Sunrise Max Patch Elopement

Max Patch Bohemian Elopement at sunrise

Whitney and Rashawn met in college during their time at East Tennessee State University. Rashawn is originally from Florida and Whitney is from the Smoky Mountains area. Because of this, they chose a very unique option for their professional wedding portraits. They held their wedding in August 2019 at La Bell Amour near the beach where Rashawn is from in Florida. In September 2019, they wanted professional wedding photos from an Knoxville Wedding Photographer to capture the beautiful Smoky Mountains where Whitney is from. We chose Max Patch as the location for these elopement wedding photos because of its beautiful 360 degree views of the Smokies.

Dress: David’s Bridal // Groom Attire: Men’s Wearhouse // Florals: DIY


All About Elopements at Max Patch

As a Knoxville Wedding Photographer, I have brides ask me about getting married at Max Patch all the time. Their questions range from “Am I allowed to get married at Max Patch?” to “Can my grandparents make it up the mountain for the ceremony?” and just trickle on from there. So here is all of my knowledge and thoughts about choosing Max Patch for your wedding elopement location.

Breathtaking, adventurous, intimate, unpredictable – those are the words that this professional wedding photographer would use to describe an elopement on Max Patch. There is definitely a reason for all of the hype surrounding Max Patch. The mountain has endless options for locations at the top that are completely stunning for backdrops for ceremonies and for photos.

Max Patch is a bald mountain on the North Carolina – Tennessee border with 360 degree mountain views that truly will take your breath away. Actually getting to the top might also take your breath away. It is a bit of a trek but once you reach the top, it is worth every step it took you to get there.

Max Patch is the perfect elopement location for adventurous souls with a carefree spirit. The carefree spirit part here is extra important. Max Patch is a mountain; therefore, the weather can be pretty unpredictable and it’s basically always windy. Max Patch can get down to fairly cold temperatures even in the summer months. Also, your wedding dress will get dirty… you are planning to hike up a mountain to get married after all. If it starts to rain, there is no quick way down the mountain. These are super important considerations for brides who care deeply about some of these details like their hair staying perfectly in place. One last thing, there are no bathrooms. Remember that part where I said adventurous souls with a carefree spirit? Yeah, I meant it!

It may sound like I’m telling you not to elope on Max Patch, that is not true at all! I love helping my couples wedding day dreams come true and Max Patch is one of my all-time favorite places to take pictures. I just want every couple to know exactly what they are getting in to when they choose a Max Patch Mountain elopement.

Another thing to consider is the number of people you want to be present for your wedding ceremony. The nature of a mountain elopement typically leans to a more intimate and smaller ceremony – sometimes even with no guests at all. If you want 100 people to attend your ceremony, this may be harder to accomplish on top of a mountain, even just from a parking standpoint. There is a trail leading from the parking lot (holds about 10 cars) up to the top of the bald that is about a 20 minute walk. The trail is very well maintained but this is something to keep in mind for family such as grandparents when considering eloping on Max Patch mountain.

Frequently Asked Questions about Getting Married at Max Patch

Am I allowed to have chairs at my ceremony on the top of the mountain?
According to the Pisgah National Forest things such as chairs, arbors, and anything of the like are not allowed. Also remember, anything you (or your guests) take up must come down.

Do I need a permit?
No, you do not unless you have something that would be considered a special circumstance.

What do we do if it rains?
There is no quick way down the mountain. If it starts to rain, it is anywhere from a 20 to 30 minute walk back down to your car(s).

Can I secure a particular spot/area for my wedding ceremony ahead of time?
No, you can not. Basically, the day of your mountain elopement ceremony, you trek up the mountain and pick the area that is open and available. Since it is a public area in a national forest, you can’t block off areas or keep others (not with you) from being in the area. If you are on the mountain anywhere near sunrise or sunset time, there is guaranteed to be a decent size crowd accompanying you at the top. You will likely also find a significant amount of campers that have small tents set up.

Advice from Whitney to future brides
I 100% recommend Max Patch. Don’t be afraid to get your dress a little dirty and just have fun!

Want to elope on the mountain at Max Patch or learn more about getting married at Max Patch? Contact me, Knoxville Wedding Photographer, to discuss the details, get my expert opinion and ultimately to capture your intimate moments. Lets trek the mountain together <3


Featured on Wandering Weddings