American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson married fiance Brandon Blackstock this week on a beautiful farm in the Smoky Mountains. Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN is less than 10 miles from the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Townsend, and operates as a lodge with cottages and fine dining. It is a beautiful setting for a wedding, but did you know you can get married inside the park, too?
There are several beautiful wedding locations to choose from within the National Park, but you can't just set up a ceremony anywhere with no notice. There is a very detailed and specific guide for planning a wedding in the park, and it lists locations approved for a ceremony. Plenty of locations are available across the park from Cades Cove to Cataloochee. A Special Use Permit, application, and fee are required to reserve an event.
Two important things to remember are to leave the natural environment and historic buildings unharmed. All natural elements of the park should be left unaltered, so that means no nailing decorations to trees or picking flowers for a bouquet. Historic structures like churches, which are issued permits for weddings, must be used as they exist when you walk in; furniture cannot be moved and nothing can be nailed to a wall. Remember, part of the reason you are considering a Smoky Mountain wedding is the beautiful scenery and history; leave it the way you would want to experience it as a regular visitor!
Before planning your wedding in the Smoky Mountains, be sure to review all of the information made available by the Park Service. Follow the directions, plan a wedding within the guidelines, and your wedding day should go off with out a hitch. Futher instructions, contact information, and an application download can be found here.