Top Smoky Mountain Wedding Destinations
I have been waiting to write about this for a while now. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an amazing location and perfect backdrop for a wedding day. The Smokies allow for a variety of options for a wedding day. The park is the most visited National Park in the country, mostly due to it’s central location and accessibility to a good portion of the United States within a reasonable time. There are several amazing privately owned wedding venues, some of which have a fantastic view of the Smokies. For more info about some of my favorite venues around the National Park, please take a look at the following link: Smoky Mountain Venues.
The National Park is a very popular destination location for many of out state couples. I have photographed weddings for couples from all over the country. Most couples have visited the park previously and instantly fell in love with its beauty. There are a few locations within the park that provide the best backdrop. I will do my best to outline some of my favorites below.
Wedding couples looking to get married within the national park are required to obtain a permit for their ceremony. Photographers are authorized to photograph weddings under the wedding couple’s permit, but cannot photograph an engagement or portrait session without a (CUA) Commercial Use Authorization. A CUA is a permit required of the wedding professional, to work within the park. In order to have a CUA with the park, photographers are required to be a licensed Tennessee business, hold a current Liability Insurance policy, be approved by the National Park Service and pay an annual permit fee to the park.
I am proud to be one of the few licensed photographers, authorized to work within the park. Here is a list of the current approved wedding professionals: CUA Holders. I am also proud to be a member of the officialGreat Smoky Mountain Photographers group.
Cades Cove is my top location in the smokies. It is one of the most popular locations for couples who are looking for a surprise proposal. Cades Cove is an 11 mile one way scenic loop that driving loop and provides the best variety of backdrops for couples. The area features old barn structures, cabins and church structures. There are also several wooded trails and river beds to explore.
You absolutely cannot go wrong with Cades Cove.
Greenbrier is only of my favorite locations in the park. It quickly became one of my top spots for engagement and wedding photos. It is also a favorite swimming spot for my family. Greenbrier is park of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located on northern side of the park. The location is close to the Pittman Center just outside of Gatlinburg. One of the most appealing things about this area is it being off the beaten path. It is not as crowded as some of the other area, like Cades Cove.
Spence Cabin & The Appalachian Clubhouse
The Federal Government has two physical wedding venues that are run by the National Park Service. They require a permit and booking process through the National Park. Those two venues are the Appalachian Clubhouse and Spence Cabin. Spence Cabin is nestled in a densely wooded area and has a patio at the rear of the property that juts out into the river bed. It is an absolutely amazing ceremony location. The cabin is closed during the winter months. Winter wedding couples typically get married at Cades Cove or a privately owned venue. The second venue is the Appalachian Clubhouse. The clubhouse is located less than a mile of Spence Cabin. Both venues are within the Elkmont area.
DEREK HALKETT PHOTOGRAPHY | SMOKY MOUNTAIN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
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