The Best Waterfall Wedding Guide [Includes Waterfall Wedding Venues]

A couple having a waterfall wedding at Burney Falls, a waterfall in Northern California.

Table of Contents

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. 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, 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, a waterfall wedding venue in Alabama.

Alabama

DeSoto Falls

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 

Nugget Falls, a waterfall wedding venue in Alaska.

Alaska

Nugget 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 in Arizona, a waterfall wedding venue.

Arizona

Havasu Falls

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, a waterfall wedding venue in Arkansas.

Arkansas

Cedar 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

Burney Falls, a waterfall in California.

California

Burney 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.

Other waterfalls: Yosemite, Rainbow, and Potem Falls

Two people standing in front of South Fork Mineral Creek Falls, a waterfall wedding venue in Colorado.

Colorado

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, a waterfall wedding venue in Connecticut​.

Connecticut

Kent 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

Delaware

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, a waterfall in Florida.

Florida

Falling Waters

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 in Georgia, a waterfall wedding venue.

Georgia

Toccoa Falls

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

Wailua Falls, a waterfall in Hawaii.

Hawaii

Wailua Falls

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. Wailua 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, a waterfall wedding venue in Idaho.

Idaho

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

Illinois

Cascade 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

Indiana

Williamsport 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

Iowa

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

Kansas

Geary 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

Kentucky

Eagle 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

Louisiana

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

Moxie Falls, a waterfall wedding venue in Maine.

Maine

Moxie 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

Maryland

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, a waterfall in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts

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

Michigan

Munising 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, a waterfall wedding venue in Minnesota.

Minnesota

Minnehaha 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 in Mississippi.

Mississippi

Dunns 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

Missouri

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.

Virginia Falls, a waterfall wedding venue located in Glacier National Park, Montana.

Montana

Virginia Falls

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

Smith 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

Big Falls, a seasonal waterfall in Nevada.

Nevada

Big 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 in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire

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

New Jersey

Buttermilk 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

 

New Mexico

Nambe 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

New York

Taughannock 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, a waterfall wedding venue in New Hampshire.

North Carolina

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

North Dakota

Mineral Springs

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.

Ohio

Hayden Falls

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

Oklahoma

Natural 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

Sahalie Falls in Oregon, a waterfall wedding venue.

Oregon

Sahalie 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

Pennsylvania

Cucumber 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

Rhode Island

Stepstone 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. 

South Carolina

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

South Dakota

Spearfish 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

Tennessee

Greeter 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

Texas

Gorman 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, a waterfall in Utah.

Utah

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

Vermont

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

Virginia

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

Marymere Falls, a waterfall wedding venue in Olympic National Park, Washington.

Washington

Marymere 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​, a waterfall wedding venue in West Virginia.

West Virginia

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​, a waterfall wedding venue in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin

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, a waterfall wedding venue in Wyoming.

Wyoming

Hidden 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

Want more elopement inspiration? Check out this Malibu wedding venue guide, Sacramento wedding venue guide, and Joshua Tree elopement guide

Need help planning your dream waterfall wedding?

Snag your FREE elopement guide! The same exact one I send to all my couples, filled with tips and tricks about how to prepare for your dream elopement, whether it’s a waterfall elopement in California or desert elopement in Arizona!

A free guide all about how to elope, created by a California elopement photographer.
A free guide all about how to elope, created by a California elopement photographer.

Snag your FREE elopement guide! The same exact one I send to all my couples, filled with tips and tricks about how to prepare for your dream elopement, whether it’s a sunny elopement in California or a cold elopement in Alaska!

Brianna Parks, a California elopement photographer.

Hey there, I'm Brianna!

I’m a California elopement photographer who had a big traditional wedding, and I can’t tell you how many arguments there were about my day.

I was pressured to pick a certain venue, certain colors, certain guests, and it felt like I was spending thousands of dollars to play host at a party that had nothing to do with the connection between my husband and I.

Don’t fall into the trap society has constructed around big weddings. Instead, buy the plane ticket, get the wedding dress  dirty, and turn your stressed out wedding day into a carefree, adventure filled elopement experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Brianna Parks, a California elopement photographer.

Hey there, I'm Brianna!

I’m a California elopement photographer who had a big traditional wedding, and I can’t tell you how many arguments there were about my day.

I was pressured to pick a certain venue, certain colors, certain guests, and it felt like I was spending thousands of dollars to play host at a party that had nothing to do with the connection between my husband and I.

Don’t fall into the trap society has constructed around big weddings. Instead, buy the plane ticket, get the wedding dress  dirty, and turn your stressed out wedding day into a carefree, adventure filled elopement experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

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