From panoramic mountaintop views to sweeping pastoral meadows to picturesque waterfalls, one-of-a-kind romance abounds in the Smoky Mountains. This majestic Appalachian landscape is filled with awe-inspiring natural beauty and unexpected moments that give newlyweds everything they’re looking for to make their fall wedding dreams a reality.
From intimate elopements to larger weddings surrounded by family and friends, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has multiple locations that fit any adventure level and taste. Read on for our fave five spots for getting hitched in the Smokies!
Top 5 Fall Wedding Destinations in the Smoky Mountains
From fields with mountain views, babbling brooks, local wildlife roaming free, and charming historic churches, it’s no wonder that Cades Cove is a sought-after spot for fall weddings. Choose from stunning outdoor locations like LeQuire Field or Cades Cove Overlook for spectacular backdrops. Or head indoors to one of the three churches available for weddings in the park – the Primitive Baptist, Methodist and Missionary Baptist. Head’s up, the allure of these churches is their rustic, out-of-the-way charm. There is no power, cell service, or restrooms out here. So, that’s something to consider when you’re making your arrangements. But we’ll say this – the wedding photos and the memories will be worth it!
In the Elkmont section of the park, you’ll find a bright pink cabin nestled in the evergreen forests along the banks of the Little River. One of the most popular – and unique – wedding venues in the Smokies, you can choose from outdoor or indoor ceremony site. The stone patio sits directly above the cascading waters of the river, making it an ideal spot for saying your ‘I dos’ outside. Or if you opt for an indoor wedding, the cabin seats up to 40 guests and has restrooms and changing rooms for the wedding party to get ready. Plus, the gas fireplace makes it the perfect spot for a cozy fall wedding shared with those you love.
A lot of couples who choose Spence Cabin for their fall wedding in the Smokies also book the Appalachian Clubhouse for their reception. It’s less than a mile down the road and has a parking lot and restrooms. It was built by members of the historic Appalachian Club as a gathering place. Unfortunately, in 1934 the original structure was destroyed by fire and replaced by the existing building. Now, it’s a highly sought-after spot where couples come to celebrate their nuptials with those they love
Part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Foothills Parkway is known as “the prettiest drive in America”. Cruising along this scenic drive, you’ll discover an abundance of breathtaking backdrops just perfect for wedding photos. From Walland to Wears Valley, you’ll have your choice of mountains, waterfalls, and romantic sunsets. The Foothills Parkway is less traveled than other roads in the park, so you’ll enjoy a relaxing drive with less traffic. Plus, many of the overlooks have spots that are easily accessible from the road, but far enough out of view that they are the perfect spot for a quiet and intimate elopement.
The Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is on northern side of the park and is generally less crowded. Its three approved ceremony locations sit along the banks of the Little Pigeon River, surrounded by an abundance of beautiful backdrops. The river itself provides the wedding music with its rushing waters, and the dense forest makes for dramatic photos dotted with wooden bridges and large stones rising out of the water – just perfect for posing.
Need to Know Info
If you want to have your fall wedding in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll need a permit for any of the approved wedding locations. (If there’s a non-approved spot you have your eye on, you can also apply for a permit there.)
It’s also important to keep in mind that the park is public land. That means other park visitors may be around. While most people are respectful and keep their distance, you may end up with a wedding crasher or two. (That goes for the wildlife as well.)
If you are using a wedding planner, they must be authorized to conduct business in the park. Any vendors you use – officiant, photographer, caterer, DJ, etc. – will need to obtain approval as well. Visit the national parks website for guidelines and details. Then get ready to have the fall wedding of your dreams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!