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Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend, Tennessee

Dancing Bear Lodge

The Dancing Bear Lodge, an intimate wedding venue at the foothills of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, is another wedding venue that I enjoy shooting at. Located in Townsend, Tennessee, also known as the “quiet side” of the Smokies. The rustic vibe of the venue provides a quaint, cozy, and welcoming ambiance that is perfect for sparking romance on your wedding day. It’s the venue that puts people at ease, and those are the best conditions for capturing memorable photographs. If you are looking for a little mountain charm, you should shortlist The Dancing Bear.

Dancing Bear Lodge Wedding Venue In Townsend, Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains Location

Dancing Bear Lodge is just a mile from the Townsend Entrance to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The Smoky Mountains provide a beautiful setting, which makes a great background for wonderful photographs.

Plus, there is so much to do! There are plentiful options on the mountain trails for scenic hiking and biking trails. There are also many rivers and streams for an evening of fly fishing or tubing. If your tastes run more on the adrenaline junkie side, you’ll find the ziplining opportunities right up your alley. Guests can also bring their clubs for a time out at Laurel Valley Golf Club.

man dipping and kissing woman on paved road in woods
View these Engagement Photos at Dancing Bear Lodge

About the Venue

Although a destination wedding provides the opportunity to experience new localities, that is not the primary purpose of your trip. The most interesting thing in the area for you will, of course, be the venue where your wedding is held at. This goes double for those of you who are local. The Dancing Bear Lodge has a nice log cabin feel that fits perfectly with the atmosphere surrounding a place like The Great Smoky Mountains.

The venue is located on 38 acres and can accommodate weddings from the smallest and most intimate elopements to large and extravagant ceremonies. The lodge offers several wedding packages, allowing you to work with their planners to create a custom package.

The Landing and Fire Pit

Exposed wood trussing combines with stone exterior accents, matte black interior accents, glass chandeliers, and Barnwood doors to give the Landing at The Dancing Bear Lodge an open and welcoming feel. A beautiful stone staircase allows for easy access to the event lawn. There, you will find the community fire pit for your guests. The area has enough room to seat 75 people for dining and 125 people for the ceremony. The space can also be left open to make a wonderful venue for dancing. It also offers picturesque views of the grounds that surround the venue.

The Event Center

The event center is located inside the Dancing Bear Lodge’s Appalachian Bistro. TripAdvisor named the Appalachian Bistro as one of the top 25 most romantic restaurants in America, with good reason too. The bistro continues the rustic and welcoming theme of the landing. It delivers it with elegant natural colors and more comfortable padded chairs. The room can seat up to 75 people for dinner and includes round or banquet tables. The staff also offers a selection of different linen colors to adorn the tables. 

The Appalachian Bistro’s food is good enough for the locals to eat there. It was rated one of the best restaurants in Knoxville by OpenTable. As the name implies, the fare is an upscale serving of Appalachian cuisine. Chef Shelley Cooper was born and raised in Tennessee. Therefore, guests at your wedding will get an authentic taste of the area when it’s time to sit down and eat.

The Apple Valley Patio

Located at their Beer Garden Patio, this is a prime location for smaller, more casual weddings. It’s easy to see why. The area gives that perfect casual vibe with a choice of BBQ buffet, burger bar, or sandwich and salad platters. The venue is smaller than the others I’ve mentioned, seating only 50 people. Inside you’ll find wood-planked walls with barn-red accents. These walls create a rustic feel, aiding in the casual feel.

The Gazebo and Event Lawn

This is the place for outdoor weddings or larger ceremonies. It has space for 200 people. The gazebo is large, measuring 24 feet, making it a perfect stage for your wedding. It is set against a backdrop of Appalachian forest, making great photographs. The gazebo is a well-built, solid structure of large solid wood beams. The event lawn on which the gazebo is located can also be rented out and set up for dining, a picnic, or yard games.

Dancing Bear Lodge Wedding Venue


If you are having a destination wedding or some of your guests will be coming from out of town, you may be interested in the accommodations and property amenities at The Dancing Bear Lodge. The resort offers a variety of villas and cozy cabins to match most budgets.

Your stay at Dancing Bear can include pet friendly rooms or a cozy cabin with a private hot tub. The cabins also have free wifi and a large flat screen tv. The game room provides indoor fun with the pool table if you want to leave your beautiful cabin. No matter what you need, the lodge’s friendly staff will surely work with you on your special requests! After visiting this lodge, you will never want to check out.

One note: the resort has fewer units than most hotels. Therefore, you may need to consider additional accommodations if you expect many guests to stay overnight. Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities while they are in Townsend for your wedding. Tremont Lodge and Resort is an option. This resort is nestled in the woods and offers a serene wedding environment.

Dancing Bear Lodge Wedding in the Foothills of the Smokies

Townsend, Tennessee Wedding Venues

Townsend, Tennessee, is a charming town near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance. It is a popular destination for weddings due to its picturesque setting and proximity to natural beauty. To locals, it is considered the peaceful side of the Smokies. This is compared to nearby towns, such as Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville. Dancing Bear Lodge and a few other wedding venues are in this quaint town. The Barn Event Center of the Smokies, Willow Ridge Special Event Center, and The Lily Barn are all close. Couples should consider exploring different wedding venues before making a final decision. Choosing the right venue is a significant aspect of wedding planning. Why? It sets the tone and ambiance for the entire event.

About Erin Morrison Photography

Hi, my name is Erin Morrison, and I am a wedding photographer based in Knoxville. I find that a photographer that can blend into the background can better capture the spontaneous moments you will want to remember and relive for the rest of your life. I invite you to have a look at more portfolios. If you like my work and approach to shooting a wedding, please contact me for more information about my services.


Natural light + honest photographer for all humans.


Knoxville, Tennessee



Office Hours: M-F 8am-5pm | S-S 12pm-5pm

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