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Monday, November 26, 2018

A Georgia Destination Wedding Venue

Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

When couples are planning their destination wedding, they often fall into the trap of trying to please everyone. We regularly advise that this is not possible, but after a recent trip to Greensboro, Georgia, I’m starting to rethink my opinion. There, hidden away in Middle Georgia, is The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. Located 90 minutes outside of Atlanta, Lake Oconee is a hidden gem of respite from the hustle and bustle and, at times, unbearable heat of the South. 

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Upon arrival, I was instantly drawn in by the sun setting over the lake and bonfires bursting to life in the nearby forest. I was certainly drinking the Kool-Aid…or should I say, sweet tea? 

When it comes to accommodations, in addition to the spacious rooms, there are also six cottages and a Lake House – perfect for destination wedding groups. As for activities, good old-fashioned fun is how they roll. Think bingo by the pool, giant slip and slides, world-class sporting grounds and the Reynolds Kingdom of Golf presented by TaylorMade.

The cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Oconee also doesn’t disappoint. Gaby’s by the Lake is ideal for a casual lunch of catfish tacos and Georgia’s restaurant will be a hit for those wanting Southern staples like bacon-wrapped meatloaf with house-smoked ketchup. Not to ruin the surprise, but after an amazing meal at Linger Longer Steakhouse, you’ll be treated to a mountainous batch of freshly made, seasonally flavored cotton candy. Adults stare blankly at it before quickly diving in and devouring the whole thing. This epitomizes the atmosphere and attitude of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Oconee.

“This is The Ritz-Carlton where you can let your hair down. There’s not a crystal chandelier in the place. Our Southern men and women really like to take care of our guests,” says General Manager Ralph Vick. “This is a place where we make little kids out of grown-ups.”

For your “I do’s,” The Forest or Sandy Creek Barn would each make a delightful choice.

On any given day, you can look out your window and see guests fishing off the dock, a couple swinging lazily in a hammock and a parent pushing their squealing child on a giant rope swing. Almost sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? In reality, Lake Oconee did take on a surreal quality – one of utter relaxation, family fun and friendly folks. All-in-all, an amazing place to start your life together as a married couple.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Spring/Summer 2018 issue. You can order a copy here.

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