Friday, June 05, 2015

How to Elope to the Smoky Mountains

One of the best things about Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg is that there are SO many things to do.  You can literally spend your days holding hands along the river in the National Park, or you can fill up every available second with go-kart racing, dancing, shopping, live shows, or romantic dining.  This is why the Smoky Mountain area is a huge draw for couples who want to elope.  You can combine the wedding and honeymoon all in one!

Advantages of a Couples Only Wedding:

1)  A wedding for two, even including the travel costs, most of the time is much less expensive.

2)  The focus of the wedding is on the two of you, not on pleasing everyone else.

3)  If you still feel the need to please the family, have a reception when you get back home.

4)  Honeymoon lodging is easy to find, from cabins like to budget hotels to luxury resorts.

5)  There are more wedding locations to choose from in our area for couples only.

That last statement about having more wedding locations to choose from... well, it's both a pro AND a con to eloping in the Smokies.  The down side to this is that you are going to be overwhelmed while wading through the hundreds of wedding websites, and before long it's all going to be a blur.

All our brides say the same thing, "I was clicking on site after site until popped up.  All of a sudden I KNEW I had found the place I wanted to get married!"  Why do we stand out so much?  Because we are a wedding photography based destination venue.  The one thing that lasts and matters most is the exact thing we excel at.  Why?  Because we have dedicated ourselves to photography for fifteen years.  Full time. We don't do ANYTHING else.

Toll-free number to Honeysuckle Hills is 866-572-7724

Here's our list of great reasons to book your wedding for two at Honeysuckle Hills:

1) Our couples receive a more personal experience than the average wedding chapel.

2)  There is no pressure to tip your minister or officiant. 

3)  We are a private venue, so there is no danger of nosy tourists intruding.

4)  We have two separate dressing rooms, and we can assist you with your dress if needed.

5)  NO other weddings will be taking place during your reservation time.

6)  We have THREE back-up plans in case it rains.

7)  Everything is already decorated, set-up, and ready to go.

8)  We will schedule a time to meet with you the day before to tour and drop off wedding items.  This is also a great time for us to get to know each other and choose your ceremony spot. (We have more locations on property for a wedding ceremony than any other venue.)

9)  We will guide you every step of the way.  You won't have to worry about what to do or when to do it, from the ceremony all the way through the creative photography.

9)  We are dedicated to creating the very BEST wedding photographs.

How to book your own wedding just for two at Honeysuckle Hills

  • Call or text Regina at 865-368-5569 to check availability
  • Book your accommodations AFTER you know your date is available
  • Consider booking your wedding Monday through Friday for lower weekday rates
  • Regina will send your contract by email along with helpful information on how and where to get your Tennessee marriage license, plus helpful vendor information like and (Wedding gown and tuxedo rental with the friendliest folks in town!)

Honeysuckle Hills Couples Only Elopement Wedding Packages

Each package includes:

·         Ten minute tour and drop off service for wedding items the day before (like your dress, flowers, and marriage license)  This is a great time to see the property and choose the ceremony location.
·         Ceremony director
·         Officiant’s services for the ceremony and to file the license at the courthouse
·         Photographer with 20 years of experience in lighting, posing, and artistic design
·         A professional wedding album along with your flash drive of images after we complete our editing and artwork.  You may also request additional enhancements to up to ten more images (body shaping, facial blemish removal we may have missed, conversions to black and white or sepia)
·         Release to print images on your own
·         90 day on-line proofing site

All prices below already include Sales Tax

"Lickety Split" Love                                850  All Days

A 30 minute reservation that allows enough time for the ceremony and formal portraits in one location. Our staff will lovingly guide you through the ceremony and provide heart-warming images to enjoy from one location on our farm.  Please understand the photography time is VERY short and limited in this package.  It was created for couples who want to get married in a beautiful place and have charming, traditional photographs, but they don't want to spend the time required for variety and creativity.

Cost without the wedding album is $650

An Hour of Beauty                          1200  All Days

Excellent choice for the couple who wants heart-felt, beautiful wedding images, but does not want the full adventure of scenes on the further reaches of our venue, such as the truck and mountain view

Cost without the wedding album is $1000

Wild Horses                                     1800 Wed-Fri            2000 Saturdays

Our most popular, this package is perfect whether you want the breathtaking images with our horses that are trained to run behind you, or if you simply want more photography time to assure you get the most variety possible.  This reservation is a full hour and a half.

Cost without the wedding album is $1600 Mon-Fri or $1800 Saturdays

The Outdoor Adventure                 2800 Wed-Fri             3100 Saturdays

Two hours of the most creative wedding images possible.  This package allows for enough time to travel three short miles from Honeysuckle Hills to private property bordering the National Park.  An old chimney, mountain views, mountain creek falls, and another vintage barn are possibilities there.  You may also choose to have the full two hours at the Honeysuckle Hills property.

Cost without the wedding album is $2600 Wed-Fri or $2900 Saturdays


Couples only reservations allow a more relaxed atmosphere for our creative imagery, as opposed to larger weddings with hundreds of on-looking guests demanding constant attention.  This bride requested a "Lord of the Rings" themed image, because it was her favorite movie.  Images such as the one above, on average, take approximately 15 to 30 minutes to photograph (factoring in props and lighting set up, and lighting and extinguishing the flames safely upon completion.)  So do be sure to reserve at least an hour and a half to two hours with us if you'd like us to create a specialized theme for you, too.

Happy Anniversary!  We also photograph destination vow renewals.  Amanda and Mike married ten years prior in a courthouse setting, and did not have the money for professional portraits at the time.   Ten years later they come to us for a renewal and photography session.  Amanda wore the very same wedding dress!  They chose a shorter reservation time with us.  While this did not provide enough time for photography with the horses or for a themed image, we were still able to create timeless, classic portraits they will enjoy for decades more.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Choosing Your Wedding Ceremony Location

"Where will I get Married?"  Honeysuckle Hills has a variety of ceremony locations.   Sometimes the number of guests, amount of time you've reserved, or the weather plays a big role in your choice but the decision is up to you.  We have both outdoor and indoor wedding ceremony locations.

Do you have multiple ceremonies going on at one time on property?  Absolutely NOT.   Your reservation time is guaranteed as private while you and your guests are with us.  No one else is allowed on property during your paid reservation time.

When will I choose?  We do our best to schedule a tour the day prior to your wedding so that we can walk the grounds together.  Most of our locations are always set up and ready to go, so after the tour you can reflect on the choices and make your decision on wedding day.  Some of our locations, however, require more advanced planning such as our "hay bales in a horse field" option.  For that wedding package, we need to have the hay delivered and put into place since it's not stored on site.

Aside from our specialty packages, it's always best to wait until your visit the day before your wedding to choose the ceremony location, because the seasons continuously change the look of everything, everywhere.  Regina and Aunt Sharon are also continuously coming up with new ideas.

And now, on to the options Regina and Aunt Sharon have created!

The White Wedding Arbor

The white flowers, ferns, and vases filled with whimsical wedding decor in greens and browns are always present.  For this wedding, Aunt Sharon added sunflowers to the basic white theme.  We do our best to have a flower that will at least closely match your own wedding color, and we'll add it to personalize your ceremony site.

The most sought after ceremony location for weddings with larger guests counts is our white garden wedding arbor.  It has an elegant appeal, especially for couples searching for a garden wedding look.  

The flowers you see in the tins on the shepherd hooks are also always hanging and ready to go.  There is no charge to use any of the decorations for the white arbor you see pictured here.

Aunt Sharon can also personalize colors, flowers, and decor to your wedding theme for an additional fee.  The fee depends on the amount of work it takes to complete your look.

If you prefer to bring your own flowers for the hanging tins or mason jars, there is no fee for us to replace them for you as long as the flowers are ready to go when you bring them to your walk through the day before.

There are enough log benches to seat 100 of your closest family and friends for your Pigeon Forge destination wedding.

The white bird baths hold elegant ferns.  To the left you can see our potted, hanging flowers in the foreground.
A close up view of the hanging vases of flowers provided by Aunt Sharon.  She always starts with a base color of white, and can add an accent color that will closely match your own if you wish.

Honeysuckle Hills abounds with flowers everywhere!  Our many flower gardens attract hundreds of butterflies and birds.

Wed Beneath a Willow Tree

This was by far, hands down... our most popular wedding ceremony location for 2015 AND 2016.  Even though we also have an "Enchanted Forest" ceremony area, the willow tree is simply a miniature version of woodland enchantment.  Every time I think of the brides who told me stories of playing beneath their grandmother's weeping willow as a child, or having their first kiss beneath one it gives me chills!

This area is best for couples only with their children, but we can also move a few log benches for guests up to 25.  Please note that even though we obviously have room to bring down more benches, once you exceed four the guests in the back rows can't see you beneath the willow.  If your guest count is higher than 25, know that we can still do photographs of you later beneath its loving branches.

Aunt Sharon always has little mason jars or other unique items with candles hanging on the limbs...

Potted plants mark the entrance to the willow, and burlap bows hold back the front limbs for your entrance

A fall wedding beneath the willow.  We add enough benches for your guests along with other potted flowers.  30 guests is the recommended maximum for the willow tree to ensure all guests can see you

Our weeping willow tree is just as alluring, if not more so, in the fall.  Its leaves have a golden cast, intensified by the autumn sunlight.

 The Stone Arch

Benches are always in place to accommodate up to 75 of your guests
Our horses, Ben and Sugar, often come to see who's walking down the aisle

A stone mason was hired to install this classic, elegant stone wedding arch in August of 2016.  

This ceremony area accomodates up to 75 wedding guests with the permanent benches, and we can add additional seating to hold 100.  It is located to the right of the ceremony willow tree, separated by a pink crepe myrtle and rose gardens.

The arch is constructed of 13,000 pounds of granite rock.  

View from the arched bridge in early August when our yellow "grandmother" flowers are in full bloom.

Ferns, lanterns, or other potted plants can be added for your wedding on the ledges
The stone wedding arch in May with our roses and honeysuckle in bloom.  The spray on top was placed by Aunt Sharon and can be done in any color.

View from the back side of the stone arch.  This area has endless wedding photography possibilities!

The Hitching Post

A little further down in our horse field is the already famous "hitchin' post."  Another of Leslie's additions for the 2015 wedding season, it's a popular spot for our couples only horse lovers.  There's no fee to use this location for the couples only weddings, but we do require the "Hay Bales in a Horse Field" package for weddings with up to 50 guests in this area.

If you're wondering where the stylish country western attire came from, we love our friends at Fantasy Bridal in Gatlinburg!  They even came up with a way for the bride to use her veil on her cowgirl hat.

The Pond and Miniature Waterfall

The Smoky Mountain wedding waterfall in early spring

The wedding waterfall comes alive more as the spring season progresses.  Our gardens are the most beautiful you'll find in Pigeon Forge

Just a short walk across our bridge will lead you right to our little pond.  It's a serene atmosphere with the sounds of the creek and the water splashing across the rocks as it trickles back down into the stream.  This wedding ceremony location is best for couples only or just a handful of your closest family and friends.

The yellow water iris is in bloom from around the first of May through the first of June.

The green foliage you see to the right of the wedding couple are lilies, which bloom from early June through the first of July.

We always have potted flowers and other annuals like you see in the foreground.

Our waterfall is taller this year (2017) and has the perfect ledge area for wedding photographs

The Vintage Wedding Chandelier

A short walk from the chapel upstairs will lead you down to one of our couples only wedding ceremony locations beneath Leslie's vintage chandelier.  If you have a few wedding guests, they can watch your ceremony to the right from the reception hall.  The couple you see walking down together renewed their wedding vows, and chose to remain hand in hand during their celebration of seven years together.

The Enchanted Forest

New for 2017, the Tree Limb Foot Bridge, leading to the enchanted forest wedding ceremony site

The enchanted forest is gorgeous any time of year, but is best from mid-May through the end of October when leaves are on the trees.  The rich, golden colors of the fall leaves in the Smoky Mountains make our enchanted forest truly magical!  The foliage creates a cozy canopy.

This site is best for couples only, or up to ten wedding guests.  There is only room for about ten wooden chairs.

  You can access this location two different ways.  As of 2017, we now have a new tree limb foot bridge, giving better access to those in wheel chairs or who have trouble walking.  The second way is across our original arched bridge, behind the pond, and a short distance on the woodland trail that leads to the back end of the horse field.  This route is an old cattle trail, and best suited for those who have no difficulty walking on uneven surfaces (tree roots, rocks, etc.)

 We can add brown lanterns with battery powered fairy lights for a truly romantic experience.  The horses can be fed at a near by fence, and they're happy to be a part of your ceremony.

Exclusively Private Beeler Mountain in Starkeytown (Three miles Off-Site)

These areas used for photography are on privately owned property that borders the Smoky Mountain National Park.  This location is not at Honeysuckle Hills, but is only 3 miles away.  Some brides will get married at Honeysuckle Hills, and then we'll travel off site for more photography in the mountains.  I'ts perfect for our couples who want a "mountain adventure."

The Wildflower Preserve at Honeysuckle Hills

A couples only paradise for our brides in mid-April through the first of May, this area requires a walk up a set of steps into private woods on our mountain ridge.  While this area can be used any time of year, it is in its splendor during the annual wildflower pilgrimage in the Smoky Mountains.

In Case it Rains....

The Pavilion

Our pavilion alongside our creek was expanded this year to accommodate up to 100 guests.  In the event of rain, this is an excellent choice during the months of April through October to be out of the wet, but still feel like your wedding is outdoors.  This area is also our bride's favorite place to set up for dancing and celebrating!

And last but not least...

The Wedding Chapel

Our wedding chapel view as you walk down the aisle...

Our wedding chapel upstairs in the barn can be used any time of year.  In the event of rain, it holds up to 50 of your wedding guests.  In the hot months of July and August it can be used to escape the heat and humidity, since it's comfortably air conditioned.  It's a cozy, warm haven for our winter brides as well, and Aunt Sharon loves to decorate for our Christmas brides!

View from the front of the wedding chapel looking back

The very best way to explore all the options at Honeysuckle Hills for your own destination wedding is to schedule a tour.  Remember to schedule it as far in advance as you possibly can.  It breaks our heart into pieces when a prospective bride shows up after driving many miles only to discover we're in the middle of a wedding or someone else's tour.  You are very important to us!  So give us a call or even send a text to 865-368-5569.  We'll take good care of you!