smoky mountains park view
February 28, 2024

If you ever dreamed about holding your wedding ceremony among the gorgeous backdrop of the Smokies, you can make that a reality with one of the approved wedding locations within the national park! There are many beautiful and iconic scenic landscapes throughout the park to create an ideal setting, so it’s no wonder why so many couples come to the Smokies to tie the knot! Here are the top 4 things to know about having your wedding in the Smoky Mountains National Park:

1. Approved Locations Within the Park

Missionary Baptist church in Cades Cove

You’ll be delighted to know that there are 50 approved wedding locations throughout the Smoky Mountains National Park, many of which are at high elevations with scenic vistas, along riversides and at places that celebrate the cultural history of the Smokies! This includes various overlooks along the Foothills Parkway, Clingmans Dome, Cataract Falls, Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area and more! One of the most popular areas in the park for weddings is Cades Cove, a wide open valley that is known for its lovely views, rich history and abundance of wildlife. Some of the beautiful locations for a Cades Cove wedding ceremony include several historic churches and a scenic wildlife overlook!

2. Special Use Permit Process

horses grazing in Cades Cove

Couples who are interested in having a wedding in the Smoky Mountains National Park must submit an application through the park’s Special Use Permit office. You can submit the application with a $50 permit fee and provide information about your desired location. This allows the park to manage that location, as they restrict the wedding services at any particular location to two per day. The application should be submitted at least 14 days in advance so that the park has time to process the request. If you are interested in a location that is not one of the pre-designated wedding locations, allow at least 21 days for the park staff to complete the review process (note that this requires an additional $100 fee).

3. Ceremony Locations Are Open to the Public


One of the important things to keep in mind about a wedding in the Smoky Mountains National Park is that couples do not have exclusive use of the area that they choose. Therefore, consider that you may have visitors in the background of your wedding who are simply enjoying the area!

4. Restrictions to the Wedding Ceremony

Park officials are concerned about the impact wedding ceremonies have on the park’s natural and cultural resources, so there are a few important restrictions. There is a limit of 20 people and 6 cars at most of the locations, and ceremonies are restricted to 90 minutes. You can bring flowers in for the ceremony as long as they are taken back out at the end, and rose petals cannot be dispersed. There is also a concern about the disturbance to other visitors in the area, so the park does require that only acoustic music be played or sound that is on a small audio device such as a CD player.

Now that you know the details about having your wedding in the Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll want to learn some of the best destinations in the park for wedding photos! Therefore, be sure to check out these places in the park to capture amazing pictures of the Smoky Mountains!