Congratulations! The question has been “popped”, the date has been chosen, and now you don’t know where to start! Don’t worry, this article will help make your decisions easier by showcasing many of the wedding venues, caterers and other important considerations around Lake Hartwell!
Perhaps, one of the first decisions you may want to make is: WHERE? Where will you have your wedding ceremony and reception? After all, the location is something you remember forever! Long after the wedding day has come and gone, it will be memorialized forever in your photos, so choosing a meaningful venue will be important.
When you are considering your wedding venue, your guest list will play a big role in where you tie the knot. Things to think about could be, how may people can the venue accommodate? Will guests be able to sit and walk comfortably to the wedding site? Is there shade and cover in the event of hot or wet weather?
For guest lists that are large, you may not all fit into a quaint country church. On the flip side, if your guest list will be small and intimate, a huge venue may not be the best choice. Call ahead to any venue you are considering and discuss your ideas for your wedding. Ensure the venue fits what you are hoping to achieve. Making sure your guests have a good time is important, but that shouldn’t be the only thing you think about when choosing a venue. It’s your big day, after all! Look to find a balance between the things you want and accessibility for your guests.
Outdoor weddings are hugely popular on Lake Hartwell which should come as no surprise! Here are some venues to consider:
Wedding grounds at Southern Willow Farms
Located in the countryside of Dewy Rose, GA just south of Hartwell, is Southern Willow Farms with over 76 acres of beautiful green hills, a sparkling large pond and an 1,800 square foot chic rustic barn that is sure to please. Separate bride and groom suites, plenty of parking and of course a southern style deck!
For something closer in town, the Beacon Bed and Breakfast offers a rare combination of lake and farm! A contemporary farmhouse with lakefront access and farm animals who aren’t camera shy!
Wedding at the Beacon Bed and Breakfast.
If you’re looking for more of a “Destination” wedding, where your guests can relax in one location, consider setting up a meeting with Cateechee Conference Center. Cateechee combines old-fashioned Southern hospitality with a sophisticated setting on over 420 acres. A destination wedding at Cateechee offers both inside and outside wedding locations and your guests will enjoy access to the resort’s many amenities including an award winning golf course and health club.
Wedding tables set up at Cateechee Conference Center.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEO
Once the venue is set, you will want to start considering your photographer/videographer. Many professional wedding photographers are booked up to a year in advance so we suggest making this an early decision if you want to have memories of your special day.
When considering a photographer, take a look at their portfolio. Most professionals have an online profile you can take a look at. Once you find a photographer whose style matches what you are looking for, give them a call or meet in person. Your photographer should be someone you feel comfortable with and makes you smile. After all, you will need to smile at your wedding!
There are many photographers familiar with Lake Hartwell and special locations to photograph. You may like to consider:
You can click the links to visit their websites directly to learn about the services they offer and see some of their work!
CATERERS AND FOOD
Next on the agenda might be the food you will serve your guests! Are you thinking of having an appetizer bar, a desert station, a chocolate fountain? Maybe a full sit down dinner? Depending upon your venue selected, your choices may be limited already. A destination venue may require the wedding to select from their in-house menu for example. Other venues may not offer catering and you will need to find your own.
My Favorite Things Catering is sure to please with a wide array of choices and catering options. Owned by Gary and Sue McCurley, and based in Hartwell, they can cater small intimate events or large gatherings for 200 or more! They also design and create wedding cakes too.
STRESS AND NUTRITION
Wedding planning can really take it out of you as well! The amount of decisions to be made can be stressful! Making sure you are taking care of your health in the months leading up to the wedding can be important. Maybe you want to lose a few pounds, eat healthy or start a fitness routine so you are in tip top shape? Check out our article discussing ways to beat the stress of planning for the wedding day! For those who want a little personal accountability, Candace Dorsey can help. Candace is a nutritionist at From the Roots in Hartwell, GA. She would be happy to discuss foods that help you maintain energy, how to self care, meal prep and if needed, lose weight so you not only look but feel amazing on your big day!
WEDDING PARTY ACTIVITIES AND GIFTS
Now that you have the necessities locked down, how about a little fun? Are you looking for things to do in the area or maybe some unique bridal party or grooms’ gifts? From boating and fishing, to spa days with the girls, Lake Hartwell offers a wide variety of shopping! Maybe plan a round of golf of grab a gift card to Hartwell Golf Club for your wedding party? Spending time with your wedding party can be an excellent way to forget about all of the planning and just relax!
LIQUOR LIABILITY OR EVENT INSURANCE
The venue is booked, the food is chosen, and you can finally sit back and relax. One item you may not think of, but may definitely need: Insurance. Many venues offer their own insurance policy, but others may not. A simple event insurance policy is an inexpensive way to make sure your event goes off without a hitch. If you are serving alcohol, you can also protect your guests with a liquor liability insurance policy. Skelton Morris Associates is a local insurance company that has been in business since 1912. Their agents can answer any questions for you to ensure you are covered incase of misfortune.
And, once your day is over, the guests have left, and you are preparing for your honeymoon, make sure you drop off your dress or flowers to be cleaned and preserved for display. Having your dress preserved right away will minimize any aging or yellowing of your dress. Preserving and displaying your bouquet or other flowers is an excellent daily memory of the wedding! Suspended in Time by Joyce makes it easy!
Planning your wedding can be exciting, stressful, and nerve-racking. Just remember its not about everything being perfect, its about the love for you and your partner and having an amazing day you will remember forever!