It doesn’t get much sweeter than a Smoky Mountain Elopement in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!! Jason and Kristine road-tripped from Minnesota to Tennessee to start their married life on a fun adventure. Lucky for me, they invited my daughter Halle and I along to capture their love and adventure over Memorial weekend. It was such an incredible experience; from the drive up (and I mean UP) to our cabin we shared, Lookout Loft, to the intimate campfire where we enjoyed s’mores, locally made wine, and bbq ribs from one of Gatlinburg’s finest, Hungry Bear BBQ.
The first evening I took the kids out on a hike to scout locations. I figured Jason and Kristine could use a little alone time since their road-trip from Minnesota was shared with 9 year old son, Aidin. We headed to Rainbow Falls Trailhead and the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg overlook pass. The views were gorgeous!! The Smoky Mountains have this blue hazy look and rolling fog that shows up as quick as it disappears.
We then met up with the “soon to be newlyweds” in town and enjoyed some adventure time. Gatlinburg is a tourists dream!! It offers restaurants, shops, wine tasting, miniature golfing, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and plenty more attractions. Jason and Kristine braved the Skylift Park where they headed to the top of a mountain and walked across a scary rope bridge where some wood pieces were replaced with glass to enhance the view. I thought it would be a cool photo opportunity on their wedding day, but Jason said “no way I’m going back up there!” lol
The next day, May 23rd 2020, we were graced with some sunshine so we headed out for another hike only to find the town had been taken over by tourists. I think I prefer the rain lol
Our original plan of exchanging vows at the overlook pass and hiking to Rainbow Falls was NOT going to happen…unless we wanted to drive in stand-still traffic, pray for a parking spot, and lose the intimacy to dozens of bystanders;) Luckily our cabin, Lookout Loft, is the ideal setting for an intimate outdoor elopement with it’s clean, modern look indoors, and perfect mountain views outdoors!! We moved up the time (a perk to bringing your own travel wedding photographer) and embraced Plan B. After exchanging vows, sampling some Gatlinburg wine and moonshine, and attempting an earth-friendly confetti popper, we hopped in the car and headed on a scenic adventure through Cades Cove. When the opportunity presented itself we had Aidin DJ their first dance song via iPhone and gave the spectators something sweet to look at (aside from the bears;)
“We met by chance. Neither one of us were actively looking, but found each other in a dating site, and were hooked after the first message. We chose Gatlinburg because we both like the outdoors and crave adventure. It was definitely a once in a lifetime adventure. We also have both been married before so we wanted to do something intimate and romantic. So we began doing research of states and came upon Tennessee. Our first dance was that out of a movie, and it was very intimate. Trisha definitely made us feel like we were in a fairy tale.”
Here is their adventurous wedding in the Smoky Mountains…
Venue: Lookout Loft, Gatlinburg Tennessee | Photographer: Xsperience Photography | Planner + Officiant: Xsperience Photography | Adventure: Cades Cove Loop | Dinner: Hungry Bear BBQ, Gatlinburg | HMUA: Organic Infusion Hair & Makeup Salon, Gatlinburg