The Birth of Elope Outdoors: Owner Meghan’s Journey from Traditional Weddings to Nature Elopements


In Asheville, North Carolina, Elope Outdoors stands out as a testament to its founder Meghan Rolfe-Ogburn’s vision for intimate, nature-focused weddings. Initially a traditional wedding photographer, Meghan found herself enchanted by the simplicity and inherent beauty of elopements set in natural landscapes—a shift that would redefine her career and lead to the creation of a thriving elopement company that has now been in business for over a decade.

Meghan’s affinity for the outdoors has deep roots, traced back to her days as an outdoor adventure counselor leading camping trips in Western North Carolina. Meghan also loves rafting, backpacking and mountain biking and has fond memories of visiting Max Patch back when often only thru-hikers were up there and she would envision couple’s marrying in the grassy fields overlooking views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

When Meghan became a photographer, she was shooting traditional weddings as well as family and couples portraits. Over time, however, she found herself drawn to outdoor wedding elopements set against the stunning backdrop of nature.


The Evolution of EO

The evolution of Meghan’s business began when she intuitively added outdoor elopement packages to her photography website in 2013, responding to what was at the time, a small interest that she observed among a handful of couples.  Meghan enlisted the help of a travel writer turned officiant to craft ceremonies that complemented the scenic beauty of Asheville, and she enhanced the overall experience with locally sourced flowers and picnics complete with a little cake for couples to enjoy post-ceremony.

“It was a fun process and a slow build. I learned as I went as there were no courses or people doing workshops on this back then, ” Meghan said. “It was step by step and and then trusting that it could be a business that I could be doing this full-time.”


Best Elopement Photographer Asheville NC

Best Elopement Photographer Asheville NC


As Meghan shifted her focus from large, elaborate events to smaller, more meaningful celebrations in nature, demand for them grew, prompting her to expand. By 2015, videography was included and as bookings increased, so did the need for a well-defined team. Meghan brought together other photographers, officiants, and elopement assistants to help pick up flowers and the cake, arrange the picnic and be there with the couples to provide support.

In 2019, with the birth of her daughter, Meghan brought on Cassie, an experienced wedding coordinator, to help manage the growing logistical demands communicating with clients and organizing the team for each elopement. This expansion allowed Elope Outdoors to handle around 150 elopements annually, marking significant growth from its early days.


Cassie was born and raised in WNC, is extremely warm and caring, as well as talented and knowledgable about the area. She genuinely cares about the couples and is invested in their days, and is known to shed a tear watching our couple’s elopement films.


Best Elopement Photographer Asheville NC


The Elope Outdoors Aesthetic 

Meghan’s expertise as a photographer has deeply influenced Elope Outdoors’ aesthetic. Her approach to each ceremony is thoughtful, focusing on the magic of natural light and choosing times and locations that not only shine in photographs but also resonate with the essence of each couple’s relationship. She carefully curates elements like the timing of the ceremony to coincide with sunrise or sunset and selects locations that are not only visually stunning but also evoke a sense of intimacy and connection.

Meghan says “Being in nature is grounding in itself.  I love how at waterfall ceremonies you get this calming and relaxing quality and some waterfalls, they’re really loud, so it makes the ceremony super private. It like encloses them into their own little world.

Then on a mountaintop you’re breathing in that high altitude mountain air and our couples are standing there where everything’s so expansive and in a sense, just naturally opening their heart. Sometimes people are barefoot and just all of it elicits freedom and peace which is wonderful to feel on your wedding day.  Sharing these locations and nature spaces with people really reignites the magic for me and I fall in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains all over again.”

Best Elopement Photographer Asheville NC


Team Synergy

The dedication to crafting elopements that are personal and picturesque to each couple is a commitment that is shared with the entire team at Elope Outdoors. From photographers Maddie and Amy, to officiants Jay, Julia, Michael, and Rodney, videographer Jen with Wildwood Media, to assistants Ginny and Erin, there is good team synergy and a comfortability with each other that puts you at ease.

All of the photographers provide an artistic eye, and a mix of posed and organic moments, to capture photos that are timeless and romantic. Everyone has been chosen for their reliability, talent, and genuine personalities, and it helps create a seamless day where each plays their part and knows what to expect from each other.



Nature as Inspiration and Lifestyle

Meghan’s passion for the outdoors isn’t just a backdrop for her business—it’s intertwined with her way of life. This connection was vividly illustrated when Meghan and her husband Dave embarked on a two-week rafting journey through Patagonia, where they were completely disconnected from technology and able to reconnect with nature and each other. Such experiences are a testament to Meghan’s commitment to integrating nature not just into her professional settings but also into her personal adventures.

Back home, Meghan extends this philosophy to her family life. She and Dave are keen to instill a love and respect for the outdoors in their children. They’ve recently acquired a raft specifically for family adventures on the river, planning to teach their kids essential skills like camping and rafting.

Gardening is another activity that the whole family enjoys together; Meghan involves her children in planting and caring for their flower garden. These activities not only teach responsibility and cooperation but also deepen their connection to the environment.


Under Meghan’s guidance, Elope Outdoors has really always been so much more than a service—it’s a celebration of love and nature, offering couples a profoundly personal way to commit to one another. Her ongoing passion for the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains continues to inspire and shape the experiences of those she works with.

Her journey from capturing traditional weddings to pioneering a celebrated elopement brand showcases her passion for nature, love for photography, and her unwavering belief in the intimate, personal nature of saying “I do” under the open sky.


Best Elopement Photographer Asheville NC

Best Elopement Photographer Asheville NC

Best Elopement Photographer Asheville NC





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