Are you excited to marry your best friend, while at the same time feeling overwhelmed trying to compare all the wedding venues in north Georgia? 

Big or small, weddings are an investment of your time, money and emotions. It’s one of the most important days of your life where you’ll be surrounded by the people closest to you. You’ll remember this day forever! So, it’s only natural that you’d want it to be beautiful while staying within your budget. By choosing carefully, it can be both. 

These five key tips below will help you find the wedding venue that’s the right fit for you.

1. Choose A Naturally Beautiful Wedding Venue


© Amber Cather Photo

Finding a wedding venue that is naturally beautiful inside and out means you won’t have to spend a fortune dressing it up. If your budget is tight, this is a game changer and if you have a larger budget, it will allow you to spend more on personalizing your wedding.

Outdoor Space – The best outdoor wedding venue will have spacious pastures, manicured lawns, seasonal flowers and stonework to provide picturesque backdrops for your photographer and stunning natural scenery for your guests to relax and enjoy. You’ll have numerous photo opportunities and have those photos for a lifetime. 

Photo Locations – You’ll also want to be sure you can access great photo locations easily on wedding day. At the right venue, everything will be within easy reach so you’ll be able to get all the beautiful photos and have time to spend with family and friends. The goal is to have plenty of time for both photos and fun.

Ceremony Site – Be sure to consider the ceremony site. Will it be comfortable for your guests? Is it covered to protect them from the elements and to offer you an outside option if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Where does the sun set? Will it be in your eyes or blinding your guests? Will it pose a lighting challenge for your photographer? Are there doors for your wedding ceremony entrance or a way for you to be hidden? Can guests who struggle with walking be dropped off at the ceremony site? How did you feel when you stood in the ceremony site? Can you picture yourself there on your wedding day? 

Reception Space – Also consider the inside reception space. Choose a venue with a clean neutral palette inside and lots of natural light from multiple directions. Your photographer will thank you! Dark rooms or ones with only one large window will pose a challenge on wedding day. Most brides want dinner to be held inside, so this space will be a big part of your evening. A neutral space with great natural lighting is the perfect backdrop for photos and it offers you the opportunity to choose any wedding color palette that you prefer. 

Rain Plan – And, let’s not forget, be sure that the rain plan can be indoors with a setup that is comfortable for your guests and one that makes you happy.  Every bride hopes for sunshine, but if your ceremony must be moved inside, you’ll want it to be beautiful regardless of the weather. 

2. Know the True Wedding Venue Cost


© Carla Gates Photo

There’s nothing more discouraging than to believe you can afford a venue and find that everything you loved is an extra fee. Early on you’ll want to determine if an all-inclusive wedding venue or a basic wedding venue will be your best fit. There are pros and cons to each. 

All Inclusive – An all-inclusive wedding venue is more cost effective and will have vendors who are tried and true since they work regularly with the venue. With this type of venue there is built-in structure, which means you’ll have less things to worry about while still being able to customize your day. 

A-la-carte – If you prefer more control over the minute details or you want to DIY your wedding, a venue that turns over the key to you, providing only a few other services, would be the best way to go. This option provides the most flexibility but there are many unknowns. Hiring your own vendors or doing DIY projects may seem like a money saver, but in reality you might spend as much or more money, along with possibly being frustrated and exhausted.

Tour Questions – Be sure to go to your tours with a list of questions that will clarify what is and is not included. That way you’ll be able to choose a venue that truly is a match for your vision and budget. Some questions to ask: 

  • Is there a Groom’s Suite?
  • How many hours is the event time?
  • Who does the room set up and clean up?
  • What planning services are included?
  • How early may the bride arrive for hair and makeup?
  • Is the Bridal Suite open all night?
  • What kind of chairs are included in the package? 
  • Is any decor included in the package? 
  • Is there a ceremony site fee?

Of all the questions you might ask, one of the most important is:

  • What is NOT included?

3. Know Your Wedding Venue Style


© Marc and Anna Photo & Film

Wedding venues in north Georgia fall into one of two categories: Barn wedding venue and non barn wedding venue. Barn wedding venues are plentiful! There are fewer non barn venues but you can find Industrial, French country, Antebellum and Farmhouse. 

Style We recommend choosing a wedding venue style that’s consistent with your personality. However, we encourage you to chat with your fiance’ first. Sometimes they will surprise you with having a stronger opinion than you had anticipated. Coming together on choosing the venue is an important step in making this wedding about both of you. 

Lighting – Natural light is important so your photos turn out bright and happy. Be sure there are a lot of windows so that natural light bathes your room from all sides. Barn wood tends to give a darker hue to your photos whereas non-barn venues tend to be brighter. 

Guest Experience – Also, think about your guest experience. Is the space heated and cooled? Are bathrooms outside or inside? Can guests relax in a comfortable outdoor area? Is there ample parking on site? Is the parking in grass, gravel or paved? Will guests find the parking area well lit and easy to get in and out?

4. Hotels and activities nearby

It’s likely that some of your guests will be traveling so comfortable and affordable nearby lodging options are a must. Hotels may offer room blocks at a discounted rate. They might also have gathering rooms you could use for a meet and greet luncheon or dinner. AirBnB and VRBO homes are another good choice. Having a variety of options near the venue will ensure a smooth and restful experience for your guests.

Since some guests will make your wedding a weekend event, it’s nice to have local activities for entertainment. Many north Georgia towns host “First Friday” once a month with local bands and food trucks. Canton, Georgia has upscale restaurants and an antique mall plus a brewery. Ball Ground, GA has a nostalgic downtown with quaint eateries. Ellijay, Georgia has the Apple Festival in the fall. There are local activities like golf, skeet shooting, hiking and winery tours. Guests will appreciate knowing what’s in the area. You might consider creating a wedding website where your guests can easily access the information.

5. Know the 3 things most important to you

Venues are all different. They look different, include different services, have different policies and pricing. If you have a long list of “must haves” it’s unlikely you’ll find any venue that will check all the boxes. Your search can become frustrating and discouraging. Instead, narrow down your list to the three most important things you want for your wedding. It might be to have an outside ceremony, multiple gorgeous photo locations, a water feature, chandeliers and draping or a sparkler send off. Whatever it is, list those top three and be sure each venue you love can accommodate those must haves.


So how do you find the right wedding venue in north Georgia? 

Begin by choosing venues that are naturally beautiful inside and out. Narrow those down to ones that are within your budget and that match your style. Be sure to confirm lodging and nearby activities for your guests. Then further narrow your choices by keeping only those venues that meet your three must haves. 

Once you’ve chosen your dream venue, relax! Enjoy the excitement! Your special date is set and soon you’ll be beginning your life with the one you love most. Choose your venue well and the planning will be stress free!

The Greystone Estate is one of the most elegant and affordable wedding venues in north Georgia. To see pricing, FAQs, and available dates of our award-winning wedding venue, please visit our website above.