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Blissful Wish Wedding

Have the day of your dreams with the assistance of the next generation of event planners.

“Blissful Wish” Wedding Winners Announced

Shelby Guthrie and Jackson Graham, who fell in love on Rocky Top, are getting the wedding of their dreams after winning UTK Retail, Hospitality & Tourism Management‘s first-ever Blissful Wish Wedding contest!

Click here to read more.

One East Tennessee couple will have the opportunity to partner with the students in UT’s hospitality and tourism management program in the retail, hospitality, and tourism management department to plan their dream wedding. This partnership provides experiential learning opportunities for students to work with wedding clients, search and secure a variety of services needed for wedding events, execute the wedding event, and evaluate the event execution process and outcomes. The estimated value of the donated wedding package is not to exceed $25,000.

The chosen couple will receive a comprehensive donated wedding package for up to 75 guests to include the following items and services at no cost:

  • Wedding venue with decorations
  • Food and catering, excluding alcoholic beverages. If the couple wishes to serve alcoholic beverages, they will need to provide alcoholic beverages (beer and wine only) and will be billed by the venue owner for licensed server charges
  • Wedding cake
  • Photographer/videographer
  • Entertainment
  • Wedding attire – for couples only
  • Hair and makeup – for couples only
  • Wedding Invitations design and stationery (Postage not included.)

2023 Blissful Wish Wedding Application

The 2023 application is now closed.

The 2023 Blissful Wish Wedding application is now open. The wedding will be held at the Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm on November 9, 2023, for up to 75 guests. Couples must be engaged or legally married but did not have a ceremony and a reception, 21 years or older, not related to a current UT employee, and must reside in one of the following East Tennessee counties:

Anderson Blount Campbell Claiborne
Cocke Grainger Hamblen Jefferson
Knox Loudon Monroe Morgan
Roane Scott Sevier Union

Applicants must agree to the terms and conditions before they complete their application.

Selection Process

A panel of reviewers, selected from the RHTM Department Advisory Board members, will review the applications. The panel will review 500-word stories of couples who meet the minimum requirements (age, residency, and no association with UT employees). The panel will meet and decide on one winning couple and a runner-up in case the selected couple does not work out for the program. The winning couple will be contacted by email, meet with the course instructor and student leaders to discuss mutual expectations and sign the agreement.


No. Our first Blissful Wish Wedding will be held at the Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm on Thursday, November 9, 2023, for up to 75 guests. The sponsor of the venue had only one available date for our students to offer this sponsored wedding, and therefore, the date is predetermined and non-negotiable.
This partnership allows UT students to work with a couple to plan and execute a wedding package. These students are selected by the instructor from those who completed the wedding planning and design course. Students will assist the couple with many decisions regarding the wedding ceremony and reception with sponsoring vendors.

Yes, but they are very minimal and listed below.

  1. UT requires the couple to purchase event insurance for the wedding ceremony, reception, and other liabilities for properties and attendees. We estimate this insurance policy will cost the couple approximately $120.
  2. Postage for invitations and RSVP mailings is not included in the package.
  3. If the couple wishes to serve alcoholic beverages, they will need to provide alcoholic beverages (beer and wine only) and will be billed by the venue owner for licensed server charges.
  4. If the couple wishes to have additional goods or services other than those listed above, they may opt to pay vendors directly for additional services. Please be sure to inform the planning team to make sure the additional service is acceptable at the sponsoring venue.
The review panel will review all applications and select a couple by August 15. The selected couple will be contacted by email on August 15, 2023, or shortly after.
The selected couple will need to meet face-to-face at the UT campus with the planning team (UT students and the instructor) upon being selected and at least one month prior to the wedding date at the wedding venue. More meetings will be arranged at the convenience of the couple and students to discuss details about the vision and execution of the wedding event.

The winning couple will be asked to sign the Consent Release Form, allowing us to use images, voices, or videos for future educational or promotional materials for purposes consistent with the University of Tennessee’s mission of teaching, research, and service.

Partner with Blissful Wish Wedding

RHTM is looking for local vendors to partner with for the Blissful Wish Wedding! If you or someone you know is interested in donating services to the selected couple, please email with the subject line “Blissful Wish Wedding Partner.” The partners will be acknowledged by RHTM social media and on this website as appropriate.

Partner Services Needed:

  • Food and catering (no alcoholic beverages)
  • Wedding cake
  • Photographer/videographer
  • Wedding attire for the couple
  • Makeup for the couple
  • Wedding invitations

Thank you for the following partners!

Hair Stylist

Lox Salon


SK Videography



Glimmer & Gloss by Chloe


Regina Long


Balloon Garden

Guest Gift Baskets

Rocky Top Institute