The Great Smoky Mountains located in Tennessee is an amazing National Park to get eloped in. It is the second most popular spot for weddings, just behind Las Vegas in Nevada. The number one place I recommend to my couples wanting epic photos in the park is Cades Cove. Cades Cove is the perfect spot for a summer adventure elopement. I like to tell couples it’s essentially a bowl of mountains with 360 degree views of mountains everywhere you turn. There are also lots of hikes! One of the best being Abram Falls, perfect for couples wanting a hiking elopement in the mountains.
Hannah & Brandon
Hannah and Brandon found me on Google. I remember getting their inquiry while I was traveling abroad for other work in Iceland. I was so excited because Hannah just seemed so sweet & they were interested in having a Super 8 Film made of their day as well. We talked as soon as I got back to the states. And they booked me for their adventure elopement in Cades Cove.
I helped them plan their elopement & obtain the permits from the Smoky Mountains so they could have a day that truly reflected them. Two of their best friends came with and one of them officiated their vows. Hannah had two wedding dresses which was so fun to have a variety in the photos. I loved how carefree the day felt. We drove together and stopped at whatever caught our eyes along the way to Cades Cove. I loved watching them explore the Great Smoky Mountains for the first time on their elopement day.
How to Elope in Cades Cove
Eloping in Cades Cove requires planning as it is (and rightfully so) the most popular place for elopements. It is an eleven mile one way loop. So the traffic can be very heavy and unpredictable, especially if there is wildlife. Therefore, I strongly recommend eloping during the week to avoid sitting in traffic along the loop. There is also no cell phone service, which can be tricky if you are planning to have guests at your elopement. I have made maps in the past to give to my couples who have guests with them so no one is lost!
Best Time of Year to Elope in the Smoky Mountains
Any time of year is gorgeous in Cades Cove. The summer months have wildflowers which Hannah & Brandon were able to experience. The spring has tall grasses and lots of wildlife. The sunrise & sunset are both great in this area. At sunrise you are more likely to catch the fog (or “smoke”) on the mountains. Permits for Cades Cove are also not given out during the month of October. This is due to the popularity in the national park and traffic.
Cades Cove Wedding Ceremony Locations
Hannah & Brandon actually had their ceremony at a special spot along the Foothills Parkway overlooking the mountains. We went into Cades Cove to take their sunset portraits. Cades Cove has multiple wedding ceremony locations, the best being LeQuire Cemetery Overlook and Wildlife Overlook. You can view all the designated ceremony locations at the national park here. Or simply inquire with me and I’d love to talk through which location could be best for you & your partner.