TENNESSEE WEDDINGS, HORSEBACK AND HELICOPTERS

by Mary Gallagher

My first time visit to the Smoky Mountains and Sevierville, TN brought to view this areas many sights, history and features that became a constant amazement to me. This is probably one of the best locations for an astonishingly wonderful breakfast such as those served in the beautiful Applewood Farm House Restaurant or try Flap Jacks. And the professionalism of these breakfast servers was unmatched anywhere.

Sevierville has a population of around 10,000 and yet it holds the number 2 spot (next to Las Vegas) for weddings in the entire United States! Just in case that wedding bells idea is on your mind here are the regulations.

The first and most important step is getting a marriage license. Obtaining a marriage license in the state of Tennessee is relatively simple. Officials here make it as easy as possible for residents as well as non-residents.

There is no waiting period to obtain a license, nor do you have to get a blood test in order to obtain a license. Both parties must be present and proof of identification must be given. A valid driver’s license is acceptable but in the case where one person hasn’t got a valid license, a certified birth certificate or any state issued picture ID will suffice.

Applicants need not be residents of Sevier County or even Tennessee to apply. For the ceremony, couples may also use a license obtained anywhere in the state of Tennessee but should remember that the licenses are only valid for 30 days after their issue. The cost of the license is $36 and must be paid in cash. No checks or credit cards accepted.

If the applicants are under the age of 18, both parents must sign the marriage certificate.

There are several locations to obtain a license in Sevier County and no appointment is necessary to obtain the license. In Sevierville, the County Court Clerk’s office, in the county courthouse, is open Monday thru Fridays from 8 a.m. thru 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. For more information call (423) 453-5502.

In Pigeon Forge you can get a license only on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pigeon Forge City Hall. (Turn at traffic light #6 and take a left at the 4 way stop.) The phone number is (423) 908-6613.

In Gatlinburg, the Gatlinburg-Shilling Center, on Reagan Drive (light #7, up the hill) sells licenses on Monday and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information, call (423) 430-3404 for more information.

HORSEBACK AT FIVE OAKS RIDING STABLES

I’m not sure if it is better to take the bride and groom horseback riding
before or after the wedding or they could get married on horseback! Five Oaks Riding Stables is remarkably convenient, on the Parkway, behind the Oak Tree Lodge.

In fact it was hard to believe that though not visible. just through the trees, as we rode through forested areas on the meandering trail up and down hills and following a gentle stream, was the congested Parkway, the outlet mall and a whole tourism mecca.

This family operated facility was very clean and the horses seemed well cared for. I also appreciated the concern everyone had over the safety as well as enjoyment of each rider. It had been raining that morning and the trails were a little slippery in spots but our guide kept a watchful eye on everyone. Helmets are also available. Trail rides are for one hour or half an hour. After an hour it was evident that I was not an experienced rider but one whose legs fell asleep and now seemed permanently bowed.

Five Oaks Riding Stables
1628 Parkway
Sevierville, TN 37862
Open daily 9:00am to 6:00pm
(865) 453 8644

SCENIC HELICOPTER TOURS

The company brochure says a “great family experience” and I think riding a helicopter is truly a great experience for anyone. I was lucky to take two rides out over Sevierville and the Smoky mountains in each of the company’s helicopters: a Bell Jet Ranger that carries 4 passengers and their Robinson R44 which carries 3 passengers. Although the skies were overcast and cloudy we still had a great view of the landscape and close in mountains. All flights are available weather permitting.

Here is another opportunity for a wedding ceremony to remember and Scenic Helicopter Tours will be happy to help you plan yours in the air! Aerial Weddings are $175.00 per couple plus $25.00 for minister. A 23-25 miles tour and short service. The deluxe covers 60-63 miles at $325 per couple plus $25.00 for minister and a longer service.

The highly experienced pilots and aircraft are all F.A.A. certified and our hearty little band never wanted to stop flying.

I’ve flown over the Speedway and Daytona Beach and around Manhattan, when that was still allowed, and even as a frequent airplane passenger there is no comparison to the feeling and thrill of being “out there” in space as in a helicopter.

There are two locations for tickets, one at the heliport in Sevierville on Highway 66 just south of the Smoky Mountain Knifeworks, and the ticket office in Pigeon Forge on the parkway at traffic light 2b.

Tours from $10 – $210

Scenic Helicopter Tours
113 Helicopter Ride Blvd.
Sevierville, TN 37876
1-877-428-6929
(865) 428-6929
Fax: (865) 453-0014
www.scenichelicoptertours.com

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