This is a very frequently asked question, but not exactly in the same form. The real question we have asked all the time is “I have all my music for the reception on my ipod. Can I just plug it in to your sound system?”
Easy answer, sure. That would save you a little bit of money on the reception, but here’s what you would miss…
A DJ not only plays the music, he announces in the bride and groom and the bridal party. He is the master of ceremonies for your reception. When the dinner is about to begin he announces which tables are free to go through the buffet. He lets everyone know when the cake cutting is about to begin. He knows who will be offering a toast to the bride and groom, and if one of those people happens to be missing, he can stall until they get back.
He hands his microphone to the person who may be offering a blessing. He tells the bride that her father/daughter dance is coming up, and the same with the groom and his mother. He notices that everyone got up to dance when a certain tune was played, and plays another tune that’s similar to keep them up dancing.
He announces the first dance for the bride and groom, and announces the last dance of the evening. He lines up the ladies to catch the bouquet. He takes requests from the guests. He arrives early to test his gear and dress for the part. He’s professional.
In short, a DJ can really make your reception exceptional and exciting. Can your ipod do that?
When your bring your iPod or CD to the reception we can absolutely turn it on and start the music playing, but we cannot make sure it works or that the battery is charged, and we can’t fix it if it doesn’t. We always try our best, but there is no technician here to troubleshoot compatibility issues, and we don’t have a person on staff who’s job it will be to play your iPod.
So if your idea of your reception is a nice dinner and visit with background music and a couple of dances, the iPod might be appropriate. But if you’re wanting an exciting celebration where you don’t have to worry about what music will be playing when, and you want your reception to be lively and exciting, we highly suggest you hire a DJ. We will be happy to make those arrangements for you.
Just to give you an idea of the list of questions a DJ will want from you, take a look at our DJ form.
A: Depending on the size of your wedding (number in bridal party) we typically want to start shooting at least 1.5 hours before the ceremony. We will start with the bridal portraits, then add in bridesmaids, then the bride’s family. Next we’ll shoot the groom, then groomsmen and the groom’s family.
There’s a tradition that the bride and groom should not see each other prior to the ceremony. This tradition comes from a time when marriages were arranged and the bride and groom had never met prior to the wedding day. That being said, we would encourage you to break with that tradition for the following reasons;
a. Reserving a time for the bride and groom to meet prior to the ceremony gives us the opportunity to capture the expressions and emotion of that moment when you first see each other in a private, intimate setting, as opposed to the pressure of the crowd and the spotlight.
b. It allows us to take all the formal shots of the bride, groom and bridal party prior to the ceremony which lets you to get to your reception earlier and not keep your guests waiting. Once the ceremony is finished and we take all the family shots, you can go right into the reception, go into your first dance, and let the festivities begin rather than spend another hour on photos.
A: Having photographed well in excess of 500 weddings, we have an eye for which angles will work for certain situations and we anticipate the moments. This is not to say that we shoot every wedding the same way. On the contrary, each wedding for us is a unique experience with unique personalities, qualities and details. Our job in capturing the moments of your wedding day is two fold. We will guide you through the posed photos that we know you and your family will want and listen to requests for certain combinations of family and guests. We will also be in the background looking for those magical moments which reflect the chemistry of the relationships that are unique to every family. And we will make every effort to make the entire day stress free. You don’t want to trust this job to just anyone.
There’s a blog article about guests taking photos at weddings that is interesting to read. You can find a link to it here.
A: Absolutely, but please ask him to not take photos while we are working. When you have a group of people posing for a photograph, and someone is standing on the side taking photos, half of the group will be looking at the photographer and half looking at Uncle Joe. We respectfully request that no photos be taken during the ceremony or the formal portraits.
A: The editing process can take us up to 4 weeks. If we are able to get images processed early we will certainly do so. We will typically go through your event and choose some of what we consider to be the best images and post them on our photo blog. Once the edits are all done your images will be posted on Pictage.com for you to proof. You (the bride and groom)will have access to all the images prior to their release to guests. Once you’ve looked through the images and marked any you wouldn’t want seen as “private” you will release the images for all your family and friends
We also post an email sign-up sheet at the reception and let your guests know if they sign up they will be notified by email when the photos are available to view on-line.
A: All of our packages come with a credit that may be used to order the prints of your choice. This way you’re not limited by needing to order a certain number of any one size print. Each photo is processed as a custom lab print with proper color correction and density.
A: Some wedding packages come with a contemporary storybook wedding album. After we edit the images and get them on-line we will design for you an album layout which we feel will best represent the images that tell the story of your wedding day. When we design albums we don’t limit the number of images or pages it takes to tell that story, we present a unique, custom designed work of art that you will keep for the rest of your life and pass on to your children.
Once your album design is done you will be able to view the layout on-line. You may decide to keep the album as is, replace an image we have chosen with another that you prefer, ask to add or delete images or album sides. From there we will make the changes you request and you can proof the album design again. Once you’ve approved the design we will order the album to be printed and bound. This process will typically take 4-6 weeks.
A: Yes, and the amount depends on how many images and how many sides your package came with, and how many are in the final design. If you don’t wish to purchase the upgraded album you can just tell us which images and sides you want removed and we can get the size of the album back to what came with your package. Every album design is unique and custom designed.
A: Packages include up to three album designs. After that there will be additional fees for designs and changes.
A: Sure. Just drop us an email and we’ll get the process going. You may also create your own album designs through the Pictage site.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bluff Mountain Inn Weddings and Receptions
A: Simply fill out the contact us form on this site or email us directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
A: We don’t publish our prices on-line, but when you contact us we will email you a list of current packages and prices.
A: No, but you will need a Tennessee Marriage License issued within 30 days of the wedding date. It’s easy to apply for the license on-line by going to the Sevier County website. If you fill out the information and file on-line you can pick up your license when you get to town either at the courthouse or one of the other license locations. They do have an office that’s open on Saturdays.
A: Honestly, as soon as possible. Certain times of the year are very popular for weddings in the Smoky Mountains, and with Gatlinburg Weddings being one of the most popular wedding destinations in the country, the spring and autumn months fill up pretty quickly. So as soon as you know the time of year you plan to be married, please let us know so we can reserve your wedding date.
A: Saturdays are the most popular. Sundays are next, but any day of the week can be reserved for a wedding. We do like to take major holidays off…
A: We need to issue a contract and receive an initial down payment to reserve a date. The amount of the initial payment varies with the package and size of your party.
A: Initial payment to save the date. 50% of the balance is due 4 months prior to the date. Remaining balance is due 3 weeks prior to the wedding date, along with your final guest count and other detail choices.
A: When you make your initial deposit on your wedding package, that time and date are no longer available. That time is reserved for you, and if anyone else contacts us for that date and time we have to say no. For that reason, once you have made your reservation the initial payment is non-refundable. However, we know that there are situations which are beyond anyone’s control. For that reason we do offer you the opportunity to reschedule your wedding for reasons of (heaven forbid) death in the family, military deployment, acts of God such as weather or geometric events which have severely affected the family. A rescheduling fee may apply, but we will work with you as best we can. Military couples sometimes have to reschedule due to deployment issues. We love and appreciate our military clients and will do everything within our powers to accommodate necessary changes.
A: Simple answer, as little or as much as you like. We have brides who want to be very involved in the style of their wedding, and those who want everything done for them as they really can’t dedicate the time. If you will give us the basics, i.e. what your wedding dress looks like, what your color preferences are, what style of decorations you like, etc. we will take care of all the details.
Some brides come in for a planning session where we go over everything from menu choices to table decorations, and some brides we never see until the day of the wedding… everything is planned via email or phone conversations. Couples married here have come from Alaska, Hawaii, California, Russia, you name it. And a planning trip for them is simply out of the question. But that’s part of the service we offer. We communicate mainly by email so you can email us images of things you like. There are also lots of images of flowers, wedding cakes and decorations, as well as our different facilities on this site under the heading details.
Different packages require different levels of planning. Our smaller packages would only require some basic color and flower choices whereas our Elegant Evening package would require more decisions such as DJ song requests, custom table decorations and menu selections. Our wedding planners are professional and experienced. They take extensive notes and keep records of all emails to assure the details you discussed will be there on your wedding day.
A: Once you have chosen your date and locked it in, we suggest you start looking for your dress. The style and color of your wedding dress will help determine the style of your flowers, decorations, etc. You can email us a photo of the dress, and even send over color swatches if you like. The more information we have, the easier it is for us to give suggestions and make it happen. We respectfully request you don’t send samples until you are sure of your color choices, and sometimes planning too far in advance of the date might make you doubt your first instincts and make lots of changes. We only need a couple of months to get the wedding plans together, so please take your time and make sure you are locked in on your vision before sending us swatches and samples. Your final guest count and choices are due three weeks prior to your wedding day.
We’re always asked about where family and friends can stay while in the mountains for your wedding.
Our neighbor is a cabin community called Smoky Cove. Find them on-line at smokycove.com
Several of the cabins in Smoky Cove actually border our property and are within walking distance. If you contact them at TOLL FREE: (800) 350-4997 please tell them that you will be attending a wedding at Bluff Mountain Inn and you’d like a cabin near our property.
Another cabin rental agency that has cabins in Smoky Cove is Eden Crest. Find them on-line at www.edencrest.net The toll free number is (877) 423-9514.
Below you’ll see photos of a few of the closest cabins to us.
If you would rather stay in a hotel, the local hotels who are closest to us are the following;
The Inn on the River
Park Grove Inn
The Inn at Christmas Place
There are hundreds of hotels and literally thousands of rental cabins and condos in this area, but during the heavy tourist season (which could be almost anytime) the traffic can be terrible. For that reason we highly recommend you get your accommodations close to Wears Valley Road or traffic light #3 in Pigeon Forge. The main traffic issues are on the Pigeon Forge parkway and coming in from I-40 at the Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville exit.
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