WV Elopement Photography

packages, locations and vendors

reflective wedding portrait at dolly sods west virginia

Weddings aren’t for everybody. Wedding planning can quickly grow from happy to hassle with ballooning guest lists and traditions that obscure what’s really important. Elopements cut out all the noise and put the focus squarely on you and your love. If exchanging your intimate vows in front of 150 people makes you anxious, then perhaps an elopement is right for you!

Our elopement packages range from 90 minutes to 5 hours of continuous coverage. So whether you just need us to document a short ceremony, or you’d like us to go on an outdoor adventure with you, we’ve got you covered. We offer multiple packages to fit the needs of your elopement, microwedding or minimony. None of the fuss, all of the feels!


We’ve been photographing weddings and elopements in WV and beyond for a decade, and in that time we’ve gathered a lot of insight into what goes into making the best possible elopement experience. This handy guide will help you plan the best elopement in the Best Virginia.

West Virginia has long been a hot spot for adventure seekers with its bountiful mountains and rivers. These same characteristics that make WV a beautiful place to play also make it a destination for adventurous elopements.


How to Elope in WV

If you’re looking to go the no-fuss route and get hitched with an elopement, then congratulations, you’re saving yourself a lot of stress (and money)! This elopement checklist has a few things you might need to make it happen.

  1. You need a partner. You may love yourself, but you can’t marry yourself (sorry).
  2. A date (or a general timeframe). Note that if you’re trying to elope on a weekend any vendors you hire may charge higher rates.
  3. An officiant of some sort. We know some fine folks who would be happy to stand between you and your partner and read from a document or religious text of your choice.
  4. A marriage license. Ceremonies are worthless without a sheet of paper that says you’re married! What says “true love” better than a legally binding contract? Visit your county clerk’s office (WITH your partner) to get one. A WV marriage license is $56 and is valid for 60 days.
  5. A location. Consult with us and we’ll tell you when and where to get the best light and avoid crowds at your spot.
  6. Flowers are cool. Weddings and flowers go together like PB&J. And a bouquet gives you something to do with your hands. Some faves: Anita’s FlowersBessie’s Floral
  7. Cake! Or donuts! Or pie! Or champagne! Or beer (our fave)! Celebratory foodstuffs are always a great idea.
charleston wv capitol street elopement

Where to Elope in West Virginia

More and more folks are choosing WV for their elopement or microwedding, and there’s no shortage of gorgeous locations to tie the knot! Whether you’re looking to exchange vows overlooking the iconic New River Gorge or on the steps of the state capitol, this guide will walk you through the best elopement locations in WV.

Elopement Locations for Charleston WV

WV State Capitol – Free to use for ceremonies, this spot features that lovely golden dome and sits on the banks of the mighty Kanawha River. Just make sure the legislature isn’t in session.

Courthouse – Walk through a metal detector and say your vows before one of our esteemed judges! We like to make guests sit in the jury box.

Hale Street Center – A new, one-of-a-kind venue in downtown Charleston! A perfect microwedding spot if you’re looking for more of a city vibe.

Marriott Pavilion – This rooftop ceremony spot overlooks downtown Charleston. It puts you close to lots of tasty restaurants downtown, and the Charleston Coliseum is a solid place for photos.

Craik-Patton House – Located near the Kanawha River, this historic spot has a lovely outdoor garden area perfect for elopements and microweddings.

If you’ve got a favorite restaurant or spot that you’d like to elope at, don’t be shy, get in touch with them! Certain places like Short Story will gladly host your event. It never hurts to ask!


New River Gorge Elopement Locations

Note: having a non-resort wedding within the designated national park area of the New River Gorge requires a permit from the National Park Service. Also, make sure your photographer has a Commercial Use Authorization to conduct business in the area.

Endless Wall Trail – Longer than Long Point Trail but features many more overlooks. Its abundance of overlooks provides more opportunities for photos during the hike than Long Point. Endless Wall is popular, but is big enough that you can usually find a good spot away from crowds.

Beauty Mountain – Requires very little hiking making it a good spot if you’re planning on bringing older folks along. If you’re willing to hike a bit further, the Ram’s Head overlook might be the best view of the gorge in the entire area.

Glade Creek – This trail is a 5+ mile out-and-back hike is great for couples who don’t mind a bit of a walk. It’s especially beautiful in the fall and features a lovely arched footbridge that makes a perfect ceremony location.

The Confluence Resort – Located near Fayetteville, this massive property has on-site lodging and miles of wilderness near the Meadow and Gauley Rivers. It’s fairly secluded so crowds are no concern. The owner is also cool as hell.

Adventures on the Gorge – Resort with on-site lodging, restaurant, pool and loads of activities. Recommended for those looking for a one-stop elopement spot. Very popular with tourists.

Long Point Trail – NPS does not approve permits for weddings or elopements at this location. For portrait sessions only, this short hike (~2 miles round trip) provides one of the best views of the New River Gorge one can ever hope to see. A popular spot that frequently draws crowds.


Canaan Valley Elopement Locations

Dolly Sods – This US Wilderness Area in the Allegheny Mountains requires a bit of uphill driving on gravel roads, but it’s worth it for the jaw-dropping beauty of the Bear Rocks area. This area can get pretty crowded, but you can generally find a good spot away from tourists.

Pendleton Point – Located in Blackwater Falls State Park, this overlook requires no hiking and provides a great view of Blackwater Canyon. It’s fairly small, so crowds can be a concern.

Lindy Point – This Blackwater Falls State Park spot requires a short (~1 mile) in-and-out hike and can be muddy (bring those boots), but the view is worth it! This spot always seems to be very crowded on weekends.

Seneca Rocks – This 3-mile in-and-out trail will get you a nice view of Seneca Rocks if you’re willing to deal with crowds and a bit of elevation gain.


Other Elopement Locations in WV

The Greenbrier Resort – For those looking to unwind and luxuriate, it gets no better than the Greenbrier. The staff is super helpful and accommodating for elopements, and the amount of on-site attractions after you’ve exchanged vows is staggering. Since this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state, be prepared to deal with lots of crowds. Oh, and we don’t need to tell you this, but it’s not cheap.

Your Backyard – You won’t get lost on the way there! It’s inexpensive! You won’t get thrown out for getting too rowdy! You won’t lose your deposit if you trash the place (unless you rent)!

Got any cool ideas for elopement spots that we haven’t included in this guide? We’re always down to venture off the beaten path and see something new. Send us a message!


West Virginia Elopement Packages

Elopement Pricing:

We have four elopement/microwedding packages to give couples plenty of options for documenting a smaller celebration! 

  • Our elopement packages contain 1.5-5 hours of continuous coverage.
  • Packages contain:
    • Timeline planning from a couple of WV elopement experts with over a decade of experience.
    • Printable high resolution digital files.
    • Slideshow containing our favorite images from your day.
    • Online gallery for easy sharing and print orders.

2024-25 prices start at $1200

Our shortest package is only available for couples eloping in the Charleston WV area. We also offer destination elopement coverage for elopements outside WV (travel fees may apply)!

Please get in touch if you’d like more information about our availability and pricing!

Elopement Vendors for West Virginia

Officiants:

Florists:

Cake:

Check out more elopements on our blog!