Planning to propose? Or need some help finding the perfect place to celebrate your engagement?
Asheville, North Carolina is totally the spot!
And we’ve got tips for planning the perfect proposal with our Asheville, NC Proposal Guide, plus tips for your engagement shoot.
In short, Asheville is a progressive, vibrant city tucked in the mountains of North Carolina. There’s craft beer, an arts scene, amazing restaurants, and shops in our very cute and walkable downtown, and trails with epic views that are always worth the hike!
Here at Elope Outdoors Asheville, we not only plan and photograph wedding elopements, but we also photograph proposals (and engagements!).
One of the BEST things about our job is that we are surrounded by landmarks and nature spots that make for incredible photos and experiences…so keep reading to discover them!
When you think about a perfect proposal spot, how does a dreamy castle-like mansion peaking out of the blue ridge mountains sound?
Yes, this is a real place in Asheville!
The Biltmore Estate is a historic house museum and tourist attraction. It’s one of the top places we shoot proposals and engagements and most people choose to propose on the Diana/High Lawn overlooking the house in the distance.
Entering Biltmore requires a ticket (unless you’re staying at the Inn on Biltmore Estate). Make sure to buy in advance if possible, especially during busier times which are October through December, April & May, and all Saturdays. You can tour the Biltmore house, visit the winery for a free tasting, and explore the shops.
Other great spots to propose or hold your engagement include Black Balsam Knob and many other trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway because you can’t go wrong with mountains behind you as you propose. Here is a great guide to the best trails with summits in the area.
If you would like to work with us, we are usually only open for engagement and proposal shoots on weekdays, so try to travel accordingly. Places will be less busy on weekdays as well, so try to plan to visit Monday- Thursday if you can.
One of the biggest tips we can give when it comes to proposing is to not overthink it and try to keep it simple when it comes to the secretive part.
Don’t assume you need to dream up a story of why there is a photographer there taking photos! We have photographed hundreds of proposals and the way it works is that the photographer is usually tucked away nearby, pretending to be taking photos of nature or the location, usually looking they are shooting in a different direction. By the time you drop down on a knee, the photographer will have already swung around and pointed the lens your way, capturing it all! And by then your partner will be so into the proposal itself, that they won’t likely notice the photographer (and videographer if you choose to hire one) until the moment passes! Then you can tell them the photographer is here to document this moment and take your portraits!
Now you may be nervous about what to say and how to say it when you propose.
It helps to sit down to collect your thoughts a day or two before to plan your words ahead of time so that nerves don’t cause you to go silent.
But of course, flow with the emotions and let yourself speak freely as inspired. You certainly don’t want to sound like you’re delivering a rehearsed speech when you’re asking the love of your life to marry you.
Some great ideas are to say what you love about your partner, speak from the heart, reflect on the past, describe how they make you feel, or talk about your future together.
Ending with some kind of affirmative statement and “I love you” is a really nice idea.
One of our favorites is “Having you by my side is what completes me.”
And don’t forget to ask “Will you marry me?”
There are so many cute accessories out there that you can buy to make your proposal special. One awesome idea is a bandana for your doggie to wear if you are bringing them along or a bib for your baby to bring if they are coming!
“She said Yes” is a popular phrase and you can find it here.
A custom wooden ring box is an awesome gift you can bring along as well to commemorate the engagement with the date and location.
LOOKING TO HAVE AN ENGAGEMENT SHOOT IN ASHEVILLE?
Read more here for tips!
Should you visit Asheville before planning your wedding and getting married?
It’s a big YES to visit town and do an engagement shoot before your big day, if you can! This is a great way to see Asheville in person and you can have an engagement shoot in the process! You’ll get some fun photos for your wedding announcements where you are not in your dressed-up wedding clothes, so the photos can really capture your essence.
Another thing! If you are stuck deciding between two locations to hold your elopement, you could do an engagement shoot in one spot and hold your elopement in the other location! That way you get to explore and have memories/photos to take home of each! You can also experience different seasons. So for example, you could have an engagement in the summer and an elopement in the fall.
This what Dana and Brad did! We took their engagement photos in the spring at the Biltmore Estate and then helped plan, photograph, and film their elopement in the summer. We loved getting to know them before the big day and it gave them a chance to get to know us too and get even more gorgeous photos to take home with them.
If you would like to work with us, we are usually only open for engagement shoots on weekdays, so try to travel accordingly. Places will be less busy on weekdays as well, so try to plan to visit Monday- Thursday if you can.
Even though it’s super cool to get to visit Asheville first before your elopement, it’s not necessary at all!
We want to encourage you to be spontaneous and not feel like you have to visit here first. That’s not something everyone can manage. So feel free to come and visit for the first time for your elopement so you can be totally wowed by all the area has to offer!
Where to Stay in town
There are so many cool places to stay when you visit Asheville for your proposal or engagement. The Omni Grove Park Inn has a big pool and spa in their huge historic resort-like hotel. They have an incredible big deck to view the sunset over the mountains.
The Grand Bohemian Hotel is an eclectic, historic hotel located right near The Biltmore Estate. Much smaller than the Omni Grove Park Inn, there is a restaurant within the hotel and you can walk to downtown Asheville restaurants, bars, and breweries.
Cabins and house rentals are not to be overlooked in this area! What better way to see the mountains than to have them in your back yard! There are so many cabins to rent on Airbnb and VRBO that have mountain views – and yes, many have hot tubs!
We put together our own collection of favorite cabins to rent for your elopement but they are also amazing for your engagement or proposal too. Check out our Asheville cabin rental favorites here!
Best Times of Year to Visit
Look, Asheville is one of those places that is beautiful anytime of year. But it really comes down to your preferences and what temperature/vibe you desire! November – April/early May is pretty chilly, so if you don’t like being cold, you would probably enjoy visiting in the summer or fall.
In the fall, the leaves change making the most perfect autumn scenes pop up around every turn on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Temperatures are pretty ideal and in the evenings it’s a wonderful time to curl up with a loved one with a blanket on the parkway to watch the sunset or the stars.
We put together a guide of what to expect seasonally in Asheville when eloping and you can apply that same intel to your engagement or proposal visit. Just a rule of thumb – it is ALWAYS colder on the trails in the mountains, so bring layers and expect it to be chilly as the sun sets, even in the summertime!
Here’s our “How to Prepare for Unpredictable Weather” blog which contains our Asheville weather guide.
Here’s an awesome proposal we’ve filmed at The Biltmore.
We’d love to welcome you to Asheville for your proposal, engagement, or wedding elopement!
We are here to support you and make your dream day a reality!
Contact us today to start planning!