8 Smoky Mountain Wedding Ideas
The rolling hills of the Smoky Mountains welcome thousands of couples who plan to say "I do" every year. In fact over 10,000 brides plan Smoky Mountain weddings each year. The large amount of weddings in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville make this area "the wedding capital of the South."
And it's no wonder why. In Sevier County, it only takes $41 in cash ($43 for Visa or Mastercard), a valid id, and a social security card for two adults to get married. Aside from easily obtaining a Tennessee wedding license, there's more than enough to attract couples to the area to tie the knot. There's plentiful Pigeon Forge wedding chapels, caterers, and reception venues in the area. Plus, the Smoky Mountains is simply one of the most beautiful places to get married (Period.)
So, how do you decide what to do for your big day? Here are 7 ideas for getting started on planning your big day.
1. Have Wedding in Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Most of the time when people think of a Smoky Mountain wedding they think of one of the many Pigeon Forge wedding chapels in the area. And, while there's nothing wrong with getting hitched in a scenic log chapel that overlooks the Smokies, many couples forget the biggest Smoky Mountain wedding venue that's staring them right in the face:
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park
There's plenty of quiet creek side locations, majestic waterfalls, and scenic vistas within the park that make perfect settings for weddings. One particularly popular location is the Primitive Baptist Church within Cades Cove. This quaint, classically Appalachian building offers the perfect place to hold a ceremony or take some memorable pictures of your wedding party. Other locations in the park, such as the Spence Cabin, offer a great place for receptions.
(Note: Weddings and other special events require a Special Use Permit from the park. You must submit your request and a $50 non-refundable application fee no less than 14 days prior to the day of event. Weddings in the park have a maximum wedding attendance limit of 20 people, including the minister).
2. Mountain Themed Cake
Why not enjoy a cake that matches your destination? Local bakeries such as Cakes by Bakin Bishop in Wears Valley and Smoky Mountain Cakes can make your cake fit the location of your Smoky Mountain wedding. From black bears to fall leaves, your wedding cake can be as colorful as your personality.
3. Get Gorgeous Seasonal Flowers
Flowers - they bring a bright splash of color to your wedding in the rolling green hills of the Smokies. Picking the right flowers to complement the seasonal scenery of your wedding is crucial for a visually stunning wedding. Here are some ideas for colors to complement your Smoky Mountain wedding:
- Spring- Spring is the time to bring out lilies, daffodils, hydrangeas, and pastel petals of springtime flowers to match the pinks, purples, and light blues of the wildflowers that accompany Smoky Mountain weddings in the Spring.
- Summer- The lush, green hills of the Smokies are alight with the brilliant sunshine of in the summer, so bring bouquets of orchids, fuschia, and other tropical flowers to show the brightness of your love.
- Fall- When the hills of the Smoky Mountains are ablaze with reds, yellows, and oranges, build a bouquet to match the scenery with burgundy carnations, yellow sunflowers, and orange roses.
- Winter- In the frigid months, contrast the blankets of snow on the mountain tops with bright red roses for a winter Smoky Mountain wedding to remember.
Local florists, such as Cupids Petals, allows couples getting married in the Smokies to receive fresh bouquets and decorations that match the beautiful landscape that surrounds you on your big day.
4.Rustic Details for Your Smoky Mountain Wedding
Add rustic details to your wedding in the mountains to create a true mountain theme to your big day. Add a touch of burlap, some mason jars, and a bit of baby's breath to your reception table and, presto, your decorations give guests a down-home, country feel.
5. Opt for a Unique Smoky Mountain Wedding Location
The most popular option for wedding venues in the Smokies are Pigeon Forge wedding chapels, but wouldn’t you like to tie the knot off the beaten path? However, Pigeon Forge offers unique Smoky Mountain wedding venues that give you a chance to enjoy a unique wedding ceremony that can only happen in the wedding capitol of the South! Some example of the unique venues couples can enjoy include:
- Goldrush Stables - Goldrush Stables offers couples a chance to enjoy a true fairytale wedding - complete with your prince charming on horseback. Ride off into the sunset together in your very own horse drawn carriage at the end of your ceremony.
- Scenic Helicopter Rides - What could be cooler than telling your kids that you got married in a helicopter? Scenic Helicopter Tours offers in flight ceremonies that take your Smoky Mountain wedding to the next level.
- Parrot Mountain - Have you ever wanted to have your wedding in a tropical paradise? Head to Parrot Mountain where you can enjoy lush gardens and even have tropical birds, including macaws, kookaburras, and more, in your ceremony.
- Ripley's Aquarium - Say your vows in front of the shark tank and enjoy the company of penguins (who come dressed in their natural tuxedos) for a wedding that takes you under the sea.
6. Feed your Guests Great Southern Food
There's nothing quite like true Southern cooking. From fried okra to fried chicken, something about the way we cook food down here in the South just can't be beat. Why not serve your guests some delicious deep-fried southern favorite or some American classics from some local caterers that deliver top-notch food. Some local Smoky Mountain caterers include:
- Miss Lily's Cafe - Featuring Southern favorites like shrimp and grits and pork chops as well as Italian classes such as pasta primavera, there's something for every Smoky Mountain wedding at this caterer.
- Johnson Family Restaurants- From BBQ to Southern food like Grandma used to make, both Bennetts Barbeque to Mama's Farmhouse provide couples with great food and great deals on catering for their big day.
7. Sound of the Smokies
Tired of DJ's at weddings? While there are plenty of companies that offer DJ services, why not do something that reflects the history and culture of the region. Get your wedding party pickin' and grinin' with a bluegrass band at your ceremony and your reception. Many of these bands play covers of modern hits to give a old-time twist on contemporary favorites.
8. Cabin Wedding
Want a more intimate setting for your Smoky Mountain wedding? Opt out of searching through Smoky Mountain wedding venues and enjoy the luxury of having lodgings right nearby for you and your guests. Cabin weddings may offer up the most affordable weddings in the Smokies. Cabins USA has many options for a cabin wedding that offer a beautiful settings for weddings comprised of close knit family members and friends. Here are some ideas for in-cabin weddings to remember:
- Cabins like Rocky Top Lodge offer extra romantic features such as baby grand pianos.
- Cabin combos such as Great Aspirations, Knockin' on Heavens Door, Fleur de Lis offer plenty of space for family and wedding party to stay close by.
- A cabin such as Whispering Pond provides the perfect spot for an intimate ceremony with its pond and benches.
No matter whether you choose an in-cabin wedding or not, Cabins USA offers plenty of honeymoon cabins for the romantic getaway after the ceremony.
With these tips and some exploring of your own, you and your sweetheart can start planning the Smoky Mountain Wedding of your dreams!
Written by Brittany Tipton