Andrus Photography in the Smoky Mountains

3 Tips for the Best Smoky Mountain Wedding Photos

cover photo credit: Andrus Photography

Wedding photography in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, comes with challenges and rewards. The challenges involve the ever-changing seasons in the mountains, supply and demand, a plethora of Smoky Mountain wedding photographers to choose from, and price. The rewards come later, when your photographer presents you with the photos. The mistake of hiring the wrong photographer will not be evident until it’s too late, so making the right decision is vital to the quality of your wedding album. Here are three tips to help you sift through the challenges of hiring a wedding photographer in the Smoky Mountains:

Smoky Mountain Wedding Photographers Tips

Clabough's Entertainment and Photography
Clabough’s Entertainment & Photography

#1 Choose a date that complements your wedding style. 

Each of the four seasons in the mountains look vastly different from one another. Here’s a glance at outdoor wedding photos in the Smoky Mountains throughout the four seasons: 


Willow + Rove
Willow + Rove

A winter wedding is affordable, so this is a great time to snag a premier Smoky Mountain wedding photographer at a lesser price! Winter weather in East Tennessee is unpredictable, especially in the mountains. The weather can be sunny and 65 degrees one day, and the next could bring sub-freezing temperatures and snow accumulation. Speak with your photographer about inclement weather policies and ask for location suggestions. 


Morolo Films
Morolo Films (videographer)

Spring in the Smoky Mountains is gorgeous! It comes early too. When much of the North is still battling winter, the Smokies are seeing warm weather and an abundance of wildflowers. However, the weather is rainy in the spring. Consider an indoor ceremony at a wedding chapel or other venue, and then plan for outdoor photos in a beautiful spring setting. Smoky Mountain wedding photographers have exclusive insight regarding the best photo locations. Speak with your photographer for recommended sites, and have a rain plan too. 


In the Smokies with Don Fields Photography
Don Fields Photography

Summer is a fantastic time to get married in the Smoky Mountains. The landscape is lush and just asking to be photographed. Summer is peak season in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg for weddings and tourism in general. Because demand affects prices, rates for everything are higher in the summer. Prices for Smoky Mountain wedding photographers are no exception. For some brides, iconic shots with lush mountain views in the background are worth the price. Indoor weddings are still popular during this time, although outdoor weddings in the summer is what dreams are made of. 


Andrus Photography
Andrus Photography

The Smoky Mountains are famous for fall foliage! In October, visitors flock to see the Smokies decked out in oranges, reds, and yellows. This backdrop makes for unbelievable wedding photos. Furthermore, the fall weather is fantastic. You will enjoy crisp and cooler weather, although it is still warm enough for an outdoor wedding. For these reasons, demand for weddings in October peaks and it will directly affect every line in your wedding budget. The best Smoky Mountain wedding photographers book up quickly, so it’s important to reserve your date as soon as possible. A fall wedding in the Smoky Mountains is unparalleled but pricey. 

#2 Choose a reputable and experienced wedding photographer who suits your style.

Jake Schick Productions
Jake Shick Productions (videographer)

The Smoky Mountain Wedding Association boasts a fine group of photographers. As you review our photographers and other wedding vendors, notice that each is professional and experienced. This is evident by visiting websites and social media pages. We encourage every bride to thoroughly investigate wedding vendors via these outlets to ensure they are reputable and experienced. This is especially true with photographers. 

Shooting photos in an environment as complex as the mountains can be challenging. A seasoned photographer can capture your photos perfectly regardless of the lighting and background, and an expert can use these variables in your favor. 

Experience isn’t the only quality to look for in Smoky Mountain wedding photographers. Additionally, each photographer has a unique style. Shooting photos is only half of a photographer’s job. Once captured, every photo must go through an editing process. Each photographer shoots photos differently and edits them differently too. The result is a unique and meaningful memento of your special day. 

#3 Don’t choose a photographer based on price alone.

ST Photography
ST Photography

The cost of wedding photography varies due to several factors. It can be as expensive or as cheap as you want. Buyer beware; you get what you pay for. The tips discussed earlier in this article come into play here. The wedding date will affect your price, as well as the photographer’s experience and demand. 

It is easy to underestimate the budget for wedding photography, and it may sound like a good idea to go with the lowest price. After spending most of your wedding budget on a venue, coordinator, catering, entertainment, and other areas, there might not be much left over for photography. Your wedding photographer should not be an afterthought; it should be one of your first decisions. 

Since you won’t see any images or footage until weeks after the wedding, there is no way to fix or recapture the exclusive experience of your wedding. Don’t gamble on your wedding photos. You will treasure the photos for the rest of your life, so it is essential to get it right the first time. With wedding photography, there are no second chances. When you narrow down the list of Smoky Mountain wedding photographers you’re interested in, don’t let price dictate your final decision. Even if a photographer is outside of your budget, contact them to see if you can strike a deal.

Bonus Tip: Add a Photo Booth to your wedding reception.

Once Upon a Shooting Camera
Once Upon a Shooting Camera

Many of our vendors offer photo booth rentals for your wedding reception or event. This is an exciting and fun way to get candid photos from your special day. These lively photographs make a wonderful addition to the polished and professional photos you will receive from your photographer.

The Best Smoky Mountain Wedding Photographers

Fall ST Photography
ST Photography

Luckily, couples getting married in the Smoky Mountains can search the Smoky Mountain Wedding Association website to find a professional and trusted wedding photographer. Learn more about our organization here and follow us on social media to stay updated on the latest tips for planning your perfect Smoky Mountain wedding!

Authored in Appalachia || Amy Morton


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