Weddings - Getting Married in Townsend
Getting married in the National Park:
Persons planning to be married inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park need to obtain a Special Use Permit (SUP). A $50 nonrefundable application fee will be charged for wedding permits and all other special event-type permits. No other charges will be incurred for weddings that follow standard procedures and conditions, i.e., criteria that includes maximum number of people, cars, designated areas. Other types of permits, including weddings that vary from the standard procedures, will also be charged a $150 permit fee (for a total of $200) if the application is approved for a permit. The new fees are intended to comply with Congressional direction and NPS policy with regard to recovering costs associated the special park use activities. The fees charged for the SUPs and CUAs go towards administering and managing the permit process and activities. First Amendment activities require a Special Use Permit but are exempt from fees.
For more information and to obtain an application package, contact the permit office at 865-436-1266.
To have your ceremony at any of the historic structures such as the Primitive Baptist or Methodist Churches in Cades Cove, contact the Park's Ranger Activities Division (865-436-1266) to request an application for a permit. There are a few guidelines you need to keep in mind. Because the historic structures in the Park are of wood, no candles or lamps are permitted. Parking is very limited (6 parking spots at the Baptist Church, for example). An application to marry in Cades Cove must be submitted to the Cades Cove Center. If you want to marry anywhere else in the Park (on a mountain top, for example), a permit is required if you have more than 20 people in your party. Finally, you must understand that even if you have a permit for a ceremony in the Park, you don't have a reservation in the sense that persons outside your party (tourists) are excluded. They have unfettered access to the premises. Most are courteous enough, though, to keep their distance.