Smoky Mountain Wedding Photography
One of our favorite parts of being photographers in East Tennessee is just how easily and quickly we can be in the Smoky Mountains. Much of this range, that is part of the larger Appalachia Mountains, is protected by being designated as part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our decision to become permitted National Park photographers in the Smokies was really easy since these beautiful mountains are practically in our backyard, and there is just something about the sites in the Park that make us feel so connected to nature. Our goal is to share that with couples and families who choose Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Townsend, or Wears Valley as their vacation or destination wedding location.
We definitely have some favorite places to photograph our clients in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but here are our top picks:
This is a one-way, 11 mile driving loop that does require additional time to navigate, mostly because of the large number of tourists who visit to potentially view the wildlife (including bears) and gorgeous views. If our couples or families definitely want a mountain view, this is our number one recommendation within the National Park. Expansive fields with wildflowers and overgrown grass, breathtaking mountain backdrops, historic cabins and quaint chapels, and tree-lined dirt and gravel roads are just some of the picturesque settings we use for photos here.
Sitting along the Little River, Elkmont features beautiful views of the water, large boulders and rocks for mid-stream photo opportunities, towering trees at every turn , and stone artifacts remaining from the since removed cabins. Spence Cabin, a unique pink cottage, and a classic wooden cabin, the Appalachian Clubhouse, are frequently reserved for weddings and receptions within the historic district of Elkmont.
Up for a moderate hike to a waterfall? The 2.6 mile trail to Laurel Falls is easily accessible and is paved throughout; however, there are some steep areas, so we typically only suggest this waterfall trail for couples who are wanting a little adventure with mountain overlooks, a cute wooden bridge, and of course the water feature. Early mornings or evenings are the best times to access the falls without as much interference from tourists for some waterfall photos.
Our favorite aspect of Greenbrier is the large boulders that allow you to access the middle of the Little Pigeon River. That’s why this gorgeous riverside site in the National Park is also a designated location for wedding ceremonies. Surrounded by woods and containing several hiking trails, Greenbrier is a hidden gem in the national park. We love that we can drive to different locations for photos, including wooden bridges, and this portion of the park is definitely more secluded.
The most important thing to remember about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is that all photographers conducting business need to be permitted, and if you plan on getting married here, you will need to obtain a special use permit for your event. We have the experience, knowledge, and permitting needed to make your Smoky Mountain adventure a success, so let us join you in creating memories as we explore the National Park.