Kara and Perry choose the Barn at Chestnut Springs for their splendid Smoky Mountain wedding. It’s a gorgeous, historical barn wedding venue hidden in a cove in the hills of the Smoky Mountains. It includes both indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception spaces, an outdoor fireplace, and beautiful cafe lights that twinkle after sunset.
Kara wore a beautiful floral crown that she wore with her veil, and flowers were by Lisa Foster Floral Design. Kara’s wedding gown was from Wedding Wonderland by designer Lea-Ann Belter Bridal, cinematography was by Chad of JoPhoto, and of course the gorgeous photos were also by JoPhoto. Their wedding cakes were by Faith Baked Cakes.
Kara + Perry
The Barn at Chestnut Springs in Sevierville, TN
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Wedding day weather: Absolutely perfect! It was mostly overcast with a high of 72 and low of 55.
Number of guests: 105
Your budget: approx. $20,000
Biggest splurge: The dress!
Biggest savings: Choosing to have our wedding on a Thursday probably saved us more money than anything else. The venue, photography, and food was less than it would’ve been during the weekend.
Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?
The Barn is the first wedding venue Perry and I looked at online after we got engaged, and we both immediately fell in love. It was understated, yet breathtaking. Perry and I both grew up in Knoxville and spent a lot of time in the Smoky Mountains. Some of my fondest childhood memories include days spent hiking in the mountains with my daddy and great-grandmother. Perry grew up taking day trips to the mountains with his family too, so it’s a love engrained in both of us.
Wedding day theme:
We wanted to incorporate our love for Disney without being cheesy or over-the-top, so we aimed for a bohemian fairytale inspired wedding. The Barn is beautiful on so we wanted to let its wood walls and twinkling lights be the focal point, and we also didn’t want to feel tied down to one or two specific colors. We chose a neutral color palette including navy, ivory, burlap, blush, and gold.
Where did you find your inspiration?
We’ve been in a relationship for seven years so I had plenty of time to create my wedding Pinterest board. While Pinterest is a great way to get inspiration and ideas, it can become overwhelming! I actually stepped away from Pinterest not long after we got engaged and only referred to the wedding board I had already created, rather than always adding new ideas. Most of our inspiration came from Disney – the music, the cake, the guest book, etc.!
How did you choose to personalize your wedding?
- We wanted to do something different during the unity ceremony, so rather than sand or candles we chose to represent our faith by braiding rope while my uncle sang. We created the board together before the wedding and wrote Ecclesiastes 4:12 on it, which says, “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
- As I mentioned before, we also personalized the wedding by incorporating subtle Disney elements into the day. We used the phrase “best day ever” from Tangled, we played Disney instrumental music before the ceremony and during the reception, and our cake was grey (Beauty and the Beast-“try the grey stuff, it’s delicious”).
- Since our grandparents are so important to us, we wanted to include them in a special way. Our grandmothers agreed (after a little hesitation!) to be our flower girls!
- Family means the world to me and I grew up knowing seven of my eight great-grandparents, so I wanted to make sure our loved ones who have passed away were included. We made memory boards – one for my family and one for his – that had pictures of our loved ones in heaven.
What was your favorite part of the reception?
I have so many favorite moments during the reception, including the first dance and father-daughter dance. I also surprised my mom by playing “our song” which is “You’ll Be in My Heart” from the movie Tarzan. One of my very favorite moments was the sparkler send-off. We ran through the sparklers and then my parents ran through. It wasn’t long before everyone was taking turns running through! (We purchased the extra long sparklers, and I’m so glad we did!)
What are three things you’re super glad you did?
- So glad we had a photobooth (The Knoxville Photobooth! Our guests loved it and we got a copy of all of the images.
- We are both so glad we chose to do a first look! It’s so special to actually have time to soak in the moment you see each other for the first time.
- At the recommendation of our fantastic photographers, we asked our guests to put their phones away during the ceremony. We encouraged them to take pictures before and after the ceremony-just not during! We’ve seen way too many ceremony shots where all you see is phones instead of faces. I think it also reinforces the
What are three things you wished you hadn’t worried about?
- Perry wishes he’d taken time to eat a piece of his groom’s cake! (haha)
- I wish we hadn’t rushed as much before the first look. Once we did the first look everything settled down.
- I wish we had gotten a chance to talk to every guest before they left.
What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge we faced, and the reason we almost chose a venue we liked less than the Barn, was the capacity limit. Having so many people who love and support us that we couldn’t fit them all in one Barn is a good problem to have!
How did you find and choose your vendors?
My mom and I went to a Pink Bride show about a week after I got engaged to get a feel for what we should be looking for and what to expect. I did a lot of research online and sent A LOT of emails asking for more information and quotes.
What is your best piece of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?
People kept telling me before the wedding how fast the day would fly by, and that is so true! But because I had been told that so many times, I consciously made the decision to breathe and just enjoy every moment and every little detail. Specifically, as my daddy walked me down the aisle, I remember looking around and taking everything in. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment.