Top Smoky Mountain Wedding Locations

Top Great Smoky Mountains National Park Wedding & Elopement Locations

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a beautiful destination for your mountain wedding, adventure elopement, or engagement. We frequently visit various locations throughout the Smokies for ceremonies and engagement photos. Some are closer to Gatlinburg, and others are closer to Townsend. Depending on the side of the park where you live or are visiting, we can make recommendations for the best locations.

We can help you craft and capture your perfect Knoxville wedding, mountain adventure, or intimate elopement. When you book us as your photographers, you’re also booking our vast knowledge of beautiful, unique places in the Smoky Mountains. In addition to being your photographers, we also offer:

  • Planning assistance including location suggestions
  • Customized photography timeline planning
  • Recommendations of the best wedding vendors to work with (officiants, florists, hair & makeup, etc.)
  • Help with permitting requirements

What are the best places in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to get married or elope?

As a licensed and permitted wedding photographers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for more than 6 years, we photograph weddings all over the park. We’ve visited some of the most popular locations as well as some of the most hidden locations for elopements, weddings, and receptions.

Brides and grooms often ask us for the best locations to get married in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From intimate elopements with just the bride and groom to larger weddings with families and guests, the park has multiple locations we recommend based on your level of adventure and landscape preference.

The Smokies has mountains, coves, rivers, waterfalls, hiking trails, open fields, epic scenic views, wildlife, cabins, historic churches and structures, beautiful foliage and greenery in the warmer months, jaw-dropping fall colors, and snow in the winter.

Permits and Most Popular Locations for Weddings & Elopements

If 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. You can also apply for a permit for a non-approved location if you have a special location in mind.

We compiled a list of the top five wedding and elopement locations and most popular places around The Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are the most scenic for couples to consider for their wedding day.

  1. Spence Cabin
  2. Appalachian Clubhouse
  3. Cades Cove
  4. Greenbrier
  5. Foothills Parkway

These are the most popular and scenic locations, but there are many more spots throughout the national park that are beautiful for Smoky Mountain weddings and adventure elopements.

Spence Cabin

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Elopement in Tennessee

Spence Cabin is a mountain wedding venue in Elkmont. The bright pink cabin is nestled in the forest on the banks of the Little River. It provides an outdoor ceremony site as well as rooms inside the cabin for the bride and groom to get ready, a kitchen for catering, main room for reception seating and serving food, and a patio and screened in porch for indoor/outdoor receptions. The outdoor ceremony site is next to the river, with the water babbling in the background.

Spence Cabin is a short drive from Townsend and Gatlinburg and is a beautiful venue for earthy and intimate weddings. Because it is a cabin, it also provides a rain backup plan for weddings and receptions.

weddings great smoky mountains national park

Spence Cabin is closed during the winter months and the first two weeks in June during the synchronous fireflies. Many couples who choose to get married in the winter months will select Cades Cove or the Foothills Parkway.

Appalachian Clubhouse

Many couples will book Spence Cabin for their wedding ceremony and the Appalachian Clubhouse for their reception. The clubhouse is less than a mile from Spence Cabin, and it is a short 2 minute drive. It has a large room with two stone fireplaces, a large screened in front porch, kitchen and restrooms, and exclusive parking.

appalachian clubhouse wedding

The Appalachian Clubhouse is a great location if you are having a larger wedding with families and friends. It is a historic building, and it can accommodate up to 96 people. There is no air conditioning or heating, but there ceiling fans and two gas fireplaces inside.

Cades Cove

Cades Cove Wedding in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cades Cove is one of the most popular locations for visitors to the Smokies. It is a 1-way driving loop and provides backdrops for all of our favorite things about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: wildlife, forests, fields with mountain views in the background, streams and water, historic structures such as the Primitive Baptist Church, bridges and overlooks for epic photos of the Smoky Mountains.

Most couples who choose to elope in Cades Cove will have their ceremony there, then we will take photos around the loop, and then they will go to Gatlinburg for dinner at a local restaurant. Many of the historic churches are beautiful locations for wedding ceremonies and can also be great rain backup plans if needed.

Cades Cove is beautiful year round, with greenery, streams, and lush forests in the spring and summer, amazing colors in the fall, and snow-capped peaks in the winter. Because it’s a 1-way driving loop, traffic can be very slow on the weekends in the summer and during October when the leaves are changing colors.


Greenbrier Wedding in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is on northern side of the park, and it is near Pittman Center just outside of Gatlinburg. It is generally not very crowded with less traffic. There are three wedding locations in Greebrier: #1, #2, and the picnic pavilion. Approved wedding ceremony locations are on the banks of the Little Pigeon River, and there is an abundance of beautiful backdrops for wedding photos including the river, forest, wooden bridges, and large rocks in the river. Greenbrier is a more dense forest than that in Elkmont around Spence Cabin. If you like more of a dark and dramatic forest backdrop, Greenbrier is a great location for this!

Foothills Parkway

Foothills Parkway wedding in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Foothills Parkway is part of the Great Smoky Mountaions National Park, and it has some of the most gorgeous scenic drives and locations overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains. With multiple locations between Walland and Wears Valley, there is an abundance of beautiful backdrops for wedding photos including the mountains, waterfall, sunsets, forest, and roads. The “Missing Link” was recently opened in 2018 with the most amazing view of the Appalachian Mountains and romantic sunsets.

How Do we Contact you for our Smoky Mountain wedding or elopement?

If you love watching lightning bugs flicker in the trees, get excited by the smell of a campfire, love jumping in a cool mountain stream, and hopping across river rocks, then get in touch!

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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 Knoxville, Tenn., and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


Celebrate in a unique Knoxville wedding venue, the smokies, by the lake, in your back yard, 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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Wedding Photography


Super 8 Films

Knox Photo Bus

Gallaher Bend



Great Smoky Mountains






Joe & Kathleen Atkins


Tel: (865) 919-7280 Calls only

Based in Knoxville,TN