Cumberland Island is a hidden gem nestled along the coast of Georgia and truly feels like a scene out of a fairytale. Wild horses, a beautiful seashore and miles and miles of dunes, marshes and beautiful foliage make it easy to see why couples choose to plan a Cumberland Island elopement. The largest of Georgia’s Golden Isles, Cumberland Island really has so much to offer for anyone who wants to elope somewhere epic, filled with nature, and nearly zero crowds. If eloping on Cumberland Island is an idea you’ve been tossing around – or are just now realizing this heavenly place existed on the map – scroll down below to help make your decision to elope here that much easier for you!
A Cumberland Island elopement means the chance to celebrate your day with the beautiful wild horses that freely roam around. As if this place wasn’t magical enough! They’re the only herd of feral horses on the Atlantic Coast that isn’t fully supported or managed by people, and rely on the island itself for all of their needs. If you’re the type of couple who wants to have a extra “wow” factor added to your elopement photos, Cumberland Island makes it very easy to make that happen.
The beauty of planning a Cumberland Island elopement is that once you’re there, you’re fully immersed in an entirely different world. And you can stay in that world for as long as you’d like, thanks to the Greyfield Inn, the only commercial establishment on the entire island. But believe it or not, this spot was built by the Carnegies (yes, those Carnegies) back in 1890, and the style of the Inn is a nod to its original blueprint. It’s rich in its history, with 15 rooms and a handful of cottages, and it truly feels like you’re transported back in time when you walk through the halls.
If splurging on accommodations aren’t really your thing, fret not: plenty of campers stay overnight, and there is also a ferry that will take you back to the dock at St. Mary’s if you don’t want to stay overnight on the island. You’ll want to check the ferry schedule here!
If you’re considering a Cumberland Island elopement, then you’ll absolutely want to make sure to visit the island’s Dungeness Ruins. The mansion was destroyed by fire back in 1959, but are now preserved by the National Park Service, meaning you can visit these beautiful ruins or even have your elopement ceremony there! And, while you can’t go in the ruins themselves for safety reasons, you can get realllllyyy close thanks to the fact that the exterior is not blockaded by any form of gate or fencing.
Being a Georgia elopement photographer, I’ve had my fair share of wacky forecasts. Weather here changes on a dime, and there are days that forecast sunshine as you watch rain pour down from the sky through your window. I’ve shot outdoors in flash floods, tropical storms, and torrential downpours, so I’ve seen a thing or two in the way of bad weather 😉
Take the photo above, for example. This Cumberland Island elopement was one of the rainiest elopements I’ve ever shot. And it was pure magic! The couple embraced the wind and rain, and the scene truly felt like it was from a romance movie. And, if you stay at The Greyfield Inn like this couple did, we can pop inside to warm up and take some beautiful portraits in one of their many stunning rooms.
If you’re wondering how the heck a place like Cumberland Island remains such a hidden wonder, you’re not alone. Maybe because it’s only reachable by ferry or boat, but Cumberland Island is super secluded and is the perfect place for respite as you celebrate your nuptials. A Cumberland Island elopement means no passersby walking through your ceremony, no crowds of people creating foot traffic, and truly feeling like you’re some of the only people invited into this magical world. (If you’re an introvert, this is definitely the spot for you!!) There is simply nothing better than seeing untouched nature as far as the eye can see.
If you’re planning a Cumberland Island elopement, go ahead and reach out to me here! Let’s plan an epic elopement that is everything you envisioned it would be!