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Top wedding dates are that are popular every year along with those that are special for just that year are often hard to reserve. Get a head start planning your wedding with these top wedding dates for 2022 and 2023 in the Smokies!
It’s no secret that planning ahead for a wedding for the East Tennessee Smoky Mountains is essential. Countless times couples call me asking about a date that may be only a few months away, yet they’re having difficulty finding a venue despite the fact there are literally hundreds in our area. If you can’t find a wedding venue you like in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, you just don’t want to get married. It’s that simple. The only thing we don’t have here is an Elvis chapel… and I’m still puzzled over that void.
You may feel as if you have plenty of time to plan a wedding in our area whether it’s two days or two years away. The hard facts are that there are some times of year for venues with exceptional reputation that require as much as three years in advance to book. The Trillium is one of those venues because they have the best mountain views, hands down. Three other venues you can expect to book much quicker than all the others are Sampson’s Hollow, Foothills Farms, and Honeysuckle Hills. Wedding chapels that do multiple ceremonies each day will have openings longer. Little Log Chapel and Chapel at the Park booking the fastest.
After watching trends over the past fifteen years at our wedding venue, I put together a handy list of what you can expect to be the most popular dates for a wedding in 2022 and 2023 for the Smoky Mountain area. Some may be popular wherever you’ve decided to get married.
October 22nd, 2023
As previously mentioned, October is the single busiest wedding month in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. This fall date is both numerically desirable as well as during the beginning of peak fall leaf color. Saturday is usually the most coveted day of the week for a wedding, so it wouldn’t surprise me if October 21st, 2023 is more in demand than the 22nd, especially since those are both odd numbers. With the unique numerology of 10-22-23, though, I see a lot of wedding venues opening that Sunday when they’re ordinarily closed. If you’re serious about booking a wedding in the mountains of East Tennessee and this is your preferred date, do not let the sun set if your venue of choice has an opening. Expect this date to become more and more scarce as early as January of 2022. It’s the first date that newly engaged couples will ask for if their heart is set on a mountain wedding.
November 4th, 2023
Again, just like we talked about earlier in this blog post, couples have discovered that the lower elevation wedding venues will see peak fall color on this date instead of in late October. The number one reason couples book a fall wedding is for the magical feeling created by golden and auburn leaves. Even though there’s actually a risk for a little snow on this date, there’s also the possibility for mid-70’s with low humidity, followed by night-time s’mores at your venue’s firepit.
March 20th, 2023
Another palindrome wedding date reading the same both forward and backward, this is also the spring equinox. I almost listed this one as the single most popular wedding date of 2023, but since it’s on a Monday, I decided the fall dates mentioned above would still beat it. The weather this time of year is similar to late fall. You may get lucky with 70 to 80 degree temperatures, or you may get stuck in the middle of a blizzard of snow (well, at least a few inches). Typical flowers include daffodils, forsythia and the leaves on willow trees will start to emerge. There are no leaves on the trees yet, but grass will blossom out in tender bunches.
May 6th, 2023
Generally speaking, early May is the big kick-off for wedding season in the Smoky Mountains. Yes, weddings are popular in late March all the way through April. But the first of May is when you’re guaranteed all the leaves will be on the trees and flowers plentiful. Weather is usually consistently in the upper 70’s and mid-80’s with much lower humidity than July and August. I’m listing this date as more popular than others for May 2023 because Saturday, May 13th will most likely sit there for a while since people are more superstitious than they will admit. The May 27th date is during Memorial weekend, another high traffic time in Pigeon Forge. Coming in as a close second, however, will be Saturday, May 20th, 2023.
September 23rd and September 30th, 2023
I’m listing these two wedding dates together because we don’t always see two Saturdays in September after the crazy Labor Day and car show weekends. Seriously, avoid the second and third weekends of September at all costs if you’re planning a wedding with a high guest count. Traffic is insane and lodging is at its most expensive, but the dates of September 23rd and 30th are prime! There is statistically much less humidity, cooler temperatures in the 70’s to mid-80’s, and any venue with flower gardens like Honeysuckle Hills will still have plenty in bloom. These dates beat the October rush for weddings, so town will be a lot less crowded during these two weeks.
Just because your preferred wedding date is not listed here as one in high demand does not mean you should shuffle your feet or that you have time to dawdle. If you have your heart set on a particular wedding venue especially, don’t put off an official booking if you are seriously committed to a destination wedding. This guideline applies to both weekend and weekday weddings, because some venues like Honeysuckle Hills only accept a small number of weddings each week.
Even though East Tennessee has the most wedding venues of any state to choose from, there’s a good reason they’re so plentiful. East Tennessee has the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The tourist attractions are endless with hiking trails, music theatres, adventure parks, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and Dollywood. When all the other states remained closed during the pandemic, East Tennessee drew in the masses to vacation here (safely, of course, by wearing masks and enjoying the fresh air outdoors). All those people fell in love with the Smoky Mountains, so it’s no wonder people are either moving to Tennessee or getting married in Tennessee by the droves.
If you have questions about how to get married in the Smoky Mountains, reach out to us! I work with an exceptional group of venues and wedding vendors who are all dedicated to your happiness. We all work together for your benefit, so even if one of us is already booked we will make referrals until you’re smiling ear-to-ear. Thank you for choosing the Smoky Mountains as your wedding destination!