Interested in Pisgah National Forest for your Elopement or Wedding? Here are our top tips to plan out the perfect day!
Pisgah National Forest Elopement Wedding
Pisgah National Forest is such a romantic and scenic destination! It is an enormous National Forest in NC. With 500,000 acres of secluded woods, waterfalls of so many types, and stunning vistas, this forest provides endless opportunities to explore, discover, and create memories together.
Spend the day hiking or mountain biking on miles of trails, fishing in clear mountain streams, or picnicking in open mountain meadows with breathtaking views. The forest also offers scenic drives and many picnic areas, making it a great destination to spend a relaxing day in nature.
Pisgah National Forest is the perfect destination for couples who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature. Whether you’re looking for a romantic hike, a scenic drive, or a peaceful picnic, Pisgah provides a unique and memorable experience. So, pack a picnic basket, grab your hiking gear, load up the bikes, and head to Pisgah National Forest for an unforgettable adventure with your loved one.
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How you choose to have your Pisgah National Forest Elopement or Wedding depends on many things! If you love backcountry hiking, then one of the many hikes to mountain top balds may be a great match for you! Or if you need someplace accessible for family, there are spots which are a short walk from parking (mountain views, waterfalls or both!)
Top Planning tips | Pisgah National Forest Elopement Wedding
Which season is best?
It seems like everyone wants to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains during the fall, making it seem like the ideal time to visit Pisgah National Forest. While fall is certainly known for its stunning views, each season has its own pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look at what each season has to offer.
Pisgah National Forest is a perfect destination for adventurous couples, offering unique experiences and outdoor opportunities in every season.
In the spring, enjoy the vibrant colors of flowers blooming and new growth. However, be prepared for the possibility of heavy rain and strong thunderstorms.
Summer is the perfect time for outdoor adventures in Pisgah National Forest, with warm temperatures and long daylight hours. Hiking, mountain biking, and fishing are popular activities for during this season. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellent – and be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms. High elevation locations offer little protection from the elements so it’s important to watch out for pop-up storms and head back down to avoid lightning.
Fall is definitely a romantic in Pisgah National Forest, with stunning autumn colors and cool temperatures. Hiking, camping, and scenic drives are popular activities for everyone during this season, and the cooler weather makes it ideal for outdoor adventures. Be prepared for shorter daylight hours and changing weather conditions… and tourist traffic.
In the winter, Pisgah National Forest transforms into a peaceful and picturesque wonderland, offering opportunities for winter hiking, seclusion, and fun in the snow too. Be prepared for cold temperatures and the potential for snow and ice on the roads and trails.
Every season is a possibility for your wedding or elopement in Pisgah National Forest. Choosing the right one depends on your vision as a couple, and if you will have guests along too.
Weekday or weekend?
Our opinion – If you have the flexibility, go for a weekday elopement or wedding. The mountains have only been getting more popular, so scheduling your ceremony during the week is a great way to avoid peak crowds. You’ll always be able to have a more relaxed, intimate day if you plan for it on a weekday!
If you want to elope in October
October is a beautiful time to have a wedding ceremony in the mountains, but it’s also a popular tourist season. If you’re planning to elope during this time, there will be extra tourist activity vs. other seasons.
However, with a little planning and preparation, you can still have an amazing and memorable day! Keep in mind that traffic may be busier than usual, so plan ahead and allow for some extra time to get to your destination. And, to ensure you get the best options for your big day, be sure to book everything you need (such as accommodations, vendors, and more) well in advance – at least a year prior to your wedding.
Hire the right help
When it comes to hiring vendors, your top priority should be finding a photographer who has experience shooting in outdoor environments like Pisgah National Forest and has worked in the area before. Planning a wedding in Pisgah is far different from booking a traditional venue – there is no physical building or other people on-site to help you. You’ll want to work with someone who has experience and can make sure everything runs smoothly.
Where to have your ceremony, what time to choose, what time of the year, what you need to bring, how to deal with other visitors (or avoid them entirely) – these are just some of the details to figure out. It’s a lot for a bride and groom to handle on top of everything else!
That’s where we come in – we’re experts in handling all the planning and coordination details of outdoor elopements. Just reach out to us and we’d be happy to help make your Pisgah National Forest wedding the carefree and adventurous experience you are looking for!
Best Locations | Pisgah National Forest Elopement Wedding
We should say up front – any public guide for where the best locations are to elope in Pisgah National Forest will only give you a picture of the most popular places. While it’s true many of these work great for elopements and weddings (because of their picturesque nature of course!) often these are too crowded – especially in fall – to give you an intimate wedding day experience.
We have scouted the mountains much further than anything we could share in a public guide. From our years of living in this area we know the best local secrets, or how to still use the popular places in a way to avoid crowds.
We are here to help you with all the planning details, so think of all the options below as just teasers!
No mention of a Pisgah National Forest Elopement or Wedding would be complete without talking about Black Balsam Knob. This is an incredible popular destination, and rightly so.
This unique “bald” offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and is one of the highest points in the forest, standing at an elevation of 6,214 feet.
The hike to the top of Black Balsam Knob is a unique experience, as the trail winds through a dense forest of hardwoods and high elevation evergreens, and offers stunning views along the way. At the top, take in the breathtaking scenery, enjoy a picnic and a quiet moment together (as long as you are visiting at the right time to avoid the crowds).
So let’s mention that a bit … Black Balsam Knob, being so popular, is only good for an elopement or wedding if you can be there when other people aren’t. Trust us, you do not want to try and have your wedding there on an October weekend afternoon. You’ll find yourself frustrated at the sheer amount of people around and probably find it impossible to find a parking spot (much less for your entire party).
We still go here when requested – we just make sure we’re able to create the intimate experience you are looking for by timing things just right. Want to know more about this popular location? Read more here: What you need to know about a Black Balsam Knob Wedding.
Of course there are many more options in Pisgah National Forest for your Elopement or wedding, if you are after mountain views! Here are just a few more locations that we love below.
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Another gorgeous spot in Pisgah National Forest – and arguably the one natural spot that is photographed the most – is Looking Glass Falls.
This is definitely a romantic destination, and it’s easily accessible from the road too. The falls cascade 60 feet into a clear pool below (which is great for getting into in the summer!). You can choose to have photos at the viewing platform, or (our favorite) is to hike down to the base of the falls, get your feet wet, and enjoy the majesty of the falls up close.
Because of its popularity, we would be very careful about planning an elopement or wedding here. Being next to the road offers little privacy, and during the summer months you’ll find many people at the base of the falls to cool off in the afternoons. You can definitely have an intimate experience here – it’s all about the timing of course. We are happy to help with our local knowledge of when to go!
Here’s more amazing waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest!
Where to stay
Pisgah National Forest covers many popular mountain town destinations. Locations to find amazing vacation homes are Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, Brevard, Asheville, and more. There is a wide selection of large vacation homes to choose from in this area! The sweet spot for homes is usually 12-15 guests which dovetails well with the typical (max) group size we’d recommend for a Pisgah National Forest elopement or wedding. For our recommendations on where to stay in NC in general, check out our blog post Airbnb Wedding Venues in NC.
Free Download: Elopement Budget Spreadsheet
Pisgah National Forest Elopement Wedding | Elayna & Joe
Looking for inspiration for what your elopement in Pisgah National Forest could look like? Check out this two day adventure we created for Elayna & Joe!
Our hearts are so full from such an epic weekend with these two. They traveled cross country to experience the beauty of the NC mountains and we are so blessed for having the honor to show them around! Not only did they want to adventurously elope in the mountains, but they also wanted to spend time in the area for their honeymoon too. They opted for our two-day experience to capture all the feels on the “day of” and ride the emotion into the day after too!
If we could pick two things that struck us the most about their elopement adventure, they would be:
- They chose this day intentionally to be about the celebration of their love in the sight of God. They were looking for that “set apart” experience for just the two of them, to say their vows acknowledging the One who brought this all to be. Without any distractions or pressure from others, it was all about prioritizing their relationship first to celebrate on this day.
- How sweet and emotional their first look was! (Mark here to share a few words – I think we tend as a society to be more “ok” with women showing emotion, but I’m definitely the crying type. To see Joe able to be himself and have a “cry moment” when he first saw Elayna – let’s say I was all happy inside that he felt the freedom to do so! 😊)
What we love the most about multi-day elopements is that when we get back together, we feel like old friends hanging out and having a blast all over again. So many times we’ve reflected back on our time with a couple on the day after and wish “oh it would be so great to see them one more time.”
So it was definitely a special time to meet up with these two again after their wedding day! Day 1 we could sense the jitters and emotions waiting to burst forth – day 2 was all about chill, casual and basking in that “we just got married” feeling!
After exploring higher elevations on their wedding day, we met up again to hike up to a spot to see all the leaves still peaking at lower elevations. You might recognize this area as a popular place to visit – but we like to approach it from a different side not many know about. Much less tourist traffic from where we start the hike!
First we explored an iconic bridge near the Parkway (yet, rarely visited for some reason). Easing into the day (and the hike) we gave them some alone time to chat a bit about yesterday and reflect. As we ascended towards the top, we stopped along the way to climb the boulders (Elayna can’t resist climbing!). Then at the top – WOW so amazing to see nature in the full splendor of fall!
Another great thing about two days – you get double the chance of catching the right weather. In this case their wedding day had a few clouds roll in that afternoon, but on the day after we were blessed with deep blue skies to contrast the orange in the valleys below.
We totally admit, two days for us is exhausting – but so exhilarating, fulfilling, and SO worth it. Ending the day with a picnic in our van, we all agreed this would not be the last time we’d see each other ❤️.
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Elayna & Joe, thank you SO much for allowing us into your lives, for sharing all the fun stories about your relationship together, and for trusting us with everything for your beautiful wedding day. You have inspired us deep down to continually work on our marriage together and to prioritize each other. We are SO thankful for our time together and wish you ALL of God’s blessings on your marriage.
🙏💕from Mark & Carolyn
Ready for your Pisgah National Forest Elopement or Wedding? We are here to help!
Even for a small and intimate elopement, there are a lot of details to consider for your special day. Taking that stress off your shoulders makes all the difference to have an enjoyable experience. If you’re ready for a magical day in the mountains, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help!
Mark & Carolyn