What To Do If You Elope In The Smoky Mountains and it Rains
Elope in the Smoky Mountains, it’s all the craze! I’d recommend it 10 out of 10! There have been some pretty cool trends that have hit the wedding world in the past several years, elopements being one of them. Trends are always fun and I’d like to think that eloping is not just a trend at this point. I hope elopements are something that permanently stays in the wedding world.
Want to Elope?
You are on board with eloping and now it’s time to start planning. You have narrowed down what area or national park you want to get married at. You’ve reached out to a photographer that has their permit to photograph your wedding where you want to elope at. You’ve spent countless hours mapping out your locations and made a Pinterest board of inspiration for your day. You have your dress, the florist, and of course the groom! As you start planning your elopement there’s one big question….”what if it rains on my wedding day?”
While elopements can be epic, they are normally outdoors and far from shelter. There is a trade-off for having your elopement in the wilderness. You can get epic photos, but there is normally no shelter from the elements. We shoot a ton of elopements in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and for most of them, the weather is perfect. However, this past weekend we had to deal with rain, a lot of it. In the 15 years of shooting weddings there have been very few weddings completely rained out, but this one I was afraid I may have to add to my list. Thankfully it wasn’t!
Marissa and Derek had been planning their elopement with a few friends and family for months in Cades Cove. When the seasons start changing weather is unpredictable thing. The week of their wedding we stalked the weather and their day was nothing but rain from sunrise till sunset. Marissa reach out asking for advice on what to do for their day wasn’t flexible at all. The part that they couldn’t be flexible due to guests/travel made options super limited, but I did have some options for her. Unfortunately, the only option that worked was to wait it out and see what happens.
Derek and Marissa’s wedding day came and it poured rain the whole day. I met them at our designated spot and it was still raining. We waited an hour for the two they had booked me and finally, it stopped raining enough to head to their permit spot and see if we could race the weather for them to say I DO. Thankfully we made it to their spot, and with less than an hour to dark, the rain had stopped. The fog that gives the Smoky Mountains had started to settle in for the night and I welcomed it as it added a little drama to their photos. It was a crazy evening, but it turned out perfectly!
Not all stories turn out this way, so here are a few tips to help you with rain on your elopement day.
Rain Back-Up Plan For The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- When booking your spot you’ll need a wedding permit (you have to have a permit and so does your photographer, both are very different) and ask to have your wedding in an indoor space. Spence Cabin, Appalachian Clubhouse, or one of the churches in Cades Cove are some options. Booking indoors will insure you are dry on your wedding day and then you can always go outside for photos. It is highly unlikely that you’ll be able to change to an indoor location the week of your wedding due to the permits department being so busy.
- Book enough time in town that if it’s calling for rain you can change your time or even the day of your wedding. Don’t get married the day before you leave out of town. Ask your photographer and minister when booking about their rain policy. Some vendors may be flexible, while others are not but at least you’ll know upfront. Ask them if you need to book more time on your wedding day due to rain is it possible and how much will it be.
- Bring waterproof shoes, umbrellas, and raincoats. It isn’t the perfect plan, but it can help keep you dry if you are just ready to get married for it regardless of the weather. Your vendors cannot control the rain, but I promise they don’t want it to rain as much as you don’t. We will also be prepared as well.
- Be flexible. If rain is a major concern then doing an elopement may not be for you. Elopements are fun, chill, adventurous, and a little unpredictable. If you need control over the weather, seek other options.
If you elope In the Smoky Mountains just have a game plan and it will turn out great!