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If you’re traveling to Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains for a wedding you might want to consider purchasing a unique wedding gift. One that was either handmade or created by some of the fantastic artists who live in the area.

What better way for your newlywed friends to save memories of their wedding in the mountains than to have a piece of art in their home. Something they can see every day and that makes them smile.

Here are a few ideas for unique wedding gifts from local artists in Gatlinburg.

1.  A piece of custom made jewelry.

 Love Life Live Life is located in the heart of the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts community. They feature jewelry that is inspired, unique, and bold! Each piece has been contemplated and configured with quality craftsmanship and inspiration.

handmade heart unique wedding gift

Owner and artist, Kimberly, is an excellent artisan who not only makes unique gifts but can be commissioned to create a custom piece designed just for you.

2. Handmade pottery. Another unique wedding gift idea.

Alewine Pottery artist Robert Alewine for more than 30 years now has been in the business of creating unique pottery art pieces. Renowned nationwide this shop with three generations of artisans is known not only for their stunning handmade ceramics but also the friendly, fun-loving, family atmosphere.

a unique wedding gift of handmade pottery

3. A custom canvas from the wedding day.

RIK photography not only captures the moments of the day to tell the unique story of the bride and groom but also designs custom photographic art pieces that can be displayed in the home of the married couple for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Following the wedding day or after a private portrait session you can choose a very special memory for the bride and groom by way of a photograph printed on canvas or framed.

canvas print a unique wedding gift

So while you’re in the Smoky Mountains for the wedding celebration why not explore the arts and crafts community to see what sort of unique wedding gift you could give? They will not only remember the day but will also be thinking of you!

The staff at Bluff Mountain Inn will be happy to point you in the right direction to find the best that the mountains has to offer.

Call 865.908.0321 for information or advice.

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Why a Mountain Destination Wedding might be right for you

We’re only a few weeks away from Christmas. It’s the time where a lot of couples become engaged and start looking for a mountain destination wedding venue. Well if that sounds like something that you might be looking for then Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains offer a great opportunity.

For years the Smokies have been known as a great place for couples to elope. Wedding chapels used to line the streets of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. These days more engaged couples are looking to have a larger event and invite family and friends to travel to the mountains and take advantage of the great location while attending a wedding celebration.

There are several places in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that accommodate wedding parties and what better mountain destination wedding spot could you get than that? The park facilities are available to book through the National Park Service. If you’re looking for a gorgeous location for a wedding that might just be the ticket.

Mountain Destination Wedding

This gorgeous spot is a patio over the river behind Spence Cabin.


Mountain Destination Wedding

The Spence Cabin in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

On the other hand, many couples would rather spend their time relaxing and enjoying the time with family and friends so they might choose an all-inclusive destination venue for their Smoky Mountain wedding. One where all the details are handled by wedding professionals including planning, decorating, catering, flowers, and photography. If that sounds more like the plan you’re looking for then Bluff Mountain Inn might be just the perfect location for your wedding plans.

Ceremony at Gatlinburg Destination Weddin

A destination wedding in Gatlinburg combines your wedding ceremony with a family reunion / vacation

While researching for this post we came across a great article on The Knot that gives some more insight on destination weddings. And although there are many options, we hope you’ll choose the mountains!

Photos by Rick King;

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Ceremony at Destination Wedding in Gatlinburg

4 tips for financing your Destination Wedding in Gatlinburg

  1. Save! Start putting money away early in your planning process. Maybe a long engagement will help give you more time for stashing some cash away. Think about opening a separate savings account and auto-drafting on a regular basis so you’ll have saved up money before you know it.
  2. Have a budget and stick to it! Sitting down with your significant other and your family to figure out how much you can afford to spend on your wedding and honeymoon can be very helpful. An all-inclusive venue can really help with sticking to a budget since all your bases are covered. Not having to contract with individual DJs, bakers, florists, photographers and the like can not only save you money but cut down on your stress level.
  3. Go on the road. Having your wedding at a destination wedding venue can not only be a great adventure but also save you money! According to com the average price for a wedding in the United States is $26,444, but an all-inclusive wedding venue in Gatlinburg might have packages where they take care of all the details and you come out better off in the long run. Your family and friends can combine a mountain vacation with your wedding ceremony and have the best of both worlds.
  4. Get a little help from your friends. With the cost of weddings these days it’s not unheard of for family and friends to chip in on the cost of your wedding or honeymoon. They could make that a wedding gift and can even order gift certificates for such services or extras like photographs or a photo album.

At Bluff Mountain Inn we are by no means financial advisors, although it might be helpful to seek professsional help for one for that side of the planning process. But we are very experienced in helping couples work within their budget to make their destination wedding in Gatlinburg the one they’ve dreamed of. Fill out our contact form to receive our Free Gatlinburg Wedding Guide for more information.

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One of the most important parts of your wedding day is having an Awesome Wedding Photographer so you can look back at your images and reminisce. Sometimes during the hustle and bustle of the busy day, some small but priceless memories will be forgotten, but that is where we come in! At RIK Photography and Bluff Mountain Inn, we strive to create photos of every detail of your special day that you and your family will remember for lifetimes to come!

So what do the photographers do to capture all of those details that you will fall back in love with again and again? These photos from a recent top wedding will give us examples of how your wedding photographer will make your day more memorable.

1. Getting ready shots and preparations

It feels awesome to be pampered! Getting your hair and makeup done and your bridesmaids bending over backwards to make sure your dress is perfectly tied are perfect examples. We can’t forget how great of a job they did!

Gatlinburg Wedding Venue
Gatlinburg Wedding Venue
2. Detail Shots

Photos last a lot longer than live flowers, so we get creative with our photos to show their fresh beauty. And how about a cool shot of the wedding dress in a tree?

Gatlinburg Wedding Venue

Gatlinburg Wedding Venue


  1. Portraits of the Bride and her Bridesmaids

We love capturing the beauty of our brides! There is a vibe of flawlessness that we love to see and work with. Not to mention getting those candid shots of the bride and her girls laughing it up during their portrait session!

Gatlinburg Wedding VenueGatlinburg Wedding Venue

4. Portraits of the Groom and Groomsmen

There is just something striking about a groom and his guys styling in their tuxes. But don’t let the tuxes fool you! Sometimes it brings out the most colorful part of their personalities.

Gatlinburg Wedding VenueGatlinburg Wedding Venue

  1. Family and Friends

Of course we can’t forget the ones who have showed their love and support for the bride and groom! We always make sure to get special photos of those important family members and friends.

Gatlinburg Wedding VenueGatlinburg Wedding Venue

  1. The Ceremony

While the ceremony is the most important part of the day, it can also be the quickest. We make sure to grab shots of every little detail during this time; the look on the groom’s face as his bride walks down the aisle, the close shot of the exchanging of rings, photos of the sand being poured into sentimental containers, and most importantly, the kiss!

Gatlinburg Wedding ceremony

Gatlinburg Wedding Venue

  1. Bride and Groom Portraits

Now that the bride and groom have said, “I do,” it’s time to make it even more official with photos! To start, we bring in the bridal party with the couple and do some fun shots that get everyone smiling and ready to JUMP! Once we are finished with the bridal party, we take the bride and groom around for a private session and let them enjoy their time together while we photograph the love that so brightly shows.

Gatlinburg Wedding VenueAwesome Wedding Photographer

  1. The Reception

Now it’s time to celebrate!! You better believe we will get pictures of that beautiful cake before the bride and groom smash it into each other’s faces (lovingly, of course). The décor is an ambiance and something special that a lot of time and thought went into on the couple’s part. We want to make sure that their designs are preserved through detailed photographs. Not to mention, the reception holds significance when the bride dances with her father, and the groom with his mother.

Receptions are where we continue to let our creativity fly. How cool do you want to look while doing the Cha-Cha Slide? An awesome wedding photographer can add a twist to that! You might even come across a photo of Grandma doing the Chicken Dance…

Awesome Wedding Photographer

Cutting the cake.

Awesome Wedding Photographer

Thanksgiving table decorations at a Gatlinburg Wedding.

So hiring an awesome wedding photograper is definitely is the way to go. These memories you will have from your wedding day will last forever every time you open your wedding album.

This post written and photographed by Mary Davis, photographer at and an awesome wedding photograper living and working in the Smoky Mountains.

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How to get the best photos from your Gatlinburg Wedding Photographer

If you’re planning a Gatlinburg Wedding and going to the trouble and expense of experiencing this destination then it’s pretty clear that you want get the best photos from your wedding photographer. So what can you do to help assure that happens?
There are several things actually…
 loving look

First check out their style.

There are many options for wedding photographers in the Smoky Mountains and each photographer has a different way of seeing things. So look at their portfolios, visit their website and Facebook page so you can get a feeling of their particular style.
Our photographers at Bluff Mountain Inn have years of experience and training and have shot over 1000 weddings. Their goal is to create exceptional and original images of happy couples and their families and friends. The photojournalistic part of what they do literally captures the moments of the day as see things that most people are not paying attention to.
Hair and makeup artist Haley Rhea

Another thing is having your hair and makeup done professionally.

Since this is one of the most memorable and special days of your life, and you have the benefit of a professional photographer to work with, it only makes sense to look your absolute best.
At Bluff Mountain Inn we work with some absolutely awesome stylist and makeup artists who will make you look absolutely beautiful. You are welcome to bring along photos of examples you’d like to try or just let them be creative and do something really special and original.
And the last suggestion, and maybe the most important…

Stick to your Timeline!

Wedding days are very busy and there are many entities involved; everywhere from stylists to caterers to family members arriving and the officiant starting the wedding ceremony. Your wedding planner has taken all these into consideration to put together a timeline and getting behind can cause a domino effect. For example, if you’re late getting started with your hair and makeup that could in turn cause you to be late for your photo session and not allow your photographer to catch the best wedding photos.
 Cheeky bride posing for photos
You also have family and friends from all over coming for this special occasion and to see you tie the knot, so the last thing you would want is to keep them waiting. And a late ceremony could also make the reception late causing caterers to run overtime. You see how it works…
So it’s really, really important to keep as close to your timeline schedule as possible. Planning ahead and having someone close to you who’s helping to keep you on schedule can keep the day running as planned and also keep you stress free which is the ultimate goal!
It’s not really hard to get the best photos from your Gatlinburg Wedding Photographer. They are here for the sole purpose of making you and the ones you love look good and give you images that will be cherished for years to come.
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