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Elena Gera | Wedding Photographer Serving Gatlinburg, TN



A documentary-style wedding, engagement, and surprise proposal photographer serving clients in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!

I help couples who want candid shots and cherish raw emotions to relax in front of the camera!

The Gatlinburg area is among my top choices for photography settings. (Okay... maybe only Hawaii might edge it out!)


Keep reading, and I will explain why I love Gatlinburg so much!


Welcome to this Gatlinburg wedding photographer’s page! Gatlinburg is THE PLACE to get married! 25,000 couples tie the knot here every year! It’s got that unbeatable combo of fun, fame, and mountain magic. Need a quickie wedding fix? Think of it as the East Coast's Vegas, where you can say "I do" faster than you can order a drive-thru burger! Yep, there are chapels aplenty, some even offering drive-in services for those on the go.


But if you are into actually PLANNING a destination wedding in Gatlinburg - let me help you along this road. 

First up: snagging that dream Gatlinburg venue. Dive into my curated collection of Gatlinburg's finest wedding spots below. Once you've got that sorted, securing the perfect date is key. And when it comes to capturing those oh-so-special moments, who better to trust than a seasoned Gatlinburg photographer? While I may sprinkle in a little humor, take a peek at my portfolio and see if my style speaks to your heart. If it does, let's chat! Together, we'll craft the wedding album of your dreams amidst the irresistible charm of Gatlinburg.



The Gatlinburg region boasts a rich variety of wedding venues, continually expanding with new additions each year! Join me in discovering some of my personal favorites listed below.

Selecting among these six wedding venues in the Gatlinburg area may present quite a challenge! Plus, there are so many more! However, rest assured that no matter which one you choose, you're in for an unforgettable experience!

Moving right along to step two already? If you're in search of a photographer, allow me to express my love for Gatlinburg, TN. I stumbled upon this charming town when I first arrived in the US over two decades ago and was immediately struck by its resemblance to a typical Austrian village nestled in the Alps. (That is, until I ventured out to the outskirts of Pigeon Forge- which felt like stepping into a complete American Disneyland, haha!) But I digress...


I've always been captivated by the blend of Gatlinburg's European cozy vibe and the untamed beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains that surround it. I've explored, photographed, biked, and hiked through this area countless times, and to this day, I still can't help but feel sheer joy whenever I'm tasked with capturing the magic of a wedding here.

My style? It’s laid-back, fun, and genuine. I value connection, joy, authenticity, and true colors. If you're all about candid shots and cherish the raw emotions that make your love story one-of-a kind, then we're definitely a match!

Fun fact: I spent a solid decade as a travel publication reporter, refining my keen eye for detail and honing my storytelling skills. That's the heart of my style – it's about being an attentive observer, seizing the essence of each moment as it unfolds. How do I do it? I'm all about being present, listening, and clicking the shutter at just the right moment. (That's why I named my business Focus on the Moment).

Imagine this: Your partner's eyes light up as they see you for the first time in your wedding attire. Your parents sharing a touching dance… Your pet dog sneaks onto the dance floor, joining in the festivities with some spontaneous spins and twirls… Do these moments matter to you? They matter to me!


These are the priceless moments that truly define the essence of wedding photojournalism, and it's where I thrive. I'm like a skilled sailor navigating the vast ocean, charting a course to uncover the most precious pearls hidden beneath the surface. It's all about celebrating your love and the eclectic cast of characters that bring richness to your life, just like the vibrant colors of a kaleidoscope.



Let me share what I love about Gatlinburg, TN, and why I recommend it for a wedding

| A Little Background on Gatlinburg, TN | 

Nestled in the far eastern corner of Tennessee, you'll find Gatlinburg, a charming mountain town just a hop, skip, and a jump from the state's border with North Carolina. Known affectionately as the Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


While many folks flock here to soak up the splendor of the ancient mountains, they end up sticking around to indulge in some shopping, dining, and maybe even a cozy stay.


But hey, let's not forget, while the Great Smoky Mountains National Park steals the show, Gatlinburg has its own bag of tricks up its sleeve.


There's a heap of cool facts that make the Smokies extra special too!

Did you know that Gatlinburg, TN, is home to only around 4,000 permanent residents? It's true! Despite its small population, this charming town attracts a whopping 12 million visitors each year! Surprising, right? Many folks from neighboring counties and beyond flock to work in downtown Gatlinburg, making it operate like a big city.


And here's a bonus tidbit: there are more fish residing in Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies than there are people living in Gatlinburg!

| Gatlinburg Weather |

Elevation works its magic on Gatlinburg's weather, crafting unique patterns you won't find elsewhere. While summers can sizzle like the rest of Tennessee and Virginia, the altitude often brings a welcome coolness to the air. July tends to be the wettest month, thanks to the heat-driven airflow into the Great Smokies stirring up summer rain and thunderstorms.

As for winter? It's pure magic. Even the occasional dusting of snow transforms Gatlinburg into a winter wonderland straight out of a storybook! And don't even get me started on the Christmas vibes – they linger well past December. With twinkling lights, whimsical figures, and the iconic Christmas Store, the holiday spirit dances through the town till February. Trust me, a visit is a must – you won't regret it!

And fall? Oh, it's a feast for the eyes. The season stretches long and warm, painting the landscape in hues you have to see to believe.


| Things to Do |

Gatlinburg is an endless playground for folks of all ages and interests: nature lovers, history buffs, foodies, shopaholics, thrill-seekers—you name it!

If you're into arts and crafts, take a leisurely 8-mile loop around the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, where you'll find everything from pottery to leather goods, all handcrafted with love.

For nature enthusiasts, a drive to Clingman’s Dome is a must. It's the highest point in Tennessee and offers a jaw-dropping view of the Smoky Mountains along with access to the Appalachian Trail.

And if you're on the hunt for some moonshine adventure, head downtown Gatlinburg and hop from distillery to distillery, sampling their wares along the way—cheers to that!

But wait, there's more! Gatlinburg is always abuzz with events and festivals, from laid-back wine strolls to lively concerts, art exhibitions, and even some heart-pumping sports action. Just take a peek at their event calendar, and you'll quickly see that there's never a dull moment around here!


Personally, I highly recommend:


Cades Cove - for history and breathtaking scenery

SkyBridge - for some stomach-jolting walk on a glass-floored bridge and views 500 feet above Gatlinburg

Ripley Aquarium - to tap the glass saying hi to some wondrous sea creatures

Rainbow Falls Trail - for a scenic hike to a thundering waterfall

Newfound Gap Road - if you prefer to drive and still enjoy vistas

Smokey Mountain Brewery - for local beer

Cherokee Grill - for excellent food


*** Looking to add some extra pizzazz to your journey to the big day? How about turning it into a full-blown wedding weekend extravaganza? That's right! By planning some fun activities for the days leading up to and following your ceremony, you'll have the chance to bond with your guests, create lasting memories, and transform everyone into one big, happy family by the time you say "I do." Believe me, it's the secret ingredient for an unforgettable wedding experience!


In the Gatlinburg area, you'll find an abundance of fantastic wedding vendors ready to make your special day absolutely perfect. Here are a few of my favorites.



Elena Gera is a wedding and engagement photographer in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.


Specializing in blending artistic portraiture with genuine storytelling, Elena creates joyful and authentic wedding photography. While her heart lies in the Southeast, she's always ready to pack her bags and capture your love story wherever it takes you nationwide


















Also published in various blogs and magazines:

Boho Weddings  |  Brides&Weddings  |  Budget Savvy Bride  | The Knot

So This Is Love  |  Let'sGetRehearsed  |  Pearl by David's

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Brianna Widener, TN

"Elena was the best possible choice for my wedding! She was so organized, professional, and straight to the point on everything. She made sure that our wedding went by so smoothly. I couldn't recommend someone else to do wedding photos !"

Becca Satterwhite, TN

“We were both nervous about having our pictures taken because we normally do not like them, but Elena was so great! She made us feel comfortable and I couldn't believe how perfect the pictures turned out! ”
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