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I'm Shanmari - elopement crafter and photographer here at Avonture. I'm based out of Ohio and travels worldwide to help couples plan their dream elopement that values their beliefs and authenticity. Reach out anytime if you'd like to chat about yours!

Sunrise Hiking Hocking Hills Elopement | An Ohio Elopement Story

If you haven’t heard of the incredible hidden gem in Ohio named Hocking Hills, you have no idea what you are missing out on! Hocking Hills is known for vast scenery featuring waterfalls, large gorges, incredible greenery and amazing hiking trails, so if you’re thinking of eloping in Ohio then a Hocking Hills Elopement might be perfect for you.

bride and groom standing under a fallen tree trunk in hocking hills ohio on their hocking hills ohio elopement day

How Do You Elope In Hocking Hills?

Hocking Hills Elopement Permit:

The process to legally elope in Hocking Hills is pretty easy, you can directly call their park office to apply for the permit in a few different ways - this can change often so make sure you call directly to get the most updated information and price. When you chose the perfect elopement spot, make sure you call the correct park office as there are locations surrounding Hocking Hills that gets mistaken for being under the same land management & ownership.

The Impact Weather Changes can have on Your Hocking Hills Elopement:

I have to say that Hocking Hills offers a unique setting at every season, in the end whether you choose to elope in Hocking Hills during the winter or summer, a Hocking Hills Elopement day will be magical nonetheless. Opt for winter if you are looking for frozen waterfalls, fall if you want to be surrounded by the beautiful colors of fall foliage like on Ashley & Joe's Hocking Hills Elopement day, or spring for the best flow of the waterfalls and summer for the best guaranteed weather.

Hocking Hills Leave No Trace:

When you walk through this amazing forresttry and rock formations you might see signs that asks you to stay off certain areas or see carvings in the rocks dating back 100's of years. Please make the compassionate decision to not carve on any of the rocks or trees, if you want to do something like that opt to bring something with that you two can write in or on and keep as a memory, like a time capsule or letters to each other. Hocking Hills have a very strict trail policy, so stay on the designated trails at all times and take good care of our beautiful hidden gem!

Bride and groom looking out onto the fall foliage on their fall Conkles hollow elopement day

Ashley & Joe's Hocking Hills Elopement

This Hocking Hills Elopement day was nothing short of magical for Ashley & Joe, their laid back, intimate wedding day in Hocking Hills had a touch of adventure & a whole lot of intentional romance. We all know photos can speak books so check out a peak into Ashley & Joe's Hocking Hills Elopement gallery here, along with a few more details of their day.

Hocking Hills First Look

I met up with Ashley & Joe in the parking lot of their trail long before the first sunlight. In the light of only our two cars, we geared up before we started our hike up the gorge in the dark. The previous day Ashley texted me asking if I had extra batteries for their headlamps and a bungee cord to strap her dress to their pack, I told her not to worry and that I'll make sure to grab those items before I meet up with them. Thank you Walmart for opening up on time!

When we got to their ceremony spot, Ashley went into the woods to put her dress on while Joe waited in their spot until they had their first look. A fun part about being an elopement photographer is that I don't just take the photos, but I help with the getting ready too - whether that's zipping up a dress, fixing bobby pins in the hair or attaching boutonnieres, I love to help wherever I am needed!

A Cliffside Hocking Hills Ceremony

After playing rock-paper-scissors to see who would read their vows first, Ashley & Joe read their own written vows to one another surrounded by the fall trees & beautiful Hocking Hills Scenery. You seriously can't beat these views, and this is right in the heart of Ohio! A little back story - Ashley & Joe are not morning people at all, but to them, trusting my expertise to what will be the best timeline for their day was easy to end up deciding to have a sunrise ceremony. Zero regrets!

Ohio elopement photographer in hocking hills ohio

Fun Fact - Ashley & Joe had me sign for their marriage license as their officiant, yes I am fully ordained & registered to legally marry couples!

You can get married here in Ohio without any witnesses, this means it can just be the two of you and I can help you make it legal and legit while preserving the intentional intimacy!

Hocking Hills Wedding Photos

After the ceremony we enjoyed some time admiring the views, chatting about how amazing it is, and taking some wedding portraits along the way. We also had some hawks fly by us above the trees and it was amazing to witness! With every elopement I make sure to step aside and give every couple some time to themselves too.

Hocking Hills Picnic Celebration

To wrap up their cliffside Hocking Hills Elopement, Ashley & Joe popped some champagne & had a celebratory picnic on the cliffs of this amazing gorge. If hiking on your elopement day is your number one adventure, you're going to want to eat something along the way and if you want to make it romantic, opt to pack a charcuterie board, that is truly the easiest thing to pack and set up and make it look super cute and intentional.

Hocking Hills Hiking Elopement

Ashley & Joe really wanted a laid back timeline, so they had a mid day break, which was nice to refresh and take a short nap! How cool is it to be able to take a nap mid your own wedding day!? So we hiked back to our cars, went our separate ways before meeting up at the next spot we explored & took portraits at.

Hocking Hills Waterfall Elopement

Ashley & Joe met me in the waterfall parking lot and we enjoyed exploring only one of the amazing waterfalls Hocking Hills has to offer. This specific waterfall is described to be a huge cavern with a thin, tall waterfall trickling down. It can especially be admiring when it freezes in the winter months and create a huge ice boulder at the floor of the waterfall. Eloping at a waterfall in Hocking Hills can give you those fairytale feeling like no other place in Ohio! See for yourself.

Hocking Hills Private Chef Catered Dinner & First Dance

After all of that adventure Ashley & Joe wanted their day to truly slow down, they had a private chef put together a meal for them back at their Airbnb. A unique tradition that they included on their day was to burry a bottle of bourbon exactly one month before their Hocking Hills Wedding, by the approval of the host. The tradition is that you will get good weather on your day - I kid you not - it rained that whole week except for their elopement day! Now there's an awesome Elopement tradition idea. These two also enjoyed their first dance mid meal and had a unique, but cute visitor...

Hocking Hills Campfire & Hot Tub Elopement

My couples seem to always end their day with a campfire, s'mores and cuddles. Ashley & Joe had a few s'mores around their campfire, not too many as their meal had them stuffed already. They then ended their day with some cuddles in the hot tub. How amazing is it that you can fit all of these incredible moments into your elopement day while also having time to just relax together. Elopements are seriously the best way to get married no doubt!

Hocking Hills Elopement Timeline

+- 12 Hour Elopement Day

05:00 AM Wake up - hair & make up, hydrate, use restroom before leaving. 05:50 AM - 06:00 AM Drive to trailhead (+-30 min drive) 06:30 AM Meet Shan in the parking lot. (Silver Subaru Legacy) 06:45 AM Start Hiking. +- 07:20 AM Getting dressed & touch ups. 08:00 AM Dawn first look. 08:15 AM Sunrise Ceremony. 08:45 AM - 11:00 AM Picnic & Adventuring.

11:00 AM Head back to cottage, take a break.

02:00 PM Start getting ready again, get dressed, touch ups & use restroom.

02:40 PM Head to waterfall. 03:00 PM Meet Shan at the waterfall parking lot. 03:00 PM - 03:50 PM Explore waterfall. 03:50 PM Drive back to cottage. 04:00 PM Private chef dinner, first dance & relaxing 06:30 PM Sunset photos, Pop champagne, dig up bourbon, campfire, hot tub & fun! 07:30 PM - 08:00 PM Photo wrap ups.

Couple walking under as cave on their waterfall elopement in hocking hills

Here's what Ashley & Joe had to say about working with me to help them put together this incredible sunrise hiking Hocking Hills Elopement day:

There aren’t enough words to describe how amazing Shanmari and Avonture Elopements was in making our day as special as it was. Going into the process was a bit scary at first just because you worry about how can someone else envision what you and your significant other have been planning for so long and in many cases what you’ve been thinking about your entire life. But from the very beginning through talking to Shanmari and filling out a questionnaire for her to get to know us and what we want, it was clear that we had nothing to worry about and she would do everything that she could to make our day as perfect as we could have imagined. In the day of our elopement, as I’m sure many people are, we were very nervous, we woke up at 4am in order to climb a peak before sunrise, and we also forgotten some things at home that we needed. But without a doubt Shanmari was there to not only to make us feel comfortable but also made sure we had everything we need. Even things we didn’t know we needed, she had ready and made the experience so easy for us so we didn’t have to worry about anything. She also made sure it was FUN, through her stories, her jokes, and just amazing personality, she made a usually exhausting day, so enjoyable and stress free. Even though we were tired, we couldn’t help but have so many laughs and create so many memories. And if that wasn’t enough, the pictures were absolutely amazing. Truly, no exaggeration, they turned out amazing and easily the best pictures I have not only of my wife and I but also of myself probably in my whole life. It seems like every single day I’m going back and looking through them and I just can’t help but smile because they capture just every emotion I feel about my wife that I’ve never been able to put into words. The pictures make we feel so much pride in that day and my wife. The day of our wedding, Shanmari, my wife and I went in as strangers but I can truly say that the day ended with us as friends. So for anyone even considering eloping, please do yourself a favor, and just contact Avonture Elopement’s. I promise you will not regret it. She will make your day one to remember for the rest of your life.
- Ashley & Joe

Thinking about Eloping In Hocking Hills?

I'm Shanmari, the elopement photographer and crafter here at Avonture - I am based in Ohio and plan & photograph elopements all over Ohio, as well as take couples to the rest of the United States when their heart call for other types of scenery, like mountains or deserts - ones we don't have in Ohio of course. For some couples they can't imagine their day anywhere else but here in Ohio, that's where I help them find the perfect spot that speaks to their hearts and fulfill all their wants and vision for their own intentional elopement day.

If you found some inspiration from viewing & reading about this amazing Hocking Hills elopement day, check out my elopement packages and pricing and reach out anytime so we can chat about your elopement day!

Can't wait ;)


Elopement Photographer | Avonture Elopem



I'm Shanmari - elopement crafter and photographer here at Avonture. I'm based out of Ohio and travels worldwide to help venturing couples like you plan their dream elopement that values their beliefs and authenticity.

Need help crafting your own elopement day?

 If you'd like help planning your dream elopement day with a ultimate elopement planning guide, personalized location idea list just for you, vendor recommendations, planning and traveling tips and tricks, my never-ending help and guidance and an authentic, documentary approach to photographing your adventure - I would love to help you plan your day from scratch and make all your wedding dreams come true and more.

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