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unique elopement photography circle star burst around hiking bride and groom off to their adventure elopement  by Elopement photographer nicole morehead, destination life photography
unique elopement photography circle star burst around hiking bride and groom off to their adventure elopement  by Elopement photographer nicole morehead, destination life photography

Your Guide to Eloping in Tennessee

Updated: Jul 8

Whether you are looking for a private nature filled elopement in the mountains, infront of one of Tennessee's many waterfalls or a sexy city elopement in the city Tennessee has a gorgeous location for you.

You decided you want to elope congratulations, one of your most amazing life's adventures is a about to begin!!

You completed planning step one and choose Tennessee as your dream location and now you need to know just how exactly do you elope in Tennessee?

Perfect! Because in this guide you will get the answer to all of your Tennessee elopement questions! If you want to skip the reading and chat, we can begin to plan your ultimate tennessee elopement ...

Keep reading to find out your Tennessee Elopement Questions

Where to elope in Tennessee

When to elope in Tennessee

How to Elope in Tennessee

Ideas on what to do for your elopement in Tennessee

How to prepare for your Tennessee elopement

Where To Elope in Tennessee: Selecting Your best backdrop

The location possibilities are almost endless when it comes to where you can elope in Tennessee. There are 57 Tennessee State Parks all gorgeous and offering their own unique views. Tennessee State Parks are full of waterfalls, mountain views, waterside locations and grand overlooks. You can get my full Tennessee State Park list with tips here.

If you are more of a city dweller and desire a more cosmopolitan elopement Nashville and Chattanooga have great Tennessee city locations full of atmosphere and activities.

Here’s some of my favorite elopement locations in Tennessee:

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  • Fall Creek Falls

  • Snoopers Rock

  • Chattanooga

  • Narrows of the Harpeth State Park

  • Gatlinburg

  • Rock Island State Park

  • Roan Mountain State Park

  • Greeter Falls

  • Cumberland State Park

Want some guidance on finding the perfect Tennessee elopement location? Reach out and let me show you how I can help you plan and capture your elopement vision! 

How To Elope In Tennessee

Let's make your Tennessee elopement easy! The 3 steps below.


1st apply for a marriage license at the local county clerk’s office in-person. There’s no waiting period or blood test in Tennessee. Just make sure that you’re in Tennessee during business hours of the probate court to pick up your marriage license before your ceremony!

It is $100 to obtain your marriage license. 

Things to know:

  • If you take the pre-marital preparation course, your cost is reduced by $60! You’ll need a notarized copy of your course ahead of applying for your marriage license.

  • To apply for a marriage license, you’ll both need to be present and have your social security card, driver’s license or state ID, and proof of age (if between the ages of 18 and 25). For proof of age, you can use your driver’s license or a certified copy of your birth certificates. You can apply ahead of time as a pre-application to save you time at the office!

Once you have your marriage license, you can elope literally anywhere in Tennessee! Your marriage license is good for (30) days after receiving it.

Check with the applicable clerk of court before making plans to ensure you have all your ducks in a row.


Now that you have your marriage license, you’ll need someone to make it official. This can be any ordained minister, priest, rabbi or other ordained clergy, judges of the state of Tennessee. There are a ton of option for you to find your officiant and I would love to help. If you want something as private as possible, I am a notary and would love to marry you!


The marriage license must be returned to the issuing clerk of court for recording after the ceremony.

If you are in love with the idea of eloping in Tennessee, but you’re unsure where to begin, let me show you how I can help! See what an elopement experience with me can look like!

When To Elope In Tennessee

Tennessee enjoys all four seasons – spring, summer, fall, and winter. Depending on the vibe you’re wanting, you can get it all here.

  • Spring: Eloping in Tennessee in the Spring will give you mild temperatures, beautiful blooming flowers and trees, and tons of outdoor activities in the spring. The state is known for its vibrant wildflowers and redbud trees which peak in late April and early May. It is also festival season if you are looking to add some local culture to your elopement

  • Summer: Eloping in Tennessee in the Summer can be fantastic and is a popular time. It is a summer heat sensation. So you want to be prepared. Tennessee is full of lakes and rivers gives you the opportunity for swimming, boating, and fishing, and the weather is warm and sunny. Choosing a sunrise elopement in the mountains can also be a great way to stay cool at a Tennessee summer elopement.

  • Fall: A Fall elopement in Tennessee is perfect for those mesmerizing autumn colors and cooler weather. The peak fall foliage season is in mid-late October and the first couple of weeks in November.

  • Winter: Winter is a great option for a less crowded elopement. If you want a little snow you can plan for somewhere in the north east Tennessee, Gatlinburg area. Though snow in Tennessee is pretty unpredictable. Tennessee give your winter elopement opportunities for many cozy holiday vibes.

Would you like help finding the best time of year for your elopement? Reach out and let me show you how I can help you plan and photograph your elopement! 

What To Do For Your Tennessee Elopement

There is an extensive list of outdoor activities and city fun activities to do in Tennessee. Here is a short list below. If you'd like a personalized list of ideas based on your interest. Reach out and tell me all about you and your elopement.

Here are a few elopement activities

  • Go on a hike and relax back at your airbnb

  • Kayak down the Harpeth River

  • Brewery hop in Chattnooga

  • Tour the Jack Daniels Distillery

  • Explore downtown Nashville or Chattanooga with their live music and riverwalks

There are countless options to make your Tennessee elopement a uniquely YOU adventure.

Need help coming up with ideas? Let’s create a sensational elopement together!

What To Bring To Elope in Tennessee

Especially if we are going to be outdoors, you want to be prepared for anything to make your elopement day go smoothly Here is a quick list to keep your Tennessee elopement a relaxing and stress free experience.

  • Marriage License

  • Pen

  • Backpack

  • Bug spray

  • Sunscreen

  • Umbrella

  • Rain coat

  • Snacks

  • Water and anything else you might want to drink in celebration!

  • Location permits (if required we will know about and I will send you a reminder)

  • Towel

  • Change of clothes ( ready for times of water, sweat and comfortability)

Example Timelines

Your Tennessee elopement can be as fun filled as your heat desires, but how exactly does that look? Below are three options to give you a little inspiration.

4-Hour Timeline

Hour 1: Getting ready, details, & first look Hour 2-3: Ceremony & mini adventure Hour 4: Portraits at golden hour

8-Hour Timeline

Hour 1: Getting ready, details, & first look Hour 2-6: Ceremony & half day adventure Hour 7: Portraits at golden hourHour 8: Dinner & drinks

12-Hour Timeline

Hour 1: Getting ready, details, & first look Hour 2-5: Ceremony, lunch break, & adventure at first locationHour 6-12: Adventure & portraits at second location

Tennessee Elopement Photographer, Planner and Officiant

You are ready to elope in Tennessee! Yay! But maybe you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that’s involved? If this is you and you would love for someone to help with the logistics, give you recommendations and brainstorm ideas (this part is my favorite!) then I am here to help!

Hi, I am Nicole your elopement photographer, Tennessee adventure planner and number one advocate to make your elopement day special.

Whether you want to share your vows out surrounded by nature or while experiencing the Nashville city life. I will guide you to your ultimate elopement day.

I want to know what you want it to look like and even more important what you want it to feel like. I am here for you. Planning, having and photographing once in a lifetime experiences is my passion and I am so excited to get started with you!



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