Wedding ceremonies and receptions seem to get grander and more expensive every year, and there are so many details to think about. Sometimes that hassle becomes so overwhelming, that you just might want to forget it all and elope instead. If that actually becomes an option for the two of you, Gatlinburg provides an ideal setting for your secret nuptials.
We have plenty of experience with helping couples plan incredible weddings and elopements so here are seven suggestions to make your Gatlinburg elopement your best day ever.
1. Choose a memorable location
One advantage to eloping near Gatlinburg is not being tied down to a specific place, where you have to book months or sometimes years in advance, like a church or special venue.
It can be a serene forest setting (of which there’s plenty in the Smoky Mountains area), beside a lake, or with a full view of the Smoky Mountains
You can choose exactly where you want your ceremony to be. Just check with whoever is in charge of the property and secure permission first.
2. Get fantastic photos
Spontaneity is what an elopement can be all about, but you probably don’t want to have your friends take your wedding pictures on their smartphones.
Here’s where you might want to do some planning, splurge a bit, and book a professional photographer who can preserve the memories of your day.
Check out some of our favorite Smoky Mountain photographers: 4 Best Smoky Mountain Wedding Photographers in Gatlinburg TN
3. Remember timing is everything
You don’t have to work around your family’s and friends’ schedules when you plan to elope. While you might have to deal with some astonished reactions, you can always plan a reception party and invite your loved ones to attend then.
Plan it for a time when most people can make it, but don’t try to cater to everyone. If you like, just make it a simple affair, like a backyard barbecue or dinner at a favorite restaurant
4. Dress to impress
If you like, you can wear jeans and a t-shirt to your elopement. But why not spiff up a little and adorn yourself in your favorite sharp outfit or a fun and colorful dress?
Remember, there’s no rule that says you need to purchase the bank-breaking couture gown or rent those uncomfortable penguin suits.
Wear what makes you feel most comfortable and special. That’s especially practical if you are holding your ceremony in the hills or mountains around Gatlinburg.
5. With guests, think quality over quantity
When you elope in Gatlinburg, you will only have to invite those family members and friends you truly care about.
It’s not a showcase for your parents’ friends and coworkers whom you’ve never met or an awkward way to reconnect with distant relatives. Isn’t sharing this day with those closest to you what matters most?
6. Select extra-personal details
Every aspect of a wedding ceremony – from the flowers to the food served – can reflect your unique style and meaning as a couple. Don’t limit yourself to what the bridal magazines say is the current trend.
If you’d like to have wildflowers instead of lilies and roses from the florist, and cupcakes instead of an elaborate wedding cake, go for it.
7. Honor the traditions you want
It’s completely up to you which traditions and rituals you’d like to have at your elopement. Talk with your fiancé/fiancée about what’s most significant to you both.
Also, don’t feel like you need to have a bachelor or bachelorette party, or even a traditional bridal shower. This is truly the day to do things your way.
Want to Elope in Gatlinburg THIS Week??
1. Find a venue for the wedding that has great, all-inclusive packages, and includes a wedding coordinator.
You say that will take longer than a week? Not if you know where to look. Most people think “Spur of the moment wedding? Vegas!”
But maybe you should think “Smoky Mountains”. The Smoky Mountains are within a day’s drive of half of the United States. That means that not only can you get there in a reasonable amount of time, but you can also even plan to get there this week!
Plus with all-inclusive packages, your planning can officially be done. Flowers, cake, music, food, and more are taken care of with your input.
Related: 18 Fantastic Gatlinburg Wedding Venues for Your Special Day in The Smokies
2. Grab your something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and the sixpence for your shoe.
The online shopping world makes it easier than ever to get a white dress and a good-looking suit on short notice. Pull out an antique handkerchief, use your dress, get a blue garter, borrow some earrings from a friend, and find a sixpence (or order one) and you’re pretty much set to go.
3. Call off work and pack your bags.
Put some of your well-earned vacation time to good use. Not only can you get married, but you can also stay in the Smokies for a few days and honeymoon
as well. Don’t forget your hiking clothes and shoes and your adventure spirit. The Smokies are a great place to get out and explore.
4. Get going!
The best thing about eloping in a week is that you get to enjoy the thrill of running toward each other at the altar.