This is the first in a series of articles in which I discuss the beautiful locations where I have had the opportunity to photograph various events.
The Payne Corley House, without a doubt, is one of my top 10. Beautiful home, grand areas for photos, and a fantastic staff to boot. The main house is two stories with a large front porch and beautifully landscaped grounds. Inside there is a staircase, off the entry foyer, leading to the upstairs Bridal room. The Bridal room has plenty of space not only for the Bride and her “court” but for me to move around and get those great Bridal preparation photos. Downstairs the floor plan is laid out very well with an open feeling and the rooms flow together naturally, allowing your guest to move easily from the ballroom, to the bar area, to the buffet area and outside to the beautiful exterior surroundings.
Speaking of the outside, you find yourself with the cottage for the groom. This is a great idea, so the guys can have their own place, and we do not have to hide the bride when we are moving the groom for photos. The bride can even enjoy the view of the activities from the upstairs window, but she will be busy with the girls.
The Gazebo area is very picturesque. It has such a romantic feel. When I am stepping back to take that wide angle shot with all of your guests, Wow! I just love that shot. I love this place.
Can’t go without saying anything about the train tracks. If a client wants to take a walk to the tracks, it is quit fun, and we can get some great shots. It is very popular, and there are several spots along the way too. That is just a little icing on the cake, but the tracks are not for everyone.
I have to speak of the staff there. I have had a chance to work with a few of the family members, such as Krista, Lori Ann, Hope, Robin and Jennifer. Not blowing any smoke here, these ladies have always been great. I know every event can’t be 100%, but here I have experienced that. These ladies want you and your guest to have a great time, and they want you to get great pictures. They never rush me, they never seemed to be freaked out, because they are having fun helping you have fun. I know the rest of the team has to be just as cool. I am only sorry I have never had a chance to meet the chef, because his food is Brilliant! I have never seen it any less. Please keep this guy around! I usually don’t get to eat much, because I am too busy taking great pictures, but when I do get the chance, it is delicious.
Now a little on the House history, from their site.
The Payne Corley House is the oldest standing home in the city of Duluth.
1873: The House was built between 1870 and 1873 by David Little when Duluth was still known as “Howell’s Crossing.” Built as a farmhouse, the home received a date placard in 1873, the same year that the city took on its current name of Duluth, most likely indicating the year that the Little family made it their permanent home.
The House had changed hands many times throughout the years and has a rich history.
1998-2004: When Miss Winnie was ready to leave the house, a group of 5 girlhood friends and Duluth natives purchased the Payne-Corley House and transformed the beloved family home into a unique special events facility. Known as the “Dreamkeepers,” they were dedicated to maintaining the home’s historic charm while refurbishing it to meet the needs of a modern clientele. They successfully built the Payne-Corley House into one of the Southeast’s most celebrated event destinations.
2004-Present: In 2004, the daughter of one of the Dreamkeepers, Duluth native Krista Summerour Ganley, and her husband, Michael Ganley, brought their world-class experience in events management and gourmet cuisine as the Payne-Corley House’s new management team. In 2008, the Ganleys purchased the Payne-Corley House and launched a major facility expansion with upgrades across the property, providing enhanced services for weddings and special events. Leveraging their unique talent for Southern hospitality, the Ganleys also own and run downtown Duluth’s award-winning Park Café restaurant and have built both facilities into well-known community gathering places.
Definitely two thumbs up! An enjoyable spot to tie the knot. Great atmosphere, great staff. That can only mean a great experience. Just don’t forget the great photographs!
Take a look at a few of my photos above, that I took at the House. I will be happy to share more. Then take a look at their site at The Payne Corley House.