Cades Cove Wedding Locations

Cades Cove Wedding Photographer

Cades Cove Wedding Locations

Weddings in Cades Cove at the Missionary Baptist Church, Wildlife Overlook, and other areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are simple, beautiful and intimate. With the natural backdrop of the Smokies, there are many options for weddings and photos throughout Cades Cove in fields, in the forest, in a church, by the river, and with scenic views.

One of the most popular locations in the national park is Cades Cove. The valley was home to numerous settlers before the formation of the national park, so there are multiple historic churches and structures. The Cades Cove Loop is a 1-way road that winds for 11 miles through the forest and across fields with the mountains in the backdrop. Because it is a 1-way road, traffic can be very slow, especially during peak months including October.  We always recommend planning extra time for driving through Cades Cove so you and your families are not late to your ceremony.

The cove has more than 2 million visitors per year and is the most popular destination in the national park. As your photographers, we try our best to help reduce the amount of disruptions from park visitors. We can help make recommendations for the best times of day and days of the week with the least amount of traffic, churches with doors that you can close during ceremonies, and locations that are far less visited than others. We visit Cades Cove multiple of times throughout the year during all the seasons, and we can help make recommendations to have the best day possible celebrating your marriage with your families.

If you are looking to have an intimate wedding or elopement in the Smokies, Cades Cove offers both indoor and outdoor ceremony locations for year-round ceremonies. There are 5 pre-approved ceremony locations. If you are interested in getting married at another location that is not already pre-approved, you can submit a special request for a permit to have your wedding at a special location (Hint: We can also help you with this too!).

Here are the five pre-approved Cades Cove wedding locations , plus some inside tips on planning your wedding in Cades Cove!

  • Wildlife Overlook
  • Missionary Baptist Church
  • Methodist Church
  • Primitive Baptist Church
  • LeQuire Cemetery Overlook

Cades Cove Wildlife Overlook

The Cades Cove Wildlife Overlook is the most popular outdoor ceremony location with sweeping scenic views across the cove with the smoky mountains rising tall as your backdrop. This location is not clearly marked, but it is located 0.5 miles past the Missionary Baptist Church on the left.

There is a narrow trail you can walk down for a 180-degree panoramic view of the mountains in the background for your ceremony. It’s also away from the parking lot, so it reduces the traffic noise and number of onlookers.

Cades Cove Wildlife Overlookcades cove wildlife overlook weddingscades cove wildlife overlook wedding photos

Missionary Baptist Church

The Missionary Baptist Church is our favorite indoor option for weddings in Cades Cove. The first Baptist church in Cades Cove, the current building was constructed in 1915. It is the last church on the loop, so it’s often the least visited church because everyone visited all the other ones before it. It also has a small parking lot and has doors that you can close during the ceremony. It has light wood inside with large windows, so it has a lot of natural light for pictures (we love that!).

View more wedding photos at the Missionary Baptist Church:

Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church WeddingsCades Cove Missionary Baptist Church Weddingscades cove wedding

Methodist Church

The Methodist Church is the 2nd church on Cades Cove Loop Road, sitting beautifully up on a hill on the right side of Cades Cove Loop Road. With light white walls and two front doors that can be closed during ceremonies, the Methodist Church is also a beautiful location for photos because of all the natural light.

In 1902, the current building was constructed in 115 days at a cost of $115 by the carpenter and pastor John D. Campbell.

There is a short trail outside of the Methodist Church that leads to a large field with mountains in the background. This is particularly beautiful in the fall when the mountain is speckled with fall colors.

View more wedding photos: November Wedding – Jena & Billy

Cades Cove Methodist Church Weddings

Primitive Baptist Church

The Primitive Baptist Church is the first church on the Cades Cove Loop Road. We have found that is is also the most visited church, and entry is down a very narrow dirt road. Outside the church is a large gravel parking lot large enough to accommodate many cars. Because of this, you can hear the sounds of  cars driving on the gravel outside the church during your ceremony, and you can hear and see park guests walking by the church as they explore the cemetery beside it. The inside of the Primitive Baptist Church is dark brown wood, so it is the darkest church in Cades Cove. If you like a dark and rustic feel, this historic church is for you!

View more wedding photos at the Primitive Baptist Church:

Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Churchprimitive baptist church wedding

LeQuire Cemetery Overlook

The LeQuire Cemetery Overlook is the last pre-approved wedding location on the Cades Cove loop. It is after Sparks Lane, so it is situated where you can enter Cades Cove Loop Road, take a left on Sparks Lane, and then drive 0.3 miles to LeQuire Cemetery Overlook, and you’re there in minutes! This provides the shortest option to visit Cades Cove and get married. This location provides beautiful views of the mountains, and also has a gorgeous tree with a small fence around it in the middle of the field. In the fall when the tree is changing colors, it provides a gorgeous golden backdrop.

Cades Cove LeQuire Cemetery overlook wedding picturesCades Cove LeQuire Cemetery Overlook-wedding-photosCades Cove LeQuire Cemetery overlook wedding

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Wedding Photographer

Are you looking to have your wedding in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? The national park is a popular location for destination mountain weddings and elopements. With the mountains, rivers, and forests of East Tennessee, it’s easy to fall in love with the Smokies. A few of the most popular locations for weddings and elopements in the national park include Spence Cabin, Foothills Parkway, Cades Cove, Greenbrier, and the Appalachian Clubhouse.

The National Park Service requires photographers to have an authorized permit to photograph in the park, and JoPhoto has the required permit to photograph your wedding, elopement, and engagement photos. We have been a Great Smoky Mountains National Park wedding photographers for more than 7 years. Contact us for more information about our national park wedding packages.

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Hi! We're Joe and Kathleen, and we're a husband and wife photography team specializing in weddings and elopements for adventurous couples in the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, and East Tennessee.


Celebrate in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, by the river, on top of the mountains, or in a cozy cabin...wherever adventure takes you, our job is to take photos you'll love for years to come.

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