What happens when a true New Yorker and a chivalrous, southern gentleman cross paths?
A Mountain Wedding!
On July 17th, 2017 Ann-Marie and John had a beautiful mountain wedding here at Bluff Mountain Inn. These two and their family were so incredibly fun and lively to work with! We asked Ann-Marie for her and John’s love story and she sent us this fun, meant-to-be account of how they first met and how they both immediately knew that the other was “the one”.
Be sure to check out the slideshow below of their exciting day!
“In 2016 John had been divorced for 5 years and I was divorced for 4 years. Neither of us thought we would ever start dating, never mind getting married again. We had convinced ourselves that we were ok with being single he kept busy with work, golf, and his dog. I kept myself preoccupied with work and family.
I went to NY in March 2016 and my 28yr old cousin had said her goal for the year was to put herself out there and try to go on a date each month, so she had started online dating. Her goal weighed heavily on me and I thought to myself what do I have to lose? Give it a try if you don’t like it you just stop, but I couldn’t pull the trigger to join a dating website just yet.
A co-worker had been on line dating for some time and would always tell me that I needed to set up a profile and give it a shot. I would always tell her she was crazy. When I came back from NY, I told her about what my cousin had said and I was ready to give it a shot. She took me under her wing and showed me the ropes so to speak.
John’s friends had been pushing him to start online dating and he wanted nothing to do with it. He had given it a shot in January went on two dates and closed his profile. In June he had decided to give it one more shot to appease his friends but had no hope that he would meet “the one”. John and I were both on the dating site called Zoosk. We had been talking for almost three weeks before we met due to our schedules, but when I say talking I mean a minimum of 2-5 hrs a day (if not more) and the connection was definitely there.
I remember on Saturday 7/16
I was at my nephews soccer game and I looked over to my sister Jennifer and I said, “I found my happily ever after” and she looked at me puzzled and I said, “but I haven’t met him yet and I would see him tomorrow but I knew he was the one.” On Sunday 7/17/16 John and I met at the Cheesecake Factory and the spark was there…. fast forward a year later and I married my happily ever after at Bluff Mountain Inn.
John is a southern gentleman from South Carolina who is the definition of chivalry. I am from Queens NY and am not afraid to speak my mind and may have attitude at times ( I am the definition of a true NY’er) We are completely opposite and it works 🙂
In John’s words—
“I knew Ann-Marie was the one for me after the first night of talking, of which I may or may not if have a few beers after golfing. We talked for hours and after nearly 3 hours out of the blue she asked me, ‘what’s my name?’ All I could remember was her saying, ‘I hate when people call me Mary Ann’. So in my infinite wisdom I said, ‘Puddin tang’, she says, ‘what??’ I said, ‘Puddin tang. Ask me again I’ll tell you the same.’
So when she said good bye I knew I ruined possibly the best thing that could of happen to me. I woke up the next day to a text that said ‘Hi, I’m Ann-Marie and I like your profile picture.’ I knew that any girl that had that good of a sense of humor was for me. The rest is, how they say, history.”
During our first conversation I had asked what type of music he listened to.
and he said country and I thought to myself YES!! Then I asked, ‘do you know who Bobby Bones is?’ and he said “yup I listen to him in the mornings” and I kid you not, I thought to myself this is the guy!!!
He knows Bobby Bones. ( I am a little obsessed with Bobby Bones and his morning show mainly because he is just a humble guy who makes good money and just donates to so many charities). Even though he forgot my name, he knew not to say Mary Ann and puddin tang was comical, but he listened to Bobby Bones and every other part of the conversation was amazing, so I figured it was worth a second conversation.
Bluff Mountain Inn for the Win!
We both love the mountains, waterfalls, creeks, and hiking and we had been to South and North Carolina and Georgia last year and our plans were to vacation in TN in 2017. When he asked me to marry him I knew I wanted a rustic barn wedding, and though there are these types of venues in FL, we knew we wanted a mountain wedding. We decided we would keep with our plans to vacation in TN but we would just add getting married to the list 🙂
I started to GoogleTN weddings and reached out to 3 different venues. After speaking to them and looking at there web sites my gut told me to go with Bluff Mountain. Between the reviews, Pinterest pages, web site, FB page, and most importantly speaking with Talia, I knew I made the right decision and now that it is over, it was everything I envisioned x10.”
So you need a little edge?
Maybe a candlelit dinner in Gatlinburg and a leisurely stroll through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not your idea of “a fun celebration”. If you need a little edge or more thrill after you say, “I do” then read on to discover some ideas for your offbeat wedding day.
We love our couples! Each set is so unique, has their own unique story and their own special “vibe”. Some couples come with big wedding dresses, tux, and tails. Then there are others who celebrate their individuality in ways that are special to them as they follow their hearts.
Sierra & Jonathon
Sierra and Jonathon recently Eloped to the Mountains here at Bluff Mountain Inn. We asked Sierra to share their love story so we could share it on our blog!
“Wow! That’s awesome. We would love that! We actually met through a mutual friend. He and I worked at the same place (he worked there twice) but we never worked together!
This mutual friend, his name is Jimmy, was my absolute best friend. We did everything together and we were going out for drinks one night and Jonathan happened to tag along since he knew Jimmy and was close with his as well.
We tried to deny ourselves the instant connection because we both just got out of serious relationships. I, a few days later, asked for his number.
I thought about him every single day until I asked. I thought he was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. After Jimmy got his approval for giving me the number, I sparked conversation. I actually came onto him.
He agreed he had felt the same way. We met May 24, 2014, and after those first few days when we finally spoke again, we’ve been together ever since. We both agree we are each other’s best friends and better halves.
We’ve both made each other better people. Grown together, the chemistry is all the way there. We describe ourselves as a power couple; a team. Neither of us is behind the other. We stand beside one another through it all. Every step of life.
We help each other out and can depend on the opposite person. Together, we really can accomplish anything.”
Our photographers had some great fun with this couple.
It’s so true that every couple is unique. If that candlelit dinner in Gatlinburg and a leisurely stroll through the woods is not your idea of the ideal wedding celebration or if you need a few more thrills after you say, “I do”, here are some ideas we came up with that our area of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have to offer after your wedding.
- Skydiving- talk about an adrenaline rush! As if preparing to walk down the isle wasn’t exciting enough, this will top it off! Skydive East Tennessee takes you 11,000 feet in the air. Wearing a tandem parachute, you and your instructor will freefall for 45 seconds, reaching 120 mph before deploying the chute. The 5 minute decent will offer views that cannot be seen any other way.
- Tattoos- The area offers many great tattoo parlors. We suggest Southern Draw due to their professionalism and exceptional cleanliness. Matching tattoos would be cool! But I think the rule-of-thumb to not get someone’s name tattooed on your body may still apply here.
- Tuckaleechee Caverns- Our national park is beautiful! Don’t get us wrong, but maybe you’re looking for something off of nature’s beaten path. The Tuckaleechee Caverns is a mile long descent 150 feet underground. Along with the impressive geological formations, there is a crystal clear stream that flows throughout the cave.
- Wonderworks- This indoor amusement park offers over 100 hands-on exhibits. You will pass through the inversion tunnel where you will have to realign yourself to experience this entertainment. Has lying on a bed of nails ever crossed your mind? Or maybe you’ve wanted to try climbing a rock wall. This place will keep you busy for hours.
- Alcatraz East Museum- Viewing the white Ford Bronco that OJ used as a getaway car may not be the most romantic thing, but this museum offers an in-depth look at American crime. This museum is not entirely dedicated to Alcatraz and is divided into 5 different galleries of crime.
You have chosen to get married in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains! This is not only a great area for a destination wedding, but for an exciting vacation as well. Why not combine the two? Whether you had a private getaway for two or a big celebration with all of your family and friends, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg offer many attractions that suit everyone. So what are some fun things to do after the Big Day?
Need for speed.
1. The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster- This 1-2 person coaster takes you up 363 feet into the wooded mountain. Just over a mile long, you’ll experience the thrill of zooming and zipping through the hillside. Don’t worry! You are totally in control of your speed, so you can take that banked curve as slow as you want, or let go and feel the centrifugal force! This is a ride you’ll want to ride over and over again.
2. Go-Carts- Are you still looking for a thrill? There are many go-cart tracks around the area that will blow your hair back! Many of these tracks have other attractions like the skyscraper ride and bungee jumping.
3. The Island- The Island in Pigeon Forge offers something for everyone of all ages! While the younger ones are enjoying the arcade and rope course, the adults can enjoy the moonshine and wine tasting. There are several restaurants and attractions just in this one location. We can’t forget about the 200-foot Ferris wheel with private, enclosed gondolas that gives a view of our beautiful mountains that you can’t get anywhere else.
Stretch your mind.
4. Ripley’s Attractions- For something a little more laid back, check out all of Ripley’s attractions that Gatlinburg has to offer. Of course, our favorite is the Ripley’s Aquarium, but there is also Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, the Mirror Maze, and a couple of mini golf courses! If you still need a hint of adrenaline, there is also Ripley’s Haunted Adventure.
Enjoy the view.
5. The Tram to Ober Gatlinburg- Park in downtown Gatlinburg and ride the aerial tramway to Ober Gatlinburg. You will be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains while being chartered up to Ober, where it’s an amusement park of its own! Cafes, shops, ice skating, skiing, and more will keep you entertained for hours.
Back to nature.
6. Cades Cove Loop- If you are looking for something a little more leisurely, we suggest taking a relaxing drive through Cades Cove. This 11-mile loop offers beautiful mountain views, open spaces, and plenty of wildlife. This area is booming with history, so be sure to stop and get out of the car to tour some of the old homesteads. If you need to stretch your legs a little more, there are plenty of trails to hop on
Have you wondered what a Gatlinburg wedding day might be like? Well, read on.
You’re engaged!! Now you’re ready to make that dream come true of getting married in the Beautiful Smoky Mountains. But you’re hundreds of miles away and your Gatlinburg wedding day is coming up. How could this possibly work?
Bluff Mountain Inn has you covered with professional destination wedding planning! Keeping up with today’s technology and trends, we make planning your wedding as easy as sending a text. Really!!! You have chosen an awesome, all-inclusive, outdoor venue. Now it’s time for the detailed decisions. The stage is yours to set as you and your partner plan the performance of a lifetime.
How many guests are you anticipating to have at your wedding?
With two separate reception venues and several ceremony locations, we can accommodate anywhere from 2-200 people! If your friends and family are gathering from all over the world for this event, remember there are many great options for lodging. Rental cabins are available within a comfortable walking distance of the estate. And great new hotels are popping up every day.
You have choices to make.
There are wide varieties of packages to choose from, offering the most intimate of settings for the bride and groom, either alone or with the closest of their friends and family. But if you’re wanting to party all through the evening, we offer that too! We will be happy to work with you to stay within your budget.
Colors, décor, and flowers, oh my!
No worries! We’ve got your back. Check out our Pinterest page to see everything that we have done and can do. Our professional wedding planners will guide you through the entire process. You may be involved as much or as little as you wish. Once you’ve chosen your details and times, Bluff Mountain Inn brings it all to life. We love making every wedding unique to our clients.
Yay! It’s wedding day! Are you ready to hear how your all-inclusive wedding day will go?
The bride (and bridesmaids, if she has them) will check into a private bridal suite to get ready for the day. If you have chosen to have your hair and make-up done, our professional stylist sets up right down the hallway. Now the photographers will begin photographing the details of getting ready.
About an hour and a half before the ceremony time, the photographers will take the bride out for her private portrait session. Next, we add the bridesmaids. The ladies will go back inside and the guys (or girls as the case may be) are scheduled to arrive shortly after, where they will have their own portrait sessions as well.
A first look is a new tradition that we love!
This is where we have a private setting for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony and get those butterflies out of the way. The photographers are pros and will be sure to capture this special moment. If you’d like to get the majority of the portraits (bride and groom, all bridal party, etc) done before the ceremony, let the coordinator know so we can plan accordingly. By doing this you not only calm your nerves and have some alone time, but you get to the reception much faster after the ceremony!
Now it’s ceremony time!
If you didn’t have a rehearsal the day before, don’t worry! Someone will be there to guide you the entire day and more than happy to answer any questions.
Don’t forget that you have to option to get married in the great outdoors or in the comfort of our wedding chapel. Your wedding ceremony can be short and sweet or you can add elements that are special to you such as a unity candle or a sand ceremony.
Here’s a little tip: unity candles typically don’t work well for outdoor ceremonies. Just a little puff of wind can put out the flame so you’re back to square one on lighting it up again.
So you’ve said I Do, had the big kiss and walked down the aisle.
Now it’s photo time again. These photographers will guide the guests and bridal party through the photos. They typically do group photos at this time and will continue portrait sessions with the bride and groom and their bridal party after the family photos. Don’t forget to ask if you’d like a shot with cousin Betty or aunt Sue. Just let the photographers know who is who and they’re happy to get those shots for you.
Then it will be time for the reception!
Here is where it all comes together. Time to eat cake and celebrate! Your DJ will meet you at the door and go over the last minute details. The music cranks up and you’re welcomed in by a standing ovation for the first time as partners for life!
Hiring a DJ for your wedding reception is one of the best investments you can make. They not only act as a master of ceremonies guiding the guests through the event but they’re constantly watching what the crowd is doing and working to fill up that dance floor. A good DJ is worth their weight in gold!
So there’s a little glimpse of what your Gatlinburg wedding day might be like.
This would be a great time to call or text 865.908.0321 and schedule a tour!
We try our best to plan our events around rain, but… rain happens! So here are 5 Ideas for Your Fun Rainy Day Wedding.
The most important thing about rain on a wedding day is we can take it as an opportunity for something fun and different! That rainy day wedding may just wind up being one of your most cherished memories.
Be sure to check the weather daily in the days prior to your special date, but if it just doesn’t look like a sunny forecast, here are some neat ideas to help you prepare:
Umbrella Gifts as Guest Favor:
How cool would it be to have umbrellas made specifically for your wedding day? Umbrellas are something everyone is inclined to use at some point or another, so why not have a great memento of your special day? Not to mention personalized umbrellas for the bride and groom and bridal party! What a fun photo prop!
Alright, the high heels are not going to be happy walking in the rain and sinking in the wet grass. Let’s make a fun fashion statement- rain boots! Hey, cowgirl boots are in, so why not rain boots? Once again, rain boots are something else that can be personalized. And all those different patterns that are available!
Photographers love different and unique opportunities and especially love clients who are willing to participate. After all the formalities are said and done, and the evening is winding down, a romantic photo session in the rain in wedding attire would be portrait perfect.
Make Up and Hair
Ladies, we know how important your hair and make up are on your special day. We all know about waterproof mascara, but airbrush foundation and some hairsprays are also water-resistant. Your professional stylist will make sure you are good to go for a drizzling day.
The bride and groom having a first look before the ceremony is ideal on a rainy day. Since rain can be somewhat challenging for photographers, having a first look will allow that extra time for the photographer to get those shots that are an absolute MUST in the rain!
Your photographer will more than likely have some pretty awesome ideas for cool shots in the rain. Take a little while talking over ideas while you’re getting ready. We love that stuff!!!