DOLLY SODS WILDERNESS
There are so many things to think about when having an elopement. 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.
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 memorable. There’s also a way to include some other locations if you choose Blackwater Falls for the ceremony location for your elopement. 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. 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 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)
- Golfing (Canaan)
- 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 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.