Wedding photographer feels the pinch of a shutdown government

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SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) It's more than those who collect a government paycheck who are feeling the direct effects of having a government that has shut down. A local wedding photographer is scrambling for income after his busiest month of work, is no longer an option.

Eric Gebhart owns New Beginnings Photography in Sevier County, and loves the month of October because it's his busiest month for shooting pictures of weddings in the Smoky Mountain National Park. Tuesday morning he was left scratching his head, wondering how he's going to make up the lost money when the park closed its gates to any visitors.

"It's getting frustrating," Gebhart admitted.

This weekend alone, Gebhart had to reschedule or cancel plans for six weddings. The entire park had 50 weddings planned for the month of October. All of that has been put on hold until a compromise is reached in Washington.

"Half of my business takes place inside the National Park. So people start getting hesitant and scared to call and book something if they're unsure of what the future is going to be," Gebhart said.

Each wedding inside the park costs Gebhart $50 for a park pass. With six weddings no longer inside the park, Gebhart says he'll probably go ahead and just forget about getting his $300 back.

As for the brides he's dealing with? Fortunately, most have been very receptive and willing to do what's necessary to change locations.

"There are a few that are upset, understandably upset. Some of them have had this planned for a year, and now last minute they're going to have to move their ceremony and their pictures to a new location."

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