Smoky Mountain Wedding Photographer
Welcome! My name is Erin Morrison and I am a Smoky Mountain Wedding Photographer. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is absolutely jaw-dropping and is the perfect location for an intimate elopement or adventurous weddings.
As a professional photographer in East Tennessee, I have a vast knowledge of many of the amazing locations the National Park Services has selected for ceremonies inside the boundaries. No matter if you live in Knoxville or Maryville, or if you are traveling to traveling to Gatlinburg, Sevierville, or Pigeon Forge, this natural wonder is meant for you and your wedding or elopement.
About The Great Smoky Mountains.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is 800 square miles of mountain wilderness. The land is federally owned and managed by the National Park Service. It is surrounded by over 1.6 million acres of U.S. Forest Service lands. These lands help provide Great Smoky Mountains visitors with breath-taking views. Row after row of mountains and ridges stretch to the horizon. Further, there is little evidence of human development.
The Smoky Mountains in Tennessee have had a long history of settlers. When Settlers arrived in the 1700s, they found themselves in the land of the Cherokee Indians. Visitors can see some of that settler history today. There are almost 80 preserved log cabins, churches, grist mills, and historic landscapes. Many historic churches are located in Cades Cove and are easily accessible by tourists.
In 1926, President Coolidge signed a bill that provided the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park was formally dedicated by President Roosevelt in 1940. He spoke from the Rockefeller Memorial at Newfound Gap. Thanks to the years of dedication and community support, The GSMNP is a part for all the country’s people and the rest of the world to enjoy.
The Smoky Mountains Today
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also America’s most visited national park. The park estimates more than 11 million visitors a year, roughly triple the number of Yellowstone or Yosemite National Parks. In 2021, the figures increased to over12 million visitors. Visitors are drawn by the mountain views, hundreds of miles of pristine mountain streams and hiking trails, wildflowers, historic cabins, and a lush forest. The Smoky Mountains is home to abundant wildlife, including black bears, elk, deer, and birds. Turkeys roam freely in Cades Cove!
Smoky Mountain Wedding Ceremony Locations
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park requires ceremony and wedding locations to occur at one of their specific locations. You can find a full list of the approved locations HERE. I have noted a few of the most popular wedding ceremony locations below!
Cades Cove is quintessentially the most popular place in the Smokies. Once you hop on Cades Cove Loop Road, you are met with all that the National Park has to offer. If you are looking for epic mountain views, expansive fields, lush forests, and waterfall trails then this is your place. This is also the best place to spot a whole lot of wildlife, including bears!
There are multiple wedding ceremony locations around “the loop” such as Primitive Baptist Church, Wildlife Overlook, and Lequire Cemetery Overlook. You can’t go wrong with any location found around “the loop” of Cades Cove.
From a personal standpoint, this is one of my favorite places to photograph in the Smokies. Just like Cades Cove, it has a mix of everything. The Little River runs through much of this area and has plenty of places on its banks for photography opportunities. You will also see stone chimney stacks leftover from past cabins, and even a beautiful stone bridge. And don’t forget, that some of the most popular camping is done in Elkmont!
Elkmont also has two very popular locations that will make your wedding day spectacular. Spence Cabin is one of the few places in the Smokies where you can have an inside and an outside wedding or elopement. Inside the cabin, you will find fully-functioning amenities such as a kitchen and bathrooms. You will also find a beautiful main living room with a stunning stone fireplace.
The Appalachian Clubhouse is another great Smoky Mountain wedding venue. Located in the Daisy Town area, it was used as a gathering spot by lessees and guests of the Appalachian Club, which was established in 1910. Club members, mostly from Knoxville, built rustic cabins nearby to serve as weekend or summer retreats in the years before the park was created. Now, the 3,000-square-foot, one-story Clubhouse features a large, open meeting hall about 25′ by 60′ in size with exposed wooden beams and massive stone fireplaces at each end that is equipped with gas logs.
Just six miles east of Gatlinburg, Greenbrier is one of the great off-beaten path areas of The Great Smoky Mountains. Which makes it the perfect intimate wedding spot at Greenbrier #1 and Greenbrier #2. The gravel Greenbrier Road runs along the river and ends at the Porters Creek trailhead. Boasting wildflowers in the Spring and Ramsay Cascades waterfall, it’s the hidden gem of locations.
The newest addition to the Smokies! The long-awaited section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley, Tennessee, is finally open. It offers magnificent views into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as it crosses Green Mountain. Mount Cammerer and the Eastern Smokies dominate the view.
Looking for scenic locations? US 441 to Newfound Gap is a beautiful drive, and full of photography locations. The Appalachian Trail (AT) also crosses over Newfound Gap Road and straddles the state line between North Carolina and Tennessee. If you are looking for a unique and epic elopement location, this is the one for you.
Noah Bud Ogle Cabin
The Noah Bud Ogle Cabin is situated near LeConte Creek (formally known as Mill Creek). The homestead presently consists of a cabin, barn, and tub mill built by mountain farmer Noah “Bud” Ogle. The dreamy rustic cabin offers backdrops that remind you of a simpler time and the other structures nestled into the enchanted forest will take your breath away. This location is a great smoky mountain wedding venue for your wedding day.
And Many More Locations!
There are over 40 permitted adventurous locations for your wedding day inside the Smoky Mountains. These locations are located all across the boundaries of Tennessee and North Carolina. You are sure to find your perfect wedding experience.
Don’t Skip on Your Engagement Session
Your wedding experience starts with your engagement! You may decide that having an engagement session in the Smokies is the way to go. Planning your engagement session in the Smokies is easy, and all you need is a Smoky Mountain Permitted Photographer. That’s me! I am familiar with many engagement session locations in the Smokies, such as Cataract Falls, Little River Road, Metcalf Bottoms, and more!
Smoky Mountain Photography Permit
When you book Erin Morrison Photography, you’re also booking my vast knowledge of the Smoky Mountains. I am familiar with the travel and weather inside the National Park boundaries. I am also familiar with beautiful and unique photography locations throughout The Smokies.
Further, I am required to have all of that boring licensing and insurance! Yes! Erin Morrison Photography is properly vetted and approved for commercial photography. When you see a permitted Smoky Mountain photographer, you can rest assured that you are dealing with a professional and licensed photographer.
Visit My Smoky Mountain Portfolio and Contact Me
I have photographed many elopements and weddings in the Smokies. No matter if you are getting married in Cades Cove or Spence Cabin, I am available for your wedding day. My Smokies Portfolio showcases many adventurous locations for weddings, elopements, and even engagement sessions.
Weddings and elopements in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park are absolutely beautiful. If you’re interested in getting married in the park, please review my pricing page and Smoky Mountain Guide. And please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to be your National Park photographer.