Ceremony/Reception in North Georgia

My fiancé and I got engaged in October and we've been casually looking for a venue. We've only had time to visit one place since we've been busy with the holidays but we plan on searching a lot in January and February because we'd like to have it book by March. Our wedding is March 2012 so we'd like to have it secured a year in advance. We'd love an outdoor ceremony with a nice indoor reception suitable for 100 guests or less. We do have a decent number of out-of-towners so accomodations is a plus. We're in Gwinnett/Hall County but would LOVE to have a mountain wedding around Dahlonega or even Helen. Has anyone had a mountain wedding or visited any venues up there? We saw Wolf Mountain but think they might be a little strict and the space is small. We'd like to look at Water's Mill, Blackstock Vineyards and possibly Forrest Hills. I don't really want to spend more than $2000 on the venue itself. Any tips or suggestions are welcome! I'm starting to feel behind because we can't find a venue yet! :/
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Re: Ceremony/Reception in North Georgia

  • edited December 2011
    I live in Dahlonega & Oddly enough, I am having the same dilemma, only my wedding is 6 months away! There are a few gorgeous places around here for weddings.
    Blackstock is so pretty in pictures & I have actually considered it myself, however I have emailed them twice in effort to find out more information as far as prices and such & have not gotten a response either time. I'm sure a phone call would be more affective but I haven't broken down and tried that one.
    The R-Ranch also does weddings, my uncles first wedding was there & it was very nice from what I can remember (I was younger). They have a small chapel, but they also have a nice sized lodge. It was actually where my Sr. prom was so I know it's a nice place.
    Then there is Forrest Hills, but the price seems steep.
    Check into Lake Lanier Island Resort. We went to a showcase in November there & it's actually very nice! You may not get the mountain feel, but they have several venues, 2 of which I really liked (you have the lake as you're background), but I am unsure of their prices as well.
    I also checked into Waters Mill & they seem nice too!
    I was also just informed about Constance Manor, not in Dahlonega, it's in Winder. Google it & check it out, their prices are right in your budget I think, but be sure to read their rules and whatnot, they seem a little strict, which is kind of understandable.
    I know there are others but they are not coming to me right away. If/when they do I will post.
  • edited December 2011
    We looked into Cavender Castle in Dahlonega and it was beautiful!
  • edited December 2011
    Yes it is nice. I attended a 16th birthday there.
    There is also the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville. It's on the lake. I didn't know about it until last night when I was reading through a bunch of posts. I looked at their site, seems like a nice place also.
  • edited December 2011
    We are getting married at Peach Brandy Cottage in Dawsonville. This is the most budget friendly place we found - and we looked! They have a gazebo by a lake and a banquet hall. The people there are very nice and easy to work with. They have a website, Peach Brandy Cottage dot com and have a page on FB as well. 
  • edited December 2011
    Have you looked at Brasstown Valley resort? I had a friend get married there and it was beautiful. They have several options to choose from for the ceremony.
  • edited December 2011
    I graduated from North Georgia College and lived in Dahlonega for eight years. 

    BLACKSTOCK: We are having our wedding and reception at Blackstock in Dahlonega.  When we booked our wedding there, we were told they had "one caterer that can be used."  Apparently now you can choose from a couple of different ones.  Their prices have increased from 2010, but if you go to their website now it gives you a 2011 event guide with the pricing.

    R-RANCH:  Wow.  R-Ranch is a glorified RV park.  We made an appointment with the events coordinator for a tour of the ranch and lodge that can be used with a reception.  Not only did someone show up 15 minutes late, but it was the events coordinator's assistant who couldn't answer any of our questions.  We also made an appointment with one of the caterers to meet up at the same time, and she never showed up and never called us either.  We were told that while we have use of the lodge, they could not "prevent members from using it...during our reception and wedding."  WHAT?!  They also have "on-site cabins to rent" for family members, etc. and they are outdated and pretty crappy.  They looked like a campground cabin.  The assistant told us the one house has a "huge ladybug problem in the Fall" to the extent of "several inches thick of ladybugs on the walls and around the windows."  No, thank you. 

    FORREST HILLS: We visited Forrest Hills in 2010 as well to check out for a wedding.  * I have been told there are new owners there. * The place seemed cheap and tacky.  If I'm having a wedding in North Georgia, why would I want cherubs and greek goddess statues everywhere?!

    BRASSTOWN VALLEY: Expect to pay around $100-$120 per person JUST for food if you plan on feeding your guests at your reception.  It was a little too steep for us especially since we're paying for our wedding.

    PEACH BRANDY COTTAGE: It looks nice on their website, but then I saw where it was in "real life."  No thanks.

    CAVENDER CASTLE:  Was also overpriced for what we wanted, and I couldn't get past the "Hi, I'm your events coordinator" part with a circa 1990 Glamour Shot of the coordinator.
  • edited December 2011
    ETA: If you're looking for an "under $2,000 venue rental," I suggest you look elsewhere from Wolf Mountain.  A friend of mine got married at Water's Mill, and it was pretty, but it is SMALL and doesn't have a whole lot of pizazz other than the building itself (it's out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by peoples' homes, etc.) 
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