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Want to Get Married in the Smokies? Here is What to Do First

Getting Married in the Smokies? Here is What To Do First.

Want to Get Married in the Smokies? Here is What to Do First

The Smoky Mountain National Park is THE intimate National Park. Full of deep, wooded locations, flowing rivers, and endless trails. It is majestic, with one-of-a-kind breathtaking views. Therefore, there is no doubt why people want to get married in the Smokies.

But, a question remains. How do you get married in the Smokies? The Smoky Mountain Wedding Collective is dedicated to providing information to brides and grooms who want to enjoy their big day surrounded by Mother Nature’s best in a romantic atmosphere. We promise these tips below will help you plan and celebrate your elopement or wedding ceremonies in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Photo by Leah Moyers Photography

1. Plan Your Date

As with any event, the date is important if you want to get married in the Smokies. The extraordinary offerings in the Smokies make it a popular destination wedding location. It has even earned its premier reputation as “the wedding capital of the south.” What does that mean? It means that you are competing with thousands of other couples. Most wedding locations book quickly, so plan and get a date finalized.

Photo by Magnolia + Ember

2. Plan Your Permitted Location

Have you always dreamed of getting married overlooking the mountainous landscape? How about an intimate elopement in Cades Cove? When it comes to getting married in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the choices go on and on. There is a perfect place for wedding vows. Guaranteed!

Charming chapels dot the landscape in Cades Cove, while Spence Cabin provides intimate solitude. The Foothills Parkway and Newfound Gap provide both hiking and expansive views. And Spence Cabin offers an indoor location for your special day. Whether you choose the reception venue or location, wedding couples must get married in the Smokies at one of the permitted wedding locations.

Photo by Erin Morrison Photography

3. Secure Your Special Use Permit


Once you have chosen your wedding date and permitted wedding location, the next thing is to get your Special Use Permit (SUP). A Special Use Permit is required to hold wedding services, vow renewal, and commitment ceremonies. It is also required to use a historic structure (such as for a church service) in the park.


  1. Check availability and make a tentative reservation by contacting the SUP office by email ( or phone ( 828-497-1930) prior to submitting an application.
    1. Photographers with a Commercial Use Authorization can access the NPS calendar and file the SUP on behalf of their wedding couples.
    2. The Application and payment must be received at least 14 days after making a reservation.
    3. Events can be scheduled up to 1 year in advance.
  2. Send in the application for Special Use Permit.
  3. Send in the payment at
  4. The finalized SUP is emailed to the applicant and must be signed upon receipt.
Photo by Leah Moyers Photography

4. Secure Your Wedding Vendors

While following your heart is a large part of the equation, due diligence is important when selecting your Smoky Mountain wedding vendors. The Smokies is known for its astonishing views, but it is also known for excellent wedding professionals. Where to go for the very best? Locals, of course. Area wedding planners, photographers, videographers, and officiants can offer unique insights. They are also used to working with the region’s terrain and weather logistics and securing your Tennessee marriage license.

With over 40 professional vendors on our website, you, the bride, can be sure to find a company that works for your wedding day. Feel free to use our contact form and connect with ALL the vendors in one easy click.

Photo by Magnolia + Ember


When you ask, we answer. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you get married in the Smokies.

I want a quick wedding in the Smokies. Do I really need a SUP?

Yes. All wedding services, vow renewal, and commitment ceremonies require a SUP.

How long can I reserve a location on my wedding day?

Events are limited to 1 hour at outdoor locations and 90 minutes in historic structures.

How many people can attend my wedding inside the Smokies?

Participation in the event is limited to a maximum of 6 cars and 25 people unless otherwise noted on the locations list. These limits include all invited guests, vendors, their respective employees, and their vehicles.

What kind of decorations can I use on my wedding day?

Up to six chairs will be allowed to accommodate participants with special needs.
The following items are prohibited for use: Horse-drawn carriages, tents, tables, banners, signs, and decorations such as carpet runners, balloons, garden arches, fireworks, candles, oil lamps, any item which produces an open flame, fog machines, confetti, bubbles, flower petals, silly string, birdseed, rice or any other such material. The release of live animals is also prohibited. Portable heating or cooling devices (electric or otherwise) is not allowed.

Can I get married on Saturdays and Sundays in Cades Cove?

Permits will NOT be issued for Saturdays and Sundays in Cades Cove during the month of October. Monday thru Friday events are restricted to pre-designated locations during October.

I want to get married at a cabin but also want photos inside The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Do I need a SUP?

No. A SUP is not required.
However, the photographer is required to have a Commercial Use Authorization.

How do we get our marriage license?

Both parties must be present. Both parties must be at least 18 years old and have a legal form of identification. Fill out an online pre-application directly through the Sevier County’s Clerks Office website.

Have more about how to get married in the Smokies? Please feel free to contact us at for assistance in your wedding planning.

Yugen Productions

WEDDING Videographer

Wildwood Media was born out of a desire to create content and capture moments for those who are inspired by love and creativity. “Wildwood” is an uncultivated forest that has been allowed to grow naturally. Like wildwood, our untampered style delivers the purest form of your story. We value our client's stories above all else. Wildwood Media Photography truly strives to create individualized films and photos that perfectly commemorate the details of your event. It is our desire that our films and photos will bring you back to the abounding joy of your wedding day over and over again for years to come. We have over 100 five-star ratings online and are fully insured!


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