Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Venue #1: Big Canoe

There's really no telling where this post might go. I mean, I actually exclaimed "Well butter my biscuits!" when I saw this:

Oh yes, that's the UGA Arches with a snowy backdrop- the graphic to announce the university's closing. :) :) :) Things shut down at 2 p.m. today and I didn't have to go to my last class- sweet!! A luscious warm nap ensued.

Don't worry, fate got me back later as I nearly got frostbite waiting for the AAA guy to jumpstart my dead-as-a-doornail car. Even the keyless entry remote thingy wouldn't work! Sigh.

Anyway, dear readers, it's time.

Time for this blog to go all WEDDING 2011 PLANNING, KNOT.COMMING, FRETTING, SHARING, BRIDEZILLA-ING on you. Sorry. Oh, heck, no I'm not. ;)

I am so, so excited about getting married, and planning and having/hosting the wedding. I have dreamt about the man I would marry for years, yes, and I found him, lucky me. But dreamt of the perfect/dream wedding day? Apparently I have not. It has made planning rather stressful, as I vacillate between venues, colors, centerpieces, etc. daily and frequently nightly, in my head, when I should be sleeping.

Luckily, RightHand is an awesome partner and wants to be a part of the planning process. Well, he thought he did, until I bombarded him with choices showed him how many things there are to decide upon. A few heated discussions later, and we have decided that I will present him with only 3 choices when a decision is to be made.

So, in keeping with this new tradition readers, I would like to present to you Venue Choice #1 (to be followed by #2 and #3 in later posts.)

Excitingly, the decision has likely recently been made, but we have yet to sign the contract, and I'd still love your input and votes.

::Deep breath:: Without further ado, here is venue #1, as visited on a rainy day: The Chimneys at Big Canoe (the website doesn't do it justice and nor do our pictures!):

Okay, just a little more babbling. The inspiration behind finding a venue is that I did not want it to be a Southern style mansion, plantation, etc. It's just not me/us. Additionally, we were looking for an eco-friendly site as well as a Pacific Northwest feel. With those parameters, we were quite happy with what we found:

Reception room

The gorgeous ceilings

The cake stand (They were preparing for a wedding that night)

Coffee station (or something)

Nice buffet spread (I was so glad that they had an example available!)

One of the great fireplaces (3 total!)

The wedding planner and I- I really liked her- not pushy or anything!
Also, this is one of those pictures where I can't believe I'm a grown-up WOMAN! planning my wedding!

The side porch

A look down to the lake from where we'd say our vows

The actual chimney, near the ceremony area.
RightHand has a strange attraction to lonesome chimneys, so this thrilled him to no end.

Loved the look and feel, even on a rainy day. And in the spring, that tree has pink blossoms!

'Twould be so nice for the guests!

Ready for the ceremony!

Bouquet and all!

Havin' a good time

A look back

On the way to check out the chapel, sportin' my monkey model face

Loved the stonework everywhere

Nice church campus

Cute chapel!

Ooooo! We'll be there! (Maybe)

Awesome front doors
(Like David Bromstad, I appreciate an nexpected splash of color ;)

Oh lands! The inside took our breath away.

So nice


Practicing. Awwwww :)

Afterward, we went to this strange shopping center...

...and ate at this awesome Mexican restaurant, where the rehearsal dinner would likely be held. :)

Unfortunately, devastatingly, it seems as though we are too heathen to use the chapel, a very big "con" to consider (though we didn't think of it as an option until we saw it...)

To re-cap:

Pros of Big Canoe:
-Woodsy, nature-y (The lake, the forest, the trees and flowers...)
-Pacific Northwest feel that we were going for
-Reasonably priced
-Tolerable, even lovely!, wedding planner
-Can rent houses/cabins to stay in- would be a fun getaway!
-Beautiful chapel (if we had a more religious ceremony)

Cons of Big Canoe:-Not notably "green"/eco-friendly
-Would likely have to do a Sunday wedding (price-wise)
-Probably couldn't use chapel
-A bit of a drive for some guests
-Complicated logistics of renting cabins, pairing people/couples up
-If chapel not used, ceremony and reception feel too close together

Would love to know your thoughts! And stayed tuned for choices #2 and #3...


Leslie said...

Hi there! I came across your blog while I was searching for pictures of The Chimney's~I booked my wedding there for November of this year. I think it's a wonderful location and I have to say that Peggy has been fantastic to work with thus far. I have just began my serious planning so that's about all I can say in regards to the venue, other than, the rooms are a little hard to work with~I have approx. 120 guests.

Good luck with your venue hunt!!

Reagan said...

Hey Leslie-

I have some other links to weddings/photos at Big Canoe if you'd like.

What made you finally decide on Big Canoe? What other venues did you look at?

Would love to see pics of your wedding after all is said and done!

Best wishes!

Leslie said...

I would love to take a look at them... I took some while I was there but I keep finding that I need the one picture that I didn't take!!

My fiance LOVES the mountains and the venue-this is the main reason we chose it. I think it will be gorgeous in the fall as well with all the leaves changing color. My MOH's father also has a house up there~which is convenient. Also, being able to bring your own liquor is a huge cost savings if you are having any type of bar~and VERY hard to find seemingly in Atlanta...

I have priced every venue in Atlanta practically-however I only actually visited a total of 5. The Chimney's, The Piedmont Tent, Primrose Cottage, Little Gardens, and Flint Hill. I believe you said you didn't want a "Southern Mansion" wedding, so those last 3 obviously wouldn't be what you are looking for. They are however on the "cheaper" side of weddings while still being nice which is exactly what I was looking for :)

I will definitely share pictures with you after the wedding :)

Dingo said...

What an absolutely beautiful spot! Are the furkids going to be in the festivities? I'm sure you could strap a pillow on bunny and have him hop the rings down the aisle.

Lauren said...

Reagan - I'm avoiding studying at the moment and whilst looking at facebook went to your page and eventually your blog. Whew.

So, the venue is GORG! So lovely! I don't think its a big deal at all that the ceremony and reception venue would be so close together or even overlapp. Its really beautiful and quite unique - but why couldn't you use the chapel? There would have to be some bad weather option, wouldn't there?

Kristen Shockley said...

I think it's very nice!!
I would not worry about ceremony and reception being too close together. If you want to use the chapel, do you have to have a religious sermon? Could you use it and have a secular officiant do the ceremony?

Might want to check out Dunaway Gardens in Newnan. My sister got married there are it was beautiful. I think it matches some of your criteria.

Reagan said...

Hey, Leslie-

Here are my Big Canoe links:




Ms. BWIT said...

Hi! I'm also having my wedding at Big Canoe in November. Was looking for a picture and came across your blog. I am having my wedding on a Sunday, bc my fiance's schedule will only allow us to get married in the fall and all the Saturday's were already booked. Anyways, When are you getting married? I think Big Canoe is a great choice! Congrats!!

Ms. BWIT said...

My fiance' and I picked Big Canoe for our venue too! We are getting married this November. We wanted to do an outdoor rustic venue and it was much more affordable then Lake Lanier Island. His schedule would only allow us the fall and all the Saturdays were booked so we are also doing a Sunday wedding. Anyways congrats!

Anonymous said...

You should check out the Clubhouse in Big Canoe. It is gorgeous! They don't advertise so lots of brides don't even know it exists. It will accommodate larger guest lists and you can get married on the veranda!

bethany said...


I stumbled across your photos through Google, and want to know if you could give me an idea of what Big Canoe is charging for their receptions. I am getting married in 2012 and am seriously considering this venue, although, your selection of the Houston Mill has me thinking twice! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, and thank you for sharing this info!

Reagan said...

Hi, Bethany-


And I looked through my e-mails and couldn't find the Big Canoe reception prices, so you'll have to contact them.

Good thing about the economy is that some wedding rental spaces are way marked down!

Anonymous said...

I love this game :)