamy elopement day, we’d love to hear from you! Hop on over to our contact form and let’s make your day a reality!
Mark & Carolyn