September 29, 2023

Best Places to Elope in Georgia

My home state of Georgia offers countless beautiful places to elope. From mountains, waterfalls, beaches, cliffs and gorges, there’s an elopement spot for every couple out there! If you’re looking for Georgia as a backdrop for your elopement, but have no idea which areas or parks in the outdoors could work for you, let this page on the internet be your guide, or in the least, a starting point to kickstart your elopement location research! 😊

Born and raised in Blairsville, GA, I lived in the mountains for 24 years, but have travelled all over to photograph so many intentional adventure elopements. As such, I know quite a number of places to elope that could serve as great options for your special day.

Leave No Trace Alert

In order to preserve GA’s pristine places, and to abide by Leave No Trace ethics, I will not give out exact locations in this guide. I’ll only list parks and general areas. In addition, when outdoors, please always follow the 7 LNT Principles, even while eloping.

To make your search easier, I’ve sectioned off locations in this guide into categories. Each category is based on the sort of scenery you can see in Georgia, and the type of scenery I’m most often asked about while helping couples plan their elopement days. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but I hope it starts the brainstorming process for your incredible elopement day!

Mountain Elopement Locations – North Georgia

Vogel State Park

As part of the Blood Mountain Wilderness, Vogel State Park is one of Georgia’s oldest parks! There’s a beautiful lake right in the middle of the park along with some lovely mountain views! Vogel can see a lot of crowds during fall for the beautiful mountain colors, and for its beauty, so planning ahead is a must!

In addition, Vogel State Park makes elopement planning a little easier because they currently do not require permits to elope within the park. Rules and regulations are always changing, so it’s still important to call the office and get the most updated information.

Vogel would be more LNT appropriate for an intimate wedding (10-25 people) if you both decided you wanted your loved-ones with you for the adventure!

Black Rock Mountain State Park

The highest park in terms of elevation (nestled at 3,640 feet), Black Rock Mountain State Park offers some of the most beautiful mountain vistas in Georgia! Because of it’s elevation, it’s often a little cooler than some of the other parks mentioned here, especially in the winter, so if you love cold weather, this may be the park for you! (: In addition, Black Rock could be a good option for your elopement day if you want an easy-access mountain view with park accommodations. At Black Rock, you can still get the best of both worlds if you’re wanting easy-access, but also wanting privacy. You could elope with the mountains as your background, and afterwards hike to one of their backcountry campsites for a celebration!

The Appalachian Trail

I LOVE mountains, and the mountains in North Georgia hold a special place in my heart. And, in my opinion, they offer up some of the best places to elope in Georgia. And, I think my couples get it because… the majority of my couples that want mountain views when they book with me decide that they want to elope on the Appalachian Trail!

The Georgia section of the AT has about 76 miles of trail, and has so many options for mountain views as well as mountain top views. You can often find more seclusion and more hidden-gem locations than what you would find in an easy-access location in a state park. The AT is a great option if you’re looking to do a little hiking and to have a more rugged and adventurous experience on your elopement day without having to endure the hassle of permits!

For a family elopement, locations on the AT would be more difficult to access and not as Leave No Trace friendly with a larger group. So, for locations on the AT, I’d suggest more of an elopement (2-5 people) as opposed to an intimate wedding (10-25 people)!

When considering locations on the AT as an option for your elopement experience, consider also mobility and experience levels of hiking of you and all of your loved-ones.

Waterfall Elopement Locations – North Georgia

Anna Ruby Falls Recreation Area

Visit Anna Ruby Falls for a lovely twin waterfall cascade on your elopement day. The twin falls are easily accessed by a 0.1 paved Lion’s Eye Trail, so no huffing it up a steep trail is required. The twin falls cascade is located just outside of Helen, GA, and you’re only required to pay a small entrance fee to visit. There are large platforms built in different areas to view the waterfall up close. Your elopement will need to take place on one of these platforms if you want photographs by the falls. Because it’s a well-known park, and easy to get to, crowds can be seen in this location! So, if you’re looking for a more private experience, you can look towards the national forest for hidden-gem locations.

Toccoa Falls

At 186 feet tall, Toccoa is the biggest waterfall in Georgia, and is strikingly beautiful. It’s located just outside of Toccoa Falls, GA. The good news is, you can elope here. The not-so-great news is, the falls is on private property, and you’ll need permission and to pay a fee to elope on the premises. To do this, you’ll need to reach out to Toccoa Falls College, and make a reservation to elope here. If you’re set on this location, make sure to reserve as soon as you can because they book out times quickly.

This falls are seriously beautiful, but you’re just more limited at this location since it’s on private property. You’ll also need to have a Christian officiant for your ceremony since it’s a private Christian college.

In addition, this location would be a suitable for an intimate elopement of 11-25 people. And since you can reserve the space, it can be as private as you want it to be.

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

The majority of the elopements I photograph with waterfalls often happen on national forest land in and around Union, Fannin, and Rabun counties in North Georgia. There are so many beautiful waterfalls, and many of them vary in privacy, and ease-of-access. You may have to hike to some of these waterfalls (2-3 miles), or only walk a short distance, but they are all so lovely and offer a much more private experience than Anna Ruby! However, these locations would not be suitable for intimate elopements of 11-25 people because the spaces are really small, and big groups could damage the environment and obstruct other visitors from peacefully enjoying the space. The good news is, many of these locations do not require any permitting.

pro tip

Waterfalls lose light more quickly than a mountain top would, so always plan to go a little earlier to a waterfall location just so you have more available light work with. In addition, waterfall locations in Georgia typically do not receive a direct sunset or sunrise because of the way they’re situated geographically. You’ll more than likely see a lot of golden light shining through the trees, but not so much a true sunrise or sunset.

If seeing a sunrise or sunset on your elopement day is of paramount importance to you both, I suggest mountain-view or mountain-top locations because there is more available light at these times for spots high in elevation. You’ll be able to play with the residual light more (blue hour light) even before the sun rises or after the sun sets–my favorite kind of light! 😊 But, another solution is that you could visit multiple locations on your elopement day if you can’t decide between mountain or waterfall elopement locations!

Cliff & Gorge Elopement Locations – North & Southwest Georgia

Cloudland Canyon State Park

Cloudland Canyon State Park has SO much to offer for couples eloping in Georgia, and is one of the largest parks in the state! It’s located in Rising Fawn, GA, and has beautiful canyon vistas, sandstone cliffs, and some gorgeous waterfalls! As an elopement day example, you could elope at one of their canyon cliff vistas as the sun’s rising, spend the day adventuring and picnicking around, and celebrate the night away with your love in one of their quirky yurts or hygge-like cottages!

If you wanted more of an intimate wedding experience at this location (10-25 people), this park would be more LNT friendly for larger groups than locations on the Appalachain Trail would be!

In addition, the park does not require permitting to elope at Cloudland, but they do require that you call three days ahead of time to inform the park of your plans!

Tallulah Gorge State Park

Located in Tallulah Falls, GA, Tallulah is the go-to place for gorge and cliff views in Georgia. It is known for its 1,000 foot gorge and its 2 mile long canyon—seriously it’s GORGE-ous. Get it? Get it? The views are breathtaking, and it can be quite the popular spot! You can make your way through the park by traversing the long suspension bridge and by braving all the steps leading to scattered vistas with breathtaking gorge views.

If you want a more private experience, there are free, day-of permits that you can use to access the gorge floor trail! The gorge floor could be a wonderful option for a 2-person elopement to avoid the crowds on the main trail, and to enjoy a different perspective of the gorge from down below. Whatever you choose, you’re in for a real eye-treat!

Providence Canyon State Park

Often referred to as the Little Grand Canyon, Providence is truly a unique park and a great option if you’re looking for a location that’s a little different with cliff and canyon views for your elopement. At the park, you can see many different colors and textures of Georgian soil, and gaze in wonder at the unique geological formations of the canyon. The soil color can range from pink and purple to orange and red. So, if you’re looking for a lot of color and quirkiness to your elopement day, this might be the park for you. The park features a main trail, but the trail often has a layer of water from the water table, so make sure to bring appropriate footwear for your elopement day.

Coastal Elopement Locations – Near Savannah

Cumberland Island's endless road with beautiful live oaks surrounding it. One of the best places to elope in Georgia!

Cumberland Island

Cumberland island is what dreams are made of. I’m partial to the mountains of North Georgia, but Cumberland, in my opinion, is one of the best places to elope in Georgia!

The wild horses, the ruins, the long stretches of trail shrouded by giant live oaks. You can’t get much better than that! As you can tell from the photo above, it looks like a dream world!

To get to the Island, you must travel by ferry from St. Mary’s and you’ll arrive at Sea Camp. You can stay at Sea Camp for a jaunt through the dunes to get to the ocean, for some bike riding, and/or sight-seeing at the Dungeness Ruins. If you want a more private elopement day, you can hike to the primitive campsites and beachfronts to enjoy a little more seclusion and adventure than what Sea Camp offers. And, if you’re lucky, you might even witness tiny sea turtles making their way to their ocean home in the evening. Make sure to have a red light option on your headlamp so you won’t disturb them! (:

Keep in mind, if you’re sensitive to heat and bugs, you might want to plan your elopement in the fall when it’s cooler and less buggy. Cumberland can get pretty humid!

Sapelo Island

Like Cumberland, Sapelo Island is also a barrier island, and can only be accessed by ferry. And, while you may not see wild horses roaming around here, you’ll see wild cows roaming, and will see many historic buildings, like a beautiful lighthouse that you can go to the top of to enjoy the ocean view. The beach is well-kept and pristine, and would be a perfect spot for an elopement ceremony.

Tybee Island

Tybee Island, like both Sapelo and Cumberland, is also a barrier island close to Savannah, Georgia. Out of the other coastal options, this might the more populated option. But, if that doesn’t bother you, you can still enjoy beautiful beachfront all the while being only 28 minutes away from Savannah, GA. Without the hassle of using a ferry to access it, this location might offer more logistical feasibility, especially if you want to enjoy a romantic walk in Savannah or enjoy some delicious food at local restaurants after your elopement to celebrate!

Urban Elopement Locations – in & around Atlanta

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

If you’re looking for a unique place to elope in and around Atlanta, the botanical gardens is a super neat place! Just adjacent to Piedmont Park, you can enjoy over 30 acres of plant heaven! If you’re a plant-obsessed conservationist who doesn’t care about Midtown Atlanta hustle, this might be the place for you. There are many different types of climates or exhibits to encounter here, so there are so many unique photo opportunities to take advantage of at the gardens.

To book your elopement, you’ll need to contact the botanical gardens directly to plan and reserve a time and space.

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Sweetwater Creek is a little gem in Atlanta! This 215-acre park is located just 30 minutes away from Downtown! Cool, right!? You can tour ruins, walk the forested trails, and enjoy the creek and lake on the grounds. If you and your love are interested in different kinds of activities on your elopement day unique to your love story, you can enjoy fishing, or kayaking during the summer months, and tour the museum here.

Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park is the most iconic park in Atlanta. If you’re okay with lots of visitors along with hustle and bustle of the big city, this might be the urban elopement location for you. It’s a 200 acre greenspace where you can enjoy a vista of the city, along with grassy fields and scattered trees. After your ceremony here, you could enjoy the city view in the grassy field while snacking on a charcuterie board to celebrate the most perfect day!

Still Not Sure Where to Elope?

If you have analysis paralysis right now, I totally get it! Helping you narrow down locations is what I love to do, and I’d be so honored to help you plan! Just reach out via my contact form, tell me all the details (if you’re inviting loved-ones, if you want to elope on a mountain, if you want to hike, etc), and we can get this party started! I love finding truly tailored-to-you locations anywhere in the US, but especially in my home state of GA. (:

If you want more free resources for planning your Georgia elopement, don’t forget to check out my How to Elope in Georgia elopement guide and my Easy DIY Elopement Sign tutorial!

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