How to Plan a Destination Wedding in Tennessee

If you are considering a destination wedding in Tennessee, then you need these tips! Wedding planning can be stressful, especially if you are miles & miles away. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be.

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While all opinions and recommendations are my own, this post has been sponsored by Basic Invite and may contain affiliate links. For more information, visit the disclosure page.
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I was there, just like you… tallying up the numbers of what it would cost to have a decent enough reception space for 4 hours with some tables & chairs. Somehow I just couldn’t justify the expense of this short celebration, even if it was for my own wedding.

After researching and exploring every avenue imaginable, my future husband and I landed on a destination wedding. While the total expense was similar to the cost proposed for that 4 hour reception, the experience was one of a lifetime. That’s why I’m sharing with you how we made our destination wedding work so beautifully and mostly stress free!

Tennessee Destination Wedding Planning Guide

Tennessee is the perfect backdrop for a wedding with its lush Spring and Summer contrasting the dramatic fall leaves, autumn ushers in. The Appalachian Mountains offer more than a beautiful place to say ‘I do’, it’s really an adventure lovers dream! With so much to do before and after the wedding ceremony, your destination wedding is really a fun filled vacation. 

Here are some of the things to consider [a few tips too] when starting your wedding planning journey.

Settle on a Destination Wedding

Yes, you need to agree with your future spouse that getting married outside of your local area is something you BOTH want to do. Family input may be important however the decision starts with the two of you. 

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Pick a Location

Once you both agree that a destination wedding is the type of marriage celebration you would like, the real first step is picking a location. Is there a place you’ve always wanted to go? Do you like the beach or mountains? Have you always seen yourself getting married in, you name it.

Other things to consider about selecting a location for your wedding are: how easy is it to get to, do you need to drive or fly, and how expense is that travel? These facotors may eliminate some locations or shorten your guest list.

While my husband and I picked Hawaii for our destination wedding, if we were to do it over again, we would land in Eastern Tennessee with their beautiful mountains. 

Hire a Professional

How do you turn a destination wedding into a stress free celebration? You hire a full-service wedding planner! A good wedding planner with be able to help curate all the things to make your special day about your marriage and not about where the flowers are at. It also gives you one point of contact, minimizing trying to keep all your vendors organized.

Professional wedding planners will also help keep you on track for deadlines like when you need to book something or how soon you need to send save the dates and other invites out. They will become your local eyes for knowing which venues might be right for your own style.

Our wedding officiant served as a wedding planner for most of what we were looking to do.

Ready to get your girlfriends excited about your big day? Check out these personalized bridal shower invitations!

Consider Lodging

Assuming your destination wedding is more than an elopement, you’ll have a few guests to think about. [side note: did you know that a wedding under 25 is considered a micro-wedding?] Are you looking for one location that you and all of your guests can comfortable stay at or should there be different types of lodging nearby? There are great venues in Tennessee that offer a little bit of everything when it comes to accommodations like Feather Ridge in Jonesborough. We opted to have as many guests stay with us as possible to make it more of a vacation than a single event. That leads us to…

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Schedule Other Events

Your wedding and reception are going to be no-brainers for your out-of-town guests however consider adding some additional events to your wedding festivities. Welcome dinners and day after brunches might be common. We did those AND also invited our wedding guests to see the area and do a few adventures as well.

Tennessee offers the ability to get your wedding crew white water rafting down the Nolichucky, hiking part of the Appalachian Trail, biking down a mountain, or even taking a leisurely float down the river.

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Make Everyone Feel Included

Not everyone is going to make it to your wedding [invited or not] and that’s ok. One way you can still make them feel included in your marriage celebration is to host a bridal shower at home. Having this event before hand and locally, lets everyone participate in celebrating you. 

One part of our wedding planning that we really enjoyed being hands on was in customizing our wedding and [my] bridal shower invitations. It’s funny how this single piece of paper becomes a cherished memory. A simple and affordable way to create your own personalized invites is to use a company like Basic Invite.

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Basic Invite has countless bridal shower invite template options that can be as custom as your destination wedding. With 180 colors to choose from [yay! to endless color options], 40 different envelop colors, and a sample of your exact invite delivered to you in the mail for approval before printing, Basic Invite is really the only option for great wedding and shower invites. 

Did I mention Basic Invite even offers an address capturing service where you simply send a link to your family & friends to share their current address. After they add it, the address is saved in your account. Plus, you get FREE address printing on all orders!

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Ella here! Thank you so much for joining in on our journey as my family calls Tennessee home. If you’re a fan of food, faith, and family, then you made it to the right place. I’m so happy to have you here!

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You can always get inspired by these tastefully designed bridal shower & wedding invites on Basic Invite’s Pinterest or Instagram.

Keep It Simple

It’s tough, I get it. There are so many little things about planning a wedding that can distract us from the true purpose. A wedding is a time that you and your spouse are publicly committing yourselves to each other. It’s a covenant and a celebration wrapped up in one. Focus on how you want to be truly present that day, the expression of saying ‘I Do’.

Tell us in the comments below: Where would you love to get married?

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