How to Plan a Waterfall Wedding
Waterfall weddings and elopements are becoming increasingly more popular, and couples all around the world are wanting to know how to plan one of their own. In this guide, I break down everything you need to know about how to plan a waterfall wedding, along with an entire list of waterfall wedding venues in each state and waterfall wedding packages. Let’s get into it!
Step #1: Research
Believe it or not, but you can actually get married at almost any waterfall. The hard part is choosing which waterfall you want to get married at. I recommend starting with a specific state, then narrowing it down from there. I personally recommend California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, or Alaska if you’re wanting that super epic waterfall background for your wedding or elopement.
Step #2: Get Your Permits
A ton of waterfalls are located in state parks, which usually require permits for weddings or elopements. Permits are super easy to obtain and help our state and national parks remain open. As soon as you choose your waterfall location, definitely obtain a permit for your wedding (if needed).
Step #3: Finalize the Details
Now that you have your location and your permits, it’s time to finalize the details. This is the part where you book your flights, lodging, and vendors. As far as vendors go, look into hiring a photographer (they may offer waterfall wedding packages and planning assistance), makeup and hair artist, officiant (depending on where you get married), florist, etc.
Step #4: Celebrate
It’s finally time to celebrate your waterfall wedding! After the planning, it’s time to tie the knot and enjoy life as a newly married couple.
Waterfall Wedding Venues in Each State
No matter what state you’re in, you’ll be able to find that perfect waterfall wedding venue for your waterfall wedding or elopement. In this list, I included the best waterfalls in each state that would be an epic backdrop for your waterfall wedding.
Desoto Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in DeSoto State Park. It happens to be the tallest waterfall in Alabama. At a height of 104 feet, you won’t be able miss this stunning waterfall wedding venue. Like almost all waterfalls, this one is best during the spring, late fall, or winter when the water is at its peak.
Other waterfalls: Noccalula Falls and Peavine Falls
Alaska has over 40 different waterfalls all around the state. With over 40 waterfall wedding venues, you can’t go wrong considering getting married in Alaska. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state is called Nugget Falls. Nugget Falls is located in Juneau, Alaska in the Tongass National Forest.
Other waterfalls: South Fork Eagle River and Virgin Creek
Havasu Falls is located within the Grand Canyon on the Havasupai Indian Reservation. It continues to be one the most popular waterfalls in all of Arizona. This waterfall wedding venue is not for the faint of heart. In order to reach the waterfall, you must hike at least 8 miles. Once finished, you’ll be greeted with its stunning turquoise water against the vibrant red rocks.
Other waterfalls: Cibecue Falls and Little Navajo Falls
Cedar Falls is a simple waterfall located within Petit Jean State Park, which is only an hour away from Little Rock. At Cedar Falls, there are multiple areas around the falls for an intimate ceremony. You can get married in front or behind the falls! I personally love the simplicity of this area.
Other waterfalls: Falling Water and Mirror Lake Falls
California has the most waterfall wedding venues out of any other state. Burney Falls is personally my favorite waterfall in all of California. It’s not as popular as waterfalls like Yosemite Falls or McWay Falls, but it’s equally, if not, more beautiful. This waterfall is extremely easy to access and is open year-round.
See a wedding at Burney Falls here!!
Other waterfalls: Yosemite, Rainbow, and Potem Falls
South Fork Mineral Creek Falls
South Fork Mineral Creek Falls is located near Telluride, Colorado and isn’t the most popular or well known waterfall in Colorado. After a 1 mile hike through the famous Colorado forest, you can reach the base of this two-tiered waterfall for your ceremony. This is one of my favorite places to have a waterfall wedding.
Other waterfalls: Fish Creek, Clear Creek, and Rifle Falls
Kent Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Connecticut. While it may not seem super tall, the water flows in stages reaching 250 feet. This waterfall is fairly popular, especially during the hotter months. Located in a state park, this waterfall wedding venue is open year-round and makes a great location for a waterfall elopement.
Other waterfalls: Chapman and Roaring Brook Falls
Brandywine State Park Falls
Delaware is not known for its waterfalls. In fact, it has some of the least amount of waterfalls within the United States. However, the Brandywine state park is beautiful and does includes mini waterfalls and bodies of water around the park. Many people visit this park during the fall when Delaware gets their vibrant leaf colors.
Falling Waters is located within the Falling Waters State Park near Chipley, Florida. In fact, Falling Waters is Florida’s tallest waterfall. At a whopping 73 feet, Falling Waters is a great backdrop for any waterfall wedding.
Other waterfalls: Morikami and Rainbow Springs
Toccoa Falls is one of my favorite waterfall wedding venues within the United States. The falls are actually located on the campus of Toccoa Falls College, but they’re open to the public year-round. You can have your waterfall wedding right at the base of the falls. Talk about an epic wedding.
Other waterfalls: Helton Creek, Anna Ruby, and Raven Cliff
When you think of Hawaii, you think of waterfalls. I’ve personally been to Hawaii countless times, and it’s one of my favorite places to visit when it comes to waterfalls. Akaka Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Hawaii. Located on the island of Kauai, Wailua Falls is easy to access and drops into two cascades down to the pool below.
Other waterfalls: Manoa, Sacred, and Lulumahu Falls
Jump Creek Falls
Jump Creek Falls is located on the Idaho/Oregon border near Nampa. In order to reach the falls, you must hike a quarter-mile between the rugged and stark rocks within the Owyhee Mountains. When you reach the base of the falls, you’ll be amazed by the simplicity and natural beauty of the surrounding area.
Other waterfalls: Mesa, Fall Creek, and Shoshone Falls
Cascade Falls is a seasonal waterfall that can only be seen during the spring. The waterfall is situated within the Matthiessen State Park near Davenport. The waterfall falls into a gorge floor that can be swam in during the spring.
Other waterfalls: Cedar, Burden, and Fern Clyffe Falls
Williamsport Falls is centered right in the heart of the town of Williamsport. With a height of 90 feet, Williamsport Falls is the second largest waterfall in Indiana. Over time, the falls have decreased in water pressure, so it’s recommended to have your waterfall wedding at these falls during the spring. While most waterfalls are not equipped to handle large weddings, this one is especially designed for elopements.
Other waterfalls: Big Clifty and Muscatatuck Falls
Malanaphy Spring Falls
Malanaphy Spring Falls is a spring fed waterfall. While it’s not as full or grand as a waterfall like Burney Falls, Malanphy Spring Falls is a small, simple waterfall only 15 minutes from Decorah. The beautiful waterfall wedding venue is encompassed in a beautiful forest, and the falls themselves are surrounded with lush greenery and rocks.
Other waterfalls: Dunnings Springs and Bridal Veil Falls
While Kansas is a pretty flat state, they do have some beautiful falls, perfect for your waterfall wedding. Geary Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Kansas, and I can definitely see why. While the falls are only visible during the spring after heavy rain, the area around it is absolutely beautiful and perfect for a small wedding or elopement.
Other waterfalls: Santa Fe Lake and Chautauqua Falls
Eagle Falls is a 44-foot waterfall located within Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. This backdrop is perfect for any waterfall wedding. The waterfall itself is large enough for a ceremony, but small enough to where you won’t be soaking wet after you exchange vows. Around the area you’ll find beautiful moss, jagged rocks, and plenty of room for friends and family.
Other waterfalls: Flat Lick, Anglin, and Yahoo Falls
Clark Creek Natural Area
Clark Creek Natural Area, while technically located in Mississippi, has over 700 acres of land which extends into Louisiana, and over 50 different waterfalls. While they don’t have specific names, I wanted to include this area on the list. You will no problem finding a beautiful waterfall wedding venue if you decide to check out this area.
Other waterfalls: Tunica Hills Falls
Maine, according to multiple sites, tends to rank highly on the list of most beautiful places in the United States, and after seeing all their waterfalls, you’ll understand why. Moxie Falls is one of the highest and most breathtaking waterfalls in all of Maine. At the base of the falls, you’ll be greeted with lush forest, colorful flowers, and maybe some swimmers, everything you need for a waterfall wedding.
Other waterfalls: Angel, Grand, and Gulf Hagas Falls
Muddy Creek Falls
Muddy Creek Falls is not only Maryland’s tallest waterfall, but it’s also the most significant. In 1921, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone camped out near this area. The base of the falls is roomy and makes for the perfect ceremony location during your waterfall wedding.
Other waterfalls: Falling Branch and Cascade Falls
Bash Bish Falls
Bash Bish Falls is a beautiful waterfall wedding venue located in Bash Bish Falls State Park. The falls remind of a smaller version of Burney Falls. They’re 80 feet tall and split right at the top of the rock above. In order to reach the falls, you must hike 2 miles through the beautiful Massachusetts forest.
Other waterfalls: March Cataract and Tannery Falls
Munising Falls is a waterfall wedding venue for couples looking for something smaller. Musing Falls doesn’t have much water flow, but the area around the falls are breathtaking. You’ll be surrounded with tall green trees, sandstone, and the sound of rushing water. It’s a great place to consider if you want something a bit more simple.
Other waterfalls: Sable, Miners, and Bond Falls
Minnehaha Falls is situated within Minnehaha Park, a park that attracts around 850,000 visitors each year. The falls are at their peak during the spring after all the snow has melted. However, the falls are also incredible during the winter if you’re looking to have a winter waterfall wedding.
Other waterfalls: Ramsey, Wolf Creek, and High Falls
Dunns Falls is the perfect waterfall wedding venue for the couple looking to incorporate some history on their special day. The falls are located right next to an old grist mill and water wheel. There are multiple places to see and stop to look at historical artifacts. The falls themselves and the area around it is perfect for any couple looking for something with more character.
Other waterfalls: Mint Spring, Scutchalo, and Ferris Falls
Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park
While Missouri doesn’t have traditional waterfalls, they do have tons of bodies of water to check out. In Johnson’s Shut-In State Park, you’ll find some mini waterfalls, rushing water, and stunning colors during the fall. This area is a stunning spot for weddings and pictures. With so many different sceneries to explore, you can’t go wrong choosing an area in this state park.
Known for Glacier National Park, Montana is one of the most beautiful and visited places in the United States. Within the park itself, there are over 200 different waterfalls! Virginia Falls is a gorgeous multi-tiered waterfall located near the middle of the park. At the base of the falls, you can have an epic waterfall wedding that all guests will be in awe with. It’s perfect for an adventurous elopement or small wedding.
Other waterfalls: Baring, Apikuni, and Crow Creek Falls
Nebraska’s highest waterfall, Smith Falls, is a popular area amongst visitors. Around the falls, there are ecological systems that exist nowhere else in North America. The hike to reach the falls is about half a mile, but it will fly by with all the gorgeous scenery there is to see along the way. This waterfall is also spring fed!
Other waterfalls: Smith, Fort, and Snake River Falls
While Nevada is mainly a desert, there are numerous waterfalls within the state. Big Falls is a small seasonal waterfall located near Las Vegas, close to the border of California. This waterfall is seasonal, meaning it can only be seen during the spring after heavy rainfall. The area around the falls is gorgeous and perfect for a waterfall wedding.
Other waterfalls: Kings Canyon and Mary Jane Falls
Glen Ellis Falls
Glen Ellis Falls is one of my favorite waterfall wedding venues in the United States. It provides the most spectacular backdrop for your waterfall wedding, no matter what side of the falls you stand on. There are also numerous outlooks that will provide you with jaw dropping views of nearby Mt. Washington. The fall is the best time to visit to take in all those beautiful fall colors.
Other waterfalls: Sabbaday, Arethusa, and Crystal Falls
Buttermilk Falls is a very accessible waterfall located in the northern area of New Jersey. This waterfall wedding venue is located only steps away from the parking lot, making it a fairly popular area to visit. There are multiple trailheads and waterfalls around this area, making it fairly easy to find a waterfall you love for your waterfall wedding.
Other waterfalls: Passaic, Chikahoki, and Laurel Falls
Nambe Falls is one of New Mexico’s most popular waterfalls. You can access the falls by a half mile hike. I personally love this waterfall wedding venue for its simplicity. Once you reach the base of the falls, you’ll come to a small pool of water, followed by the magnificent falls and jagged rocks. The entire recreation area is a great place for any elopement.
Other waterfalls: Sitting Bull, Jemez, and Catwalk Falls
Taughannock Falls, located in Taughannock Falls State Park, is one of my favorite waterfall wedding venues ever, especially within the fall. Enjoy your waterfall wedding at the base of this stunning location filled with colorful trees and steep rocks. This is also a magical place to explore in the winter if you want a winter wonderland wedding.
Other waterfalls: Kaaterskill, Boucks, and Niagara Falls
Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass Falls is one of North Carolina’s most popular waterfalls. Something I love about this waterfall wedding venue is its accessibility. The falls are located on the side of the road, making it easy for those with mobility issues to access. Experience a waterfall wedding right at the base of the 60-foot falls.
Other waterfalls: Whitewater, Triple, and Dry Falls
Mineral Springs is North Dakota’s only registered waterfall. However, it’s not much of a waterfall at all. While the area around the waterfall is stunning, don’t expect to get that epic waterfall backdrop for your wedding. I personally love the greenery around the area more than the waterfall itself.
If you want a waterfall wedding at Hayden Falls, be prepared to have a wedding on a weekday during sunrise. This waterfall is a very popular destination in Ohio, and the area around the falls is very small. While you can’t go down to the base of the falls, you can get married at the boardwalk built right next to the falls.
Other waterfalls: Great, Big Lyons, and Ludlow Falls
Natural Falls is a 77-foot located in eastern Oklahoma. While the water abundance varies from season to season, this is a great waterfall for couples looking to have something simple. There is beauty and simplicity around the entire state park that you’ll appreciate during your adventurous elopement or small wedding.
Other waterfalls: Little Niagara and Medicine Creek Falls
When I think of Oregon, I think of waterfalls. Aside from Washington, Oregon is definitely one of my favorite states, and when it comes to their waterfall wedding venues, they don’t disappoint. Sahalie Falls is of the most scenic waterfalls in Oregon, and it’s perfect for the couple looking for a true adventure on their wedding day. While the falls are very loud, it’s an amazing place to see and take pictures at.
Other waterfalls: Multnomah, Wahkeena, and Horsetail Falls
Cumber Falls is a smaller waterfall located in Ohiopyle State Park near southern Pennsylvania. The waterfall itself is absolutely gorgeous and tends to be a popular spot during the summer. Around the falls you’ll be amazed at how green and forest-like it is. It’s very similar to the look of a few waterfalls in Oregon. It’s a great choice for anyone looking at having a waterfall wedding.
Other waterfalls: Ganoga, Dry Run, and and Main Falls
Due to the size of Rhode Island, there aren’t a ton of waterfalls within the state. However, they do have a small waterfall called Stepstone Falls. While you won’t necessarily get that epic waterfall background in your image, the surrounding area near the mini waterfall is a gorgeous place for a wedding.
Lower Whitewater Falls
If you’re on the hunt for a movie-like waterfall in the mountains, Lower Whitewater Falls is the one for you. You can’t reach the base of the falls (from what I’m aware of), but you’ll still get that surreal waterfall backdrop. The mountainous hills and flowing water will make anyone jealous of your wedding photos and location.
Other waterfalls: Long Creek, Brasstown, and Twin Falls
Spearfish Falls is a stunning waterfall that looks good all year-round. Located right near the border of Wyoming, you can enjoy a picture-perfect hike through the Black Hills National Forest, then reach the base of the waterfall for your ceremony. You can enjoy these falls in every type of season.
Other waterfalls: Roughlock and Thunderhead Falls
Known for their barbecue and music scene, Tennessee is a popular location for anyone looking to take a vacation. However, Tennessee tends to get overlooked when it comes to their waterfalls. Greeter Falls is one of my favorite waterfall wedding venues in Tennessee. The wide open space and simplicity of these falls make for the perfect backdrop for any ceremony or photo.
Other waterfalls: Fall Creek, Burgess, and Martin Creek Falls
Everything is bigger in Texas, including their waterfalls. Located in Colorado Bend State Park, you can find Gorman Falls, a 70-foot waterfall. Gorman Falls sits right in front of a beautiful moss wall in the forest. This location is ethereal and is perfect for those wanting an enchanting waterfall wedding.
Other waterfalls: Hamilton Pool and Westcave Preserve Falls
Lower Calf Creek Falls
Known for their beautiful mountains, Utah has quite a few well-known waterfall wedding venues, Lower Calf Creek Falls being one of them. These 126-foot falls are perennial and create a natural pool beneath them. The water contrasts well with the orange/red rock and makes any image stand out.
Other waterfalls: Bell Canyon, Emerald, and Donut Falls
Moss Glenn Falls
Moss Glenn Falls, located in northern Vermont, is a fairly popular waterfall for locals and couples. Encompassed with lush greenery, these falls are perfect for the couple looking to really connect with nature on their special day. I personally love the atmosphere and scenery of the surrounding area of the falls.
Other waterfalls: Bingham, Big, and Warren Falls
Falling Spring Falls
Falling Springs Falls is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Virginia, especially during the fall season. Thomas Jefferson even said that it was “a remarkable cascade…falling over a rock about 200 feet to the valley below.” The provided overlook is a picture-perfect space for your waterfall wedding.
Other waterfalls: Dark Hollow, Hazel, and South River Falls
Washington is personally my favorite place to visit in the United States, and Marymere Falls is one of the many waterfalls located in Washington State. The striking 90-foot waterfall located in Olympic National Park is one of my favorite waterfall wedding venues. It lays right in front of a picturesque moss wall that will simply leave you in awe.
Other waterfalls: Franklin, Palouse, and Bridal Veil Falls
Falls of Hills Creek
Falls of Hills Creek is a three fall cascade that totals 130 feet, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in West Virginia. The base of the falls is extremely easy to access, even for those who have disabilities. I personally love the height of the falls, as well as the surrounding scenery. It’s a great place to consider for your elopement or small wedding.
Other waterfalls: Douglas, Hidden, and Sandstone Falls
Big Manitou Falls
Big Manitou Falls stands at 165 feet, making it the tallest waterfall in Wisconsin. While I don’t believe you can get to the bottom base of the falls, there are numerous outlook points for your waterfall wedding. I recommend visiting the falls during the fall season, as all the surrounding leaves will have changed into bright, vibrant colors.
Other waterfalls: Amnicon, Cascade, and Stephens Falls
Hidden Falls, located in Grand Teton National Park, is a very popular waterfall amongst visitors. I personally love the waterfall for not only its breathtaking views, but for its convenient location. It’s the perfect spot for couples wanting to have a waterfall ceremony, but mountainous portraits with the famous Tetons.
Other waterfalls: Tower, Upper, and Shell Falls
Waterfall Wedding Packages
- 4 hours – 3 days of wedding coverage within the U.S.
- A hands-on planning experience with unlimited assistance
- personalized waterfall locations
- vendor recommendations
- permit assistance
- customized timeline
- Online gallery with full resolution and printing rights
- 24-48 hour sneak peak images
- Travel fees to anywhere in the U.S. included
- Starting at $6,500 for U.S., $4,500 for California, Oregon, and Washington
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I’m Brianna, a California elopement photographer who inspires, encourages, and empowers couples to push traditional boundaries and create experiences they’ll remember forever.