Masthead header

Wedding Photographer

Once you find that perfect wedding photographer who matches your style and uniqueness, here are 5 things to discuss with your photographer before the Big Day:


If your wedding is going to have a unique theme, let the wedding photographer know! This way they can do their homework to come up with some one-of-a-kind portraits. It is a great idea to bring some props that matches your personalities.


Timing is very important on wedding day. It is a great idea to let your photographer know what time your hair and make up start and end, the time guests start to arrive, etc. This will help the photographer strategically plan their day for portraits and family photos.

Your Ideas

You have more than likely chosen this particular photographer because you love their style, but it doesn’t hurt to give them some of your ideas. Photographers are more than happy make your ideas pop with their own creative style. Sometimes photographers are even willing to go off-site to get that cool shot you want so badly!

Family and Friend Dynamics

Let the photographer know what family and friends will be there; and also what specific family members and friends you want photos with. This will help them map out the style and time for family portraits. Sometimes with the broad family dynamics, some people chose to not have their photo taken with others. It is a good idea to let the photographer know ahead a time to avoid any awkward situations when calling family up for photos. Better yet, have a list of family photo combinations for your photographer.

Packages and Contracts

More than likely, your professional photographer has a couple of packages to choose from. This topic of conversation is also a good time to ask about the rights to the photos and to find out where some of the best photo labs are. You will probably have to sign a contract with the photographer, but this is to not only protect the photographer, but you as well!

Now that you have discussed your wedding day with the photographer, it is very important that you feel a connection with them. After all, you will be seeing the photographer more than any other vendor!
Contact us

bride having a cool and calm wedding dayWedding Day can come with stresses and high emotions, but these pointers will help give you ideas to stay cool, calm and collected during your big day!

1. Choosing an all-inclusive wedding venue is one ideal way to keep the stress down. A venue like Bluff Mountain Inn takes care of everything from the planning to the decorating. Just describe your ideas of a dream wedding and let them handle the work of making it come to life!

2. It is known that exercise helps relieve stress, even if it is just a short walk. If you are feeling a little anxious, taking a short, 10-minute walk will help you gather your thoughts clearly and get your happy endorphins pumping to get you re-energized to walk down the aisle. And what better place to relieve some stress by walking outside and knowing you are in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains!?

3. A DIY emergency kit! Sometimes the smallest mishaps seem dire on a wedding day. This kit can include things like a small sewing kit, stain remover pens, healthy snacks and water, bobby pins, hairspray, lint roller, aspirin, safety pins, etc.

4. Making last-minute decisions can raise the anxiety. Who is your biggest helper? Appoint them to help you make these decisions! Remember, it is always okay to ask for help. Also, if you have a wedding planner, put your trust in her that she will make your dream day as smooth as possible. After all, this is what she loves to do!

5. Taking care of yourself is key! A good night’s sleep will give you the energy to power through the day. Along with getting rest, eating is just as important! While you may be concerned with the fitting of your dress, eat a healthy and balanced breakfast (and even lunch!). It will keep the nerves down as well as maintaining that energy that you got from that beauty sleep.

While the day may seem hectic (or crazy!) keeping cool and calm will help you enjoy the moment and give you many more memories to last a lifetime!

Contact us

Zen of Planning Mountain Wedding

So what is Zen, and what does it have to do with planning your Mountain Wedding?

First of all what Zen is not: a diet, a cult, or something that requires a lot of chanting. It’s a way of thinking, being still and mindful of each second, breathing deeply and focusing. A Zen mindset can help keep you calm when the seating plan or a relative is driving you nuts. Consider Zen a spiritual connection to your wedding planning process.

Just say to yourself, “Here and now everything is just fine”. Now let’s take a deep breath and get some Zen-like resolutions going. We want you to be a blissful bride…

  1. Consider kindness a way of being. It’s an expression of your love and compassion for others, including your girlfriends who gave up their lunch hours to help you make party favors and the aunt who arrived three hours early to spend some quality time with the bride (it could happen).
  2. Respect others’ property which includes time and energy. Asking your bffs to help you out making those favors is ok but expecting them to be available 24/7 isn’t. They clearly love and are happy for you, but remember it’s your highest priority, not theirs.
  3. Be Honest; do not deceive. The future hubby may want a wedding at the courthouse but you’ve always wanted, and planned on, a mountain wedding. If you say, “whatever you want, Honey,” but resent it for the rest of your life, you’re cheating both of you. Let him know what’s in your heart and work out a compromise; an honest one.
  4. Care for your mind and body; don’t overindulge in anything. It’s so much fun with showers, bachelorette parties and the like, but there are many temptations (food, drink, cute bartenders). You will want to fit into your dress, don’t want a hangover, and mainly, want to be able to face yourself in the morning. Moderation is the key.
  5. Remember, Silence is Golden. Even if one of your attendants is behaving badly (not showing up for fittings, criticizing decisions), don’t talk about her behind her back. Find out what’s bothering her and try to work out the problem.
  6. Be humble and don’t judge others. Remember that you are about to become part of a bigger family (his/hers) by getting married. Family members can have faults, and even if you have trouble accepting those flaws, accepting the family will make your marriage better.
  7. Be generous in sharing your fortune. As all those wedding gifts begin to arrive, think of the less fortunate and consider donating your current housewares (toasters, mixers) still in great condition to a thrift shop or charity.
  8. Keep calm and carry on. Remember this; it’s not all going to go perfectly. Accept the facts that on your wedding day you won’t be able to control the weather, crazy traffic or your sister’s mood swings. Worrying about that stuff today won’t fix potential problems tomorrow. Take a deep breath and let it go.
  9. Don’t lose sight of the truth. Your wedding day is a joyous occasion and celebration. It’s not about having the party of the decade. Don’t let planning your mountain wedding, decorations and the small stuff get in the way of the day’s real purpose; joining your lives together.


People from all over the world come to the Smoky Mountains, for peace and tranquility, and more than likely its part of the reason you started planning your mountain wedding here in the Smokies. If you take a little time to sit and reflect on the beauty and nature that surrounds you here in these mountains it will bring blessings to your celebration. 

Wedding Planning ZEN


 Bluff Mountain Inn is an all-inclusive wedding and reception venue in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. 865.908.0321
Contact us

In case you haven’t noticed or have been in a coma for several years you already know how popular Barn Wedding Venues are, not just in Gatlinburg, but all over the world! Did you ever think about why?

1. It’s a blank canvas.

Elegant table decorations at barn wedding venue

Elegant, shabby, themed weddings, and so many more options are available. Let your imagination go wild!

High ceilings, empty walls, open flooring makes for a great way for you to create your own theatrical vision for your wedding day. Add curtains, custom lighting, vintage furniture, you name it! All you need is a vision and a helpful wedding planner or producer to pull all the creativity together and the sky is the limit!

But don’t forget the bigger the production the more time you’re going to need to set the stage and strike. So be sure to allow yourself time and have plenty of helpers on standby.

2. Beautiful Scenery

Barn Wedding Venue at Bluff Mountain Inn

Beautiful scenery year round surrounds the Barn Wedding Venue at Bluff Mountain Inn.

Gorgeous views of country side or mountains, tall trees, rambling streams and all the beauty of nature can surround you. At Bluff Mountain Inn you can get all of that! An open air barn nestled up against the woods on one side and a mountain view on the other side is a great way to spend your reception time.

Feeling the breeze blow through and hearing the rustling creek down below; great reminders that you’re in a beautiful mountain location.

3. Rustic Beauty

bride and groom kissing in front of a rustic barn

In many ways it’s like stepping back in time to enjoy a leisurely evening dining and dancing. They used to be called Barn Dances for folks who lived far from the giant ballrooms of the big city. Photo opportunities are everywhere.

Strings of lights and adding your special touches with favors and sayings painted on blackboards. All this comes together to create a memorable evening celebrations

4. It’s a Private Hideaway

Barn Wedding Venue at Bluff Mountain Inn

Dining and dancing the night away with a couple hundred of your favorite peeps.

Rather than be surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a hotel ballroom or other public gathering place, a barn wedding venue offers a secluded spot where you and your family and friends can enjoy the time together at a leisurely setting and celebrate the union of the bride and groom; two families becoming one.

Once the party is over and the band stops playing it’s a pretty natural time to sit and reflect on all that went on during your wonderful wedding day.

If you’d like to take a look at the Barn Wedding Venue at Bluff Mountain Inn just call 865.908.0321 to schedule a tour! We would love to show you around.

Contact us

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.

Contact us