Enchanted Forest Elopement in Gatlinburg

Meet the couple of this forest elopement in Gatlinburg


A forest elopement in Gatlinburg was not plan A for this couple. When I first talked to Shayna, she told me her and Erik were supposed to actually have a traditional, larger wedding, but then when COVID hit they decided to elope in New Orleans. Well, since they were coming from Ohio and air travel started to become an issue, they decided to make things a bit easier and drive down to Tennessee and have an enchanted forest style elopement here in the Smoky Mountains. This couple is seriously so sweet and so in love, and they absolutely could not wait to get married. We started the evening off by taking detail shots, followed by their ceremony. After that, Shayna and Erik privately read their own personal vows to each other, which was definitely the sweetest moment of the day. Then we wandered around the area and took some portraits, which was then followed by a dance and some cake! Check out the full story below.

About the details of this Gatlinburg Forest Elopement


One thing Shayna had told me ahead of time is that she definitely wanted an enchanted forest vibe to her elopement. I've photographed elopements at Ely's Mill before, but I absolutely loved the uniqueness of this one, which came in the form of details Shayna brought along with her to help tell her and Erik's story. She had a beautiful invitation suite made, and brought along a gorgeous glass ring box complete with real moss and everything! The couple even made a stop to the grocery store along the way to the elopement when Shayna had a last minute idea to have a little cake cutting during their elopement! I love when couples bring details to their elopement, since I really believe that unique and personalized details are the thread that really helps tie the story of a wedding day together.


Want to see more elopements at Ely's Mill? Check out another blog post of mine right below!

Why I love Ely's Mill in Gatlinburg for forest elopements


Ely's Mill is a location I have been able to photograph elopements in quite a few times, but it's one of those places that no matter how many times you go there, you can always find new little spots to make each elopement different from the last. One of the reasons I love this location is that it's actually completely private. So while the public can access the road there and the shop, the pavilion, the river and all the best locations are only accessible to the those involved with the wedding or elopement! There's also a restroom on site which totally comes in handy with couples getting ready, and the owners are super sweet!


Check out another elopement I photographed at Ely's Mill below!

Thinking about planning your own forest elopement in Gatlinburg?

Photographed for Simply Eloped