Couple spends 25th anniversary in Sevier County to relive wedding
Love is in the air in Sevier County. Valentine's Day is a big day for weddings in the Smokies.
WVLT News reporter and Sevier County Bureau Chief Kyle Grainger caught up with a couple whose marriage started in Gatlinburg 25 years ago on Valentine's Day. They came back to renew their vows.
“Even though I told her anywhere on the planet, we’d go, she said she wanted to come back here for our 25th,” said Steve Cason said.
The couple wanted to relive their wedding as close as possible to how the experienced it the first time around. The chapel they used, Cupids Chapel of Love, was lost in the 2016 Gatlinburg Wildfires.
“We tried to get as close to cupids as we could. M’rae [his wife] made the arrangements. And this is where we are,” said Cason.
Gatlinburg is only second to Las Vegas for the number of weddings performed every year. It's a big business for Sevier County. It's a $700 million industry for the Smokies.
“The average spending of a wedding here in Sevier County is about $16 to $17,000. Of that $17,000 that includes the shoes, the dress, the location,” said Ellen Crivellone, with Smoky Mountain Wedding Association. “They’re going to the attractions, the restaurants, just boosting our tourism industry.”
Crivellone said 83 percent of those weddings are from out of the area, meaning they're spending up to three days in town per wedding.
The Gatlinburg Wedding Center said just their chapels alone had 14 weddings on Friday.