If you’re looking for a gorgeous backdrop for your elopement ceremony and an adventurous and fun experience, a waterfall could be the best location for you! There’s just something about water cascading down rocks that is beautiful and captivating. Whether it’s a small stream of water or a roaring torrent, each waterfall has its own unique beauty that makes for the perfect elopement scenery. Ready to find out the best waterfall locations for your elopement? Read on!
First, let’s talk quickly about planning your waterfall elopement. There are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind as you look for the best spot and create your elopement day. As you’re searching for a waterfall to get married at (I can help you find the perfect spot!), keep in mind how busy each location is. For your elopement ceremony, you probably don’t want kids playing in the water or a bunch of hikers watching you, right? Some waterfalls are really popular, and will definitely be busy in the middle of the day. If you’re set on a location like that, opt to have your ceremony early in the morning to reduce the risk of crowds. Or better yet, find an off-the-beaten-path waterfall that you can have all to yourself! It takes a bit more work, but it’s definitely worth it!
Also, remember that water levels are seasonal and the flow of the waterfall isn’t always consistent. Whenever that area is in its rainy season, falls will naturally be larger and more powerful. On the flipside, low-rainfall months or seasonal droughts can greatly reduce the water flow or dry up the falls altogether.
If you’re planning your elopement ceremony by a waterfall, don’t forget about the noise level of the water. It’s best to plan to stand farther away from very large falls so that you can actually hear each other without yelling as you say your vows. And if you plan to have any guests, keep in mind where they’ll be able to hear you as well.
And as with all elopement locations, always check if a permit is needed in order to have a ceremony or take photos on the property. Many waterfalls are located on public land managed by the Forest Service, National Park Service, a state park, or Bureau of Land Management. Call the local ranger office and find out first hand if a permit is required and if there are any restrictions in the area. And no matter what, always follow the Leave No Trace principles so that these beautiful locations can remain beautiful, preserved, and open to the public!
If all this planning seems like a bit much to tackle, let me help you! You deserve to have the best waterfall elopement without the stress and burden of planning it on your own. I’ll do the location scouting for you and take on all the other little tasks like figuring out the logistics and navigating permits. Just email me and we can talk about what your epic elopement could look like!
Western North Carolina Waterfall Elopements
From high falls over 800 feet to cute little cascades, Western North Carolina has it all! Visitors to the area often come to see famous waterfalls like DuPont Falls (featured in one of the Hunger Games movies) or Looking Glass Falls, but there are hundreds of other beautiful spots. Brevard, NC, one of the best areas for waterfalls, features over 250 alone! You’ll also find lovely falls along the Blue Ridge Parkway and throughout the national forest. Waterfalls in Western NC usually flow year-round. A summer elopement will give you gorgeous greenery around the waterfall, or come in the fall for spectacular autumn leaf colors.
Southwest Colorado Waterfall Elopements
This area of Colorado is one of my favorite places on earth because of its incredible mountain views. But it’s also a great place for waterfalls! In June, falls pop up all over the mountains, due to the melting snow runoff. July and August are great summer months for visiting the area, and waterfalls are usually still full and beautiful. Or, if you don’t mind a little snow, visit during the winter months and check out FROZEN waterfalls. How amazing would that be for your elopement ceremony backdrop?!
Havasupai Waterfall Elopements
You’ve probably seen a photo of one of the absolutely magical Havasupai Canyon waterfalls in Arizona. The electric blue water and red rock cliffs make this area a stunning and colorful desert Oasis. Mooney Falls, Havasu Falls, and Navajo Falls are all located in the canyon, which is a 10 mile strenuous hike. Once you’re near the falls, you can camp in the area, or stay at a nearby lodge. A permit is required to hike through the Havasupai Native American reservation, which can be applied for online. The permits go very fast, so if you’re thinking of having a Havasu waterfall elopement plan way ahead and be ready when permit applications open.
Hawai’i Waterfall Elopements
If you’re wanting to elope somewhere tropical, get married at a Hawai’i waterfall! With their warm and wet climate, the Hawai’ian islands are full of towering falls and cute little cascades. Check the windward side of the island for your perfect waterfall elopement spot – more rain in that area creates more waterfalls. Read more about tropical elopements and waterfall destinations on the How to Elope in Hawaii page!
Oregon Waterfall Elopements
When you think of amazing waterfalls, your mind probably goes straight to the Pacific Northwest. Oregon is full of incredible falls in lush forests and fairytale locations. And speaking of fairy tales, Multnomah Falls looks like it’s straight out of Rivendell in Lord of the Rings! These very popular double falls would be an amazing place to elope. But if you’d like some place more private, there are seriously hundreds of other options!
Waterfall Wedding Venues
Maybe you’re having a wedding with more guests and are looking for a waterfall wedding venue that you can rent out. There are some great options for that as well! As you’re on the hunt for the perfect venue for your wedding, don’t forget to check state and national parks. They often have designated spots by waterfalls where you can have a ceremony and possibly a reception. The cost for the venue is usually inexpensive, and you get to support public lands. Win-win! Many more traditional wedding venues with waterfall locations offer seating by the falls. Some have larger capacities around 100, while many venues (like Inns or Bed and Breakfasts) are better for intimate weddings or elopements. Check out the waterfall wedding venues listed below to find your dream location!
Chota Falls Estate | Georgia
Toccoa Falls | Georgia
Hightower Falls | Georgia
Burruss Mill Falls | Georgia
Hocking Hills State Park | Ohio
The Cliffs at Hocking Hills | Columbus Area, Ohio
Willow Falls | Hendersonville, North Carolina
Rock Island State Park | Rock Island, Tennessee
High Falls Gorge | Wilmington, New York