So, you’re eloping outdoors in nature!
Get stoked, because it’s going to be an adventure!
One of the wild parts of your adventure will for sure be the weather, and a little preparation and research go a long way.
We want to share inside tips from the living research we have acquired over many years of planning and photographing elopements in the mountains. After reading this, you will know how to prepare for unpredictable weather at your outdoor elopement.
So take some notes – and lots of deep breaths – and smile (!) because the weather in Asheville, NC is wildly wonderful.
The most important thing you can do when you decide to elope outdoors is to surrender to the unpredictability of the weather.
For a laid-back lover of nature like you – I am sure you are already aware that you can’t control the weather.
Some weather arrives at the last minute while other times there is enough warning to make a few adjustments to the plan.
If bad weather is expected, our planner Cassie will reach out to you, usually no sooner than a couple days prior to discuss your options.
One important note: what the forecast says one month, one week, or even 3-4 days prior to your date is certainly not accurate. The weather changes quickly here!
So be adventurous and willing to take on whatever mother nature gives you. A few raindrops are nothing an umbrella or the tops of trees won’t cover.
Or be willing to be flexible in case we have a different location in mind that is not getting hit with the same bad weather to hold your elopement.
Can you dance in the rain?
Are you able to get moody with the fog and make it art?
You get to decide what weather means for you and your day!
Go ahead and think about being at your elopement and it starts to rain, snow, or be windy.
And imagine yourself laughing and smiling through it.
See yourself well-prepared (more on that in our next tip), and able to have a sense of humor through it.
Sometimes visualizing a seemingly awful scenario and opening up to the fact that it WILL be okay (maybe even more awesome) can help calm nerves and save a lot of energy worrying.
Remember an unexpected rain shower can bring the romantic sound of raindrops as you say your vows and a windy day can create beautiful movement in your dress and photos. There is always a silver lining! And it feels great to look for it.
You can visualize yourself dealing with the weather just fine but if you don’t have some essential gear packed you may suffer.
If you are wondering how to prepare for unpredictable weather at your outdoor elopement – the following statement is to be taken seriously:
Layers are essential, all year round.
For Winter, consider gloves, a scarf, a warm blanket, and a hooded winter jacket to protect your ears and neck. For mountain elopements, a hat might be good if you are not worried about ruining your hairstyle on the way down back to the car.
In the Fall, Spring, and even Summer, have at least a light to medium jacket to put on as needed throughout the experience. Some Brides have a custom made leather or jean jacket, while others bring a shawl or coat to throw on between photos.
Bring a clear umbrella, especially one that folds up like this one.
Good hiking boots or warm shoes are also essential, especially if you will be outside in winter. But really, anytime of year you can run into rain or cold as the sun goes down. Additionally, if your elopement involves hiking, the right footwear will make your climb much more comfortable. You can always pack different shoes in a backpack to change into if you don’t want hiking boots in your photos.
If you are eloping with the help of a team or planner, your best bet is to relax and let them work their magic.
Here at Elope Outdoors we are well-versed on the weather situations we will encounter in these mountains. We have experience with a variety of weather issues and road closures and can advise you if anything needs to be adjusted in your schedule or location.
In some instances, a back-up plan will be the best bet and that may involve choosing a location away from stormy weather.
Or we might be able to push your elopement up or down in the day’s schedule depending on our vendor availability and weather permitting.
Worrying about it all will not change the weather. When it comes to knowing how to prepare for unpredictable weather at your outdoor elopement – defer to your elopement planner.
Remember you chose your elopement team and planner for a reason – put your trust in your team! It will be wonderful no matter what the variables because you are marrying your best friend!
This might seem obvious but you should choose to elope in a season where you actually like to be outdoors.
Then research what the season is like in your elopement location.
For example, spring in Asheville can be quite chilly in the mountains.
Check out our Weather Breakdown for each season in Asheville, NC.
Winter elopements are great because there are fewer people hiking and eloping at this time due to the cold.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is closed during this time of year blocking access to some popular trails and peaks, but we have a list of beautiful waterfalls and mountaintops that are open in the winter!
It doesn’t snow a lot here but it can happen, making for a unique and awe-striking white wedding!
The spring is beautiful because greenery begins to come back as leaves form on the trees, slowly creating a lush mountain scene.
It is not quite warmed up yet but May brings some nice days in the sunshine.
Bring lots of layers and be prepared for anything including rain.
Summer temperatures are ideal in Asheville as they are cool and comfortable.
June is the official start of summer and is the time way to stay cool and be wed!
About half the days of these summer months experience some amount of rainfall.
Fall leaf color in the Asheville starts in late September. The highest elevations (above 6,000 feet) see the change first. From here and over the next 6 weeks, fall color makes its way into the valleys and foothills. From late September to early November, there will be an area in or near Asheville experiencing bright fall colors.
Early October tends to be the best time to visit if you are going to see the changing fall leaves as it is the most reliable time to see shifting colors throughout the region.
Here is the Fall Color Map.
There is quite a bit you can do on the day of your elopement to de-stress and BE IN THE MOMENT.
Asheville is FULL of ways to de-stress. There are plenty of “free” ways to do that for yourself throughout the day as well (see below).
Tips for De-stressing on your Wedding Elopement Day:
1. Move your Body. “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.” (see source here).
We recommend doing some morning yoga or taking a light walk. Physical activity is so good for relieving nerves!
2. Breathe as a Practice. Try Box Breathing or other techniques when you wake up and throughout your elopement day whenever you have a moment or whenever you encounter a moment of stress.
Breathing deeply can cause your body to produce endorphins —chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers.
3. Find Lodging in a Place that Feels Relaxing and Serene. An awesome Airbnb can do wonders for the soul! Here are our top favorite Asheville cabins (including the one with the hot tub pictured above!).
4. Book a Self-care service. Relax with a couples massage in the morning to calm down or take a dip in a cold stream or ice bath to wake your sympathetic nervous system up if cold exposure therapy is your thing!
The night before you could also schedule time in a sunset hot tub at a local Japanese-inspired spa.
5. Allow Room in Your Timeline for Relaxation. Make sure your elopement schedule allows time for sitting, gazing, or strolling the location leisurely. Soak it up and take it all in!
At the end of it all, eloping is about marrying your best friend – come rain, come fog, come high elevation!
We are here to support you and make your dream day a reality!
Contact us today to start planning your beautiful nature wedding elopement.