Building a wedding planning checklist for your Smoky Mountain wedding.

You’re engaged! The dream of a Smoky Mountain wedding is finally coming true. Planning a destination wedding is an exciting yet large undertaking, and we’re here to make it easier for you. Let’s work together to get started on a wedding planning timeline. Equipped with a timeline, planning a Smoky Mountain wedding will be a breeze. With such a big project at hand, we are sharing tips to find your starting point. Step one is to ask yourself this question: 

Should you hire a wedding planner or plan everything yourself? 

If your answer is yes:

Hiring a wedding planner in the Smoky Mountains takes much of the responsibility off your plate. Your wedding planner has a tried-and-true timeline, and he or she will ensure that appropriate deadlines are met. If you are hiring a wedding planner in the Smoky Mountains, you won’t need to create a timeline. Instead, relax and follow your planner’s cues. 

There are some benefits to hiring a local wedding planner. Planning a destination wedding can be difficult, especially in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). The area is vast and there are myriads of ceremony and reception venues, caterers, photographers, and other industry professionals. A local wedding planner, like Custom Love Gifts, knows the area and has established relationships with vendors from every category. Your planner also understands logistics and timing, which is vital in a tourist destination with varying amounts of traffic and visitors. 

Furthermore, hiring a planner may pay for itself! Because planners have insider tips and business relationships with other local industry professionals, he or she can score the best deals you otherwise may not have found. Review the Smoky Mountain Wedding Association’s trusted group of wedding planners here

If your answer is no:

There are some circumstances when planning your own wedding makes sense. Here are a few common scenarios: 

You’ve chosen a venue that offers inclusive wedding packages. 

Many venues in the Smoky Mountains offer inclusive packages that take care of planning a wedding from start to finish. Some examples are wedding chapels, like Chapel in the Glen, and other venues like Wildflower Event Center and Sampson’s Hollow. From photography to the reception, your on-site planner will have everything thoughtfully planned based on your chosen package. 

You’re eloping to the Smoky Mountains. 

An intimate elopement is easy to plan. With only your fiancé and yourself to plan for, an elopement in the Smoky Mountains is like a wedding and honeymoon in one! Start with determining where you want to get married. The GSMNP requires a permit for weddings within the park’s boundaries. Outside the park, the area is rich in venues of all types. After you’ve chosen a venue, hire a local Smoky Mountain wedding officiant

You’re a DIY Bride 

Some people love the thrill of the chase! For a DIY bride, researching and planning is a fun journey, and it’s a task she would never delegate. If this sounds like you, a wedding planning timeline will be your best friend as you plan your Smoky Mountain wedding. 

Creating a Smoky Mountain Wedding Planning Timeline – Getting Started

Make a list of wedding priorities.

What is most important to you about your wedding day? Many brides choose the Smoky Mountains for breathtaking views. If your priority is saying your vows with the mountains as your backdrop, how about The Venue at Greenbriar Estate? Nestled atop a scenic mountain ridge on the beautiful Greenbrier Estate, this venue delivers simple elegance and views that encompass all you could want for your big day. 

If your priority is cost, how about the Sevierville Civic Center? This affordable event space in Sevierville is an exceptional value! 

Convenience is a smart priority, especially during peak travel times. Summer, for example, brings millions of visitors in just a matter of weeks. Traveling throughout the area can be overwhelming. Consider a wedding at a hotel. Downtown Gatlinburg Marriott is an excellent choice for having your ceremony, reception, and all other wedding events in one spot. To make it even better, the hotel is within walking distance of the famous Parkway and Gatlinburg’s most iconic attractions.

Another priority might be having your loved ones around you on your wedding day.

Whatever your priorities, identifying them will create a direction for all your wedding planning endeavors.

Purchase a wedding planning book. 

When planning your own wedding, it’s important to stay as organized as possible. Purchase a wedding planning book to keep track of your plans. The book may also prompt you to complete tasks you may have otherwise overlooked. Here’s a popular option on Amazon

Hire a coordinator to ensure your wedding runs smoothly. 

A wedding coordinator is different from a wedding planner. While the planner works in advance to secure vendors and make decisions, the coordinator takes over on your wedding day. Your coordinator will be your point of contact for everything, which takes the stress and responsibility off you. He or she will work behind the scenes to ensure you get hitched without a hitch. Hiring a Smoky Mountain wedding coordinator early in your planning process means that you’ll have advice and insider tips as you complete the items on your checklist. Plus, they may even have a template for you to go off of.

Create a master checklist for wedding planning. 

Now that you’ve determined whether you will be hiring a Smoky Mountain wedding planner or doing the work yourself, it’s time to create a master checklist. The first step is to set your budget. Learn more about setting a wedding budget and the next steps in a wedding planning checklist by following along with our Wedding Planning Tips series. For the complete series, follow us on social media:

Authored in Appalachia || Amy Morton


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