Vecoma at the Yellow River is an Idyllic Venue for a Special Event

by Heidi Campbell

As visitors drive up to the Snellville property surrounding Vecoma at the Yellow River, they completely forget that they are mere moments from the hustle and bustle of a metropolis. Nestled quietly amidst the trees, this property is an ideal blend of eloquence, intimacy, and beauty. The grounds are pristine, and the reception hall is tastefully decorated with the elegance of light streaming through the exposed rafters and the charm of flowing table décor and unique antiques that add to the appeal.

The owners, Caroline Tucker and Judith Warren, a mother-daughter team, have worked together for twenty years – even during football season when they cheer for opposing teams. Judith is a die-hard Georgia Bulldog fan, and Caroline cheers for her alma mater, Georgia Tech. They put the school rivalries aside, however, and enjoy working together to create the perfect venue for weddings, retreats, anniversaries, company parties, and birthday celebrations. “This is a family business. My sons are fifth generation Atlantans,” Caroline explains, “and my two sons enjoy helping out with the business. Now they are dishwashers, but they are looking forward to running the business someday. My husband is licensed to be a wedding officiant. The whole family is involved.”

The deck of the main building overlooks the stunning grounds that border the Yellow River. Wedding couples walk toward the water along a stone path between rows of seated guests where they say “I do” under a beautiful awning. “The best part of this property is that it is so secluded on the river, and there are seventy acres of forest around us,” Caroline points out. “There are places like this in Dahlonega, but with Vecoma you don’t have to drive all those hours to have a destination wedding!”

The property has been in the family since the 1920s. Caroline’s great-great grandfather, Harry “Cotton” Mather, was a successful business owner. As his furniture business grew throughout Georgia and Florida, Cotton and his wife, Venie, were able to see their dreams to fruition. They purchased the land along both sides of the Yellow River, and, by 1927, built a six-sided get-away in the forest. They named their retreat Vecoma, with the first four letters representing the first two letters of each of their names. Visitors can still see the original foundation and chimney when they visit the new reception hall, which was built in 1996. “Cotton passed the land on to his daughter, and then it was left to my mother,” explains Caroline. “We knew we didn’t want to sell the land. We’re conservationists, plus it was sentimental! We wanted to keep it in the family.”

Judith spent time on the property as a kid, and, in 1996, had the idea to build the venue. Vecoma at the Yellow River is a full service venue for special occasions, employing close to twenty dedicated part time employees who work to make the events the best that they can be. Vecoma provides the food and bar for all events. They have numerous bar options, from open bar to cash bar, and all options include a professional bartender for the event. The food is prepared by Vecoma’s executive chefs, Walter Reed and A.B. Bailey, who have been with Vecoma the entire twenty years. They use all fresh ingredients. The menu can be suited to satisfy nearly any palate. They offer brunch choices, traditional Bfare, Italian or Mexican selections, and their specialty, Southern cuisine. They can do sit down, plated meals for up to 150 guests with all indoor seating, or 250 if they add additional seating on the beautiful covered deck overlooking the river. They can serve up to 320 guests for those looking for a reception-style buffet.

Customers have the option to bring their own cakes, photographers, ministers, flowers, and music. “We have great recommendations for bakeries, and our in-house DJ Kirk Moten does a great job at a great price,” explains Caroline. “I’m the in-house photographer. I started doing the photos because I know exactly where all the picture-perfect spots are. There is no obligation to use me, but I offer great quality at a great price!”

Indeed the sample wedding albums and photos that are on display showcase the absolute magic of a Vecoma event: beautiful surroundings, complete joy, and vibrant colors. Caroline truly loves the work that she does. She says, “Every weekend is a heartwarming experience! After planning these events for months, I get to see these brides in their wedding gowns and take the photos of a lifetime! I get to watch families reuniting for exciting events. I get to hear the toasts to the bride and groom. Weddings bring people together, and I love being a part of that!”

Although weddings are the most popular events held at Vecoma, they have numerous other events throughout the year. They host company Christmas parties, corporate summer picnics, rehearsal dinners, and wedding anniversaries. They can use their space and property for any occasion. “This past year, we had a one-year-old birthday party,” shares Caroline. “It was a wonderful event! We had lots of guests, balloons, face painters, and a DJ. We even had a petting zoo!”

When visitors come to Vecoma at the Yellow River, they are truly wowed by its beauty. It is no wonder that they have more 5 star reviews and more awards than any other venue in this state. “We give the best value for a wedding in the Atlanta area. We’ve gotten reviews and awards online because of our great value,” Caroline says with a warm smile. “People who use us have a gorgeous wedding without spending an arm and leg!”

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