Weddings in the Great Smoky Mountains. Just imagine how amazing your wedding photography will be. Are you considering a destination wedding around the number one visited park in the nation? The East Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains, specifically speaking, weddings in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, are rapidly becoming the second most popular place to get married in the United States. And why is that, you might ask? Consider this — as mentioned, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the number one visited park in the nation — the nation! Even though the park was closed during quite a bit of the pandemic year, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park saw a near-record number of people coming to the area; In 2020, the park saw 12,095,720 visitors. Many visitors, after having been to the beautifully green and lush park, then pause to consider returning to be married soon. It’s the perfect destination for an outdoor wedding. Those guests who will be attending the wedding will have the opportunity to take in the local sights and activities — so many to choose from. It’s a dream-come-to-life experience for those who love outdoor recreational activities. Of course, with all of those record-breaking number of guests comes mindboggling traffic. When planning your wedding for this area, consider the travel time from one point to another. Yes, you most definitely can get married within the national park. There is a fee of $50 and an application to be comIf you are interested in getting married in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will need to obtain a permit for your ceremony, and there is also a list of approved wedding locations. Also take into consideration the restrictions and limitations of being married in the park (more cautionary than bubble-bursting, I hope). Traffic is challenging (as mentioned, sometimes with hours of delay), there are maximum numbers of guests who can be in attendance, parking is an issue, there will be tourists at your wedding, and having a reception is almost impossible. I know from experience. My husband and I were married at the Primitive Baptist Church in Cades Cove almost 46 years ago. It was a challenge even that long ago. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/wedding-information.
Perhaps you do want to get married in an outdoor location in the Great Smoky Mountains, but would prefer somewhere much less restrictive, but with just as much gorgeous scenery for your romantic wedding. There is another option and it lies on the other side of Gatlinburg in Townsend and Walland, Tennessee. Named as the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies,” visitors will have the same opportunities to enjoy the sights and sounds, and activities that our mountains provide, but on a much less-trafficked area. The main entrance to the national park is adjacent to Townsend. Known for tubing in the waters of Little River, your guests will be less frazzled by the constant battle of crazy traffic. However, you and your guests will have easy access to Pigeon Forge by way of The Foothills Parkway, a stunning and panoramic drive across the majestic mountain. The drive is almost like being in the clouds with several observation points. There is a multitude of outdoor wedding venues in Townsend and Walland. Sampson’s Hollow is an outdoor venue that is easily accessible to the main highway to the national park.
Named as one of the Best Venues in East Tennessee and with awards from The Knot, Wedding Wire, Wedding Spot, Borrowed and Blue, and Reader’s Choice sponsored by the Daily Times, the wedding venue is located approximately five minutes from the entrance to the Foothills Parkway link and 15 minutes to the entrance of the national park on the Townsend side of the Smokies. For more information about the peaceful side of the Smokies, visit https://www.smokymountains.org/.
Sampson’s Hollow is a farm venue on 120 rolling acres of green hills and pastures, with signature meadows of seasonal wildflowers and woodlands of evergreen and hardwood trees. It is almost like being in historical Cades Cove. For more information about this venue, refer to https://www.sampsonshollow.com.