Planning a Wedding in Atlanta, Georgia: What to Know

There’s nothing like a Southern wedding, especially when you’re wedding planning in Atlanta. Here are Zola’s top wedding planning Atlanta tips!

By The Zola Team

Planning a Wedding in Atlanta, Georgia
Photo by Jewmarrah Photography and Media

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The home of the sweetest peaches, Coca-Cola, and enough hip hop to fill more than a few platinum records, Georgia is a state with a ton to offer—and Atlanta is the heart of it all.

The only thing it's missing is your wedding.

Getting married in Atlanta comes with many perks, but one of the best is the ease of event planning. If you’re ready to get married in a city noted for its pristine parks, delicious food, and Southern charm, we’ve got the guide to make planning your Atlanta wedding as easy as putting on your favorite OutKast album.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

The Average Cost of an Atlanta Wedding

When it comes to wedding planning, cost is one of the most important factors to consider. The last thing you want is to plan a wedding that goes way over budget.

Fortunately, getting married in Atlanta means saying “I do” in a city of relatively low costs compared to the fantastic experience it provides. In fact, the average wedding day celebration in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metro area costs $23,593, making it one of the least expensive major metros to get married in.

Let’s break down the typical cost of an Atlanta wedding further by looking at some of the main factors that go into overall expense: venue, accommodations, and catering.

Venue

From stunning ballrooms to parks full of beautiful green space, Atlanta’s the home of perfect wedding venues. We’ve broken down some of the most popular venues below:

  • Parks – There’s a reason why Atlanta’s known as an arborist’s paradise: it has one of the largest tree coverages of any major American city. Take advantage of the lush, sprawling dogwoods and magnolias by holding your sangeet, wedding, or nikah in one of the city’s many parks. We’ll cover the largest park, Piedmont Park, later, but if you’re thinking about celebrating in an Atlanta park, you should know that the average cost to rent a space for an Atlanta park wedding is between $1,200 and $5,200 depending on the wedding design’s specifics.

  • Botanical gardens – Few things make for a prettier picture than a wedding day celebration in a botanical garden. By getting married in a botanical garden, couples and their guests will love standing among the lilacs, gardenias, and other beautiful flowers while toasting to your future success. Similar to renting a space in an Atlanta park, renting a space in the Atlanta Botanical Garden depends on the wedding design’s specifics, but in general, you can expect to pay between $650 for an intimate wedding to $4,000 for a longer guest list.

  • Banquet hall or ballrooms – Some of the most traditional spaces to hold wedding ceremonies and receptions, banquet halls and ballrooms provide both ample space and the experience of dancing beneath sparkling chandeliers. While costs vary considerably based on wedding specifics, such as size and location (hotel, mansion, etc.), you can expect to pay $2,378 on the low end and $22,576 on the high end for an Atlanta banquet hall or ballroom wedding.

  • Barns or farms – Just because Atlanta is filled with towering skyscrapers doesn’t mean that quaint, rustic barns and farms aren’t within reach. Less than a thirty-minute drive in any direction places you in some of the best farmland that the South has to offer. If you’re looking to hold your wedding in a stunningly attractive Atlanta area barn or farm, you can expect to pay $5,989 on the low end and $12,341 on the high end, depending on your wedding’s specifics.

If you’re still unsure about your venue, Zola can help. At Zola, you can save time and energy by searching through wedding venues that are pre-screened to meet your exact needs. From ballrooms to botanical gardens, Zola’s got you covered.

Accommodations

Finding your perfect venue is half the battle when it comes to successful wedding planning. The other half is finding equally great accommodations for you and your guests.

If you live in Atlanta (or most of your guests do), you can save money by staying at home. But, if Atlanta is a destination wedding for you and your guests, finding ideal accommodations can take your sangeet from great to excellent.

Take a look at the average cost for the following popular accommodations:

  • Hotels – Atlanta’s a city of steller hotels. For instance, staying in Buckhead, one of Atlanta’s most popular neighborhoods, will put you in the vicinity of a number of four and five-star accommodations. That being said, there are also a number of three-star hotels to choose from. On average, you can expect to pay $144 dollars per night for a double-occupancy room in Atlanta. However, you may be able to get special deals for wedding bookings.

  • Vacation rentals – If you want a more casual, home-like experience for you and your guests, vacation rentals may be your ideal accommodations. Like hotels, vacation rental prices may differ based on neighborhood, and the price may greatly change depending on factors such as house size and amenities. In general, the more popular a neighborhood is, the more you’ll likely pay for the rental. Vacation rental prices may be significantly higher in well-known Atlanta neighborhoods such as Buckhead, Midtown, and Inman Park.

Catering

One of the many perks of planning an Atlanta wedding is the food. From chicken ‘n waffles to Southern-style barbecue with a vinegary tang, Atlanta’s cuisine is both deliciously Southern and gloriously cosmopolitan.

We’ll discuss Atlanta’s can’t-miss food in more detail later, but it’s helpful to know the average cost of wedding catering so that you can serve the most irresistible wedding food without breaking the bank.

There’s a significant price range when it comes to the average price of wedding catering. That’s because many factors go into calculating the total price. These factors include:

  • Alcohol (full bar, limited, or no alcohol)
  • Type of service (buffet or plated)
  • Location
  • Caterer
  • Cuisine
  • Number of guests

On average, wedding catering costs between $1,800 and $7,000. However, given Atlanta’s size, there are more than enough caterers to meet every weddings’ budget. The best idea is to shop around to find the right caterer.

Popular Locations to get Married in Atlanta

Like many major cities, Atlanta isn’t defined by one unique area—there are many cool neighborhoods to explore. From swanky Buckhead to ultra-hip Grant Park, Atlanta has the perfect location for every wedding.

We’ve broken down three of the most popular Atlanta neighborhoods below.

Buckhead

Atlanta’s most luxurious neighborhood, Buckhead’s a place of refined tastes, glitzy fashion, and high-end shopping. It’s also the neighborhood where you’re most likely to encounter famous athletes, celebrities, and movie stars.

Although Buckhead is one of Atlanta’s most expensive neighborhoods, there are many reasons to hold your nikah there. These include:

  • High-end shopping – If you or your wedding party enjoys perusing the racks of luxurious department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus, Buckhead’s Lenox Mall is a can’t miss spot. This is especially true if your wedding outfit needs a last-minute alteration.

  • Deluxe venues – From five-star hotels to ballrooms with gorgeous chandeliers, Buckhead’s full of upscale wedding venues. Celebrate your vows in style by dancing the night away in a banquet hall as palatial as your love.

  • Museums and galleries – Featuring the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and the Atlanta History Center, Buckhead’s the neighborhood where you can immerse yourself in culture. Spend the day after the Atlanta wedding relaxing as newlyweds by checking out that Mondrian exhibit you’ve always wanted to see.

Midtown

The home of fantastic nightlife, great eats, and dazzling entertainment, Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood is one of the city’s cultural and artistic hubs. If you’re planning a vibrant, fun wedding, you’d be remiss not to consider Atlanta’s Midtown.

Planning a Midtown wedding comes with many perks. These include:

  • Parks and gardens – Piedmont Park, Atlanta’s largest park, is located in the center of Midtown. Whether you want to hold your special event in the Piedmont Park Conservancy or spend an afternoon strolling through the park’s expansive green fields as newlyweds, Piedmont Park should be on your radar. You might also consider checking out Atlanta’s Botanical Garden, a flowery paradise located next to the park.

  • Theaters – When it comes to award-winning plays, Midtown has it all. That’s because the neighborhood’s home to famous theaters and venues such as The Fox Theater, The Center For Puppetry Arts, and The Alliance Theater. Spend the night before your wedding catching the latest hit Broadway show or musical. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get last-minute inspiration for your first dance song!

  • Restaurants – Chances are that you’ll have fantastic food at your wedding. But why limit the great eats to just one night? After your engagement party or rehearsal dinner, hit one (or three) of Midtown's many eclectic bars with your wedding party. Or, stop into one of Midtown’s renowned restaurants for a post-wedding brunch. South City Kitchen and Babs Midtown are two brunch spots you won’t want to miss.

Grant Park

Although not as well-known as Buckhead or Midtown, Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood is nevertheless a great place to get married. That’s because, in addition to streets lined with sprawling oaks and immaculate Victorian houses, the area’s defined by its central feature: Grant Park, one of Atlanta's largest parks.

Let’s take a look at a few other reasons why Grant Park makes for the perfect wedding location:

  • Parks – While not as large as Piedmont Park, Grant Park still gives visitors more than enough green space to have a wedding party picnic or to simply stroll with your loved ones the morning after the special event. What’s more, the Atlanta Zoo sits adjacent to Grant Park. You and your wedding guests will enjoy watching the giraffes while reminiscing about watching your uncle do the “Cha Cha Slide” during your ceremony.

  • Summerhill – Technically its own neighborhood, Summerhill’s a location full of exciting new restaurants and breweries that sits right next to Grant Park. You and your wedding guests will enjoy Southern barbecue from Woods Chapel before indulging in refreshing beers from one of Atlanta’s most popular breweries, Halfway Crooks.

  • Oakland Cemetery – Okay, we know what you’re thinking—a cemetery doesn’t exactly scream “forever and always” (at least in the marriage sense). But Oakland Cemetery isn’t your traditional cemetery. One of Atlanta’s oldest cemeteries and largest green spaces, Oakland Cemetery is famous as the resting place for Atlanta icons such as Margaret Mitchell, the author of “Gone With The Wind,” and golf legend Bobby Jones (people visit from all over the world to leave golf balls beside his grave). Not only can you and your guests tour the grounds, but you can also hold your wedding reception in the Bobby Jones Room.

Wherever you decide to hold your Atlanta wedding, it’s important to let your guests know about all of the location’s specifics. Fortunately, Zola makes it easy to compile driving directions, accommodations, restaurants, and things to do all in one space. All you need to do is create a website at Zola and take advantage of the following:

  • Easily navigable website builder
  • Over 250 website designs
  • Matching invitation design to website
  • Personalized features

Can’t-Miss Food Atlanta Offers

There’s a reason why Atlanta’s known as a Southern foodie’s paradise. It’s a city full of traditional Southern favorites and cosmopolitan flavors. It’s also a city that isn’t afraid to be adventurous when it comes to all things cuisine.

Planning an Atlanta wedding comes with many benefits. But one of the best has to be deciding what food you’ll serve at your wedding, as well as what you and your guests will eat during the duration of your stay.

We’re here to help make that decision a little easier (and more delicious). Take a look at some of the following can’t-miss Atlanta cuisine:

  • Barbecue – Barbecue is a wedding favorite time and time again. That’s because, in addition to its otherworldly taste, it’s relatively inexpensive to serve to a large number of guests. That being said, your love stands out so why shouldn’t your barbecue? Turn your wedding flavor up a notch by having traditional barbecue catered from Atlanta establishments such as Sweet Auburn BBQ or Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. Or, take your barbecue into new directions by trying Korean-inspired Southern barbecue from Heirloom Market.

  • Soul food – One of the South’s culinary markers, soul food’s a hit at any wedding. In short, soul food is any food that “nourishes your soul.” In other words, mashed potatoes and gravy, collard greens cooked in bacon fat, crispy fried chicken, and cornbread. Whether you want soul food catered at your wedding or simply want to dine-in at one of Atlanta’s many soul food restaurants on your way out of town, you’d be wise to check out the following: Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pour, Mary Mac’s Tea Room, and Busy Bee Cafe.

  • Chicken and waffles – Savory and sweet, crispy and soft, chicken and waffles is a dish that’ll make you think differently about breakfast (or lunch and dinner). First created in Harlem, New York, chicken and waffles is just as it sounds: fried chicken placed upon delicious golden waffles and smothered in syrup. Let chicken and waffles be the star of your wedding cuisine by setting up a waffle bar. Or, pass out mini chicken and waffles as a pre-ceremony canapé. However you decide to serve chicken and waffles, be sure to note the following Atlanta restaurants that specialize in the dish: Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles and Bantam + Biddy.

From collard greens to chicken wings, Atlanta’s a city that knows a thing or two about cleaning your plate. Make your Atlanta wedding taste as good as it looks by including traditional Southern fare.

Planning Around the Weather in Atlanta

In recent years, Atlanta’s earned the apt moniker “Hotlanta.” That’s because Atlanta summers tend to be hot—very hot. That being said, fall and spring in Atlanta can be mild and pleasant, and the dreariness of many winter days is broken up by rays of sunshine.

If you’re planning an Atlanta wedding, knowing the weather by season is crucial. All of the attention should be on you and your partner, not the thunderstorm headed your way.

Below, we’ve broken down the Atlanta weather by season:

  • Spring – Springs in Atlanta are generally sunny, mild, and wet, though an occasional cold front may come through in early spring. The season of The Dogwood Festival and Atlanta’s famous Inman Park Fest, spring’s a time for festivities—and for good reason. With an average April high of 73 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of 52 degrees Fahrenheit, spring is perfect for light jackets and cold drinks. And with the flowers in bloom, it’s a beautiful time for destination weddings.

  • Summer – Atlanta’s summers can be hot and humid. That doesn’t mean that all summer days will be unbearable, but it does mean that Atlanta experiences its fair share of days with temperatures in the high 90s. In July, Atlanta’s hottest month, the average high is 89 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low is 71 degrees Fahrenheit. July’s also the city’s wettest month with an average of 12 rainy days. That being said, summer days in Atlanta can still be quite pleasant. If you’re holding an outdoor wedding, just be prepared to sneak inside for some air conditioning.

  • Fall – Like spring, fall in Atlanta is very tame. Hot days do still happen, even into October, but on average, the weather’s cool and the wind is brisk. In October, the average high is 73 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low is 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Atlanta falls typically don’t see snowfall, but the occasional snowstorm’s always a possibility. Fall’s the perfect time to hold an outdoor wedding.

  • Winter – Atlanta winters can be tricky. While not known for having extremely cold temperatures and abundant snowfall, winter in Atlanta can be unpredictable at times. That’s because really pleasant 70 degrees Fahrenheit days in January might be followed by a day in the high 20s. However, it’s the occasional snowstorm that you should look out for. Like most Southern cities, Atlanta’s not as prepared for snowstorms as Massachusetts or New York. Even minor snow can bring the city to a standstill due to the lack of plowing equipment. In January, the average high is 53 degrees Fahrenheit and the low is 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Atlanta wedding planning must take the weather into account. Though the city can experience sweltering days, on the whole, the city’s weather lends itself to conditions perfect for outside or inside weddings.

Tips and Tricks for Atlanta Wedding Planning

Like all wedding planning, planning an Atlanta wedding is equal parts fun, equal parts work. That being said, there are things you can do to greatly tip the scales in the direction of fun.

Be sure to follow the below tips and tricks to make planning your Atlanta wedding as relaxed as sipping sweet tea on your front porch.

  • Build in “adventure” days – While your wedding’s the main event, there are other things to see and do during your stay in Atlanta. Be sure to visit the city’s major attractions such as the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, and the MLK Center. Take in all the city has to offer.

  • Plan for traffic – There’s no sugarcoating it: traffic in Atlanta can be brutal. However, there are things you can do to make getting from point A to point B as stress-free as possible. If possible, stay off I-85 during the weekday. Check out other less-driven routes around the city. Also, look into public transportation. The MARTA, Atlanta’s rail system, is an efficient, inexpensive way to get to the city’s many attractions.

  • Let Zola help – When it comes to wedding planning, you have a lot on your plate. Let Zola help by taking care of your wedding invitations. With free shipping, envelopes, and guest addressing, Zola makes it possible for you to plan a worry-free Atlanta wedding.

Atlanta Wedding Planning Starts at Zola

Planning an Atlanta wedding can be as fun as singing along to your favorite hip-hop song. That being said, you shouldn’t plan your wedding alone.

Fortunately, Zola has your back every step of the way. From helping you design your wedding website to building your registry, Zola puts the “hot” in “Hotlanta.”

Choose Zola and let us help make planning your Atlanta wedding as easy and laidback as a summer afternoon in Piedmont Park. Just be sure to save some chicken and waffles for us.

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