Waterfall Elopement Near North Georgia & Lake Rabun
Jessica and Josh knew in their hearts they always wanted an intimate wedding experience. When Covid happened, these two found themselves renting a private cabin in the woods of Georgia near Lake Rabun. Read along to get all the details from this Georgia waterfall elopement.
If you’re already sure you want to elope in Georgia, then check out our featured elopement vendors.
Details From This Elopement in Georgia
We love elopements because couples have the freedom to incorporate little details that are important to them, without the stress or worry of thinking about their guests. The night before this elopement, Josh made little tags with reminders of all the reasons he loves Jessica and attached them to decorative pumpkins. He then hid them around the cabin like a scavenger hunt for her to find in the morning.
“He didn’t tell me about that act of love, and I discovered it as a photographer when I was taking detailed photos of the cabin for them. I picked up one of the pumpkins to get a better shot and saw the cutest little tag that said ‘your cooking’. Then I started to hunt them down all over the cabin. It was like a fun Fall easter egg hunt of love and goodness!” [Amy, the photographer]
After they shared their first look on the porch of the cabin, Josh and Jessica exchanged gifts including, hand-made jewelry for Jessica and an antique baseball glove for Josh to add to his collection.
They then hiked to a nearby waterfall, Minnehaha Falls, and said their vows to each other under the cascading water in the middle of the forest, in the mountains. After their elopement ceremony, they shared a charcuterie board, dinner, and cut their wedding cake. They then danced together in the living room under candlelight.
Planning a Waterfall Elopement in Georgia
To no surprise, this couple tells us planning an all-day elopement adventure in Georgia is much easier than planning a wedding. However, even though it’s easier, they recommend teaming up with professionals who know the area and have elopement planning experience.
Jessica said the main things they planned for were their hotel, vendors, and wedding cake. They found their ceremony location through Google image searches of waterfall weddings in Georgia. Since they live in Florida, they aspired to elope somewhere near driving distance.
“With most traditional weddings, the couple never seems to get the chance to eat with everything going on. In our situation, we went to bed with stuffed bellies! Not the sexiest way to end a wedding night but for us, it could not have been any more perfect, to be honest.” [Jessica]
Check out our Georgia elopement package for more fun places to elope in Georgia.
Memorable Moments During This Elopement in Georgia
Jessica and Josh planned to hike this waterfall in Georgia the day before but ended up hiking it the actual day of their ceremony instead.
“The morning of we woke up to lots of rain, which upset us both as we were planning to have an outdoor ceremony. We reassured ourselves though that rainfall on a wedding day is traditionally a positive sign of a blessed marriage for a multitude of cultures across the world.” [Jessica]
Once they got to the top, they were both blown away. They tell us photos of Minnehaha Falls do not serve any justice to it. It’s much taller, wider, fuller, and louder than they had expected. To their surprise, some local hikers told them they had been hiking to Minnehaha Falls for decades and never seen it as full as it was that day. The rain worked out at the end of the day!
Should You Elope or Plan a Traditional Wedding?
Deciding if you want to elope can be a tough decision for some couples. Jessica and Josh really wanted a stress-free wedding, so when covid changed their plans to this waterfall elopement in Georgia, they were completely ok with it!
“Follow your heart! Your wedding day is a celebration of your love and commitment to each other; but oftentimes, it becomes a performative party where you are catering to the wants and needs of others rather than your own.” [Jessica]
Even though their elopement was just them with their photographer and videographer, it was a full day of adventure. They ended the evening exhausted and ready to pass out like most traditional wedding couples, but unlike the traditional wedding couple, we had very little stress or worries. Only happiness, love, and smiles.
“If you’re on the fence because you are fearing that your family may miss out on the ceremony with you, just know that you can still include them in your day! This location has plenty of space I would say for up to 5-10 guests to watch the ceremony. Eloping in a beautiful location can be fun to come back and visit in 5 years on your anniversary or for a vow renewal. It creates a special and magical place for the two of you to visit year after year.” [Amy, the photographer]
Top Tips From The Bride As You Plan Your Elopement
Since Jessica and Josh transitioned to an elopement from a traditional wedding, they have awesome insight on what you should look out to prepare for.
Jessica tells us supporting small-business is really important, so Etsy was a big resource for them. We personally love Etsy because you’re able to purchase everything you need for your wedding day, with additional personal touches. She also recommends booking an all-inclusive venue to take more stress off of planning, and an artificial bouquet is a great option if you’re looking to leave no trace and want to keep it way past your wedding day.
“Do not stress about everything being perfect, even if you are a Type A individual. Nothing will ever be 100% perfect but in the end of the day, an elopement when planned well will create a memory that will always bring a smile to your face.” [Jessica]
If you’re eloping in a public spot, you need to anticipate there being a couple of random observers. If you want to minimize crowds, get married on a weekday.
Another tip Jessica and Josh have is to talk to your loved ones if you’re worried they will be upset about your eloping. If you’re looking for a way to include them, then consider face timing them as you get ready or have a Livestream wedding ceremony. You can also get together with your vendors to deliver highlights you to share with your friends and family. You can also plan a post-elopement celebration or a vow renewal celebration down the road.
Check out our top tips for announcing your elopement.
Top Tips From The Photographer
If you’re planning on recreating this waterfall elopement in Georgia, then get good hiking shoes. Amy tells us preparing to hike through the elements is key to an enjoyable and safe experience. It’s also important to pack a clear umbrella for your waterfall elopement for couples and for photographers to pack your equipment in rain gear, just in case. Waterfalls do give off the mist, so it’s always best to prepare to get a little wet.
Finally, be aware of the impact you have while on your adventure elopement.
“I want these experiences and places to be around for years to come, so that other couples can enjoy them. Leaving no trace means that when we popped the champagne, we grabbed the cork and anything that might have fallen on the ground at our elopement site. We stayed on the trail when we hiked and were respectful to the group behind us that also wanted photos in this popular location… I’m trying to learn and educate myself so that I can return to the location with my couple for a vow renewal in 5 years, and continue to shoot awesome elopements here!” [Amy, the photographer]
Photography | Amy Edwards from The Tattooed Bride Photography
Videography | Ridge Films
Hotel | Lake Rabun Hotel
Flowers | Dale Jones at All in Bloom Studio
Cake | Whole Foods
Photos From This Waterfall Elopement in Georgia