Taylor and Preston Gregg are this year’s winners of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce’s Business Start-up Competition. They were awarded $10,000 to establish a wedding venue, to be known as the Ridge on Chestnut Mountain, in Canton. Taylor says she isn’t going into business to process customers; she wants visitors to stay, relax, and soak in the ambience. A wedding, she says, should be an experience and not a production scheduled for a specific time.
The Greggs themselves were married on the property, it being Preston’s family farm. The concept had its inception six years ago on a scratch piece of paper. In the following years, the couple traveled up and down the Eastern United States researching what they liked and didn’t like about similar establishments. If all goes as planned, the Ridge will open next year and will feature a 6,400 square-foot reception barn with a bridal loft and groom’s den. It will have a rustic appearance, furnished with Amish farm tables and wooden cross-back chairs. Ceremonies for groups of up to 299 will be held in a 2,400 square-foot pavilion furnished with church pews. Patrons will be able to rent the space or purchase a package that provides all the trimmings, which will be provided by local vendors. Extras can include fireworks, yoga classes for the bride’s entourage, and skeet shooting for the groom and his pals.