photos taken by Cariad Photography
It seems only fitting to review Wolf Mountain Vineyards and the City of Dahlonega together, as they both played backdrop for our wedding weekend.
When looking through an Atlanta bridal magazine with Maria just a week or two after becoming engaged, I saw some information about getting married in Dahlonega. I made some kind of silly remark about how funny it would be to get married "up there" in Dahlonega. It wasn't until maybe two or three days later that I realized Dahlonega actually would be a neat place to get married. My sister goes to college there and has always boasted about the nice weather, great views and unique small businesses.
Here's my logic (and luckily, Dan agreed). The majority of our family (and many of our friends) would have to travel for our wedding no matter where we held it; after all, they're spread out from California to Massachusetts. If we invited friends and family to an Atlanta wedding, it would be fun but maybe not as quaint as we pictured. We decided that Dahlonega's laid-back feel (and mountain views), more affordable lodging and relatively quick drive from the Atlanta airport (maybe an hour and 20 minutes) made it a great spot to host a wedding weekend.
We looked at a few different locations in Dahlonega. Frogtown Cellars was stunningly beautiful but not quite as well set up to host a wedding. We decided on Wolf Mountain Vineyards because of its fabulous covered pavilion (great for beautiful or rough weather), well respected food, amazing views and already beautifully-decorated winery interior. I must also give Dan credit for our choice, as he insisted we check it out after hearing a great review from his colleague Heather, who wed her husband there earlier in the year.
While we thought we made a good choice, we couldn't have been more pleased with the wedding weekend settings. Dahlonega offered cute little restaurants, a karaoke bar, unique lodging options (from bed and breakfasts to boutique hotels—all about $165 or less per couple, per night), shopping and outdoorsy activities like hiking. We very much enjoyed our rehearsal dinner at Caruso's, too, with its casual atmosphere, good food, incredibly hospitable staff and room big enough to accommodate our approximately 100 family members and wedding party.
Wolf Mountain not only looked amazing, but the staff there was professional and accommodating. Lindsey Smith, hospitality manager and our "day of" wedding coordinator, was always easy to reach and full of helpful information. Lindsey also came prepared to every meeting with document templates to fill out or spreadsheets to fill in. There were no hidden costs and we felt like we received everything we paid for and more. Lindsey and her mother, Linda, made sure the ceremony and reception went as planned, even paying attention to little details like putting my grandmother's cake toppers on the cake and corralling people for activities like the toasts, cake cutting, bouquet throw and garter toss. Lindsey and team provided reliable/recommended vendors and treated us very personally despite having likely 52-plus events like ours throughout the year.
I feel like both Wolf Mountain's pavilion and winery speak for themselves, but I'll talk about them both some anyway. The covered pavilion was the perfect balance of an outdoor yet safe from inclement weather location. Already simple and airy, the only real decoration we used were some flowers on the arch and petals down the aisle (thank you again, Aunt Vera, for the flowers). The inside of the winery is breathtaking. Some style between rustic and mountain cabin chic, the craftsman-style building is decorated well and appropriately. We were able to choose our linens from some already in the vineyard's collection (chocolate brown satin on the bottom and a champagne-colored metallic fabric with some slight ruching on the top) at no additional cost. Decks with great views on every side of the building didn't hurt its aesthetic appeal either.
The food and wine were both very enjoyable. I'll admit that I enjoyed the vineyard's white wine more than its red, which worked out well since I was wearing an ivory dress, but both were enjoyable. The food. Wow. The food. We tasted some of the vineyard's food before, but never exactly what we chose for our wedding menu. I've heard most couples don't eat, let alone remember, their wedding food. Well, I distinctly remember how delicious that tilapia with lemon caper butter sauce was and how tasty the lyonnaise potatoes were. The salad was great, too, as were the roast, chicken cordon bleu and sauteed vegetables. Mmm mmm mmmm. It took a Michael Jackson song being played outside to pry me away from the table.
I could go on and on, so if you have question, feel free to e-mail me. But for the rest of you, I'll end my review here. I am obviously biased, but I think it's insane that getting married at a beautiful and charming place like this is less expensive then getting married at, say, a Marriott somewhere in Metro Atlanta.
If our experience is/was the norm, I give both the city of Dahlonega and Wolf Mountain A+++ marks. They helped make our wedding weekend especially memorable.