Vineyards in North Georgia? You bet! The temperate climate and the rich soil actually make for ideal grape-growing conditions. These wineries not only produce some amazing vintages, but they are spectacular settings for weddings and receptions.
Wolf Mountain Vineyards
With an elegant Vineyard Pavilion, this sophisticated winery just five minutes from downtown Dahlonega offers a premier location for a destination wedding. Here, 200 guests can be accommodated at this covered wedding site.
The Vineyard Pavilion at Wolf Mountain is nestled amongst grapevines and holds 200 guests.
The award-winning winery is a family affair, with winemaker Karl Boegner (a.k.a. Dad) at the helm. His wife Linda, who has a vast background in event planning, oversees all weddings and makes sure each bride has the ceremony and reception of her dreams--whether that's an intimate ceremony followed by hors d'ouevres or 100 guests at a more formal seated dinner, all prepared in the on-site kitchen (the winery serves a marvelous menu at lunch and dinner). The Boegner children also live and work at the vineyard estate.
Three Sisters Vineyards
Many guests who stop by Three Sisters Vineyards, eight miles northeast of downtown Dahlonega, ask, "Who are the three sisters?" But it's not three female siblings who own and operate this laid-back winery, it's a fun-loving couple, Sharon and Doug Paul, who clearly enjoy sharing their knowledge of and enthusiasm for wine with visitors. (The "Three Sisters" are actually the side-by-side mountain peaks in full view from the scenic property.)
The wedding gazebo at Three Sisters overlooks the mountain peaks of the same name.
Weddings here are truly custom affairs, with a number of different ceremony sites, both indoors and out. Perhaps the most stunning is the hilltop gazebo, flanked by two rows of vines--making for a lovely, natural aisle for brides. With no commercial kitchen or dining services on site, the Pauls can arrange a number of different caterers to take care of your ideal reception. That might mean a casual barbecue, an Italian feast or something in between--depending on your budget.
The Pauls have worked with several different wedding-related vendors over the years, and can make suggestions for tent-rental companies, florists, photographers and more. Ask them about custom wine labels to decorate bottles for wedding favors.
Bed & Breakfasts
Lily Creek Lodge
This sweet B&B just a couple miles from Dahlonega's historic town square is nestled in the woods. The chalet-style building has a "Swiss Family Robinson" treehouse feel to it, since it's surrounded by towering evergreens and ancient oak trees.
This gazebo surrounded by forest at Lily Creek Lodge is ideal for a small ceremony.
Many brides and grooms house their out-of-town guests at Lily Creek Lodge, but it's also hosted many small wedding ceremonies. Couples might get married at the quaint gazebo, down by the beautiful outdoor pool with waterfall, or in the poolside pavilion.
Gracious owners Sharon and Don Bacek serve a delightful, full breakfast each morning. An array of items are typically on the menu--from fluffy egg dishes and savory grits to sweet muffins and other yummy baked goods.
Mountain Laurel Creek Inn & Spa
Charming, elegant, warm, inviting... all these words describe the Mountain Laurel Creek Inn & Spa, where owner/innkeeper Dennis Hoover, a jack-of-all-trades, has created a lovely retreat for guests.
Dennis serves not only as innkeeper, but as chief interior designer as well. Each of the five luxurious suites has an original theme with unique artwork in it. He uses clever touches--branches from outside, for example--for a rustic touch in the Garden Room and more sophisticated materials and finishes in the Parlor Room.
Training to be an esthetician, Dennis may soon be offering facials at the on-site Oasis Day Spa alongside the other talented therapists. He's also head chef in the mornings, where you may find his famous Golden Egg Wrap on the day's menu.
Long Mountain Lodge
Finally, Long Mountain Lodge is a brand-new facility with six comfortable suites all decorated in "upscale lodge" style. The Great Room is a lovely place to relax in front of a large, stone fireplace.
Don't miss breakfast served by owner Diane Quigley, a former chef and restaurant owner. Originally from New York, she's lived in Dahlonega for several years and can offer plenty of advice on things to see and do in the area. Note that the lodge is only four miles from the famous Appalachian Trail, so the lodge makes a great base camp for hiking adventures.
Also see this article on Forrest Hills, known as the “Poconos of the South,” for another fabulous spot for a destination wedding—complete with a horse-drawn carriage to take you to the ceremony site and plenty of on-site lodging for all your guests.
For recommendations on local businesses offering wedding services, contact the friendly folks at the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce (see website link below).