Cloudland Canyon Wedding Elopement
Cloudland Canyon is a Georgia State Park that features various waterfalls including Cherokee Falls and Hemlock Falls. The parking lot is situated above the canyon, making it a short and easy walk to the mountain views on the rim trail before hiking down the stairs to the falls. Did you know you that this beautiful location can also double as an outdoor wedding venue?
How to plan your Cloudland Canyon Wedding
You may be wondering- can you get married at Cloudland Canyon? The answer is yes, and there is no permit or fee currently required to have your wedding within the GA State Park. That's right- it's free to elope at Cloudland Canyon! However, you should call the park rangers a week prior to the date of the event to remind them that the event will be taking place. It should also be noted that this location is only suitable for elopements and intimate weddings with low guest counts as to not cause a disturbance for other visitors. You should also make sure to follow Leave No Trace principles. There are lots of stunning locations to Elope in Georgia, but this is definitely one of our favorites.
Zoe & Austin's Cloudland Canyon Elopement
A big, traditional wedding never resonated with Zoe and Austin. It simply didn't align with their values. For them, the most important things was to be somewhere beautiful and just to have their families present. Our elopement packages were exactly for what they were looking for to photograph their Cloudland Canyon elopement wedding.
Once they decided to elope, Georgia was the obvious option since there are so many beautiful places. They had been to Cloudland Canyon a handful of times before and knew it would be the perfect location for their intimate, sunrise wedding. They loved the nature and beauty the state park provided, with the canyon overlook and waterfalls below.
They considered having the elopement be just the two of them, or even just going to the courthouse. But in the end decided they wanted their families to be there to share the experience with them. Their families live in two different states, but they knew their families would be up for the adventure!
Canyon Wedding Ceremony
Their wedding day started early, arriving at the park at sunrise for their first look. They saw each other for the first time on a cliff overlooking the canyon below with fog covering the valley like a blanket. None of us had seen the canyon so foggy, but we now understand where Cloudland Canyon gets it's name from!
Their ceremony took place on the main overlook, with only their closest friends and family surrounding them. Their favorite moment of the wedding day was arriving at the overlook to see their loved ones gathered around to celebrate their marriage.
"Surrounded by the gorgeous weather we had at the canyon and such a beautiful group of people that love and care about us and realizing that this is it! All of our planning for this moment where we get to become husband and wife was finally happening and was even better than we imagined it could be. It was very surreal."
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How did you make your wedding intentional?
"We really wanted our wedding to be simple and low key, and even a little untraditional. It was important to keep the ceremony short and sweet but we did incorporate a couple of short readings that resonated with us.
We didn’t have a bridal party at all just to simplify things even more. I didn’t want to put any pressure on my friends to make the trip but a couple of them came anyways!
A lot of our wedding was DIY which made it even more special. My grandmother and I spent an afternoon handmaking the wedding announcements that we sent out. We all made my bouquet together. My bouquet was wrapped with fabric from a pair of jeans of my grandfather who passed away in 2016. It was a subtle but special way I wanted to include him.
The day of, my mom did my hair and my sister did my makeup. The night before the Cloudland Canyon wedding, our families met for the first time at a wonderful and sweet dinner organized by Austin’s family. There was a wedding cake and food and everyone came together to celebrate us.
On Sunday after the ceremony, we had no plans but to relax and enjoy being married! We really tried to focus on just how excited we were to be getting married and not focus on all the “other things” and the stress that can come along with it."
What was the biggest challenge you faced in planning your wedding? Do you have any advice for those planning now?
"We really didn’t have a lot of challenges when planning. Of course there were some small disappointments- like we were planning on having a big reception back in Texas but made the difficult decision to postpone that for now with everything going on. We had a hard time picking a suit for Austin and we barely found one in time (but it turned out amazing!). Our goal the whole time was for this to be a fun and not stressful experience for the both of us. I think that would be our advice as well. To try and relax and enjoy it! The little things aren’t that important when the end goal is to be married."
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