To say that the traffic in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is at times horrible would be like describing the the Smoky Mountains as a mole hill. During holidays and special events the roads can become parking lots. Sitting in traffic is frustrating enough, but if you are trying to pick up your marriage license, get to a hair appointment or simply make it to your wedding on time it can be extremely stressful. Coming to the Smokies for your wedding is suppose to be easy and stress-free, so here are a few tips to avoid the traffic.
- Arrive early or late in the day. Cabin and hotel check-in times are normally between 3:00 and 4:00pm. So guess what time everyone arrives. If you can arrange to get into town before 2pm or after 8pm you will be in much better shape. There are no guarantees when it comes to traffic, but the chances of avoiding delays is much better at these times. (especially before 2pm)
- Ask for alternate directions. Most directions you get (from the web, GPS, or lodging companies) are going to direct you to take the same route as everyone else. There have been many improvements to several secondary roads in the county and they can now handle much more traffic. If you are planning your wedding during a busy time ask us for alternate directions to your wedding location and ask your lodging company for different directions to your cabin or hotel.
- No last minute trips to the store. Make all appointments and supply runs as early in the day as possible. If you forget something, figure out a way to do without it. Many weddings have had to be rescheduled because of a last minute trip to the store ends up taking over an hour instead of ten minutes becuase of traffic from a special event.
- Ask about traffic when making your reservations. If you are dealing with a reputable company they will be up front with you about the kind of traffic delays you can expect and provide you with information about the best ways to avoid them.
- Make it a part of your planning. There is no reason to change your wedding date because it falls on a busy weekend. Just remember that information is key. If you consider potential traffic issues while making you plans they can almost always be avoided.
Here is a list of a few of the worst times for traffic in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge during the year. If you are planning a wedding during any of these times be sure to ask us for assistance on how to get around during your stay. Again, I don’t want to discourage you from getting married on any specific date. I just want to make sure you take the necessary steps to avoid any unnecessary stress. This is suppose to be the happiest time of your life!
- Pigeon Forge Grand Spring Rod Run – third week of April annually
- Dolly Parton Parade – April (dates vary from year to year)
- Memorial Day Weekend – last Monday in May
- July 4th
- Labor Day Weekend – first Monday in September
- Pigeon Forge Shades of the Past Rod Run – second weekend of September annually
- Pigeon Forge Grand Fall Rod Run – third week of September annually
- Peak Fall Colors – third week of October annually
- Thanksgiving / Black Friday
Have you been stuck in traffic? Do you have tips on avoiding traffic jams? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section below so other couples are able to benefit from your experience.