Post # 1
Hi everyone! I am not getting married until Spring 2019 (at the earliest) so I have time, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to start looking! Would love to hear recommendations for a Georgia venue. I’d like the ceremony and reception at the same location so I’m looking for a place that (ideally) has a chapel and then an open reception area just a walk away. Indoor/outdoor flexibility is always a plus, but my dream is to be surrounded by trees/nature 🙂 Think rustic… but not “farmhouse/barnyard” rustic.
I’m from Athens, GA so the first place I naturally looked at was the Botanical Gardens which seems to hit all these criteria – my main concern is that I’ve heard there are a lot of “rules”, considering it’s a garden that belongs to the university. I’d really prefer something that’s a bit more laid back. We will also have family flying from out of state and I’d hate them having to arrive in ATL and then make the trek to Athens.
Aside from the Gardens, here are a few other places I’ve had my eye on:
- The Chimneys at Big Canoe (love the the chapel and customizable in-house catering) – only concern is, again location. (75 miles away from airport)
- Ashton Gardens (again, love the chapel and inclusive in-house catering sounds stree-free) – but seems more “classy/formal” than I am really looking for
- Yarborough Mill – my heart’s been really into this one and I’m definitely going to check it out. There’s no “cute chapel” and it’s the most “barnyard rustic” I’d go but I’m willing to settle because it seems so beautiful. My only concern is… again, location, ugh (roughly 70-75 miles from airport)
To those already married that had guests coming in from out of town – according to your experience, was it a huge inconvenience to them? Do you feel having a venue ~70 Miles away from the airport would be a big hassel? I’ve checked out a couple places online closer to the airport (Stone Mountain Evergreen Resort, Cator Woolford and Callanwolde) but they’re not 100% me. I thought Cator Woolford would come the closest to what I’d like while still being relatively close to the airport, but I’m not fully in. I am still planning to see it in person, though.
Would love to hear other recommendations for a nature-filled Georgia wedding venue!
Post # 2
I lived in the Athens area for eight years!
I’ve heard The Farm at High Shoals is a great venue. Also, I recently came across a place that looks really neat but is fairly far away: In the Woods.
Hope you find what you are looking for 🙂
Post # 3
Hooray!! I’m getting married at the Chimneys at Big Canoe and before I got to that part of the post I was coming to recommend.
Our wedding is in June! and I’m so so so excited about the venue. We have so many guests who are making a week long vacation out of it just because of the area. It’s where my fiancé and I vacationed together for the first time and we fell in love.
We live in south Florida but love to hike and camp. If you have any questions at all feel free to reach out!!
Post # 4
Also, we invited around 100 and are expecting about 90 guests at least that have already booked cabins or gave other confirmation they are coming from either south Florida or Michigan! No guests are local at all. The cabins provide a cool experience that makes more people willing to travel I think–something different than “just another hotel”
Post # 5
slorsc : Not sure if these would interest you because of the driving distance, but there’s Chateau Elan (winery) and Lake Lanier – the grounds for both are very natural and stunning.
ETA. One of our family friends got married at the botanical gardens chapel and had the cocktail hour outside, and main reception in the butterfly garden (sorry – I don’t know the correct term). It was beautiful.
Post # 6
littlebear91 : That’s a really great point! It’s one on the list that I am planning to check out, but your reply definitely makes me more excited about it!
Post # 7
Have you checked out Summerour Studio? It’s one of my favorite venues I’ve been to in Atlanta for weddings. I haven’t been to Ashton Gardens but I LOVE the chapel!
As someone who always has to fly in for weddings, I so, so appreciate when I don’t have drive super far. I’m glad to you are keeping your guests in mind!
Post # 8
slorsc : Summerour studio is nice, but it’s the complete opposite of a chapel and it’s in an industrial part of ATL.
Check out Callaway Gardens. They have a gorgeous chapel located in a wooded area on a lake. The reception space is a short walk away.
Post # 9
Here is the chapel at callaway:
Here is one of the reception areas (they have several though, even a more traditional ballroom)