Getting Married or having Portraits made in the Great Smoky Mountains?

There are a few things you need to know!

Permits are required!

The National Park Service requires any photographer doing business in the Great Smoky Mountains to hold a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) permit. If a photographer photographs weddings or portraits in the Park boundaries for a fee this is considered doing business and the photographer must have a CUA.

Kathy Smith Photography, LLC is authorized by the National Park Service to be your wedding or portrait photographer.


If you are getting married within the Park boundaries, including the popular Cades Cove loop road, you must obtain a Special Use Permit (SUP) through the National Park Service. I can obtain this permit for you on your behalf, if you prefer, when you book your wedding. The Park fee is $50 for most locations. There is an additional fee for certain locations.


If you are wanting your portraits made within the Park boundaries, there is a required permit for certain locations. Again, I can obtain this permit on your behalf when you book your session, if it is required by Park rules.

For more details please refer to these links:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park website

Special Use Permit Guidelines for Weddings and Portraits on the Park website.

Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) information for photographers on the Park website.


The Rangers do stop and check for permits! I have been asked several times to show proof of my permit while photographing clients. Make sure you are hiring a photographer who holds a CUA permit and has the knowledge of whether a SUP is also required.