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Newlyweds kiss in front of a porch at the payne-corley house wedding venue

Wedding Venues

The Historic Payne-Corley House Wedding Venue in Duluth, GA

October 20, 2023

It takes a lot of love and patience to create a wedding venue, let alone to design, manage, and coordinate one of the state’s most revered event spaces! The Payne-Corley House in Duluth, Georgia, has a long history of hospitality. For the past twenty years, it’s been a family-run venue renowned for its elegance and charm. It boasts indoor and outdoor spaces, a historic renovated farmhouse, and all the amenities and services you need to host a spectacular wedding. Keep reading to learn what makes a Payne-Corley House wedding an incredible event! 

A bride laughs and sits on a couch with her six bridesmaids in pink robes while she wears a red robe A bride in a red robe sits in a window reading her vows before getting ready A bride smiles and laughs with her bridesmaids in pink dresses on a porch A groom in a blue suit stands with hands folded in front of him with his six groomsman in grey suits in a "V" behind him standing on a porch at a payne-corley house wedding Details of a dress handing from a floor to ceiling window with a long veil

About The Payne-Corley House Wedding Venue

Firstly, the farmhouse, now known as the Payne-Corley House, was built in 1873, the same year the city of Duluth was founded. The property changed hands several times in the thirty years following its build. It was eventually sold to the Payne family in 1904. The house served as a homestead for generations of the Payne family. Frances Payne, the daughter of the original Payne owners, married a gentleman named Minor Corley in 1938, thus inspiring the estate’s name, Payne-Corley. Frances and Minor lived in the beautiful farmhouse together until 1881, when Frances passed away. 

Minor Corley remarried, finding love in his childhood friend Winnie Guthrie. After he passed away, “Miss Winnie” dedicated herself to maintaining the beautiful Payne-Corley House. She opened her home for gatherings of family, neighbors, and friends. When Miss Winnie was ready to move on from the home, her stepdaughter, Betsy Corley, and five girlhood friends purchased the house, officially Christening it as the Payne-Corley House. As a team (known as the “Dreamkeepers,”) they refurbished the home, transforming it into a beautiful event destination.

In 2004, the daughter of one of the Dreamkeepers’ daughters and her husband purchased the home. In the years since, Krista Summerour Ganley and Michael Ganley have brought their hospitality and events management experience to this esteemed Duluth venue. Together, they have upgraded and expanded the property, growing it into the incredible space it is today. 

Details of a wedding ceremony set up with gold chairs and flowers decorating a fireplace and mantle A bride stands in a window in her lace embroidered dress A bride in a lace embroidered dress holds her flowers while standing on a porch and looking over her shoulder A bride stands in a sun room smiling out the window while holding her pink and white bouquet A bride in a long veil sits on a tan couch looking out a window while holding her pink bouquet

Details of the Grounds

Begin your wedding day by gathering with your party and close family in the beautiful Payne-Corley House Bridal Suite & Salon. With salon-style lit mirrors, cozy furniture, and space for all of your closest people, it’s the perfect place for hair and makeup as you prepare for the ceremony. Additionally, you’ll enjoy a light lunch and refreshments to fuel you for the day ahead! 

Don’t worry about your partner, either – their Groom’s House has a mini fridge, TV, and lots of room to lounge and relax before the big day.

A groom stands facing away from his bride as she approaches for a first look on a porch A groom turns around on a porch to see his bride for the first time in her dress during a first look A bride leans into her husband in a blue suit as they snuggle in a large window with the train spread out A groom hugs and smiles down to his bride as they stand under a porch Newlyweds kiss under clear umbrellas on a raining day on a garden sidewalk lined with bricks

The Ceremony & Reception

For your ceremony, you can choose from three beautiful onsite locations. The first is the Pavilion, a stunning garden setting with a broad white pavilion and brick steps perfect for saying “I do” where everyone can see you. Incorporate stunning drapery, custom florals, and other signature decor for a truly romantic and unique look. You can also host your ceremony on the front lawn, either facing the house or beneath an incredible Champion Saucer Magnolia Tree. If you prefer an indoor setting, the Ballroom has a stunning Master Fireplace that makes an elegant and inviting altar for your vow exchange. 

For your reception, gather with your guests (up to 160 for a plated meal, 150 for a buffet) in the home’s Ballroom. This elegant space has ornate, vintage chandeliers and windows that let in plenty of natural light. The grand fireplace is the perfect backdrop for a cozy sweetheart table. You can decorate the mantle for an extra special touch. The space also includes an elegant portico of windows that give off farmhouse sunroom vibes. 

Your bar will be in a separate salon, leaving plenty of room for a dance floor and mingling with your guests. Beyond the salon is a gorgeous covered outdoor porch with additional seating for cocktails, conversation, and a night full of memory-making. 

Details of a fully decorated mantle and fireplace with pink and white flowers and candles on a white brick wall at the payne-corley house wedding Details of pink and white flowers decorating a white fireplace at the payne-corley house wedding venue Details of white linens and florals hanging from a handrail on stairs at a payne-corley house wedding Newlyweds hold hands in front of a fireplace and their officiant during their payne-corley house wedding ceremony Newlyweds kiss at the altar with their bridal party and officiant smiling around them at a payne-corley house wedding Newlyweds celebrate and raise their hands as they walk up the aisle of their payne-corley house wedding ceremony

Photography Opportunities

The photo ops available at The Payne-Corley House are practically endless. Surrounded by over three acres of gorgeous landscaping, old magnolia trees, and winding pathways, outdoor photos are a must. We can pause at the Pavilion for beautiful portraits or position the wedding party on the brick steps for great group shots. The house’s beautiful front porch and entrance are ideal for pictures that exude that classic Southern Charm that is such a draw in a venue like this. In fact, the farmhouse itself is a lovely backdrop for photos that are elegant and full of character. 

Inside, we can take some more formal-feeling portraits that incorporate the historic architecture of the Payne-Corley House. These are always some of my favorites because they feel timeless while allowing us to play with poses and unique backgrounds. It’s a great alternative to having all outdoor pictures! 

A groom in a blue suit and pink tie sits and hugs his bride on a tan couch under a window Newlyweds cuddle on the edge of a tan couch under a window Newlyweds laugh as they walk under a tunnel of their bridal party holding hands above them Newlyweds smile and lean in for a kiss underneath a veil at a payne-corley house wedding Newlyweds walk through some rain in a garden holding hands and the train back to the payne-corley house wedding venue A groom in a blue suit lifts and laughs with his bride in a flower garden at a payne-corley house wedding A groom in a blue suit twirls his bride on a stone patio under a large tree at the payne-corley house wedding venue Newlyweds stand on a garden bench kissing outside the payne-corley house wedding venue

Wedding Details

There’s a reason that The Payne-Corley House has been one of the most popular wedding venues in the area for 20 years. There are many reasons! 

While the owner is a Head Chef who offers in-house catering, you’re welcome to bring in your catering team (as long as they meet a few requirements.) They also have an award-winning in-house Floral & Design team that will transform every space you use into your customized dream wedding. 

Furthermore, your reservation fee includes a variety of perks and amenities, including:

  • light lunch for the bridal party and snacks for the groomsmen,
  • clean-up at the end of the night,
  • chairs for your ceremony and reception,
  • tables and white linens, napkins,
  • house centerpieces, and other décor-related details.

You’ll have the space reserved for 14 hours: 7 for getting ready and taking your pre-ceremony photos, 5 hours for your ceremony and reception, and 2 hours for clean-up. 

Are you looking for help planning and coordinating? They also offer in-house planning! For a highly discounted rate, your Wedding Specialist will help you plan, direct your rehearsal, and serve as your day-of-coordinator. You’ll be so grateful to have someone taking care of every detail so you can just sit back and enjoy every minute of your wedding day! 

Details of a mirror with table assignments wax-stamped onto it at a payne-corley house wedding Details of a head table set up with pink flowers and candles at a payne-corley house wedding Newlyweds raise their hands while holding them as they enter to their guests standing and applauding their entrance to the payne-corley house wedding reception Newlyweds cut their three tier cake with white flowers as it sits on a black table at a payne-corley house wedding Newlyweds dance ni a white lace dress and blue suit alone on the dance floor with their guests looking on at a payne-corley house wedding Newlyweds hold hands and laugh as they walk under a shower of sparklers being held up by their payne-corley house wedding guests

Payne-Corley House Wedding

In conclusion, a Payne-Corley House wedding is an exceptional event with all of the charm, beauty, and history you could dream of for your wedding day. 

With me as your wedding photographer, you can look back on every detail of this momentous occasion in your life.

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Photographer, artist, father, occasional potter, inspired by music, good light, and you.

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