Smoky Mountain Vow Renewals – April and Nick

April and Nick February 8, 2020

Smoky Mountain Vow Renewals

Smoky Mountain vow renewals are magical, but this one is a little more magical than most.

If you’ve followed us for a while, you may know that we lost my mother in May of 2018 to cancer that had spread to her brain. I won’t go into details, but the struggles involved with taking care of someone with brain cancer are fairly unique and difficult both emotionally and physically—much less being the person actually experiencing it. Sometimes it can be really isolating when even your closest friends don’t understand what you’re going through and don’t understand how to be there for you. 

April contacted me on behalf of her and her husband Nicholas a couple of months ago. Her husband of over 8 years was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given only a few months to live even with treatments. They had planned on having a 10 year vow renewal to celebrate their relationship with their children and families, but circumstances  moved up their timeline. This sweet family is facing the reality of soon living without their husband/father, and they are trying to make every moment count.

I know how wonderful it was for us to have the help for mom to complete some of the items on her bucket list so we helped to put together a vow renewal for February 8th to allow them to celebrate their love while Nicholas would still be able to enjoy it. The fabulous wedding pros listed below are donating or discounting their time and services to help make this a reality.

Along with this craziness, this special couple are still trying to pay for treatments and live, and it’s a very difficult time. I know how amazing our couples are, and I entreat you to offer your aid in whatever way you can to this sweet family. Even just sharing the post to help get this out there for them could make a big difference. You can follow their story on YouTube and their Facebook page Team Ranew – Nicholas’ fight where they detail what’s happening in their lives and have links to donate.

It snowed the morning of the 8th adding an extra bit of loveliness to the forest, and though there were still some signs of the rains and flooding, April and Nick had a beautiful backdrop for such a special day. I won’t deny I cried a bit (thankfully less than I thought I would). It was beautiful and emotional.

Nick was sweet and funny, and I’m thankful for the chance to get to meet him and April and to see such an amazing love in person. April looked stunning with her hair and makeup expertly applied by Southern Sirens, and that dress was a perfect complement to her beauty. Their friend presided over their vow renewal, and Nick repeated the vows he made to April over eight years ago before saying his new ones. The florals from Melissa Timm Designs were lush and gorgeous with a delicate feel, and Lindsay with Custom Love brought everything together seamlessly.The video recap by Austin from Yugen Productions captured all of the amazingness so we can relive the moments! 

Thank you again to all of the amazing wedding pros willing to donate their time and expertise to help make this a reality. Again, to those of you who can donate to help this amazing couple during this difficult time, please do! Pay it forward, and help make the world a little brighter. You can find them at Team Ranew – Nicholas’ fight. If you aren’t in a position to be able to help monetarily, please share and help them get in front of someone who can. #TeamRanew all the way!!

From the Bride:

We actually met when we were 13. His brother introduced us after we both attended a summer camp. I feel very lucky to have met him so early in life. We were friends first & then dated briefly in college. We lost touch for some years before reconnecting thanks to his brother, yet again. His brother & I ended up working for the same company which prompted me to look him up on Facebook when fb was becoming popular.

Smoky Mountain Vow Renewals Mini Chapel in the WoodsBoutonniere on a RockWedding Rings in the SnowGroom with Brain Cancer Prepping for Vow RenewalSmoky Mountain Vow Renewals Mini Wedding Chapel in the WoodsSmoky Mountain Vow RenewalsSmoky Mountain Vow RenewalsBride holding bouquet in snow


Hair and Makeup: Southern Sirens
Florals: Melissa Timm Designs
Coordination: Custom Love Gifts, Events & Prints
Videography: Yugen Productions
Photography: Star Noir Studio
Venue: Chapel in the Hollow
Lodging: Grand Smokies Event Center

Smoky Mountain vow renewals are magical — are you ready to start planning yours?? Pricing is the same as our wedding packages, and you can find all of the info here. Wanting to save a few dollars to put toward a second honeymoon?? We offer discounted weekday pricing. Check out our calendar to see our availability.

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Eloping in the Smoky Mountains – Taylor and Sean

Taylor and Sean February 7, 2020

Eloping in the Smoky Mountains

Eloping in the Smoky Mountains can be a little nerve wracking sometimes–especially when the weather doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. We had days of heavy rains and flooding leading up to Taylor and Sean’s wedding, but we got lucky! The rains cleared up, and the roads were passible, but it sure got chilly! We had snow flurries all day long which made for a cold winter wedding for Taylor and Sean. Their families and Custom Love Gifts, Events & Prints helped them get everything set up and looking amazing. They looked so adorable together!! They persevered through the brisk weather to get some great moments!! Congratulations Taylor and Sean!!

From the Bride:
We met through mutual friends, and he proposed to me when the time was right. We kept talking about just eloping with the two of us, but we wanted our families there. We looked at bigger venues here and never fell in love with one, and they were all overly priced. My future sister in law came across this venue one day and sent it to us, and we knew instantly that this was what we wanted! 

Eloping in the Smoky MountainsEloping in the Smoky MountainsEloping in the Smoky MountainsSmoky Mountain Wedding ChapelsEloping in the Smoky MountainsWedding in the WoodsBride and Groom KissingBride and Groom Walking Down the RoadEloping in the Smoky Mountains

Coordination and Styling: Custom Love Gifts, Events & Prints
Hair and Makeup: Bride
Photography: Star Noir Studio
Rings: Kay Jewelers
Cake: Cakes by Bakin’ Bishop
Officiant: Ian Parrott
Florist: Denham’s Florist
Dress: Daphne’s Bridal
Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

Eloping in the Smoky Mountains is an amazing experience!! Are you ready to get started planning your elopement? If so, you can get started by checking our availability and pricing to see if we’re a good fit for you. There’s also tons of images from previous weddings on our blog to help get your creativity flowing. We can’t wait to help you celebrate!!

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Smoky Mountain Micro Weddings

Smoky Mountain Micro WeddingsSmoky Mountain Micro Weddings – Going Tiny

Smoky Mountain micro weddings are here to stay. In the last few years, we’ve seen a trend in downsizing. People are doing this in many different aspects of their lives. We’ve heard a lot about the tiny home movement — which Ian and I began participating in several years ago out of necessity. People are downsizing the way they eat, the way they buy, and trying to manage their footprint. I think the micro wedding is a natural extension of this. 

The first thing we probably need to address is the difference between elopements and micro weddings. 

When I think of elopements, I think of people running off to get married spontaneously. In the past there was a stigma associated with this that I think has somewhat gone away today. Elopements are a stress-free way for a couple to get married without having to worry about a ton of details. We help with that at our venue by offering some included decor and services to make things super easy.

Like elopements, micro weddings can be just the couple, but they also might include a few friends or family. I’ve seen differing opinions on exactly what constitutes micro — some say less than 10 and some say less than 50. I think either way is equally valid. Also, like elopements, micro weddings sometimes happen much more quickly than the traditional wedding–within a few months instead of 1-2 years of planning. The big difference between an elopement and a micro wedding are in the details. Most couples that choose a micro wedding want all of the details of a regular wedding but on a smaller scale. They want the flowers, cake, photography, and such but without having to set it up for 150 people. 

Smoky Mountain Micro Weddings Reasons for a Micro Wedding

There are a lot of great reasons to go smaller for your wedding….

  1. Obviously a big reason (no pun intended) to go small is cost. It’s difficult for many of us to justify spending tens of thousands of dollars on one day no matter how special. And, that’s not to say there’s anything wrong for those that do want to. It’s just not practical for everyone. That could be the cost of a new car or a downpayment on a house. So, for those that are more budget conscious, this is a great way to get the experience without shelling out the big bucks. 
  2. Another benefit is that you can splurge on certain things because you don’t have to have enough for an army of people. This would be the quality vs quantity idea. With less guests to consider, you can make the details for those guests more special. For instance, instead of having to do a buffet for 200 people, you might be able to afford a sit down dinner for 10. Or, instead of inexpensive $2-$3 wedding favors like a cd, you might go a little swankier and bundle it with a music gift card so they can enjoy your music and theirs. 
  3. Another pro for a micro wedding is limiting the outside options you have to factor in. When you’re planning a large wedding, it’s often the case that everyone involved thinks they need to add their input on what’s going to happen especially if they’re helping to fund the wedding. This can often lead to the couple having to compromise in areas they’d rather not. It can create friction in families, and might make you consider eloping. Without so many cooks in the kitchen, you can focus on making the wedding day exactly what you want it to be. Maybe that means you get married out of town, or you wear a black wedding dress, or you play Metallica when you walk down the aisle. It can be a lot easier to make those non-traditional decisions when you aren’t getting a lot of pressure from outside influences or having to worry what your great aunt is going to say to you in disapproval. 
  4. If you’ve got a small guest list, your wedding and the days around it can be a chance for your guests to spend some quality time together to celebrate the two of you. It can be difficult when you’ve got a large number of people to get any real one on one time with any particular person. If you’re hosting a wedding with 200 people, you’re going to be making a lot of small talk with distant cousins that you aren’t really close to and not getting to enjoy any time with your best friend or sister. 
  5. With less schedules to plan around, you could potentially have your wedding on a non-peak day to have a chance at getting a lower rate with your venue or some of your other wedding pros. Not everyone has different rates for different times of the year or different days of the week, but some do. 

Smoky Mountain Micro WeddingsTips for a Micro Wedding

Here are a few things to think about when planning a micro wedding…

  1. You might have a few unhappy friends or family members when they find out you’re going small and they will be excluded from the guest list. Stay confident. Explain that this is your wedding, and that this is what you want. If they care, they will understand. If you’re willing, you can share lots of photos and the video to help them feel a part of it. Maybe, you could even do a live feed depending on the venue.
  2. Focus on your must haves first. Whatever is most important to you, make that be where you put your time and energy first so that you have it exactly the way you want it. Then, if you have to compromise on anything, it will be the aspects of the wedding that aren’t your number 1 priority.
  3. There is still enough going on in a micro wedding that hiring a coordinator might be a good idea. They will help the flow of the day go smoothly, let everyone know where and when to go during the ceremony, and help with decor, set up, and clean up so you aren’t having to stress out about the details. 
  4. It’s still a good idea to create a registry. Just because you’ve decided on an intimate ceremony doesn’t mean that your distant family or work friend wouldn’t want to gift you something for your wedding. To make sure that you don’t end up with 4 of the same thing, registries are key.

At Chapel in the Hollow, our focus is on elopements and micro weddings. Our couples book the property for 1-3 hours, and we offer an officiant, photography, coordination, and soon videography services that can be bundled together to make things a little easier. We also welcome off-site wedding pros to allow our couples to create the experience they want. Most of our couples choose the 1 or 2 hour package and bring their cakes and extras for photos then go elsewhere for a dinner or small reception. We look forward to help you plan your Smoky Mountain micro weddings or elopements!! To get started, check out our calendar to see if your date is available. 

Hear our conversation with Lindsay from the Bridelink on their youtube channel

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East Tennessee Weddings – Jill and Jeremy

Jill and Jeremy January 25, 2020

East Tennessee Weddings

The morning of January the 25th was beautiful for East Tennessee weddings like Jill and Jeremy’s sweet elopement. It was chilly, but Jill didn’t let goosebumps stop her from enjoying the day! She looked super stylish in her Allure dress with her faux fur wrap, and he was extra swanky in that navy suit. The florals from Melissa Timm Designs definitely didn’t disappoint with their lush beauty, and Southern Sirens let this gorgeous woman’s inner siren shine! They chose an inexpensive naked cake from publix that was just as tasty as it was adorable. We are so glad you chose us to help celebrate such a wonderful day. Congratulations Jill and Jeremy!!

From the Bride:
We decided on an East Tennessee Wedding because we love the mountain scene!! We most looked forward to finally being one, and we chose January 25th because we wanted to start the new year out perfectly. For fun, we have the cutest 2 year old that melts our hearts and keeps us so busy!!

East Tennessee Weddings ChapelsEast Tennessee Weddings ChapelsEast Tennessee Weddings ChapelsEast Tennessee Weddings ChapelsEast Tennessee Weddings ChapelsEast Tennessee Weddings Chapels

Hair and Makeup: Southern Sirens
Florist: Melissa Timm Designs
Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals from Bridal Bliss Homewood
Shoes: Nine West
Rings: Vera Wang
Jewelry Kendra Scott
Photography: Star Noir Studio
Venue: Chapel in the Hollow

Do East Tennessee Weddings make your heart go pitter-patter? We’re ready to help you get started with your planning!! If you’re just getting started, check out our calendar for our availability. We also have information on where and how to get your marriage license as well as some awesome wedding pros that you will love to work with including recommendations for hair and makeup, florists, bakers, coordinators, and more. If there’s a service that you’re looking for that you don’t see on our list, contact us at to let us know!
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Pigeon Forge Micro Wedding – Nikki and Ryan

Nikki and Ryan January 24, 2020

Pigeon Forge Micro Wedding

Nikki and Ryan got super lucky during their Pigeon Forge micro wedding. It rained earlier in the day, so it was cloudy with nice soft lighting, but not actually rainy during their wedding. It was also surprisingly warm so Nikki’s faux fur wasn’t a necessity but still looked super cute!! Her grey dress was soooo gorgeous, and the length was the perfect size for a drizzly winter wedding–didn’t have to worry about the mud. Those blingy Badgley Mischka shoes popped in the photos almost as strongly as Ryan’s smile!! Congratulations Nikki and Ryan!

From the Bride:

We met when I was working at the local animal hospital and Ryan did all the computer work. We became friends, and we were both going through a divorce. We just hit it off and have been inseparable since! It was really difficult at first because I have 2 kids. They weren’t liking the idea of mom having a boyfriend, but eventually got to know Ryan and they seriously love him as much as I do! I always tell them that they are hitting the stepdad jackpot with him! We chose Tennessee because Ryan first brought me here for a weekend trip when we first started dating, and I fell in love with it! The cabins, the mountains, seeing bears… we love it all!! Neither of us wanted to do another big wedding, so when we found Chapel in the Hollow, it just felt right! 
We are both really low key when it comes to entertainment!! Going for a 2 hour drive together is entertainment enough! We love driving to new areas… even just to eat. We both love finding new places to eat!  There was really no reason we chose January 24 except for the fact that Ryan’s bday is November 24 so I thought it would be easy for him to remember haha. 

Are you ready to plan your Pigeon Forge Micro Wedding?? Find out if your date is available on our calendar. Check out the accessories we have available for your use. Or, take a look at our current pricing. We can’t wait to help you with your love story!

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