About Kate
Lifelong “sporto.” Traveler. Organized optimist. Adventure accomplice.  And, with my whole soul, I believe that you and your partner should marry in a way that feels like you. SO... Four years ago, I completely reworked my photography business to honor that vision. I changed course so that you can too.  Ready to explore eloping?!  Let's Chat!
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The Greatest Guide to Eloping in Tennessee

How-To & Tips

Looking for an unforgettable elopement experience? Eloping in Tennessee is something to highly consider.

If you want to elope amidst incredible views, like rolling hills and lush landscapes, adventure big without losing the sweetness found in a small town, and create the warmest of memories that only the South can do….Tennessee has it all!

If you’ve spent any time around any of my content, you know I am all about bucking tradition, doing things YOUR way, and going big and (maybe) never going home (forever trying to jet set to the next spot!) You might not think that TN can provide that, but if you are thinking about eloping, you should consider eloping in Tennessee.

How to know eloping in Tennessee is right for you

When I think about Tennesee, three things rush to the front of my mind. Tennessee provides scenic splendor with breathtaking landscapes, thick southern charm where you experience warm smiles and hospitality everywhere, and endless adventure with countless options for what to do within your elopement experience.

Tennessee has the potential to be a place of magnificent, wild, memories that you cling to for a lifetime. All it takes is a sprinkle of intentionality, a side of adventure elopement photographer and concierge genius, and a bucket full of love.

How to plan an elopement in Tennessee

First, you want to start by picking your location. Checking out this page is great place to start. Once you’ve settled on the state, you have to pick an actual location. If you scroll down, you’ll find a list of a few Tennessee spots I love.

Secondly, you need to think about who is invited to your celebration. Do you want your whole crew? Just you two? Either answer is a-okay!! Here is a blog I wrote about how to make this decision.

Third, you want to think about the permits and legalities you’ll need for your elopement. Don’t worry, I give some tips in this next section.

Fourth, it’s time to think about vendors and accommodations for when eloping in Tennessee.

Lastly, check out this master list of elopement planning timelines.

The Laws and Legalities of Eloping in Tennessee

Here are 3 legal must-dos, without the jargon, before you elope in Tennesee.

Permits needed to elope in Tennessee:

If you’re eloping in Tennesee, you want to make sure you check if you need any permits for the location you’ve chosen. These permits could be things

Depending on where you’re getting eloped, you want to check about any permits you might need. Those permits will be things like a venue/location permit, private property permission, photography permits, parking permits, or whatever else your specific adventure includes. I will guide you on what you’ll need and who to talk to, but you will want to talk with your vendors and the authorities at your location choice to know what you need.

Ordination Requirements for Tennessee:

Tennessee is picky on ordination licenses. The ordination license proves that the person officiating your wedding can claim “married” over you. Most states allow online ordinations, but Tennesee doesn’t. In Tennessee, you must be ordained as a minister or go through extra requirements. The great news is that I am ordained and approved in Tennessee! If you’re one of my couples, I will happily sign off on your vows (with no extra charge!) If you want to go a different route, this is something you need to take care of before the weekend of your celebration.

Marriage Licenses:

Lastly, you gotta get your marriage license! You need to get your marriage license from the county you are getting married in within Tennessee. This marriage license will last for 30 days once issued.

Seasons to Consider when Eloping in Tennessee

Something to consider when planning to elope in Tennesee are the seasons. Yes, TN is in the south, but the seasons impact the weather and it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.

SPRING: (March-May) April’s showers, bring May’s flowers is true in Tennesee. With some storms in late spring, the whole state begins to re-awaken with warm temperatures (50°F – 70°F), tree blooms, and greens to grow.

SUMMER: (June – Aug) The summer sun brings some higher temps from 80s-90s°F but remains the peak tourist season. Tennessee also encounters some stunning summer thunderstorms, so keep that in mind.

FALL: (Sept – Nov) In fall, the Tennesee foliage is showing off! The colors are truly breathtaking. With mild temps, low humidity, it’s a popular time for all to be out and about in Tennesee.

WINTER: (Dec- Feb) Normally the temperatures are fairly mild, but can bring snow! Check out this unexpected snowy Chattanooga ceremony I got to photograph. The cold might be a great choice for you because you’ll get to see the state in a way a lot of people don’t: sleeping trees, fewer crowds, and lots of love.

Picking your Location to Elope in Tennessee

Tennessee is truly one of the most beautiful states, with endless options for locations to get elope at. Here is a master list of Locations to elope in Tennesee. But I’ve included some common spots below:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

If you’re thinking about a great outdoors elopement, The Smoky Mountains probably come to mind. Just 45 minutes out of Knoxville, this could be the perfect spot for you.

There are a variety of pre-approved ceremony spots for elopements that you can choose from. Yes, this does mean that there are no “back country” weddings or portraits allowed within the park due to the protection of the wilderness once you’ve gotten off the beaten path.

The other important thing to note is the date restrictions. The park has booking restrictions for things like holidays, limited space for high visitor times like the Fall, etc. Pro Tip: If you’ve decided on The Great Smoky National Park to be your mind-blowing choice, reserve your spot with the visitor center as soon as possible!

If you call the visitor center, they will guide you to all the details you need to secure this location.

Elope in Chattanooga:

Chattanooga is a really special location because it can provide a central hub for anything you could imagine your elopement adventure including. Accessible to anything you could want in the wilderness AND a populated city. The Scenic City can give it all to you.

Nashville Elopements:

I can’t talk about Tennesee without mentioning Music City. Nashville is a bumpin’ city with a small-town feel. If you’re looking for an urban micro-wedding, you can’t beat Nashville. This city is centrally located and has a major airport, allowing you the convenience of arriving and flying out, if you need that. For the couples that share a love of music, Nashville makes a memorable backdrop to your adventure.

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime?

Before I let you go, I want to give you some insider secrets. I wrote a whole blog post about the 4 mistakes you don’t want to make when you’re eloping in Tennessee. Have a read here.

As an adventure photographer and elopement concierge, I specialize in creating bucket-list wedding experiences that feel like my couples. If it’s Tennessee or Itay, I’m the teammate for you!

You can reach out to me here, but don’t wait until you have your vision nailed down. I don’t need that from you, instead…as soon as you know you’re interested in working with me, lets chat and create this experience together.

If you’re ready, I’m ready!

Common Questions about Eloping in Tennessee

What are the best places to elope in Tennessee?

I believe that only YOU can answer where the very best place is to elope in Tennessee for you. But, I’ve compiled a complete list of recommended and common Tennessee elopement locations. Check it out here.

Wondering how to elope in Tennessee?

My very favorite way to elope in Tennessee (or anywhere) is to create the biggest celebration for you. I don’t mean with the most amount of people, I mean doing the celebration that is exhilarating and mind-blowing for YOU. It could be something complicated with a helicopter and backcountry, or it could be a cozy Airbnb, but whatever it is…it should feel like you.

Searching “elopement packages Tennessee”?

You can check out my elopement packages here. No matter what package you’re wanting, I know we can find something that fits your needs. Something to note, my photography packages all come complimentary with my elopement concierge services to help you create your dream wedding experience.

Where do I begin if I want to elope in Tennessee?

To begin, you want to make a list of the things that are most important to you for your wedding. I encourage you to do this before you ever talk to someone else about planning. By creating a “guiding light” of your priorities, you can plan to elope in Tennessee in the way that feels most aligned for you and your partner.

What Tennessee elopement locations to avoid?

There are a lot of really beautiful spots in Tennessee, but if you want privacy, that is important to consider when picking your Tennessee elopement location. For example, Sunset Rock is a very popular (and searched) elopement location, and it can totally be done! (See above proposal images) But there was a crowd and for some couples, that would take away from the experience.

Hi! I’m Kate, 

and I’m in your corner.

Lifelong “sporto.” Traveler. Organized optimist. Adventure accomplice.

With my whole soul, I believe that you and your partner should marry in a way that feels like you.   SO... Four years ago, I completely reworked my photography business to honor that vision.  To create a safe space for couples to create a wedding experience that feels right.

I changed course so that you can too.

Freeing couples to get married exactly how they want to, with no limits on what that looks like.   Is that bold?!?  Maybe, but you're ready!  

Reach out below and let's get started🙌

Let's build your elopement adventure!