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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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!
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.
- kim hymes
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