“I Do” with a View: The second most popular wedding venue may surprise you

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Weddings are never ‘one size fits all’. But whether the plan is an elegant party, a fun and casual weekend getaway for family and friends, a destination event or an elopement, there’s a venue just a short drive away that can handle whatever your heart desires.

Las Vegas is certainly synonymous with weddings, but second place might surprise you. Tennessee’s Sevier County, which includes Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, claims that title, ranking second in the country based on the number of wedding licenses filed at county offices. The variety of wedding options, large and small, along with unique food and venues, can make it an unforgettable celebration for all involved.

The area has a rich history related to weddings, including the story of the stack cake, the thin layered cakes traditionally served to wedding guests.

It’s a tradition known throughout the Great Smoky Mountains. The recipe was made famous by the Walker sisters’ version, and has been published by the National Park Service.

Real weddings: See how upstate couples said “I do” in their own way

Following tradition, each wedding guest brings a layer, and the cake is assembled on site, often with the apple filling between the layers soaking into the cake, according to Jamie Proffitt, marketing coordinator at The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. The taller the cake, the larger the guest list will be, and possibly the more popular the bride will be.

Today, one of the most popular wedding venues in Pigeon Forge is the Titanic Museum, an attraction housed in a half-sized replica of the ship. The location offers many celebration options, including a full wedding on the grand staircase, or an event just for two at the fountain. There is also an elegant 3,000 square foot event hall. And yes, the designated first officer can perform the ceremony “on board.”

Wedding options at the Titanic Museum include a replica of the ship's grand staircase.

Wedding options at the Titanic Museum include a replica of the ship’s grand staircase.

Since the area is a prominent location for weddings, you can find a plethora of restaurants and vendors equipped to handle all types of requests, such as Puckett’s Restaurant, a Tennessee barbecue staple that can cater a family-friendly reception or rehearsal dinner, or Dazzle Delights, which can bring a double-decker food truck to rehearsals and receptions.

Then there are cabin weddings, which can range from a casual family event with a mountain backdrop to the ultimate on-site space like the Grand Leconte Lodge, which sits on five acres and includes 21 bedrooms, two full kitchens, an indoor pool, and more. It can accommodate 92 guests in one (extra large) house.

Starting a new chapter with family, friends and a mountain view, with a little history – and maybe apple cake – for many couples, blue skies are the limit.

Mountain wedding adventures

Some ideas to get started:

Pigeon Forge is a popular mountain wedding venue in Tennessee

Pigeon Forge is a popular mountain wedding venue in Tennessee

This article originally appeared in the Herald Journal: “I Do” with a View: The second most popular wedding venue may surprise you

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