When I schedule a bridal portrait session with a bride, I almost always get the question, “Where do you recommend we take my bridal portraits in the Asheville area?” Honestly, there are many beautiful locations in Asheville, as it’s a gorgeous mountain city in a beautiful area of North Carolina!
One thing I like to ask my brides is if they have a place that may have special meaning to them- family property, where their fiancé proposed, or even a unique place they frequently visit. If there is a place that is special to the bride, it will add a lot of meaning to the session.
1. Botanical Gardens at Asheville
The Botanical Gardens at Asheville are designed to have plants blooming almost all year! Coupling this with the unique natural and planned hardscape makes this easily one of my favorites! Some of my favorite spots within the gardens are the creek, flat bridge, rock wall, old cabin, and open green space under a canopy of oak trees.
2. Lake Junaluska Chapel
Lake Junaluska Chapel is west of Asheville by about 30 minutes, but is well worth the drive! The chapel itself has the feel of an old English stone castle with amazing architecture, and it sits on the bank of the lake! From stained glass windows to stone arches, this is a unique and beautiful spot for bridal portraits!
3. Carl Sandburg National Historic Site
This estate on which Carl Sandburg and his family once lived is a perfect option for a bride who is looking for something slightly rustic, and full of natural beauty. It’s only 30 minutes from Asheville and has so much to offer! The grounds are filled with old fences, gates, and barns, and the natural overhanging trees, trails, and pond make for endless portrait options! Bonus: The goat barn is always full of sweet goats to visit at the end of a session!
4. Cataloochee Valley
This area of the Smokey Mountain National Park is a bit of a drive from Asheville, at about an hour and 15 minutes. However, if you’re looking for endless natural backdrops, this location can’t be beat! There are overlook pull offs for long range views, open fields for walks among the grass, an old tiny church, and an old rustic barn that is incredible for moody black and white photographs.
5. Jump Off Rock
With the natural beauty of North Carolina’s mountains, I receive many requests for sunset photos. Since we are nestled in the mountains though, it’s not as easy to find a great sunset photography location as many think. Jump Off Rock is a perfect option though- with westerly views, parking at the top of the mountain, and well kept landscape.