There are so many things to think about when having an elopement or intimate/micro wedding. If you have already thought about possibly choosing the Blackwater Falls area as an elopement location, this guide will help you a bit.
FIRST OFF, WHAT IS AN ELOPEMENT?
It’s just a way to say you love each other, but it still means as much as any other wedding. Elopements can be just the two of you or you can choose to still have some of your closest friends/family celebrate with you. You can make the day (or days) of it all and make it an epic memory that you will never forget. You focus on you and your love for each other more and it’s a bit less about an “event”.
Our style is 90% documentary/candids so we won’t pose you non-stop. We want to capture your day how it really is and how it unfolds.
WHAT IS A MICRO or INTIMATE WEDDING?
We classify intimate weddings as under 40 guests and micro weddings as under 20 guests. We can still do some hiking as long as your guests are ok to do it. We can also do easier hikes if some of your guests aren’t able to hike more extensive hikes. We also have had couples hike with their family that can hike and then celebrate after with everyone together.
Some of our couples who choose an easier ceremony spot for all their guests and then we have hiked before and after with them to get some epic photos. The choice is yours and we can help navigate through it all.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE BLACKWATER FALLS…
Blackwater Falls (and surrounding areas) is one of those places where you can’t believe how beautiful it is. There are beautiful mountain overlooks, waterfalls, lush trails, and beautiful tunnels of trees. Many of our couples come from all over the US to elope (lots are from NY, NJ, DC and PA) and we always try to show all the beauty that is here.
We can suggest where you can stay and other things to do while in the area to help make your elopement or intimate/micro wedding memorable. There’s also a way to include some other locations if you choose Blackwater Falls for the ceremony location for your elopement or intimate wedding/micro wedding. We have a lot of couples who want to also want some photos at Dolly Sods or other places and we know some pretty amazing spots nearby.
WHEN YOU SHOULD ELOPE:
What time of year is a big decision. We love the area the best from late spring-early December (but also if it’s snowy). If you love waterfalls and want to get up close to them for some photos, it’s best when the water is lower.
Many of the trails have much less traffic during the week, so we always suggest doing a wedding between Monday evening-Thursday morning if you choose a highly-trafficked area, if possible. Sunday mornings can also be good. If it’s not possible to do during the week, we can help figure out all the logistics to make it the best day for you two. There are so many trails around and we can help make it so much easier for you to plan and find the perfect spot and any day of the week.
We can also help you choose the timeline for the ceremony and all the festivities. There are certain locations that are better at sunrise and some that are way better at sunset for lighting and crowd reasons.
FUN WAYS TO MAKE YOUR DAY MEANINGFUL:
- Write your own vows and share them with each other.
- Get ready together.
- Have a first look if you don’t get ready together.
- Do something new. Hike somewhere new. Check out a new town.
- Have a chef come to your place and cook you an insanely epic dinner.
- Have a campfire at the end of the night.
- Pop some champagne!
VENDORS YOU MIGHT NEED/WANT:
We can help you decide which vendors you might need and suggest some others also. We know you might not want many or you could want more. We are here to help suggest some local/nearby vendors and also help out in any other ways that we can.
- Photographer (oh hey) ;)
- Officiant (we always say to choose someone close to you two or we have a couple good ones we can suggest)
- Hair + MUA
- Music: (portable bluetooth speakers for the win!)
- Food: Catering/Chef/Dinner
Blackwater Falls is located in Tucker County, so you must get a license there unless you are a WV resident (you can get them in your own WV county if you want and that’s easier for you). There is no waiting period in WV (if you are over 18) and they are valid for 60 days.
Here is the link: TUCKER LICENSE
WHAT TO BUDGET FOR YOUR DAY:
It all depends on what you want to focus on and what vendors you truly need and want for your day. But we will be honest, it could cost about 50%+ of what it normally costs for a bigger wedding. We always tell our couples to talk about the true things that matter to them. We have a lot of foodie couples and they definitely want a great caterer/chef.
Here are some things to think about:
- Do you have to travel to your elopement?
- Will you have a honeymoon in the same location or go to another place?
- How much do you want to spend on your attire? There are some places to grab some less expensive options.
- Do you want live music? (some of our couples like to have local musicians which is super fun)
- Do you want lots of flowers and decor?
- Where will you stay? Do you want to rent a really nice place or not. Some places to stay will also cost a decent amount, depending on how many people you will be having with you.
- What other vendors do you need? Hair/Makeup, Videography, etc.
- Do you want to do any fun activities? (4x4s, SUPing, helicopter rides, etc.)
WHAT TO BRING (depending on the time of year):
- Dress + Suit/Tux/etc
- Layers of clothes if you are hiking and especially in places that have a chance of snow/colder weather (Colorado, I am talking about you — snowing in the Summer — haha).
- Extra socks
- Hiking shoes/boots
- Dressier shoes (if you want to change into them), but we love boots!
- Illumination: Headlamps
- Bug spray/Bug Netting
- Rain gear (It can be super rainy and muddy)
- Base layers (thermals, cuddlduds, fleece leggings, etc)
- Champagne and glasses, if you want to celebrate after! :)
OTHER ACTIVITIES IN THE BLACKWATER FALLS AREA:
Here are some other activities available in the area. There are so many options to make it a memorable experience. Eloping is so amazing because you get to make it WHATEVER you want it to be.
- Hiking + Sightseeing (Spruce Knob, Seneca Rocks, Blackwater Falls, Swallow Falls areas to name some)
- Rock climbing (NRocks)
- Kayaking/SUPing/Whitewater Rafting (Blackwater Outdoor Adventures)
- Boating (Deep Creek area Bill’s Marine or Deep Creek Marina)
- Golfing (Canaan Valley Resort or Wisp)
- Skiing/Snowboarding/Snow activities (Canaan, Blackwater Falls (sledding),Timberline, or Wisp)
- Coffee + Art Walk (TipTop + so many art galleries/stores in Thomas and Davis…seriously there are some amazing artists in the area)
- Antiquing/Vintage Shopping (Ella+Company + The Wandering Caravan + Emerald Tree Boutique to name a couple)
- Distillery+Brewery Tours (ie: Still Hollow Spirits + Stumptown Ales + Mountain State Brewery)
- Live Music (Purple Fiddle)
PLACES TO STAY:
- The Billy Motel – super funky and fun with great drinks and food.
- Bright Morning Inn – cute place (newly remodeled) with great food.
- Cooper House Bed + Cocktail
- AirBNBs/Home Rentals – There are some really cute ones in the area that we can refer you to for sure!
- Canaan Valley Resort
We know there are lots to think about, but here is just a starting point for you and some things to think about.