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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 Complete Guide To a Nashville Elopement!

Updated: Jul 8

So you are Ready to elope and Nashville sounds like the perfect location, Fantastic! I am here to to tell you everything you need to know to elope in Tennessee's Music City.

(Photos taken at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, Nashville, Tennessee)

Where Should we elope?

The First thing to consider is location. Which since it's just the two of you can be be completely determinate on what type of backdrop you want for your elopement photos .

Do you want a city elopement, photos teeming with the city life, a ceremony on the river. Followed by a trip down broadway or through the gulch?

Maybe you'd like to elope on a bridge overlook where you can have semi privacy and city around you, like Nashville's Pedestrian Bridge?

A historic home, like the Belmont Mansion?

Something more modern like a city rooftop of the bridge building or in the W Hotel?

Do you want to take advantages of all the gorgeous nature in middle Tennessee; get married at a waterfall or an overlook, in the forest?

A Nashville Elopement can offer all of these options and so many more. I am an elopement photographer, planner and officiant and offer all inclusive packages to give you a perfect, easy, fun Nashville elopement!


When is the best season to get married in Nashville? I'll give you a simple breakdown.

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.

Sunrise on Nashville's Pedestrian Bridge over the cumberland River and Nashville's Riverwalk

  • 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.

What Time of day is best?

This is a multi factor question. Dependent on your weather, season, and light preferences.

Golden Light- during the hours of Sunrise and Sunset

Blue Light- The hour before sunrise and hour after sunset

bright light- to gather the True colors of the environment. though, I never suggest shooting midday unless your are going to be in the forest or have areas of shaded light.

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

Let's Talk Legalities

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 Nashville, 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!

Nashville 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, adventure planner and number one advocate, and I am Ready to make your elopement day special.



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