Smokies Weddings is unique among the wedding vendors in Sevier County in that it is not meant to stand solely as a wedding service. Smokies Weddings is an affiliate ministry of Smoky Mountain Chaplain Services which is here to provide for all the ministerial needs of our visitors and for the needs of our locals who have no church home. We are honored when someone asks us to perfom a baptism or visit with a family member who is sick. Chaplain Russell is duly ordained to perform all the sacerdotal rites and ceremonies of the Church, including Marriages, Baptisms, Funerals, and The Holy Communion and routinely does so.
What makes Smokies Weddings most unique though is that it is a support ministry of The ARK Foundation, a ministry which provides in-depth, long term family counseling to residents of Sevier, Jefferson, and Blount Counties at no charge. The ARK Foundation has served hundreds of individuals in the three county region. As a support ministry, all of the funds and donations paid to Smokies Weddings, minus the minimal fees for maintaining this website, go directly to support the ministry of The ARK Foundation. This allows us to continue to offer counseling services to those in our area who could otherwise not be able to afford the help. Chaplain Russell takes no salary from either The ARK Foundation or Smokies Weddings and never will. This is our pledge to you.
So you see, this is why we think we are the ideal place to come for your wedding ceremony officiant. No one else in the Smokies gives you the opportunity to to have YOUR wedding, performed YOUR way and have that very act support a ministry that has a proven, positive impact on the lives of hundreds. What better way could you possibly find to start your journey together?
Special Notice: The National Park Service requires all businesses conducting activities in the park to have a commercial use license, higher than normal auto liability, a one million dollar general liability policy, various business, personnel, and personal documentation, etc. These requirements would cost us approximately one thousand dollars annually.This would also require us to ask you for a much higher fee, in addition to the fees the park charges you for your special use permit. For this reason, we have decided to not perform weddings or vow renewals in the park. We are a ministry, not a business and as such are held to a higher accounting of the stewardship of our funds. We do not feel that we can justify pulling this amount of funds away from our ministries' endeavors. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and we hope that you can understand our position.
May God Bless You