Max Patch Mountain Engagement Session


Max Patch North Carolina boasts 360 views and stunning sunrises for engagement sessions.

Max Patch North Carolina is what many might call “an oldie but a goodie.” At any given moment, you will find seasoned hikers traversing the Appalachian Trail through the Max Patch trail while simultaneously finding beginner hikers who are attracted to the ease of access to the summit with stunning views. With an elevation of 4,600 feet, this bald gathers many hikers season after season who can’t help but develop a love for the bald.

When Grace, Dalton, and I began jamming out where to meet for their engagement pics (he’s in MS, she’s in KY, and I’m in NC), I knew Max Patch North Carolina was the place to go! I sent them some recommendations, and they readily agreed this was where they wanted to explore superrrrrrr early. 🙂 I later learned that getting Dalton up that early and making him look happy was a major feat. 🙂

Dan and I woke up that morning to text Grace and Dalton: “So excited about today!” This 3:30 AM text was admittedly a sneaky way for me to be sure they were up and awake. We eventually all made our way up the gravel access road about an hour from Asheville in the wee early morning hours so we could hike up to catch the sun peeking over the horizon.

Our parking lot exchanges were filled with some sleepy, yet excited, yawns as we hiked up the .7 mile trail to the summit. The skies were blues and pinks with jet lines like we had never seen while the grounds boated intense oranges from the impending sunrise. The cascades of Max Patch North Carolina and the surrounding mountains were dark—almost as sleepy as Dalton. But we trekked on. 🙂

A Max Patch North Carolina Mountain Sunrise

Just as we made it to the summit of Max Patch North Carolina, Grace and Dalton snuggled up for a minute while I organized all of our jackets, hydration, you name it into a pile. I quickly noticed, “Oh, the sun is coming up right this second!” So we hurried and got them running to their spot on the lower bald of Max Patch. While the two danced around in the brand new light, I turned on a Queen playlist (a favorite band of theirs to listen to—BONUS, I also love Queen), and we simply played around.

Their early morning joy was so evident in how they couldn’t stop laughing! They weren’t super joyful because they loved early mornings. These two were super joyful because they were finally together and getting goof off with each other. Ya see, Grace and Dalton have been together for three years, but two years of their relationship they have spent living six hours apart while finishing school so getting together is always a really big deal for them. And Grace lovesssss the mountains, while Dalton had never technically “been to” the mountains! So Grace just kept breathing in deep and watching Dalton react to all of this newness he was seeing in the mountain-scapes.

The artist in me was geeking out as I saw those connected glances they would share and the snuggly giggles paired with the ever changing, early morning light at Max Patch North Carolina. The light would dance on them in tones of pinks, oranges, and white as they danced across the bald singing Bohemian Rhapsody!

But first, Max Patch North Carolina needed us to have some banging tea!

It turns out Grace and Dalton like some chai tea with their snuggles! When I found out I thought, “omg I’ve got to bring them some tea up there to surprise them during their session!” So we hiked up to the highest bald on Max Patch North Carolina where I told them they could have a little breather (because after all, Grace was in HEELS and she was rocking it). So I spread out one of my blankets and snuck back to my backpack and brought them back a little wooden box tied with twine filled with chai tea bags, two uber cute turkish tea glasses, and some local vanilla-infused honey! They opened the card and the box, but I had another surprise! I brought them some hot water up Max Patch North Carolina so they could drink it. So I sat down, and we chatted life. Like REAL life. You see, they’re in the middle of wedding planning, taking care of their relationship, and handling the day-to-day stress of being human—I bet you’re in a similar boat. So just them getting to take in the expansive views while chatting over hot tea gave them an amazing chance to be comfortable with one another and talk through big life things… And the best part is—we didn’t even plan it that way. It’s just true that when you give people the space to open up, they will.

As much as I wanted to keep talking real life, I wanted them to have this time for them even more. So I told them I was going to step back and give them about 15 minutes just to relax and talk about whatever came to their minds with one another. I stood from afar and watched as Grace would lean her head over on Dalton, and he would refill their tea glasses as they overlooked Max Patch North Carolina. I have no idea what they talked about, but even across the bald it was clear they were completely comfortable with one another.

One last adventure at Max Patch North Carolina

After I joined Grace and Dalton again, we got ready to do our last leg of their session at Max Patch North Carolina. I had been telling them all morning, “I have a really big challenge for you!” They kept asking what it was, but I told them they had to wait until the end of the session to see! So now their time had arrived!

I said, “Here’s the challenge—Grace. Have you seen dirty dancing? Well if you want to… we’re going to let you guys practice that leap from the movie up here! And however you end up jumping and catching each other is what we’ll capture!”

After a lot of giggles, the two got set to try. Grace practiced by doing some mini hops to hype herself up kind of like she was in a Rocky movie. Dalton (being on top of a literal mountain) made sure his feet were secure with no holes nearby. And I can proudly say the two completed the challenge after some really funny practice runs.

The hike down Max Patch North Carolina

As we packed all our stuff up (because LNT, amirite?) and headed down, I saw this gorgeous sweeping hill that cut into the Max Patch North Carolina mountain-scape in the distance. We had Grace and Dalton sit one last time on our slippery way down the mountain so they could snuggle up one last time before the long drive down Max Patch Mountain. The two snuggled up and again thought about their future, how soon their wedding day is, how comfortable they were in each other’s arms. So I let them take in these last moments before the world flooded back in. Grace leaned back with ease on Dalton and the world grew very quiet. It was so quiet on this hillside, you could hear them breathing slowly into the crisp Max Patch North Carolina air. But suddenly Dalton started tickling Grace to make her giggle.

This is exactly what their relationship was that morning—digging deep with one another and understanding when the other one needed a little lift in the form of a joke, a tickle, or a thump on the nose. Grace and Dalton are the embodiment of playfulness and joy, and I can’t wait to photograph their wedding coming up!

But what about you?

Are you getting married and need a sweet spot to have your engagement session? You’ve already seen Max Patch North Carolina is a great spot! There’s another spot nearby at Roan Mountain we love taking couples to as well! Check out this amazing snowy engagement session at Roan Mountain, and let’s talk about where your next adventure is going to be!

I’ll be honest, you seem like the adventurous type. Didn’t know I can read minds through blogs, did ya? 🙂 So feel free to check out this blog on figuring out if you should elope! And while you’re paroozing around, our elopement planning guide is pretty baller too!

In the meantime, we’d love to talk and answer any q’s you have on adventurous engagement session or elopements! Let’s talk via that adorbs button below.


Hey, it’s us!

We’re Des & Dan! Husband & wife elopement photographers, planners, and officiants! We help couples like you create elopement days full of meaningful details, authentic moments, and creative experiences because we believe you deserve a wedding day where you are truly heard—a wedding day you can truly remember.

We’d love to help in any way you can, so check out our other free planning resources or send us an email by hitting contact! We’d love to hop on the phone and see what you’re envisioning for your elopement day.

You deserve this.

Des & Dan


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