Honeysuckle Hills is an all-inclusive wedding venue in the Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg area of the Smoky Mountains. My name is Regina, and I created this venue in 2006 out of my love for photography and the mountains I was born in. My family and staff enjoy providing an intensely personal wedding experience with generational southern hospitality. The red barn on the property was originally built in 1950. We repurposed it in 2006 to include dressing areas, a wedding chapel, photography gallery, and reception area. Many people are surprised when they walk inside the barn, because it looks more like a cabin with its wooden pine walls and country chic decor. The land surrounding the barn, used as a hay field decades ago, is now filled with flower gardens and landscaping features that create a magical wedding atmosphere. Honeysuckle Hills is the only wedding venue in the Smoky Mountains where couples can have photographs made with horses running behind them. Our venue is best described as a photography studio where you can also get married, because there are so many sites that can be used as backdrops for your photographs.
There are three things that separate Honeysuckle Hills from all the other wedding venues in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The first is the intensely personal experience. My family and staff will interact with you and your family almost to the point of entertaining at times. (Read our Google reviews for first-hand experiences.) The second thing that makes Honeysuckle Hills stand out is the natural beauty, hardscapes and flower gardens that bloom seasonally from April to October, many of which can be chosen for the wedding ceremony. There are more locations to use for wedding photographs than you’ll be able to fit in. Since the venue was created from my love of photography, naturally I’m here to share my imagination as we create images together that tell your love story. Thirdly, couples are able to have photographs made with our horses, Sugar and Ben, who will run around you and sometimes even stop to kiss you. Sugar, our white wedding horse, has a reputation for sticking out her tongue. Honeysuckle Hills has an intimate, down-home, take off your shoes and breathe in the mountains atmosphere.
An all-inclusive wedding venue provides the most commonly needed vendors, décor, and staff needed for a successful wedding event, as opposed to a venue that simply rents its space alone. Many couples choose an all-inclusive wedding venue to reduce the stress of planning, decorating, and the struggles associated with the flow of events on wedding day. Honeysuckle Hills is an all-inclusive wedding venue with packages that include your food, cake, bouquets, DJ, wedding officiant, coordinating, and photography. Our venue has a rustic, country chic atmosphere with permanent décor that fills the needs of the popular majority. Our in-house coordinators will also set out items to personalize your wedding such as guest books, favors, and pictures. They can also help you book other vendors such as a bartender, live musician, etc.
Regina Starkey is the main in-house coordinator at the Honeysuckle Hills wedding venue. (Yep, that’s me!) I’m your first point of contact, available from start to finish through your planning process. My assistant, Abi, will introduce herself three to four weeks prior to the wedding, and act as your day-of-wedding coordinator. Feel free to share your stories with us! This is a venue where you’re going to feel right at home and part of something special.
Sometimes I forget to even mention that a coordinator is included in your wedding package because it is second nature to me. The planning begins from your first contact when help you with availability and recommend the wedding package that will work best for your needs. After that I set up the officiant (who will perform the ceremony and file your license,) as well as the caterer, DJ, and florist. I can’t serve or sell alcohol, but I can help you find a fun bartender. I can also help with things like a photo booth, hair and make-up stylists, and where to stay. You’ll even get a wedding day itinerary right away and my staff and I will make sure everything flows smoothly. A LOT of my couples will message me asking, “is there anything I need to be doing?” because they feel like they should be doing more.
Tony and Aric with Chef Tony Catering have provided delicious, mouth-watering meals and cakes for Honeysuckle Hills for well over a decade. Chef Aric is slowly taking the lead, and we are so proud of him! From the Heart Florist has provided bouquets for our entire sixteen years of existence. We use two DJ companies. Troy with KNT Connect has a delightful personality and is excellent when it comes to getting people on the dance floor. Chris with J3 Entertainment has a smooth, professional voice and can equally keep the party going. We have several officiants to choose from including myself (Regina Starkey, who is a Tennessee Notary Public,) Pastor Lloyd, (faith-based minister,) Pastor Jody (our mountain preacher,) and Pastor Tommy Orange, (the most difficult to book because he is so popular in the area.) All the reception packages are priced both with and without photography, but I’ve been the in-house photographer at Honeysuckle Hills for sixteen years. I have twenty years of photography experience along with a few National awards from my competition days. The only gratification I need these days is your smile, which is worth more than a thousand trophies to me.
Yes, Honeysuckle Hills will allow you to use your own officiant, bouquets, and photographer. We will even discount your wedding package if the officiant or bouquet credit is not needed. Our packages are already priced with or without the photographer. The DJ, Catering, and coordinator cannot be removed because these vendors are essential. Without them, the entire Honeysuckle Hills unique experience is lost. We are not a DIY wedding venue.
Absolutely! Honeysuckle Hills has elopement packages for couples only as well as micro-weddings with guests. All our elopement packages are organized into guest counts and photography experiences, since there are so many beautiful photography sites to choose from. The best part about our elopements is that we only do one each day, and no more than three each week whenever possible. This means if the weather is sour we can change the start time for your photographs and / or the ceremony. We do have back-up ceremony sites if it rains, but the photographs are so important here that we do everything possible to make sure you have the opportunity to fit in your selections.
Count anyone of walking age as a guest when choosing a Honeysuckle Hills wedding package. If they’re walking, they will likely be old enough to have their own seat at the ceremony or reception, and you’ll probably include them in photographs, too. However, smaller children don’t necessarily count toward the reception head count unless they will eat a plate of food on their own. I’ve seen some ten year olds graze off their parent’s plate, and I’ve seen some parents go through the line twice for their three year old strapping boy. Use your own good-sense judgment to ensure everyone has enough to eat at your wedding reception. The only people that do not count as a guest is you and your partner.
All of the packages at Honeysuckle Hills have a recommended maximum guest count. This maximum is the absolute most me and my staff can handle without rushing you, missing important details, etc. I always give this analogy… If you’re a size fourteen in jeans and you can lay on the bed and squeeze into a size ten, great! But you’re sure not going to enjoy walking around in those size tens as much as you will the ones that actually fit the way they should. That said, don’t book a wedding with a maximum guest count of 15 people if you have 16 or 17. Go to the next package up and you’ll thank me later!
Honeysuckle Hills has ceremony and reception sites that accommodate up to 75 guests comfortably in the months of April through mid-November. We have entertained as many as 100 guests, but this is only possible by squeezing everyone in. In winter months we recommend keeping the guest count at 40 or below, because our heated upstairs chapel comfortably seats 40 people and has a maximum capacity for 50.
We recommend booking your Honeysuckle Hills wedding at least nine months to one year in advance, on average. Our venue limits bookings to only one per day, and only three in any given week. Typically, by March 1st we reach 95% booking capacity for the current calendar year, and are well under way booking for the next year. Cancellations do unfortunately happen, opening up a last minute booking on occasion.
Here is a month by month recommendation based on our venue’s sixteen year history:
January Off season, easy to book last minute
February Off-season, easy to book within a few months except for holidays
March Beginning of season, typically books six to nine months in advance
April In-season, typically books nine months to a year in advance
May In-season, typically books nine months to a year in advance
June In season, typically books nine months to a year in advance
July In season, but a hotter month booking six to nine months in advance
August In season, but a hotter month booking six to nine months in advance
September High season, with Saturdays booking a year or more in advance
October High season, weekdays or Saturdays booking a year or more in advance.
November First two weeks high season, weekdays or Saturdays booking a year or more in advance
Last two weeks typically book six to nine months in advance
December Off season, with venue preferring to book only Saturdays in order to get
Caught up with editing and wedding image delivery
Depending on how far in advance you are inquiring and how popular your wedding date is, we will sometimes hold your wedding date for a few days as a courtesy. The only way to guarantee your wedding date is to officially contract with us and make your first payment within three days after signing your contract. Our heaviest booking season is during the months of December through February. During this time your chosen wedding date of that calendar year may be available when you originally inquire, but booked within a few days or even hours later. Be sure to indicate how strong your intentions are to book with us during this time with no room for assumption. If you have not received a contract, the date is open for someone else.
Yes, Honeysuckle Hills offers venue tours by appointment. We LOVE meeting you in person! Touring is the absolute best way for us to get know each other and the venue itself. Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walk-ins, so please schedule your appointment as far in advance as possible. We give our wedding couples as much privacy as we possibly can, and running a farm means there are a whole lot of chores to be done. It breaks my heart when someone drives hundreds of miles only to arrive when another wedding is taking place, when we’re out running errands, or when I’m up to my knees in horse poop and can’t give the tour. Honestly though, you should schedule an appointment for ANY wedding venue here in the Smoky Mountains.
Honeysuckle Hills does not have an on-line calendar for availability. There are several reasons we do not offer it. One reason is because we prefer to help our couples personally. Another reason is because of the method in which we book our weddings. For example, if we book a large wedding with reception on one day, we would not book another one the day after. However, we would book a smaller elopement package.
We book weddings on Wednesdays through Saturdays. Tuesdays are reserved for cleaning, farm chores and editing wedding images. We are closed on Sundays and Mondays. We are also closed on major holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
To officially book a wedding at Honeysuckle Hills, I will send a contract by email from DocuSign. You will have seven days to review this contract, and your date is tentatively held during this time. After you sign the contract, I’ll send an invoice for the first 1/3 payment and it is due within three days. The next payments are due 60 days and 14 days prior to the wedding. All payments are non-refundable. Event insurance is not required, but highly recommended. One you might consider is Eventsured.com
Yes, Honeysuckle Hills has both an indoor wedding chapel as well as an open-air covered pavilion in case it rains. The wedding chapel upstairs seats 40 people comfortably with a maximum capacity of 50 seats. The outdoor covered pavilion seats 75 comfortably with a maximum capacity of 100 (whew that’s a tight fit, though!)
Yes, Honeysuckle Hills has two separate dressing rooms for use any time after 9am. I used to wonder why in the world couples would even ask me this, but the Smoky Mountains has hundreds of wedding businesses, including ones who literally will arrange a wedding at a pull-off on the Foothills Parkway. This is why I stand by the saying, “If you can’t find a venue you love in the Smoky Mountains, you just don’t want to get married!”
Yes, Honeysuckle Hills welcomes same-sex couples like any other couple in love. I will even officiate the wedding for you!
Always book your Tennessee wedding venue first. Even though there are literally hundreds of wedding venues in the Smoky Mountains, each offers a unique theme or experience. When you decide which type of venue you want, this narrows down the choices. Cabin rentals may not have availability on the alternative date you desire and are often non-refundable. It may also be difficult to change things like time off work, etc.
A Honeysuckle Hills staff member is happy to use your own device during the ceremony to live stream your wedding from your own private Facebook page, Zoom, etc. We can also live stream to our own public Facebook business page, but this is open for all the world to see. If you’re a more private person, I recommend creating your own private Facebook page for this.
Absolutely! Honeysuckle Hills is the most pet friendly wedding venue in the Smoky Mountains. We’ve welcomed cats, big dogs, little dogs, and even two pygmy goats.
If you want the marriage to be legal you must have a Tennessee marriage license for your ceremony in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This is super easy to get, and you can even start the application process on-line at the Sevier County Courthouse. Their website lists the documents you’ll need to bring with you and the locations to pick up your license. The license is good for 30 days once you pick it up, and there is no waiting period to use it. The wedding officiant provided by your venue will file the license at the courthouse after the wedding, and the courthouse will mail your official certificate that is used to change your name.
If you do not want the marriage to be legal, most wedding venues will perform a commitment ceremony for you. It is entirely up to you if you tell your family and friends about this difference. There are a million reasons couples decide to do a commitment ceremony versus a legal marriage, and it’s really no one’s business but yours if you decide to do this. But again… a commitment ceremony does NOT mean you are legally married and you will continue to indicate you are single on any legal document (for example, sign-in sheets at a Doctor’s office.)
Yes, Honeysuckle Hills will schedule a wedding ceremony for sunset, and this is quite romantic! However, we recommend doing a first look with your partner earlier in the day followed by photographs at all our stunning photography locations. Sunset lasts approximately 15 minutes, and after the sun sets it’s dark. We cannot photograph you with our horses, at the mountain view, in our gardens, or in any of the beautiful places we are so well known for after dark. The only outdoor lighting at our venue is at the willow tree and in our covered pavilion. Please keep in mind that you are never guaranteed a breath-taking sunset anywhere you book your wedding in the Smoky Mountains. Sometimes there is cloud cover, and sometimes it rains. This is why we take creative Photoshop liberties when couples ask for a sunset image. (Ask me for more information about our sunset photos!) If you want to try for a sunset wedding but the weather turns sour, we can always reschedule the ceremony time for earlier in the day.
You must book a wedding with reception that lasts after dark for the opportunity to be photographed at the willow tree at night (whether you use your own photographer or my photography.) This image is possible with elopement style weddings as well, but there is a significant upgrade fee to do so. We would need to do all your other images earlier in the day, and then take a small break while we wait for darkness to fall. Keep in mind that in summer months it doesn’t get dark until 9pm, and most restaurants close at this time if you have dinner plans after your wedding.
The Honeysuckle Hills mountain view area is an adventure site strictly accessed through the horse pasture by 4×4 vehicles with ground clearance. That said, we can absolutely do couples only ceremonies at our mountain view adventure site since we drive you there ourselves in our Jeep. We will allow smaller ceremonies for up to four guests IF they can drive up behind us in their own 4×4 vehicles with ground clearance after signing a waiver. There are no chairs and there is no arbor at this location. If you have a larger guest count, enjoy the conveniences on the lower grounds of our venue and then have breathtaking photographs made at our mountain view site later. It’s a win-win!
Honeysuckle Hills has beautiful mountain ridge / hill views on the lower grounds. One of these tall hills is the right of our willow tree ceremony site, and we also take gorgeous photographs of this landscape feature with our tree-limb “hobbit” bridge.
Wedding photographs with the Honeysuckle Hills horses are possible by adding this experience to any elopement package or including it in the itinerary for your larger wedding with reception. This is one of the most fun, unique, and unforgettable experiences we offer for your wedding.
If you prefer to use your own photographer with your reception package, we will need a copy of their liability insurance listing Honeysuckle Hills as additionally insured. ALL participants must sign a waiver required by our insurance company whether you use your own photographer or if I’m photographing you with the horses.
We do not allow children under ten years old in the horse field. This is not the best first time introduction to horses for small children, because our horses are not “petting zoo” or trail horses. They are unbridled and approach quickly and closely. I recommend only bringing your children into the horse field if they have hands-on experience caring for horses and riding. Tourist trail riding experiences do not count.
Larger groups are permitted in our horse field for photography with an upgrade fee to ensure we have enough staff members for your safety. No one is permitted inside our horse field without a staff member.
We do NOT offer horseback weddings or photographs on the backs of our horses.
If you crave your own Honeysuckle Hills photographs but you’re not getting married, no problem! All you have to do is book one of our elopement packages, and I’ll deduct $150 since you obviously won’t need the officiant. You’ll still receive all the great benefits like being able to use the dressing areas whenever you like, and we’ll be able to reschedule for a better time if the weather is bad that day. Keep in mind our pricing is likely higher than other traveling photographers charge to meet you in public areas, but the Honeysuckle Hills experience is incredibly different with our privacy, personality, and variety of photography locations. The Honeysuckle Hills wedding venue is not open to the public at large.
Honeysuckle Hills welcomes you to use the photographer of your choice for any wedding package with reception. Our elopement packages are pretty much a photography session that happens to include a wedding ceremony, so I include my own photography for them. You actually can use your own photographer with a Honeysuckle Hills elopement package, but there is no discount for doing so. We are unable to allow other photographers to use our venue for their own sessions outside of our packages due to the conflict with own events and the privacy we strive to keep.
Honeysuckle Hills has no problem with guests taking their own pictures during a scheduled wedding unless the wedding couple specifically asks us to forbid it.
Occasionally, Honeysuckle Hills has the ability to perform a last-minute wedding scheduled the same day by phone or email, but we cannot accommodate walk-ins of any kind. I personally officiate last-minute ceremonies at Honeysuckle Hills myself as a Tennessee Notary Public.
It is much easier to book a last minute wedding with us at our Honeysuckle Falls location, which is only three miles from our main venue. Honeysuckle Falls is gated because it is my private residence bordering the National Park. Therefore, an appointment is essential for this location.
I was born and raised in the Great Smoky Mountains and naturally have favorite wedding venues to refer to. Sampson’s Hollow is by far my favorite venue in the Smoky Mountains. They’ve been around even longer than we have, and you can’t beat the family love given from that venue. Foothills Farms is another favorite, a quaint mountain treasure just 45 minutes from Gatlinburg. It’s also family owned just like us by a sweet gal named Sierra and her father, Johnny Vess. For elopements our favorite chapels are both Little Log (be sure to ask for Terri Swaggerty as your photographer,) and Chapel in the Hollow.