published Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Pigeon Mountain Plantation wedding venue touts relaxed schedules, atmosphere

One of many picturesque accents is seen on the outskirts of the Pigeon Mountain Plantation. The plantation, located near LaFayette, Ga., is gearing up for the wedding and event venue's grand opening on Sept. 8. The restored farmhouse that makes up the main area of the venue is on a working family-owned farm.
One of many picturesque accents is seen on the outskirts of the Pigeon Mountain Plantation. The plantation, located near LaFayette, Ga., is gearing up for the wedding and event venue's grand opening on Sept. 8. The restored farmhouse that makes up the main area of the venue is on a working family-owned farm.
Photo by Jake Daniels.
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• Name: Pigeon Mountain Plantation

• Location: 3782 Shinbone Ridge Road, LaFayette, GA 30728

• Contact information: 706-996-7005, PigeonMountainPlantation.com

• Products/services: Wedding and event venue on a working farm

• Age: The venue will have its ribbon cutting Friday.

• Getting started: The plantation's owners have been running the farm for years but hadn't been living in or using the house. They decided to renovate it toward the beginning of the year and use it as an event venue.

• Standing out: Site manager Michelle Herod has 20 years of experience in the wedding industry. The biggest problem she's found couples run into at a variety of venues is time management. She wants to create a laid-back atmosphere where wedding parties don't need to worry about cleaning up and leaving by a certain time and can just enjoy themselves. "Who wants to relax and think, 'Oh gee, we've got to be out of here in four hours?'" she asked.

• Target market: Herod expects the venue will appeal to a wide range of age groups looking for their flexible wedding experience. She's found local wedding parties have been the most receptive to the venue, but expects to soon draw clients from Atlanta.

• Biggest hurdle: Building a reputation. Wedding and event sites often rely on their reputations, and letting the planning communities know what Pigeon Mountain Plantation is like can be difficult.

• Five-year goal: Herod hopes for the site to be fully booked as a wedding venue by 2017. "We want people to have happy thoughts and good memories and have happy things to say," she said. "That would be what we're looking for."

-- Compiled by Carey O'Neil. If you have an idea for a small business feature, contact reporter Carey O'Neil at coneil@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525. Follow him at twitter.com/careyoneil.

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