Capturing Whimsy and Passion: An Enchanting Elopement at Amicalola Falls State Park
North Georgia has so many incredible places for an elopement. As a wedding photographer, I LOVE that I live here and get to document love stories in the rolling mountains. But one place in particular hold a special place in my heart…
AMICALOLA FALLS STATE PARK
Amicalola Falls, nestled within the stunning Amicalola Falls State Park, is a true gem of North Georgia. Its name derives from the Cherokee word meaning “tumbling waters,” and it’s easy to understand why. The falls cascade down over 700 feet, making them the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. The sight of the water plunging into the serene pool below is breathtaking and offers a picturesque backdrop for any occasion.
Located in Dawsonville, Georgia, Amicalola Falls is within a convenient distance from bustling cities like Atlanta, yet it feels like a tranquil sanctuary far removed from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The park itself spans over 829 acres, encompassing not only the magnificent falls but also beautiful hiking trails, cabins, and scenic overlooks. It’s a place where nature’s grandeur takes center stage, inspiring awe and providing a peaceful setting for intimate gatherings.
When Alex + Tim came to me looking for a place in North Georgia for their elopement, I immediately suggested Amicalola because it has the perfect setting for the whimsy and timeless feel they were wanting. It feels otherworldly with it’s lush forests and towering waterfalls. Plus the park makes everything accessible, meaning it’s not more than a 5-10 walk to get the best views.
Let me break it down a little more for you…
Why Amicalola Falls is Perfect for a Wedding or Elopement:
- Natural Splendor: The ethereal beauty of Amicalola Falls and its surrounding landscapes offer a truly magical atmosphere for weddings and elopements. The cascading water, lush greenery, and breathtaking vistas create an enchanting ambiance that will undoubtedly be cherished in photographs for years to come.
- Privacy and Intimacy: Amicalola Falls State Park provides a secluded and intimate setting for couples seeking an elopement or a small wedding. Away from the crowds, you can exchange vows in some of the quiet spots I’ve found, ensuring that your special day is filled with intimacy and romance.
- Versatile Photography Opportunities: For photographers, Amicalola Falls is a dream location. FOREST….MOUNTAINS…WATERFALLS?! All in one place? You bet. Whether you prefer exchanging vows on a hillside overlooking the falls, beneath a canopy of towering trees, or by the river’s edge, this location allows for personalization and flexibility.
- Memorable Experiences: Beyond the natural beauty, Amicalola Falls State Park provides various amenities and accommodations for couples and guests. The park features charming cabins and lodges, allowing for a cozy and memorable stay. Additionally, the park offers hiking, ziplining, and other activities that can be enjoyed before or after the ceremony, enhancing the overall experience for all involved.
- Weddings Big & Small: One of my favorite things about this park is that is has the wilderness and secluded feel…and yet it has a lodge and restaurant right inside! The Amicalola Lodge is a rustic-style lodge that blends into the natural environment, offering a serene and peaceful atmosphere. The lodge features a variety of guest rooms, including standard rooms, suites, and cabins, providing options for different preferences and group sizes. Guests at Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge can enjoy amenities such as a restaurant, gift shop, conference facilities, (aka have a bigger wedding with guests here!) and outdoor recreational activities. The on-site Maple Restaurant serves Southern-style cuisine and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
- The Appalachian Trail: The lodge is also an excellent base for outdoor enthusiasts as it offers easy access to the park’s extensive trail system. The Appalachian Trail begins at Amicalola Falls, making it a popular starting point for hikers embarking on the iconic long-distance trail. There are also shorter trails within the park for visitors of all fitness levels. If you are really feeling up for a hike, check out the Len Foote Hike Inn!
If you can’t tell I cannot say enough about this park. But I want to switch gears a little and bring up something different about how Alex + Tim went about their day…
Let’s talk about getting ready together.
It is common that couples will get ready separately – it makes sense as it adds to the suspense and tradition of a wedding. However once of the benefits to an elopement is you can break the rules a little bit! Make the day feel more like “you.”
The Benefits of Couples Getting Ready Together:
In this particular elopement, the couple made a conscious decision to get ready together in a cozy cabin, called the called The Wooden Hill Cabin, nestled in the nearby town of Ellijay. This choice set the tone for the day, creating an atmosphere of togetherness and shared anticipation. Here’s why getting ready together can be a wonderful addition to a wedding day:
- Shared Experience: Getting ready together allows the couple to share in the excitement, nervousness, and joy of the day right from the start. It fosters a deeper connection and creates meaningful memories that can be cherished for a lifetime.
- Calm and Comfort: Amidst the whirlwind of emotions that a wedding day can bring, getting ready together provides a calming presence. The couple can offer each other support, reassurance, and a sense of familiarity, promoting a relaxed and stress-free environment.
- Candid Moments: As a photographer, I find that capturing candid moments is where the true emotions shine through. When couples get ready together, there is an abundance of genuine interactions, playful exchanges, and stolen glances that make for incredibly heartfelt photographs.
To wrap it up, because I am SURE you are so excited to see this day, Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge provides a wonderful retreat for nature lovers, hikers, and those seeking a tranquil getaway. With its scenic surroundings, comfortable accommodations, and access to the stunning Amicalola Falls, it offers an immersive experience in the beauty of the Georgia wilderness – and a perfect place for a wedding or elopement.
Wondering where to elope at in Georgia? Look no further. You’ve found a gem.
Looking to recreate this day for yourself? Here are a few helpful links and vendors:
Cabin in Ellijay: The Wooded Hills Cabin
Hair + Makeup Artist: Makeup by Ashton (She’s my favorite!)
Bouquet: Evergreen Florals
Stay in the Park: Amicalola Lodge