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A Dreamy Wedding at Norris Dam State Park in Tennessee

October 15, 2021  |  Permalink

Looking to plan a wedding? Wondering what it might be like to choose a Tennessee State Park as your venue? We asked newlywed Karman Meyer all about her wedding held at Norris Dam State Park in October 2021. See her photos and hear about her experience getting married in a Tennessee State Park:

Disclaimer: The author of this blog post was given a discount on their venue rental. All thoughts and opinions presented in this article are original to the author.

Newly married couple leaving venue surrounded by friends and familyPhoto credit: Emily Elizabeth Portraits

We did it! After a year-long engagement, lots of planning, and just a couple of minor hiccups along the way (as true to wedding planning fashion), we finally said ‘I do’ in front of our family and friends in a truly magical place. It was a weekend that felt true to us and that we’ll cherish forever.

We really lucked out with the weather for our late September wedding weekend! It was about 72°F and sunny during the day, and in the evening, it was perfect for getting cozy in the cabin under a blanket or building a campfire to enjoy S’mores!

Our ceremony was held just outside our cabin because the ground was flat and made it easier for some of our family members who need assistance walking. Plus, the trees made for a beautiful backdrop, and the setting of Norris Dam State Park was everything we could have asked for in a wedding venue.

Couple standing in a forest in front of a crowd getting marriedPhoto credit: Emily Elizabeth Portraits

After the ceremony, we made our way to the Tea Room for food, dancing, and fun! Since we had a smaller wedding of about 50 people, all the tables for guests were able to be set up in the lower level of the Tea Room and the upper level was used as the dance floor and cake table.

We chose to have our wedding in the late afternoon so that anyone who needed to travel back home that evening could do so without having late-night driving. We used a local caterer and chose heavy hors d’oeuvres, which worked well for the time of day. Our reception ended around 6:30 PM—right during the golden hour so it was great for capturing a few more photos plus our wedding exit!

Tables inside the Tea Room at Norris Dam decorated for a weddingPhoto credit: Emily Elizabeth Portraits


Takeaways

While we didn’t rent the Historic Cottage, one of our family members did and they were gracious enough to let my friends and me get ready there the day of the wedding. The Historic Cottage has a double vanity make-up room for bridal parties, plus a fully equipped kitchen and laundry room, living room with wood-burning fireplace, formal dining room, two bedrooms--one with two full-size beds, and one with a queen-size bed. If you’re planning a wedding at Norris Dam, I’d recommend you or a close family member that doesn’t mind you crashing for the day to get ready, rent this beautiful cottage! It also has a great outdoor space which is where we did our first look photos.

Bride getting hair fixed inside a cabin at Norris DamPhoto credit: Emily Elizabeth Portraits

One thing I wish I had thought of beforehand is to communicate cabin check-in info to guests the week of the wedding. Check with the park office staff to see what time the office closes and what the after-hours check-in policy is at the park you chose. Share this info with your guests to eliminate any stress or worry as guests are arriving at the park. The same goes for check-out info that you need to communicate with guests! The Norris Dam State Park office staff was always very helpful and able to answer any questions I had, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

Bride and groom holding hands outside of a cabin at Norris Dam State ParkPhoto credit: Emily Elizabeth Portraits

Lastly, one of the other big draws of getting married at a Tennessee State Park is that we can go back any time together and relive those special memories, and to create new ones. We look forward to visiting with family, friends, and future children, and that means so much to us. With other venues, that’s not as easy to do, but with state parks, there are endless opportunities to return, enjoy, and build those special moments that will last a lifetime.


Planning a Wedding? 

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About the author

Karman Meyer lives in Nashville with her fiancé James and their cat, Pepper. She is a Registered Dietitian and writes and shares recipes on her website, TheNutritionAdventure.com. Connect with Karman on Instagram: @karmanmeyer.