The Chapel

Oh, wedding planning. Everyone has a different idea. Half think we should have a date set the day we’re engaged. The other half thinks I’m crazy for already feeling behind.

Though (at the time this post was written) we’ve only been engaged just over two weeks, it seems to me like we took forever to get to this point: We’ve finally found the perfect location for our wedding. After a series of disappointments, I found myself despondently Googling one more time for wedding venues around Atlanta. I stumbled on an unpromising early 90s-style website with a list of them and, in my desperation, began clicking through. There were a lot of ordinary places, but my heart skipped a beat upon finding pictures of this gorgeous chapel. Plenty of windows, a reception site included, amazingly warm wood–I couldn’t believe it. Then, imagine my surprise when I realized this chapel was in Athens, in the same State Botanical Garden Jay and I have visited countless times. How did we miss it?

The Day Chapel at the State Botanical Gardens

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More pictures are available in our gallery.

From the Botanical Garden website:

The Day Chapel, situated in a secluded hardwood forest, is one of the premier wedding facilities in the greater Athens area. Dedicated in 1994, the chapel was a gift to the Garden in memory of Cecil B. Day, Sr. by his family. An eclectic blend of architectural styles designed by Smith Dalia Architects, it is constructed primarily of cypress and other native woods. Stunning carved mahogany and glass doors are among the decorative features that incorporate the state bird, state butterfly, state flower, and state tree into interior design motifs. Other notable decorative elements include custom hand-tufted wool rugs, light fixtures, and lectern. Geometric designs in the rugs derive from the pew fabric, itself inspired by the Book of Kells, an illuminated 8th century manuscript. The Belgian blocks which form the foundation and line the driveway were originally used to pave Atlanta’s Decatur Street shortly after the Civil War.

Although the Chapel’s most frequent use is for weddings, its excellent acoustics make it a favorite venue for concerts, recitals, memorials and other special events. The Chapel seats 130 people and includes a concert grand piano available for use at a nominal fee. The lower level contains bride and groom dressing areas, restrooms, a full catering kitchen, and reception hall which opens onto a beautiful garden terrace overlooking a steep woodland ravine.

As you can see, we visited the chapel, and it’s amazing. I didn’t know such a pretty place existed indoors, in Georgia. Thank you Day family! Now I really can’t wait to get married.

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