Contributing Blogger: Monique Curryer
Tucked away in the majestic woods of a small-college campus at the base of the Great Smokey Mountains, you will find a cozy, inviting RT Lodge. With easy access to a major airport and interstate highways, RT Lodge is just minutes away from Knoxville. Surrounded by nature, it has that secluded feeling, almost as if you've stepped into the pages of a magical fairytale and have left the ordinary far behind you. If you're looking for an enchanting wedding venue, look no further. RT Lodge lends itself perfectly to just that. As a matter of fact, they had 110 events in just the past year alone.
Whether you want your reception and ceremony held outside in the midst of nature, or prefer something a little homier, there are many options to choose from. In fact, the staff at the lodge encourages you to explore the grounds in search of the “perfect” spot in which to say your vows. They're very supportive of everyone’s unique and individual visions and they’re open to letting you make use of any spot that you are inspired, by telling you to “go for it”.
As Alexandra Stockton (Group Sales and Events Manager) says, “We rarely say 'no' to anyone’s request, unless, we’ve tried it before and it’s proven to not be a good idea!”
That being said, one of the only things not permitted during a wedding reception are fireworks as the woods are protected by Maryville College. If you'd like to add that zip, however, to your special day, feel free to whip out the sparklers!
Although January and February are peak times, RT Lodge is perfect for year round weddings. If you opt for an outdoor venue, there are many spots on the property to choose from. There's a meadow surrounded by wild flowers, in the middle of the woods or an area used for volleyball that can be leveled out for a more rugged feel that can seat up to 400 guests.
Or, if you prefer to have your “first look” on a windy road lined by candles, that’s do-able as well. Right outside the lodge, there's a grassy area that lends itself to a more intimate feel. With bistro lights hanging overhead and a quaint brick fire place nearby on a secluded patio with rocking chairs, it offers the perfect backdrop for that special day.
There is also an area with a permanent, all-weather 60x60 tent with detachable clear sides. Heaters inside will warm up any chill, day or night. There's also a generator inside the tent as well as a wire which can accommodate a chandelier if you are feeling a bit sassy. Bistro lights surrounding the property at night lead to fire pits that you and your new hubby can escape to for some alone time and keep toasty in private.
If s’mores are more your style, take some family members and huddle around in a rocking chair underneath the stars by the giant pit. Again, the staff is incredibly flexible and eager to help you bring your vision to life and are very willing to try anything, even if it hasn’t been thought of before!
Music is allowed outside until 11pm. If you still haven’t retired your dancing shoes by then, you can bring the party inside. This is also an opportune time to switch over to a cash bar for all of your guests to continue to enjoy cocktails.
The flexible staff is eager to help you have the wedding of your dreams and will make any accommodations - including allowing the bride to switch out any furniture (with a small fee for labor). Staff members will even shuttle guests from the main lodge to the reception/ceremony areas or even escort them with an umbrella should the rain gods decide to join the festivities.
The lodge houses 60 charming guest rooms with either a king or twin bed. On average rooms are $145 for the night, including breakfast and are available year round. The fee may change on a case by case basis.