North Georgia’s Barnsley Resort: Sweet Southern Charm


October 30, 2023
Words by Holly Kapherr Alejos
Photos courtesy of various

Tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Barnsley Resort is one of the most picturesque places to marry in the South. Whether you’re hoping for an intimate affair surrounded by nature or a grand cotillion for hundreds of friends and family, this property has it, plus plenty of room for everyone to stay on property. 

Barnsley Resort comprises two main accommodations: A collection of quaint cottages dripping with charm with room for up to 18 people under one roof (perfect for bridal parties!), and an elegant English country-style inn with 55 additional guest rooms and suites. The resort is pet-friendly, so plan for your four-legged BFF to be your ring bearer. 

Options abound for ceremony locations: The cute “town hall” in the center of the resort can be transformed into a traditional wedding chapel. Go deep into the green forest for a sweet ceremony among the blooming mountain laurels and lilies. Say I do in the middle of a circle of towering bamboo in the meditation garden strung with market lighting.

Our favorite spot on this magical property is a dramatic ceremony in the ruins of the Godfrey Barnsley manor house, built in the 1840s as a gift for his bride, flanked by blossoming English garden hedgerows stuffed with fragrant flowers.

Indoor and outdoor reception venues offer plenty of options depending on the weather. Hold your cocktail hour at the manor house before convening in Georgian Hall for a grand revelry deep into the night. Or get together with Chef Javier Cuesta and plan a cozy multi-course gourmet tasting dinner paired with exceptional wines at the garden-to-table restaurant, Rice House. 

Get ready for the big day at the full-service spa, furnished with comfy armchairs in the relaxation room and all the Southern hospitality you’d expect from this part of the country. A blissful massage, a rejuvenating facial, or a natural body treatment is the perfect treat for any couple or bridal party before walking down the aisle.

Treat your guests to a round of golf at the Jim Fazio-designed course, with incredible mountain views and unbeatable scenery on 378 acres of championship greens. Other wedding weekend activities abound, including horseback trail riding, biking over miles of nature trails, a boat ride on the lake, or just a few lazy hours in a hammock or along the fire pits with a s’mores kit. Head to the inn on select nights for a bourbon tasting in the library, and then relax at Woodlands Grill for a delicious meal with golf course views.

A memorable activity is the Beretta shooting grounds, where High Adventure Company will post you up to shoot sporting clays. Keep score and see which side of the bridal party is the better shot. Hunting enthusiasts can set up a quail hunt, starting at the Beretta Shooting Grounds Clubhouse. 

After the festivities, couples should consider sticking around for their honeymoon at Barnsley. One of the cottages would make an excellent first love nest, complete with clawfoot tub and plush furnishings for lots of post-nuptial lounging. 

There’s a good reason why Southern Living named Barnsley Resort one of the South’s best places to wed, and wedding packages start at $165 per person, complete with cocktail hour apps and a dinner buffet by the resort’s skilled culinary staff. Your Wedding and Special Events Manager will guide you through the process of planning your day, and might even teach you to saber your Champagne for a toast to remember.

Photos courtesy of: Garter + Whiskey; Gianna Keiko; Maggie Braucher Photography; 6 of Four Photography

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