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Elope to Tennessee – Ultimate Planning Guide (updated 2022)

The Ultimate “How to” Wedding Planning Guide to Elope to Tennessee
(complete with pricing, paperwork, and locations)

Many couples choose to elope in Tennessee because of its spectacular natural beauty, diverse culture, art, cuisine, and, most importantly, its picturesque wedding venues. You will find a wide range of destinations – it doesn’t matter whether you’re eloping to a town or headed for the mountains.

Why Elope to Tennessee

Tennessee is among my favorite elopement destinations, with its southern charm and a great party and music scene in the music capital of the world in Nashville. The following is an ultimate wedding planning guide that should help answer any and all questions you may have if you decide to elope to Tennessee.

How to Elope  in Tennessee – Legal Stuff

Eloping is exciting and enjoyable, and what makes it even better is if its in an ideal location. So, if you’ve set your heart to elope to Tennessee and decide to marry in one of the breathtaking wedding venues in Tennessee, you’ll need to look into some laws as well.

  1. The legal age to get married is 18 years old. Also, you have to go to the county office. Only after that, you will be able to apply for your marriage certificate. 
  2. You and your partner must present valid identity proof and your SSN- social security number.
  3. There is no waiting period as the marriage certificate is issued immediately. 
  4. Your marriage must be ordained by a legally ordained officiant. The State of Tennessee does not accept weddings that have been officiated by a person ordained online.
  5. If you decide to elope in TN, there is no requirement of any witness, and only the legal officiant is sufficient.

How to Get to Tennessee

If you want to elope to Tennessee, you should fly into the Nashville International Airport or Memphis International Airport. Both are not far away from the city. You could also rent a car to visit nearby towns.

Best Time of the Year to Elope to Tennessee

Because Tennessee has such a diverse culture, it hosts various events and festivals. So, first and foremost, you must examine the calendar for significant events. The weather here varies slightly from east to west, but it has a mild climate. All the four seasons have their advantages. 

Most couples prefer the fall to get married here. So September, October, and November are the best months to elope in Tennessee. The weather is beautiful, and the temperature is just beginning to drop. The trees are aesthetic then and it makes the perfect backdrop for your beautiful wedding photos. 

Best Places to Elope in Tennessee

Elope in Gatlinburg Tennessee

If you’re a fan of beautiful mountain scenery and love a mix of adventure, Gatlinburg has it all. Known as the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg sits near the border with North Carolina. Visitors will enjoy beautiful mountain views and miles of hiking trails. A variety of museums, restaurants, and attractions also await. If you’re a couple that love to ski or snowboard, Gatlinburg sports several ski resorts. This is a beautiful location and one of the best places to elope in Tennessee.

Elope in Nashville Tennessee

If you haven’t visited the Music City lately, you may be surprised to find that Nashville is much more than just country music. For those wanting a more urban environment for their wedding, you can choose to elope in Nashville Tennessee. There are many beautiful venues such as the Hermitage, Belmont Mansion, and Marathon Music Works as well as plenty of sites for an extensive honeymoon. With fine dining, outdoor attractions, a vibrant nightlife along Lower Broadway, and classics like the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville is an incredibly popular destination to elope in TN.

Elope in Memphis TN

Memphis is to the blues what Nashville is for country music; however, this city offers much more than Graceland and B.B. King’s. With many gorgeous wedding venues such as the Atrium at Overton Square, Memphis Botanic Garden, or even Graceland’s Chapel in the Woods, there is something for every couple’s taste. After you elope to Tennessee, enjoy the nightlife of world-famous Beale Street or take in local food in the Pinch District. If you’re staying for the honeymoon, top sights include Sun Studios, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Memphis Zoo. Of course, no trip to Memphis is complete without a paddleboat cruise of the Mississippi or a visit to see the Peabody ducks. 

Cummins Falls State Park (Cookeville)

If you want to combine a rural escape with a beautiful backdrop, Cummins Falls State Park may be the location of your dreams. Located just northwest of the small town of Cookeville, Cummins Falls State Park is home to 282 acres of hilly forests and gorges. The park’s iconic waterfall which plunges into a large swimming hole is not the largest in Tennessee but may very well be the most impressive and accessible. Visitors can easily climb and walk amongst the fall’s many drops. The park even offers periodic evening tours with just a few people for a more intimate experience in the gorge. 

The Ruskin (Dickson)

Fee: $6500
Capacity: 1000

Located a short distance west of the Nashville suburbs, The Ruskin is a fantastic and varied wedding venue in rural Tennessee. Do you dream about getting married in a cave? They have one! The property itself is over a century old with lots of history and features 160 acres of carefully cultivated gardens and landscaping. An elopement at this property features many beautiful locations for a ceremony including the famous Ruskin Cave, a regal garden, several waterfalls, or a restored home from the 1890s. If you are planning to combine your elopement with a honeymoon, you’re a short drive from Nashville’s many attractions, allowing for the pairing of vibrant days with intimate evenings. 

Butterfly Hollow Bed & Breakfast (Gordonsville)

Fee: $2,999–5,149/event
Capacity: 30

There are many beautiful venues in Tennessee; however, Butterfly Hollow Bed & Breakfast may be the favorite. Located just an hour east of Nashville in charming Gordonsville, this romantic getaway bills itself as a hidden retreat nestled in the woods. Perfect for a small elopement with a few guests or a private ceremony, this elegant log cabin will provide for a calm, tranquil stay and is perfect for couples seeking a romantic spot. Stay a little longer for the miles of biking and hiking trails or to visit one of several local wineries. 

Pigeon Forge (Great Smoky Mountains)

Nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge allows you to embrace your inner child and your love of the outdoors with a small town atmosphere. Fans of country charm will enjoy the various markets and antique shops. Those interested in unique dining will enjoy the Mountain Mile shops. Want to feel like a kid again on your honeymoon? There’s a mountain coaster, tons of museums, and Dollywood. End your evening by taking in a live musical performance or a comedy show. 

Falls Creek State Park (Spencer)

An expansive state park located on the Upper Cane Creek Gorge, Falls Creek State Park is Tennessee’s largest area for outdoor recreation. As such, nature lovers will find themselves at home on the Cumberland Plateau. Here, you’ll find streams, gorges, waterfalls, and beautiful hardwood forests. This is an excellent place for a Fall elopement with the leaves turning framing the perfect backdrop. You can stay in cozy cabins or a lakeview lodge that will open this Fall. Stay a little longer and try out rock climbing, canoeing, boating, golf, or hiking. 

Chattanooga

Located on the Georgia border, Chattanooga is perhaps too often overlooked; however, this city provides an excellent option for eloping. For those that love the charm and beauty of Gatlinburg but want fewer crowds, this city is a perfect mix of laid back outdoors with a touch of urban nightlife. Visit local Lookout Mountain, where you can see seven states at once, or Ruby Falls, a 145-foot underground waterfall. Downtown Chattanooga features a variety of local cafes, restaurants, and microbreweries, perfect for celebrating after a day of adventure. 

These are the best places to elope in Tennessee that have a perfect mix of country elegance and natural wonder with a sprinkling of urban innovation. It surely has an option for the taste of almost any couple. Elopement is a great option for many couples as it provides a more intimate wedding and relaxed atmosphere. Be sure to checkout our Elopement Planning Guide for more tips about eloping in style. 

Conclusion

Choosing to elope to Tennessee allows a fantastic adventure with stunning scenery, tasty cuisine, and diverse cultures. Since the outdoors are so lovely, I’ve included some beautiful outdoor wedding venues to elope in Tennessee that should fit any style. I hope that this post addressed some of the most critical problems, such as legalities, ideal seasons, and the best places to elope to Tennessee. It’s your wedding day, so make it about the activities you and your partner enjoy after and enjoy this beautiful state.

Please CONTACT ME to discuss your epic day!

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