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 really enjoy shooting at. Like many venues around The Great Smoky Mountains, the views are breathtaking. 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 type of venue that really puts people at ease, and I find that those are the best conditions for capturing memorable photographs. If you are looking for a little bit of mountain charm then you should definitely shortlist The Dancing Bear.
If you are planning a destination wedding then you’ll want to know about things to do in the area surrounding The Dancing Bear. The venue is located in beautiful Townsend, Tennessee. There, you’ll find a bit of something for everyone. For those who wish to just relax and find some peace and quiet, there are plenty of serene nature settings to enjoy. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park provides many such opportunities. As a photographer, I can tell you those also make for great places to snap some wonderful photographs! Be sure to carry a camera to capture the local wildlife or your visit to the Tuckaleechee Caverns.
For something a little more active, there are plentiful options for scenic hiking and biking trails and lots of rivers and streams for an evening of fly fishing or tubing. If your tastes run more on the adrenaline junkie side, then you’ll find the ziplining opportunities right up your alley.
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 in 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 to choose from and allows you to work with their planners to create a custom package. Wedding packages at The Dancing Bear Lodge can make use of four different locations.
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 and the community fire pit so your guests will be able to move from the ceremony to the celebration quickly. 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 of 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 but delivers it with elegant natural colors and more comfortable padded chairs. The room can seat up to 75 people for dinner and includes a selection of round or banquet tables. The staff also offers a selection of different linen colors to adorn the tables.
The food at the Appalachian Bistro is good enough that the locals go there to eat. It was rated one of the best restaurants in Knoxville by OpenTable. The fare is an upscale serving of, as the name implies, Appalachian cuisine. Chef Shelley Cooper was born and raised in Tennessee so 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 the location that The Dancing Bear Lodge recommends for smaller and more casual weddings. It’s easy to see why. With a choice of BBQ buffet, burger bar, or sandwich and salad platters, the area gives that perfect casual vibe. The venue is smaller than the others that I’ve mentioned so far, seating only 50 people. Inside you’ll find wood-planked walls with barn red accents that step the rustic feel up a notch from the other options, aiding in the casual feel.
The Gazebo and Event Lawn
This is the place for outdoor weddings or larger ceremonies that will need seating for more than the other venues offer. 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 which makes for great photographs. The gazebo itself is well built and solid structure made of large solid wood beams. The event lawn on which the gazebo is located can also be rented out and set up for dining, or even a picnic or yard games.
If you are having a destination wedding or if some of your guests will be coming from out of town, then you may be interested in the accommodations at The Dancing Bear Lodge. The resort offers a variety of villas and cabins to match most budgets. It doesn’t have as many units as most hotels, so large some members of wedding parties might need to find other accommodations while they are in Townsend for your wedding.
About Erin Morrison Photography
I am a wedding photographer based in Knoxville. When working at a wedding, I prefer to stay out of the way. I find that a photographer that is able to blend into the background is better able to capture the type of spontaneous moments that 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 my approach to shooting a wedding, please contact me for more information about my services.