Post # 1
Hi everyone! I just got engaged on 2/11/12 and I’m extremely excited to begin wedding planning. My fiancee and I are looking to do a late March or late April 2013 wedding. We just moved to the Atlanta (Druid Hills) area 1 year ago from Los Angeles. Our idea had always been to do a Palm Springs wedding since we have family in the area. However, when we called our dream venue (the Parker in Palm Springs) this past tuesday, we were given a quote of $4,000 to rent the place and $30,000 to cater and have an open bar for 125 people?!! After calling two more places we sadly realized that our budget and the logistics nightmare of planning a wedding across the country was just not going to work. My mom recommended getting married right here in Atlanta and it sounds like a more feasible idea.
Since I don’t know Georgia very well, can anyone please recommend some beautiful venues that they’ve seen in or near Atlanta? We are looking to have a traditional elegant/romantic wedding (think gardens, lots of flowers, reception area that’s open with lots of light). I love the style of weddings in the Martha Stewart Weddings magazines. We would like to have the wedding and reception in the same place.
We are planning on having 75-100 people attend and having a sit-down dinner. We definitely want to have the wedding on a Saturday. Our budget for the entire wedding is currently $25,000 (this does not include my dress/veil and his tux). We are only planning on hiring a week-of or day-of wedding planner for the ceremony, my mom and I will be planning the whole event. Is this budget feasible for Atlanta or are we really going to be limited?
Any and all advice appreciated!
Post # 3
The first thing that popped into my head was Callaway Gardens. They have a lot of wedding options for different budgets, but it’s about a 45 min. drive from Atlanta…not sure what radius you are looking for. Also, there could be something in the Stone Mountain area, which would be closer to the city (slightly north, OTP).
Post # 4
Oh that looks lovely! I’m going to call them up during the week and ask about pricing. Do you by any chance know if they require you to use their own in-house caterer and DJ? We want to be able to pick our own caterer and DJ and it seems like a lot of places have these “package deals” that they force on you.
Post # 5
Congratulations! Your budget is right around the average cost for weddings! Our is $20,000 and that did include my attire. Here are some of the venues we looked at:
Flint Hill/The Atrium
Emory Conference Center
Eleven 15 Events
These locations were within our budget, but Villa Christina won our hearts b/c of the indoor/outdoor area. It’s beautiful. Choose your venue based on your capacity, budget and whether you want an indoor/outdoor wedding. Good luck with your planning!
Post # 6
@nicolelove: Thank you for your suggestions! We are looking to spend the majority of our budget on the venue and the food (we are flying in our DJ friend from LA so entertainment is covered). I would prefer an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception but I also worry about the fact that there could be rain so my perfect venue would have a place to move the outdoor ceremony inside. Can you tell I’m a worrier and crazy about covering all my bases. hahaha.
Post # 6
Stone Mountain is only ~20 minutes away and there you can find a Marriott hotel inside the park (Evergreen Marriott) and the Smoke Rise Golf Club. In Duluth, also about 20 minutes away, is The Payne Corley House. Intown, you can check out the Houston Mill House (right in your neighborhood), Labella at Lambert Place and Cator Woolford Gardens at The Frazer Center. There’s also the Botanical Gardens, but I don’t know if that would be within the budget. Hope this helps!
Post # 7
@Owlet: Thanks Owlet! I’ve heard about the Payne Corley House, friend at work was talking about, it’s on our list to check out. We actually walk our dogs to Cator Woolford Gardens every weekend because we are so close to it! It’s a beautiful space but a bit too close to home. I am super interested in the Botanical Gardens (might be a dream venue!). We’re trying to steer clear of “event spaces” because my fiancee says it makes him think of sweet 16s and bar mitzvahs. Gosh, we’re so picky!
Post # 8
Anyone know what this Magic Moments Inc. company is? Seems like they own and operate the same website for a variety of really beautiful historic homes. Are they legit or best to steer clear of these guys?
Post # 9
I’ve been to a wedding that was at the Atrium which Magic Moments operates. They did a decent job but the only problem that we had was that they put the food up entirely too early and as part of the bridal party I really didn’t have much to eat
Post # 10
Magic Moments owns and operates 4 Atlanta-area venues: Primrose Cottage, Flint Hill, Little Gardens, and The Atrium. The first three are of the “historic home” genre, while the Atrium is a little more contemporary. They also offer off-site catering, operating under the name “A Divine Event.”
They seem to be nice venues, with outdoor space for the ceremony and indoor space for the reception. Pricing will be similar across the board for all of them. Of them, Primrose Cottage was my favorite, but they were not available anywhere near our chosen date. If you are considering any of them, just be aware that, compared to other Atlanta-area locations, they seem to book quickly! (None of them had our date eleven months out, whereas every other venue we considered did have our date).
Also look at Houston Mill House. My friends had their reception there (outside); it was lovely. They also have outdoor ceremony space and indoor reception space.
Post # 11
The Atlanta Zoo is a really neat place to host a wedding and reception.
They have several facilities and options available. Here is the link:
Post # 12
if you can budget for it, try cator woolford gardens – i think you’d really like it and it’s righ by druid hills. here are places that were on my list when i considered atlanta:
old courthouse on decatur square
atlanta contemporary arts center
the view at king plow
LOFT at Castleberry Hill
Cator Woolford Gardens
Margaret Mitchell House
Mary Gay House
Academy of Medicine
Post # 13
I think your budget is totally feasible in Atlanta. However, venues in the city are MUCH more expensive. We have about 200 people and I wanted to get married in the city since most of our people will be in from out of town and didn’t want them to have to fly in and then drive for an hour. Consequently, for us: all of the venues we looked at were between $4000 – $6000. We looked at:
1) Greystone @ Piedmont Park – loved it!, it was our second choice
2) Ventanas – we picked it, it’s gorgeous
3) Callanwolde – great historical venue, rental fee is $5,000 but you can bring your own alcohol and no catering restrictions
5) Summerour – also really great, you can bring your own alcohol
6) Foundry @ Puritan Mill – it’s probably too big for your guest list
We were really limited by the size of our list, but since yours is smaller, I’d also look at:
1) Magnolia Hall @ Piedmont Park
2) Rhodes Hall
3) Cator Woolford Gardens
4) Trolley Barn
Post # 14
@Osgirl: Thanks for this list. That’s my dilemma as well- 95% of my guests are flying in from around the country. I can’t do anything outside of the city because it’s not fair to make them travel even more. I really fell in love with the historical look of Biltmore- the 1920s glamour and the colors of the Georgian. It’s been surprisingly tough to find anything historical in Atlanta that’s also pretty and would look good in photos.
Post # 15
@atlbride2013: If you’re looking for a historical venue, from my list, I’d definitely reccommend going to see Callanwolde. Looks great in photos, has outdoor garden areas for pictures or an outdoor ceremony, it’s centerally located by the Highlands, and it is a former Candler family home. However, it’s not Ballroom-esque like the Biltmore, if that’s the look you’re going for. BUT if you want a compromise between what seems like your original “garden” theme and a historical venue, it might be what you’re looking for. Plus, you can bring your own alcohol and there are NO catering restrictions – can’t be overstated.