Eloping Boho Style Beneath A Willow Tree In The Smoky MountainsDecember 14, 2021
How to Get the Best Wedding Photos From Your Gatlinburg WeddingDecember 21, 2022
What Is Honeysuckle Hills?
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.
How Is Honeysuckle Hills Unique From All The Other Gatlinburg wedding venues?
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.
What Is An All-Inclusive Wedding Venue?
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, and coordinating. Our elopement packages include my creative photography. I will help you find the perfect photographer for your wedding with reception, such as Jessica and Garrett Nunn. I’m the hospitality hostess for the larger weddings, making sure everyone feels welcome. I love sharing family and area history, plus keeping the atmosphere lively. Many times I assist the coordinator as they direct your wedding, too. Our venue has a rustic, country chic atmosphere with permanent décor that fills the needs of the popular majority. We’ll also set out items to personalize your wedding such as guest books, favors, and pictures.
Who Is The In-House Coordinator At Honeysuckle Hills?
Regina Starkey is your wedding planner and hospitality hostess 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. If you book an elopement with us, I’m also your photographer. I designed the entire grounds here with photography in mind, having been a professional photographer for well over twenty years now. My daughter-in-law, Sierra, is another creative photographer here as well as my trusted assistant. If you book an all-inclusive wedding with reception, you’ll meet the fine crew from Custom Love Gifts and Events. Their team will coordinate your wedding, plus help you find any other vendors that are not already included in your wedding package. They also offer rentals such as snow cone and cotton candy machines! 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 I 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.
Who Are The Vendors Included In Honeysuckle Hills Weddings With Receptions Packages?
Chef Aric with First Fruits Catering is one of the caterers you’ll get to choose from with our Foothills Celebration Package. He’s my “fancy” caterer who has mouth-watering recipes, classic cakes, and pass trays. Do you love hearty, country, all-American food? Choose 2 Coaches Catering for this package and enjoy things like grilled steak and chicken, plus their famous cowboy potatoes! If you have a smaller guest count and want a more laid back reception, Buddy’s Custom Catering provides the food for our Countryside Wedding package.
From the Heart Florist has provided bouquets for our entire sixteen years of existence. The DJ we use is the famed Chris with J3 Entertainment. He has a smooth, professional voice and knows how to keep the party going! He is the bow on the entire wedding package, providing things like a microphone for your officiant, lighting, and speakers both inside and outside.
We have several officiants to choose from including myself (Regina Starkey, who is a Tennessee Notary Public) Pastor Lloyd (faith-based minister) brother Dennis Sutton (long time TN native, Notary Public, and Police Officer,) and Pastor Tommy Orange (the most difficult to book because he is a full time officiant providing multiple weddings every day.)
Our weddings with receptions do not include a photographer, because we know this is an intensely personal decision for you. Feel free to choose the photographer of your choice. If you need recommendations, my first suggestion will always be Jessica and Garrett Nunn. Many other talented photographers have been at our venue, so don’t hesitate to ask me for a list. With so many beautiful places to have photographs made, you want to be sure you hire the best talent possible!
Can I Remove Vendors From The Honeysuckle Hills All-Inclusive Package If I Don’t Need Them?
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 reception packages are already priced without the photographer. The DJ, catering, hostess 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.
Does Honeysuckle Hills Book Smaller Weddings Without A Reception?
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.
If you’re on a tighter budget, we now offer smaller micro-wedding packages that are abbreviated versions of our classic elopements mentioned above. Consider our “Simply I Do” and the “Mini-Wedding” if you don’t want to spend as much time with the photography, or if all you need is a place to have the ceremony and nothing else.
Who Counts As A Guest When I’m Choosing My Wedding Package?
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 headcount 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!
What Is The Maximum Number Of Guests Honeysuckle Hills Can Accommodate?
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.
How Far In Advance Should I Book My Wedding At Honeysuckle Hills?
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.
Will You Hold My Honeysuckle Hills Wedding Date While I’m Researching To Make My Decision?
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.
Can I Tour The Honeysuckle Hills Wedding Venue Before Booking?
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.
Does Honeysuckle Hills Have An Online Availability Calendar?
Honeysuckle Hills does not have an online 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.
What Days Of The Week Does Honeysuckle Hills Book Weddings?
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.
How Do I Book A Wedding At Honeysuckle Hills And What Is The Cancellation Policy?
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.
Does The Honeysuckle Hills Wedding Venue Have A Back-up Location In Case It Rains?
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!)
Does Honeysuckle Hills Have Dressing Rooms?
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!”
Does Honeysuckle Hills Welcome Same Sex Couples?
Yes, Honeysuckle Hills welcomes same-sex couples like any other couple in love. I will even officiate the wedding for you!
Should I Book My Lodging First, Or My Wedding Venue?
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.
Does Honeysuckle Hills Offer A Livestream Of My Wedding For Guests Who Couldn’t Make It?
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.
Does Honeysuckle Hills allow pets?
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.
Do I Have To Have A Marriage License To Get Married In Pigeon Forge And Gatlinburg?
YES, you must have a marriage license from the state of Tennesse in order to get married. Many people ask me if Honeysuckle Hills performs commitment ceremonies, but unfortunately neither myself or any of our officiants are permitted to do that. Please excercise caution when considering a commitment ceremony and consult your attorney concerning the legalities of this type of ceremony.
Can I Book A Sunset Wedding Ceremony At Honeysuckle Hills?
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 breathtaking 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.
How do I get one of the beautiful night-time photographs beneath the Honeysuckle Hills willow tree?
The creative night-time images at our willow tree must be done either right as darkness is falling, or during pitch dark. This is the easiest to do during one of our weddings with a reception like Foothills Celebration. It’s possible with an elopement style weddings as well, but requires some careful scheduling. Depending on the time of year, we may need to charge an upgrade fee since we’re waiting for darkness to fall. We would need to do all your other images earlier in the day, and then take a small break while we wait for the perfect moment. 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.
Does Honeysuckle Hills Have A Mountain View For My Wedding Ceremony?
Honeysuckle Hills has a romantic mountain view ceremony site with rolling hills and meadows in the foreground. It is a unique location because there are so little structures visible in the distance. By fall of 2023 the parking lot and ceremony site will be ready for you! Previously we drove couples only in our Jeep to this stunning location for photography only. I’m excited beyond words to finally be able to welcome you to this peaceful mountain escape! You’ll also be able to walk along the old cattle and horse trail to other sites for photography. We have a tall oak tree with a swing, and a maple tree area that is sought after during the fall when its leaves change to a vibrant red.
Honeysuckle Hills has beautiful mountain ridge/hill views on the lower grounds, too. 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.
How Do I Have Photographs Made With The Honeysuckle Hills Wedding Horses?
Wedding photographs with the Honeysuckle Hills horses are possible by adding this experience to any elopement or reception package. This is one of the most fun, unique, and unforgettable experiences we offer for your wedding.
With your reception package, we will need a copy of your photographer’s liability insurance listing Honeysuckle Hills as additionally insured. The photographers on our preferred vendor list have already provided this. 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 as part of our elopement packages.
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.
Does Honeysuckle Hills Offer Other Kinds Of Photography Sessions For Families Or Engagements?
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.
Does Honeysuckle Hills Allow Other Photographers To Use Their Venue?
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.
Does Honeysuckle Hills Perform Walk-in Weddings?
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.
Who Does Honeysuckle Hills Recommend If Our Wedding Date Is Already Taken And Our Date Is Not Flexible?
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.