Farm-style wedding venues offer versatile styles with country charm
By Wayne Hardy
As more couples look to exchange vows during destination weddings, some are heading down to the farm.
North Georgia is home to many historical farm venues, where lush green fields and grand farmhouses amid the mountains make for a memorable setting in the country.
“People don’t have to do much. It pretty much lends itself to the natural scenery – so there’s less spent on decorations and more on enjoying the actual authentic environment,” says Melody Lothridge, owner of Mountain Laurel Farm, a family-owned farm venue located just north of Cleveland in White County.
Fay Willis prepares to walk down the aisle at Mountain Laurel Farm. RIVER WEST
There’s plenty of room for after-ceremony socializing at Mountain Laurel Farm. RIVER WEST
And while the bride is welcome to wear boots if she chooses, farm-style celebrations can run the spectrum from rustic to elegant.
“The great thing about farm weddings is that you can do burlap, but you can also do gold sequin or French market-style,” Lothridge says.
Along with vast open spaces, Mountain Laurel Farm features a historic farmhouse and renovated barn built in the 1880s. The farm venue can be arranged for an elopement or to accommodate 200 guests, giving couples versatility for planning and budgeting. Lothridge recalls how a room inside the farmhouse was transformed into a dance floor with room for instructors and a seven-piece band.
“It just proves you don’t have to have a giant space to be able to have the look and feel you’re going for,” she says.
Whether for a small gathering or a larger party in the barn, farm venues can offer inclusive packages that provide couples a personalized wedding experience without being overwhelmed by the stress of managing the event.
“Couples are looking for on-site lodging and a place to relax,” Lothridge says. “The carefree nature of the farm allows couples to connect with their family and friends and opting to spend the whole weekend in one place and sometimes turning their wedding into three-day events with welcome receptions, post-wedding events, day-after brunches, and incorporating local nearby tourism activities into their schedules.”
While some who select a farm setting for their ceremony have family roots in agriculture, its appeal extends to those without such a background.
“Others want it because is completely different from city life or being in an area that doesn’t have mountains or farming or green space,” Lothridge says.
With the place she grew up in now helping others create lasting memories, Lothridge says extending hospitality to visitors remains a hallmark of the farm.
“We treat them just like they’re family members.”
Mountain Laurel Farms
91 Heartland Drive – Cleveland, Georgia
Opened as wedding venue in 2014