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Planning Our Adventure Elopement Pt 2: Picking the Location

And we’re back! If you didn’t know, l started a blog series a few weeks ago and to start you off I explained our why. Roman and I get a lot of questions when we tell people we’re eloping, so if you haven’t read that yet, go ahead and read that here

With the excitement of our new decision to elope setting in, we began to look at locations! We started off thinking we wanted to do something completely extravagant like Yosemite, mostly because the pictures are stunning. I was stuck on that idea for so long for some reason. I can’t even tell you why… but it just couldn’t leave my mind. Amy & her husband Josh with Amy Marie Events have been sweet enough to help us with planning this whole thing, and she reached out to us with some more local options that were equally as stunning. Somehow I missed the fact that there are mountains in the east, too?? 

What’s funny is that this was also around the time I became super interested in booking adventure sessions and mountain weddings for Jamie Dunn Photography, yet I still didn’t want to believe there was anywhere as stunning as Yosemite ’round these parts. 

At first when Roman and I discussed our wishes with Amy, we were all super pumped to hop on a plane and do the darn thing no matter where it was, but then she found us the Hawksbill Mountain Hike in Linville Gorge, North Carolina! After days of researching on Google, blogs, and even Instagram hashtags, Roman and I decided that it was the perfect spot. We would no longer have to stress about flying, transporting a wedding dress, and all of the other hidden expenses that come with eloping in a huge touristy park like Yosemite. 

via romanticasheville.com

That being said, the most helpful thing in making this decision was Insta hashtags! Simply search the location and the top 9 posts for that tag will show up first. From there, scroll through to look at other photographer’s work from that location to decide if it’s got the look you desire! Just make sure that before you settle on a location, you research the laws to actually get married there! For us, it was super simple because we aren’t having any guests or any major decorative items, so the only thing we really needed to take care of is getting the proper marriage license (we weren’t really sure if it was North Carolina or South Carolina at first)!

That’s also a great way to pick your photographer! Searching hashtags also helped us find our photographer who is based out of Greenville, SC, which is where we will be staying and getting ready the few days before we get married! We fell in love with Greenville after staying there for a short weekend for engagement photos, and decided it was the perfect place to get ready. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive to the hike though, which is probably as far as I would have wanted to drive that day. Luckily our AirBnb for the night after the mountaintop ceremony is only thirty minutes away in Boone, NC. A pretty easy drive home after a loooong day! We love AirBnb’s for their affordability and hospitality. They are usually nicer than hotels and when you only book superhosts, they are usually extremely helpful and can be contacted quickly though the app! We were able to book the SWEETEST tiny house in the woods for the next few days, complete with a hot tub (An absolute must).

So what exactly was it about this location that spoke to us?

First of all, the view at the end of this hike is spectacular. I’ve always loved the 360 views overlooking the blue ridge mountains. The way the blue caps look against a sunrise or sunset is the most beautiful combination. But another reason is that *supposedly* one of the hiking trails on the way up has waterfalls… need I say more? I say *supposedly* because Roman and I were supposed to check this out this summer to make sure… and then we both got sick on the way and turned around. So our test hike isn’t actually happening until 2 days before we get married!! And lastly, the hike to the gorge is supposed to be easy to moderate, and honestly- I don’t think I could do anything more strenuous than that in hiking clothes let alone a wedding dress. Yes, we plan to hike in our fancy clothes! 

So on April 15th, 2020, Roman and I will be hiking the Hawksbill Mountain trail with an officiant, coordinator, photographer, and videographer. And it’s also tax day. Tax day is gonna be the best day ever from here on out!

How did we find anyone crazy enough to hike up a mountain with us? I’ll be back next week with choosing vendors!

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I’M JAMIE

WELCOME TO THE BLOG

I’m a wedding, elopement, and portrait photographer serving Richmond, Virginia and beyond. With my interest in photography beginning way back in middle school, I’ve found my passion in people- documenting people’s important seasons of life in a way that feels like a fond memory.

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