If you are looking to host your ceremony or reception at Atlanta History Center or in the stately Swan House Gardens you may be wondering how much it will cost. Having planned multiple weddings and working with the wonderful private events team at the History Center, we’re here to answer the question we hear so often from couples, “How much does a Swan House wedding cost, and can we afford it?”.
You may be surprised to learn about the cost of a wedding at the Swan House. With the right planning team in place who will create (and help you stick to) a realistic budget that takes into account each couples’ unique priorities, it may actually be more affordable than you thought! Before we dive into budgets, we want to give you some insight into what hosting your wedding at this ideal venue could look like. Since this Atlanta wedding venue offers multiple event spaces on Atlanta History Center property we’ve covered the ceremony and reception location options for you below.
The Swan House Gardens
The glorious Swan House & Gardens offers a beautiful location with historical appeal for a memorable wedding ceremony or unforgettable social gathering. The natural beauty and majestic cascading fountains attract brides from all over the country to host their weddings on the museum grounds. In fact, the Swan House Lawn is one of the most highly sought-after outdoor venues in Atlanta and is considered an Atlanta landmark.
With its welcoming entrance and private lawn, it’s no wonder why the Swan House events calendar books out so far in advance.
Only the bride and her escorts are allowed inside the historic house museum prior to the start of the wedding ceremony to tuck themselves away from guests.
If you choose to have your cocktail hour in the Swan House Gardens, guests can tour the historic Swan House for the full hour.
An alternate wedding ceremony location is located just on the other side of the Swan House. The private events team and Atlanta History Center preferred vendors refer to this as the Swan House Gardens’, “Column Side”.
Endless Possibilities for Your Cocktail Hour
Cocktail hour can be held in the Swan House Gardens which is the closest location to either Swan House ceremony locations out of all of the potential event spaces you could potentially host your guests.
If you prefer to explore the other potential event spaces on the museum grounds, your guests can take a stroll across the bridge to host your cocktail hour on the outdoor terraces. The private events team has a terrific inclement weather plan for cocktail hour at Atlanta History Center. Guests can enjoy drinks inside of the museum’s rotating exhibitions while you are finishing wedding photos. It is such a unique experience for your guests that you may want to consider hosting your cocktail hour there regardless of the weather!
The Grand Overlook Ballroom
The Grand Overlook Ballroom is truly a grand ballroom. Its Brazilian cherry wood floors and barrel vaulted ceiling helps it rank at the top of our list among ballroom wedding venues to host your wedding reception, dinner party, social, or non profit events.
The Cost of a Wedding at Atlanta History Center
Since we’ve covered the details and many possibilities of hosting a wedding at Atlanta History Center / Swan House Gardens, let’s dive into what a wedding at the History Center could cost
The cost to host your wedding at the venue is $12,500. Like the majority of Atlanta wedding venues, Atlanta History Center also provides the alcohol and serves it to your guests. They do require you meet their minimum beverage minimum which varies depending on the day of the week you plan to host your wedding.
We’ve planned events at the Atlanta History Center and Swan House Gardens with a wide range of budgets from $70,000 – $200,000+. Most couples who ask our team if they can afford to host their wedding at Atlanta History Center have a budget ranging from $80,000 – $120,000. While every couple has different priorities for their wedding, a planner can help determine where to prioritize your budget to achieve the best results within budget.
To prove that you can plan a lovely event at the Atlanta History Center within the range mentioned above, we’ve put together three weddings that we’ve planned within that range and discussed the different priorities each couple had for their event. We also discuss budget with Eve Yarbrough of Eve Yarbrough Photography and get her perspective as a wedding vendor on her own recent wedding at Atlanta History Center.
Atlanta History Center Wedding Budget “Couple A”
Couple A prioritized hosting a fully-outdoor wedding in the Swan House Gardens. Their second priority was florals. Their wedding featured lush garden-style florals throughout their event including a free-standing ceremony structure filled with pastel-colored florals. Couple A had a $68,000 budget for their intimate 80-person wedding. What really helped the couple achieve their priorities and stay within budget was limiting their guest list to their “must-have” people.
Atlanta History Center Wedding Budget “Couple B”
Couple B prioritized florals and having a live band for their 108-person wedding. Couple B had a $90,000 budget to work within.
Atlanta History Center Wedding Budget “Couple C”
Couple C prioritized having a larger guest count and exceptional food for their guests. Couple C had a $105,000 budget to work within for their 124-person wedding.
Words of Advice from Wedding Vendor and Past Swan House Bride, Eve Yarbrough
Eve Yarbrough of Eve Yarbrough Photography knows all about planning a wedding at the Atlanta History Center while working within a budget. We didn’t plan her wedding as one of our team members is a close friend and Eve wanted her to attend her wedding and be able to fully enjoy it as a guest. Below you will find the inside scoop in our interview with her!
Q: “Eve, your wedding at Atlanta History Center was absolutely stunning! Your budget was within the budget of our example couples above, correct?”
A: “Thank you – and yes, it was!”
Q: “What would you say helped you plan your dream day while staying within your budget?”
A: “First off, we had a great planner who helped us stay on track with our budget. Being in the industry myself, I knew that our budget for everything would stretch a lot further the fewer number of guests we invited. Having a guest count of about 80 in attendance really helped shave down the costs and helped us to be able to afford the wedding we wanted.”
Q: “Can you share some of the items you prioritized within your budget?”
A: “As a wedding photographer, the details of our wedding day really mattered to me as well as how they would be captured. I prioritized florals as they really helped to set the tone for our wedding and also dressed up the detail shots of our invitation suite and our custom vow books. Guest experience was also important to us so we prioritized entertainment by having a mariachi band, which was a nod to my Mexican heritage, and an exceptional DJ. Having great food to serve our wedding guests was also a top priority for us which of course, goes back to prioritizing the overall experience for our guests.”
Q: “I love that! We find that guest experience is sometimes overlooked by couples. However, with you being an industry pro, I’m not at all surprised by your answer! Is there any advice you can give to couples currently planning a wedding at the Atlanta History Center?”
A: “As a wedding photographer, I have shot weddings at the Swan House and experienced firsthand how things can go awry without a team of vendors who have experience with working at this particular venue. With things being so spread out it can be a challenge logistically. To ensure that we had the best experience possible on our wedding day, we made sure to carefully select only vendors who had previously worked at the Atlanta History Center.”
Q: “That makes total sense! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and insight with us!”
Advice From a Pro and Past Bride: Hire Experienced Professionals When Planning Your Atlanta History Center Wedding
Due to the Atlanta History Center and Swan House Gardens being such a popular venue and on many wedding vendors’ “bucket lists”, it has become a very popular location for styled photo shoots. Just because you may see photos of what appears to be a Swan House wedding in other vendors’ portfolios, it does not necessarily mean that they have worked an actual wedding at the Swan House or Atlanta History Center. This is important to note due to the very strict rules and restrictions the Atlanta History Center has implemented to protect its integrity as one of Atlanta’s most popular historic landmarks.
If you are planning a wedding at Atlanta History Center it will be most beneficial for you to select a vendor team that has enough experience to navigate the strict rules and logistical challenges this historical wedding venue presents. If you are unsure of whether a vendor has worked at the Atlanta History Center, you can ask whether they have worked an actual wedding there or whether it was just a styled photoshoot. You can always ask the Atlanta History Center private events team for vendor recommendations or to confirm whether or not a vendor has worked there previously.
If the logistics of the wedding space intimidate you, fear not. I can speak from experience that the Atlanta History Center private events team is phenomenal to work with! The team is super thorough and always happy to answer any questions you may have about the space prior to booking.
If you are planning an event at the Atlanta History Center or Swan House & Gardens, we would love to hear about your wedding plans so far and share how we can help plan and execute your dream wedding! Reach out to us to speak with one of our lead planners here!
Eve’s Wedding Vendor Team
Jessica Gold Photography | Simply Charming Socials | Radial Entertainment | Bold Catering