Winter, for some couples, is the season of choice for a wedding. The thoughts of snow, early morning frost, or a roaring fire in a cabin is romantic. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg puts on an amazing show of lights in December through March for Winterfest, adding even more romance to a destination wedding. If you’re the type of person who sweats easily, this is the perfect time of year to get married in the mountains. Temperatures are lower, making that suit and tie more tolerable. The dress options for brides are endless… spruce or fir “flower” crowns for the hair, and long, white stoles are fairy-tale gorgeous! And if you’re planning your elopement as a spontaneous adventure, Beauty and the Beast Formal Wear is open year-round if you can’t find or get your dress shipped quickly enough.
Did you know that a winter wedding in the Smoky Mountains is also more economical? January, February, and the first two weeks of March are considered off-season for our tourist town. This means lower pricing for both lodging and wedding venues, along with less traffic congestion! It also means better availability for venues with the best reputations. These venues, like our beloved Honeysuckle Hills typically book most weekends a year or more in advance during the months of April through Thanksgiving. But winter is a different story, usually the slowest time of the year for weddings and booking last minute. There are some exceptions, however. If you’re planning a wedding around holidays like New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, or the President’s Day weekend, those should be planned with more urgency. The year 2020 is filled with unique numerology, too, so the 02-20-2020 date will fly out the door. (Yes, Honeysuckle Hills is already booked that day.)
How do you choose your winter wedding venue? Each wedding venue or chapel in the Smoky Mountains has a specialty. If photography is high on your list, let us (Regina and Sierra) at Honeysuckle Hills show you how beautiful you really are. We have experience with the art of lighting, posing, and making you feel comfortable in front of a camera. Our post-production techniques will delight you, too! During the ceremony when you’re putting the ring on his or her finger, you may feel like your chin doesn’t look quite right. We’ll choose the best image in that series to reduce that double chin, along with other little things you may never know we’ve done before the images are delivered. The posing is more controlled the rest of the session to highlight your best angles and features. Couples also enjoy our Signature Art Collage, where two or more of your images are blended together to tell the story. We’ll also combine our favorite images with short video clips for a Highlight Slideshow like this one for Nikkie and Wes who married here in January 2019. We’re both members of the Professional Photography Association, giving further trust that your images are of the highest importance. Regina, a Master Photographer through PPA, has been featured in two different PPA loan collections, including the cover for 2003. Sierra is currently working toward her Master of Photography degree with PPA. Who knows? She may even use one of your images for the required print submission…
Most wedding chapels and venues offering elopements will squeeze in as many as they can during the day. We prefer to do things a lot differently with our elopement packages. We dedicate our time to only one wedding on any given day. (I can’t imagine how we’d make each person special if we had several every day!) This means if the weather is sour, we can offer rescheduling the start time of your ceremony. And while we do have a cozy warm chapel indoors, we know how important those outdoor images are to you. If you’re a horse lover, you’ll especially enjoy having your photographs made with Sugar and Ben!
You’ll also enjoy more time to prepare in the beautiful bridal suite. You can use the dressing areas any time after 9am (Most arrive a few hours before their ceremony.) This allows us more time to chat and get to know you as the day progresses, and you may even want to meet a stylist there to do your hair and make-up. Since it’s just the two of you, we’ll also help zip or lace up your beautiful wedding gown. While you’re getting ready, Sierra will photograph little details like your dress, bouquet, and wedding rings.
The Honeysuckle Hills elopement packages are based on the amount of time spent photographing you from ceremony until exit. Some couples want just the basics, while others want to explore as many of the venue’s sites as possible (and trust me, there are LOTS of them.) If you are unsure how much activity time you’ll need, simply ask. You’ll receive all your beautiful images on a flash drive after enhancements and artwork are completed with a full copyright release. And don’t forget you’ll also get that highlight slideshow! You can watch hundreds of them on our YouTube Channel… but be warned you’ll become immersed for much of the day. You might want to wait til you’re at home if you’re doing your research at work!
What are the off-season rates for Honeysuckle Hills?
Pricing includes wedding officiant, use of dressing areas any time after 9am, wedding photography, all images on flash drive with copyright release to print, and one highlight slideshow. Time begins with your ceremony. When time ends, you’ll be able to change and gather personal belongings. Ceremonies typically last about ten minutes, leaving the rest of the time for creative bride and groom images. We’re pleased to help you decide how much time you’ll need and consultations are always complimentary.
One hour, $999 (Regularly $1299)
One and a half hours, $1298 (Regularly $1499)
Two hours, $1597 (Regularly $1999)
Two and a half hours, $1896 (Regularly $2499)
Please accept an additional 10% discount for active or retired military couples. Thank you for your service to our country!
Contact Regina to plan your winter wedding today!
Do you have an indoor space to get dressed and for the ceremony?
Yes! We have a spacious bridal suite, groom’s dressing area, and cozy warm chapel upstairs in our historic barn. We still go outdoors for photography after the ceremony, so bring a jacket to wear in between photography set changes.
Can I get married outside in the winter?
Absolutely! We’re game if you are. Feel free to get married wherever you wish at our beautiful venue. Even the willow tree is still popular in winter months with its beautiful lights hanging in the limbs.
Can I view some previous winter weddings at Honeysuckle Hills?
When will it snow?
Only the Lord knows for sure, but your best chances for snow are in the months of January and February.
Does the Honeysuckle Hills wedding venue close in the event of snow?
No. Regina and Sierra live only three miles from the venue, and can walk down or drive their jeep or Polaris Razor if necessary. Regina has even been known to stay on property during snow events to ensure that couples are still able to be married on the day of their choice.
Will my vehicle be able to make it on snow covered roads to the venue?
This is dependent upon how much snow we get, and whether or not ice is involved. If you have front wheel drive or four wheel drive and experience driving on snow covered roads, you should be able to make it. Always keep safety first and foremost in your mind and use extreme caution. There is always the possibility that roads will be impassible in the snow. If the roads are covered in ice, we strongly recommend rescheduling your wedding, and we don’t charge fees to do so. We always recommend travel insurance just in case… even your cabin reservation is non-refundable. County road crews do their best to scrape the roads after winter precipitation. Tourist guests are very important to everyone here, so our county and city officials work hard so you can continue to enjoy our area in the winter as safely as possible.
How often does it snow in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in the winter?
Again, only the Lord knows, but during the past decade we have experienced at least one or two snow events with up to three inches each. The higher elevations receive much more snow, and more often. Examples include Ober Gatlinburg, Ski Mountain, and The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. An early snow with two and a half inches fell on November 12th, 2019, with no impact to travel. The biggest snow Regina can remember was in March of 1993 when the farm venue was covered in almost two feet of snow. Since that major snow event, very few significant snowstorms have occurred.