Tennessee is probably one of the most beautiful places to elope. Why? From the Great Smoky Mountains to forests and waterfalls, Tennessee is home to so many whimsical and remote locations to elope to. Tenessee is also a great option to plan a micro wedding with close family and friends! Check out our guide on how to elope in Tennessee.

How to Elope in Tennessee

Roan mountain forest elopement experience for couples

Photo by Meagan Lawler

When to Elope in Tennessee

The most popular time to plan your elopement in Tennessee tends to be Fall. The temperatures are the most moderate during Fall, and couples love the fall foliage you can admire if you elope in destinations like the Great Smoky Mountains. 

Aside from high humidity during the summer, Tennessee’s climate is fairly mild, even in the winter. For adventurous couples, this means that any time of year is pretty much open to plan your elopement. 

Our best advice is to avoid busy weekends and plan for a weekday elopement or sunrise/sunset ceremony if you’re wanting to elope somewhere more popular.

Tennessee Marriage License

If you’re planning to officially elope in Tennessee, then you may want to consider what the marriage requirements are for the state. You will need to apply in-person at a Tennessee county clerk’s office bringing the appropriate paperwork. 

The fee for a Tennessee marriage license is about $100, but you can get this fee reduced if you complete a premarital preparation course. There is no waiting period for your marriage license in Tennessee, and the license is valid for 30 days.

If you rather skip the legality of everything, then you can also consider having a commitment ceremony in Tennessee during your elopement.

Check out our guide on what a commitment ceremony is.

Best Places to Elope in Tennessee

There’s plenty of places to elope in Tennessee from Gatlinburg to Knoxville, there are no short of amazing views you can see here. While you can find a lot of private wedding venues in Tennessee, you can also elope in some of their parks. 

We want to mention some of our favorite elopement locations in Tennessee, but we also want to stress the importance of leaving no trace (LNT) as you go through your elopement adventure. This includes being respectful to wildlife, staying on the path, and paying attention to permit fees and park regulations.

If you have any questions, then our members are perfect resources to ask any specific questions you may have regarding a location you’re both interested in eloping. 

It’s also important to note that a lot of these popular places have plenty of trails that many people don’t know about. This is why it’s so important to connect with an experienced elopement photographer.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Between North Carolina and Tennessee, you’ll find the famous Great Smoky Mountain National Park. This park is probably the most popular area to elope in Tennessee. 

With its wide variety of rivers, waterfalls, trails, and mountain views, finding a remote ceremony spot here is perfectly possible. Plan your elopement here to enjoy scenic views of mist-covered mountains. You can also spend your day hiking through one of the most challenging trails the Smoky Mountains has to offer.

Great Smoky Mountain is protected land and requires a $50 special use permit for all wedding ceremonies. It’s also important to note that you need to submit your application and pay your fee no less than 14 days prior to your wedding day. 

Photo by Meagan Lawler

Cherokee National Forest

If you’re looking for forest views with multiple areas to explore, then check out Cherokee National Forest. This 650,000-acre forest is the largest public land in Tennessee. Here you’ll see spots like Roan Mountain, Ocoee River, Unaka Mountain, and Watauga lake.

Typically permits are required for groups larger than 75 people, but we always recommend contacting the appropriate Ranger District Office for more details and information regarding permits and the latest regulations.

Again, we encourage you to elope in beautiful natural spots like Cherokee, but we also want to protect its resources and beauty as well. 

Roan Mountain State Park

Roan Mountain is perfect for those couples who want mountain views that come with a short hike. This state park is within the Blue Ridge of the Appalachian mountains and is surrounded by gorgeous forest. 

The hike is around 4.5 miles to the summit. It’s perfect for couples who want to go on an adventure together without feeling too overwhelmed. 

Check out this Foggy Roan Elopement story for more inspiration.

Fall Creek Falls State Park

If waterfall elopements are more your vibe, then Fall Creek Falls State Park should be your Tennessee elopement destination. You can also enjoy other scenic spots here like Scott’s Gulf, Virgin Falls, and Lost Creek Falls. 

There’s more than 29,000-acres to explore. This area has gorges, waterfalls, and streams, perfect for a whimsical elopement. 

Vendors to Build Your Tennessee Elopement Package

If you’re trying to build an elopement package for Tennessee, you need a great elopement team. Hiring an experienced elopement vendor will help you have an amazing elopement experience in Tennessee.

These members specialize in planning and documenting elopements in Tennessee and would love to connect with you!

Tenessee Elopement Photographers


If you’re not sure you want to elope in Tennessee, then check out our other best places to elope!

Photo by Meagan Lawler