All-inclusive elopement packages in virginia

As a Virginia elopement photographer, I may be a little biased... but there are many beautiful places to elope in Virginia. There are fairy-tale like woodlands, cascading waterfalls, coastal beaches, and of course the jaw-dropping Blue Ridge Mountains to consider. You have endless options to choose from when you're planning where to elope in Virginia.

It is a common myth that elopements are easier to plan. It can be just as overwhelming as a traditional wedding. But that's where I come in friend! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to start planning your Virginia elopement today.

The complete guide to eloping in Virginia: including locations, packages, and tips to make your day stress-free

The short answer? An authentic, intimate experience that is centered around you and your love for one another and what matters most to you. A celebration without the pressure to please anyone else or to do anything that you don't want to.

I think an intimate wedding or elopement should be the most extravagant celebration of your love. I mean you're only going to get to do this once more than likely, why not make it everything you've ever dreamed of? Spoiler alert: that doesn't mean you have to go across the globe. It could be in your own backyard if that's what is special to you. Leading us to the next point: best Virginia elopement locations.

What is an elopement?

When planning your elopement, you have the freedom to create a day as extravagant or intimate as you want. No matter what backdrop you're looking for, it can be found somewhere in the state of Virginia. From urban vibes in Richmond, to the mountains on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park - there is something for every type of couple if you decide to elope in Virginia.

Top reasons to choose Virginia for your elopement:
  • It is relatively easy to obtain a marriage license with no waiting period
  • You are not required to have any witnesses, only an officiant
  • The variety of elopement locations and hidden gems to choose from

Why you should elope in Virginia:

Alright we discussed the why, now let's talk about where! As I've mentioned in this guide already, there are so many options when deciding on where to elope in Virginia. It can be overwhelming when you don't know where to start!  Whether you're looking an intimate wedding venue or allowing nature be your backdrop, here are a few of my favorite Virginia elopement locations to consider. Click the link below to jump to the location or scroll to learn more!

Best Virginia Elopement Locations

Shenandoah national park

Shenandoah National Park is an obvious choice for your Virginia elopement due to its variety and stunning mountain views. SKyline Drive is the main passage through the park that is 105 miles long and has over 70 overlooks to explore. You can find open meadow fields, fairy-tale like woodlands, cascading waterfalls, and the best views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you want to hike to your elopement destination or you want to just park and walk - there is something for every kind of couple here!

If you are planning on having your elopement in Shenandoah National Park with 15 or less guests and no sort of set-up then you don't need a special permit! However, if you are inviting more than 15 guests you will need a permit - you can learn more about the regulations here.

Best overlooks in Shenandoah National Park for Virginia elopement:
  • Hazel Mountain Overlook - one of the only east facing overlooks making it best suitable for a sunrise elopement!
  • Jewell Hollow - one of the biggest overlooks ensuring plenty of room to find a spot to yourselves!
  • Crescent Rock - a small stroll from the parking lot for the best views!
  • Big Meadows - a large field with wildflowers to frolic around in, a great place to start the session before hitting the overlooks for golden hour
  • Spitler Knoll - nothing beats a grassy field with stunning mountains for a backdrop

Contact me here for my best shenandoah hikes! 

grayson highlands state park

Wild ponies, jaw-dropping scenic alpine-like peaks, open fields of meadows, waterfalls and wildflowers... do I need to say more? This place is such a gem that so much to offer and is one of my favorite elopement locations in Virginia. 

People travel from all over to see the wild highland ponies that can found within this state park. Grayson Highland State Park is found in southwest Virginia, about 2.5 hours from Roanoke. While it has a little bit of everything to offer, I love the vast open meadows to roam around in. There are plenty of open areas to get away and find some peace and quiet for your elopement ceremony! 

Buzzard Rock Overlook is a popular spot within the park to hold intimate weddings and can seat up to 50 people. You can read more about their wedding day set-ups here. A permit is required and the there is a small application fee of $25. 

Be aware that there are not many options for Airbnbs in this area. If you decide to elope at Grayson Highlands State Park, I would recommend making a trip of it and camp there as well!

The 469 mile long drive known as the Blue Ridge Parkway runs through Virginia and North Carolina and has several great spots for your elopement. While this drive is most popular in the fall, be aware that wedding permits are not issued for the month of October.

Most overlooks have a limit of 25 guests (some have even less), so it’s important that you book a photographer that either knows the rules or is willing to do the research beforehand. (Hi, it’s me. I could be your photographer!)

You can find more information about weddings on the Blue Ridge Parkway here.

Things to keep in mind when choosing the blue ridge parkway for your Virginia elopement:
  • Permit fees - cost is $100 total and the application must be sent in at least 30 days before your date (I would recommend a couple months in advance)
  • Live flowers are not allowed to protect the ecosystem.
  • Arches and stands are also not allowed for the same reason

Best Blue ridge parkway overlooks for an intimate wedding or elopement:
  • Ravens Roost
  • Sharp Top Pinnacle
  • Thunder Ridge Overlook

blue ridge parkway

“Kristen and her husband were such a joy to work with! Not only are their photos to die for, but their kindness and flexibility are top tier! They were always there helping and asking if I needed anything and were always close by to capture those memorable moments. They found the best spots and kept me especially positive when it began to rain after our ceremony. I am beyond grateful for them and recommend them to everyone. I will forever cherish their photos!”

Captured the memories.

 “Finding a photographer that fits so well with your wedding vision along with fitting your personalities as a couple can be quite difficult. Kristen and her husband were a perfect fit for us! Kristen made everyone feel a so incredibly comfortable and at ease. Which allowed the true sides of our family and friends to show. And this is what we desired out of our photographs, we wanted to remember the moments and the people we love just as they truly are."

Made us feel comfortable.

great falls park

Great Falls is located in Northern Virginia and is part of the Potomac River. The waterfalls are an incredible place to hold your Virginia elopement. From jagged rocky cliffs to the rapids to the trails leading through the forests and the beach-like area, there are plenty of places for photo ops.

This park has high tourist activity due to its proximity to DC, therefore I would recommend eloping during a weekday rather than the weekend.

I would also recommend avoiding rainy seasons as the river may rise and obstruct the view of the rocks.

Contact me here to start planning!

If you’re looking for a getaway for your Virginia elopement, you should definitely check out these east coast locations.

I would recommend having your honeymoon here after you elope! There are so many stunning locations, and who doesn’t love a good beachy getaway?? Get married in the summer and hit up some tasty ice cream parlors or go for a boat ride.

Best places to elope in Coastal Virginia:
  • Sandbridge Beach
  • First Landing State Park
  • Norfolk Botanical Garden
  • The Mill at Fine Creek
  • Chincoteague island
  • Cape Henry

Coastal virginia

If you’re more into the industrial, architectural vibe for an intimate wedding day then I would recommend checking out these northern Virginia elopement locations! While most of these are venues rather than parks, all of these options have a micro-wedding or elopement packages.

Best elopement locations in Northern Virginia:
  • Historic Polegreen Church - a unique, open church located outside of Richmond
  • 48 Fields Farm - rustic, upscale venue that has all-inclusive elopement packages
  • Goodstone Inn - elopement for 10 guests, also has fun inclusions in their packages such as a couples massage, chocolate covered strawberries, and sparkling wine
  • Waterfront Park in Old Town Alexandria
  • Rust Manor House - for 30 or less guests, can be reserved for $200/ hour with a 2 hour minimum
  • Arlie - romantic getaway with an elegant countryside touch
  • Sky Meadows State Park - rolling pastures with the best scenic views

northern virginia venues

Looking for a unique elopement location in Virginia? You can have a private ceremony with up to 12 guests inside the Luray Caverns. The package is listed at $3,000 on their website which includes an aisle of candles, rose petals and a gift basket with wine.

Check out some nearby things to do:

luray caverns

  1. Choose your date - Consider eloping on a Monday through Thursday. Having your Virginia elopement during the week will help ensure more privacy. If you are wanting to hike to your destination, the trails are always more crowded on the weekend. If you choose to go the venue route for your elopement, packages also tend to be much cheaper during the week. 
  2. Make it legal - The best two options to make your elopement legally bound: hire an officiant for your day or get married at the courthouse on a seperate day and have a private ceremony to celebrate. Marriage licenses in Virginia are only valid for 60 days so you will want to plan accordingly for that. At the Circuit Clerk's Office you will need your certified birth certificates and a valid photo ID for both you. After filling out the paperwork, it will be $30 for the marriage licence and can be used that same day.
  3. Plan your elopement day - I suggest hiring a photographer that will help with your timeline creation. Spoiler alert - that's me! There are endless options when it comes to planning your dream elopement and it can be overwhelming. Some ideas to get your inspiration flowing: sunset picnic in an open field, hot air balloon ride with champagne, hire a chef to cook you a private dinner, stargazing with a campfire and smores to end the day, or a first dance on top of the mountain.
  4. Book accomodations ahead of time - A lot of AirBnbs and venues will book up fast in Virginia. As soon as you have your date and general elopement location chosen, figure out your accommodations. While some couples choose to get ready in their own home, I recommend choosing somewhere else that is clean and bright. Read this blog here for my best getting ready tips! 
  5. Get your details together - Look at booking whatever other vendors you might need to fit the vibe you're going for. Florists, catering, cake, photographer, videographer, hair and makeup are a few you might need to consider. Other details to keep in mind to gather: custom vow books, wedding shoes or sneakers, jewelry, and anything sentimental you might want included.
  6. Elope! - Do the dang thing you've worked so hard for! As someone who eloped themselves, I can tell you firsthand how perfect it is going to be. The moment all your hard work comes together and pays off is so rewarding. The planning is stressful but hang in there, the end is worth it all!

Top tips for ensuring your Virginia elopement day runs smoothly:

One of the best reasons to elope in Virginia, is due to how easy it is to accomplish! Here you will find everything you need to know to make your Virginia elopement a breeze. 

how to elope in virginia:

  • Spring - I personally love spring elopements in Virginia! It is my favorite season of the year due to the blooming flowers and mild temperatures. While there is a higher risk of rain potentially, but rain on your wedding day is goodluck right? Having your elopement day from mid-March to early June is the perfect time to avoid the heat and be surrounded by stunning flowers.
  • Summer - If you're a beachy vibe kind of couple, then a summer elopement might be perfect for you! Sunrises in the summer are my favorite, consider having your elopement in the morning to avoid the heat. Summers in Virginia can be very hot, sticky and humid. You will also likely have more people to avoid, even on the weekdays, due to vacation and tourism. Lastly, AirBnbs and hotels will likely be more expensive due to the same reasons. Everyone will tell you to avoid July and August... but we had our elopement in August and it was the perfect day. Ultimately, do whatever is best for you! 
  • Fall - The most popular time to elope in Virginia if I had to guess! My second favorite season for elopements for its beauty in the changing of leaves. Temperatures are mild, not too hot for your ceremony and a nice, cool breeze by the evening. Something to keep in mind if you're choosing to elope in the mountains, temperatures can be about 10 degrees cooler than other areas in Virginia. A lot like the summer months, people flock to Virginia in the fall to see the beauty of the changing leaves. The Blue Ridge Parkway does not give wedding permits for the entire month of October due to high tourism.
  • Winter - In the cooler months, you will have to worry about icy and snowy conditions that could close roads. If you've always wanted  beach elopement, the winter months might be something to consider. You would likely have the place to yourself in the off-season! I think an elegant Virginia elopement in the winter months with burgundy and gold accents would be stunning!

Here is a guide to help you decide on what season is best for your Virginia elopement:

There are multiple factors to consider when planning your Virginia elopement. This section will go over which season you should elope, and what time of day would be best. 

when to elope in virginia:

What time of day to elope in Virginia:

What time of day you elope is going to depend on what time of year you decide to elope. I suggest googling what time of day the sun will rise or set on your date. If the sun is setting at 5 PM, I would suggest having your ceremony around 3 PM to allow for plenty of sunlight afterwards for portraits at golden hour. Golden hour is the hour immediately following sunrise, or the hour before sunset. 

Benefits of having your Virginia elopement at sunrise:
  • Less crowds + more privacy
  • Stunning sunrises on the east coast as the sun comes up over the beaches
  • You can plan an entire day together as husband and wife, I also can't thik of a better way to start the day than marrying the love of your life!

Benefits of having your Virginia elopement at sunset:
  • More time to get ready if you're not a morning person! 
  • Vows at sunset sound like the perfect way to end the day 
  • You can plan evening activities together, like a bonfire and smores

You deserve a day that is fully customized to you and your love because everyone is different! My pricing for Virginia elopements is all inclusive, which means no hidden fees or surprise travel costs added at any point. 
Elopement planning is stressful, you're going to want someone in your corner. Let me be that someone for you! I'll be more than your photographer, I'll be there every step of the way and just a text a way at any given time. You can read more about what you get in your elopement package below.

All-Inclusive Virginia Elopement Packages 

virginia elopement photographer

I'm Kristen - an elopement and engagement photographer based in Roanoke, Virginia. I am an outdoor enthusiast, full time ICU nurse, travel fanatic, momma to 2 cute doggos and one sweet baby girl, and a dang good photographer who is always down for adventures of any kind ;) I can't wait to plan and capture your special day with a timeless, candid approach! 

What is included in my all-inclusive Virginia elopement packages:

  • Photography Coverage - one of the most important aspects of your elopement package, how long would you like a photographer there to cover your day? I offer 4-8 hours of coverage, and up to full day coverage for adventure elopements. Full day adventure elopements can look like me being there from the start of you getting ready, to hiking up to your ceremony destination, all the way to you dancing under the stars by a bonfire. I offer flexibility in order for you to have the Virginia elopement you have always dreamed of.
  • Access to all of elopement guides - I do all the hard work so that you don't have to. After we choose the best location for your elopement, I will put together a thorough guide detailing everything you need to know from permits to where you should hold your ceremony. 
  • Elopement planning - I offer an add-on to all of my elopement packages that allow you to sit back and not worry about a thing! Including finding vendors within your budget, hunting the perfect accommodation or AirBnb, and finding activities in the area for your day based on what you love
  • Customized to you - questionnaires to figure out the perfect location for you, personalized timeline for your elopement to ensure a stress-free day, activity suggestions, location scouting prior to ensure we're getting photos at the best places, vendor recommendations, unlimited phone calls whenever you need help
  • Full gallery within 8-10 weeks - I don't put a hard number on the amount of photographs you will receive, you can expect roughly 50-75 images per hour of coverage usually through an online gallery with unlimited downloads
  • Engagement session included - this ensures we get to know each other before the big day and you can be completely comfortable in front of the camera!
pricing for virginia elopements: contact me for more information
  • partial coverage (3-4 hours) - starting at $2,200
  • Full day coverage (6-8+ hours) - Starting at $2,800

Ready to book your elopement?

Fill out the contact form below to get started planning your Virginia elopement today. You can expect a reply from me in 48-72 hours. we can jump on a quick consult call with no obligation and chat about your dream day!