Wondering when to elope in North Carolina? Each season is absolutely beautiful in it’s own way, which can make it hard to narrow it down to just one favorite!! In this post, I’m going to breakdown each season in detail so you can figure out which season is the best fit for you and your parter’s North Carolina elopement.
Spring in Western North Carolina begins in late March and ends in May.
- March-May is a great time to elope because the parkway will open back up and the trails won’t get too busy until the summer months.
- These months tend to be more rainy than others, which can be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it. Personally, I love the way rain looks in photos. At Maddie & Dylan’s elopement for example, the rain added a beautiful shine to the leaves on the trees and the trail reminded me of a rainforest!! At Danni & Brett’s elopement, it rained a lot but the fog rolling over the mountains was absolutely beautiful and made their photos so unique.
- Towards the end of March, the snow will melt away and temperatures will start to rise after winter. In my opinion, the temperatures in the spring are much more comfortable than in the winter or summer. Winter can be extremely cold in the mountains, and summer can be very hot. In spring, mornings will be cooler and it will warm up in the afternoon. For hiking elopements, cooler mornings are a plus because you’ll be warming up during your hike.
- Preparing for your spring elopement: There is a possibility it could still be cold during the spring, so bring layers!! I’d also recommend bringing rain gear (rain coats, waterproof shoes, umbrellas, ponchos, etc.) I have some clear umbrellas (the ones you see in these photos) that are cute for photos and also keep you dry. Even if the weather looks great, always come prepared in case it changes.
Summer in North Carolina begins in June and ends mid September. Summer is one of the prettiest seasons on the trails in North Carolina, when all the flowers are in full bloom and the trees are bright green.
- The colors of the mountains will be very vibrant during the summer, making for a beautiful backdrop.
- It does tend to get very warm during the summer months, so only elope in the summer if you don’t mind the heat. If you want vibrant colors but prefer cooler weather, fall would be a great option.
- With nicer weather and pretty scenery, comes busier roads and trails. Keep in mind that weekends can be extremely crowded on the parkway during the summer, so I’d definitely recommend getting married on a weekday if possible.
- Preparing for your summer elopement: Choose light and breathable wedding attire so you’re not too hot while hiking. Pack lots of water and stay hydrated!!
Fall in North Carolina begins in late September and ends in November. Fall is such a gorgeous time of year to get married, the leaves will begin to change color in late October/early November.
- Peak foliage varies by year, so check a foliage map online to see when the colors will be the best. Fall foliage brings a LOT of tourists to the North Carolina Mountains, so the parkway doesn’t allow weddings during the month of October. I would only suggest eloping in October if you have a private venue or trail to use to avoid the crowds.
- Luckily, the fall colors tend to last past peak weekend in October and into November. After peak weekend, traffic on the roads and trails will decrease and you’ll still get to enjoy the last of the beautiful fall scenery. Rayann & CJ got married on November 3rd of this year and the colors were still so vibrant.
- Preparing for your fall elopement: Temperatures will drop in October and November, so I’d suggest wearing warm wedding attire. Also bring lots of layers to keep warm: warm socks, well-insulated jackets, gloves, and hand warmers.
Winter in North Carolina begins in December and ends mid March. If you’re envisioning a snowy winter-wonderland elopement, these would be best months get married. The snow covered trails are beautiful in December – February.
- Parts of the parkway will close due to snow and ice, so having a location backup plan (or multiple) is very important. Do research to figure out what locations are the safest & most accessible during winter months.
- The trails will be pretty empty during the winter months, making it very peaceful and private for your elopement.
- These months will get extremely cold in the mountains, so you’ll have to be extra prepared with the right gear to ensure that you enjoy your day!!
- Preparing for your winter elopement: Pack all the gear you’ll need to hike in the snow. Lots of layers, hand warmers, waterproof shoes with good tread or snowshoes, warm socks, well-insulated jackets, gloves, hats, etc. If you’re wearing a dress, you could purchase a shall or jacket to go with it for photos, like the one in the second photo from Juniper James Bridal in Boone, North Carolina.
Hey there!! I’m Erin. Thank you so much for reading!! If you need more help deciding when to elope, choosing a season, or would like some help finding the perfect location, that’s what I’m here for!! Click here to read more about how I can help you plan your dream day!!