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Elope In Tennessee: 5 Amazing Locations  | 2022

Elope In Tennessee: 5 Amazing Locations  | 2022

Whether you have your heart set on eloping or you’re just scoping out your options, you’ve come to the right place. 

If you’re up for a bit of adventure planning to elope in Tennessee is a spectacular place to start your journey together. With the Great Smoky Mountains in its backyard, Tennessee offers some ah inspiring views to make your ceremony picture perfect. 

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While this is an exciting time in your and your partner’s lives, planning a wedding can get stressful. We have put together a complete guide telling you everything you need to know to elope in Tennessee to make this an easy and enjoyable process.

couple eloping in tennessee, girl holding a boquet and a horse behind them

Best Places To Elope In Tennessee

Eloping in Tennessee is a nature enthusiast’s dream come true. Tennessee is so much more than good country music. 

 With magnificent mountain peaks, fields overflowing with wildflowers, and jaw-dropping waterfalls, it’s hard to pass this destination up. 

We believe fall (October to mid-November) is the perfect time to plan your elopement. The weather is moderate, the crowds have started to dissipate, and the changing of the leaves will accompany you. 

Snap some breathtaking photos as the fall foliage surrounds you and the Great Smoky Mountains. 

If humidity isn’t an issue for you, June to August is also a great time to elope in Tennessee. You’ll be greeted with lots of excitement and no shortage of events to enjoy after the wedding is over. 

When deciding on the perfect destination, you may want to keep accessibility in mind. While some locations require you to trek to them, you can access specific areas of all the destinations below by car or a short walk. 

If you plan to have guests, you may want to pick a more convenient location and then wander off with your partner for pictures. 

Now that you have a better idea of what you’re looking for, let’s jump into the best places to elope in Tennessee. 

1. Fall Creek Falls

  • Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee 37367
  • Permit: location-dependent 

This popular destination is home to one of the highest free-fall waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. This spectacular site, it’s a perfect place to have your wedding ceremony. 

Choose to marry on the mountain tops or at the base of the waterfall.  At 256 feet (78 meters) high this waterfall will not disappoint. 

Falls Creek Falls is a short drive to some popular cities such as Chattanooga (one-hour drive), Nashville, and Memphis (both a two-hour drive), making it an accessible destination.

2. Great Smoky Mountain National Park

  • 107 Park Headquarters Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Permit: required 

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has over 500,000 acres of breathtaking views. The park straddles the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering several magnificent peaks to set your sights on. 

Depending on where you decide to have your ceremony, it may be a bit of a trek. 

Some great spots within the park include:

  • Spence Cabin 
  • The Appalachian Clubhouse 
  • Cades Cove

3. Roan Mountain State Park

  • 527 TN-143, Roan Mountain, TN 37687
  • Permit: required 

Situated in the Blue Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Tennessee, you’ll find yourself surrounded by 360-degree summit views. You’ll find a perfect backdrop for your ceremony no matter where you decide to say your vows. 

If you prefer a venue for your ceremony and reception, there are some great options within the park. These include:

  • Roan Mountain Conference Center 
  • Chestnut Ridge Overlook at Roan Mountain
  • Roan Mountain Amphitheater

tennesse elopement in the appalachian mountains

4. Rock Island State Park

  •  82 Beach Rd, Rock Island, TN 38581
  • Permit: required 

Dreaming of gazing at a waterfall as you take this next step with the love of your life? You’ll have several to pick from in Rock Island State Park.

Some fantastic wildlife will also accompany you, and you might even be lucky enough to see a green heron swoop by. 

With a variety of onsite cabins, you can book accommodations for yourself, and your guests to continue your exploration of the park.

5. Cherokee National Forest

  • Cherokee National Forest, Elizabethton, TN 37312
  • Permit: required 

With diverse views and trails, Cherokee National Forest has a little something for everyone. 

For some amazing views, check out some of the below decisions within the park. Keep in mind some of these destinations will require some hiking. 

  • Pigeon River Area 
  • Roan Highlands 
  • Watauga Lake Area

How To Elope In Tennessee

Time to get down to the fun stuff, the logistics. While eloping sounds like an easy process it still requires you to follow a few careful steps. 

Here is what you need to elope in Tennessee: 

  • Legal identification (driver’s license or passport)
  • Social Security Number (for US citizens)
  • Certified copies of your birth certificate (for foreigners)
  • Passport with certified English translation (for foreigners)
  • Proper evidence of the termination of your previous marriage, if applicable
  • Marriage License 
  • Wedding officiant 

How To Receive A Marriage License In Tennessee

In Tennessee, you can apply for a marriage license anywhere in the state; it does not have to be in the county you plan to get married. The rules and pricing will slightly change depending on the county clerk’s office you decide to go with. 

Some counties may allow you to fill out the marriage application prior to your appointment to save you a bit of time. It’s best to call ahead to find out what the exact process is.

For all countries, both you and your partner will have to appear together with the proper documentation. This includes:

  • Legal identification (driver’s license or passport)
  • Social Security Number (for US citizens)
  • Certified copies of your birth certificate (for foreigners)
  • Passport with certified English translation (for foreigners)

The average cost of a Tennessee marriage license is $100 (USD). If you decide to complete a premarital counseling course and can provide proof of the certificate, you can save $60. 

There is no waiting period once you receive your marriage license, and you can tie the knot right away. You will have 30 days to have your ceremony; after this, the marriage license becomes null and is no longer legal to use. 

tennessee elopement in the smokey mountains during fall

How To Find A Wedding Officiant In Tennessee

Unfortunately, it is not completely clear whether or not an online ordained minister is acceptable to officiate your wedding in the state of Tennessee. The state is currently facing a lawsuit that challenges a law prohibiting ministers ordained online from conducting ceremonies. 

Pre-approved officiants include: 

  • Any religious official (priest, rabbi, pastor)
  • The governor
  • County clerk
  • Current and former judges and chancellors 
  • Current and former speaker of the House of Representatives
  • Mayors of any municipality

If you decide to have a religious ceremony, you may be required to forego additional paperwork depending on the church/ place of worship. 

Requirements For Foreigners

If you’re not a US citizen, you will want to check with the local county clerk or marriage official in Tennessee, as the necessary documentation may slightly change depending on your country of origin. 

You should also double-check your own country’s rules to ensure this marriage will be recognized when you return home. 

At a minimum, you will need a passport with certified English translation along with your marriage license. 

Do You Need A Witness To Get Married In Tennessee?

If you’re looking for a very intimate ceremony with just you, your honey, and the officiant you’ll want to elope in Tennessee. No witness (other than the individual conducting your wedding) is required. 

Location Permits

If you’re looking to say I do among the wildflowers and smoky mountains, then you are most likely going to need a special use permit. 

A majority of outdoor locations along with the state and national parks have preapproved ceremony locations that do not require a permit. They will most likely require a rental fee and you will have to plan in advance to ensure they have the availability. 

Tennessee Elopement Packages

Over the planning already? No need to worry; there are plenty of agencies that will help you with the planning from start to finish. 

They can assist you with things such as:

  • Finding an officiant 
  • Choosing the best location 
  • Obtaining a special use permit 
  • Finding a photography 
  • Hair and makeup 
  • Deciding on vendors 

There are even packages that just helo to add some extra adventure to the special day. 

Elopfi offers an epic wedding day package that handles all of the planning logistics, sets you and your partner up with exciting activities for after the ceremony, and even offers a helicopter ride. 

An offering like this is around $8,000.

Final Thoughts On Eloping In Tennessee

With various locations, activities, and jaw-dropping views, Tennessee is a great place to elope for any couple. Whether you’re looking for a summer ceremony or hoping to watch the leaves fade to gold, Tennessee can accommodate your needs. 

Just make sure to obtain the proper licensing, and permits, and ensure your officiant is fit to perform a wedding in Tennessee.

Wanting some other options for eloping in the United States? Read one of the following guides: