how the rockwater began

The idea began forming in December, 2018, when our family home hosted the wedding reception for our youngest son and his bride! With a great celebration under our belt, ample land, and gorgeous mountain views to stage events… we decided that a property as special as ours had to have a venue to share with others! 

Eight months later, we broke ground on The RockWater.

Situated on almost 17 acres of family land, The RockWater is surrounded by stunning views, rolling hayfields, and two trout streams. Family has owned the property for decades, and the previous four generations raised livestock and grew crops to sell, share, and survive off of during the Great Depression. They were close-knit families who were loving, generous, and faithful to serve God and love their neighbors. 

We are not only surrounded by beauty, but by wonderful memories of a simpler time–a time where faith in God and a closer walk with Him shaped beautiful unions of a strong, capable husband and a nurturing, loving wife. It is our goal to honor both our Heavenly Father and our heritage, and we pray The RockWater is just the beginning of your God-honoring marriage.

About our Venue

Our Family

Dan & Anita Guss, Owners & operating managers

For 35 years, Dan and I have been celebrating our marriage! It seems like yesterday when we first met as young United States Air Force officers. Following a year-long courtship, we were wed. We traveled the world, and enjoyed seven exciting tours in Japan, Texas, California, Florida, and Georgia. We can confidently say there's no place quite like the Hog Creek valley in Hiawassee!

As a retired F-16 fighter/test pilot (Dan), and an executive/protocol officer and collaborative pianist (Anita), we are by nature, and by training, very attentive to details. We've certainly honed this skill in the design and construction of The RockWater. Many friends and family hands have aided in the process of creating this unique venue, and we give them thanks! Without the assistance of our parents, support (and oftentimes tedious free labor) from our three amazing children and their spouses, and many prayers, this structure would not be here to share. We are thankful to have this opportunity to support you and your vision on YOUR special day!

We were blessed to be able to purchase this property in 1998, with a plan of someday living in the ‘little valley’ surrounded by these mountains and inhabited by many family and loving community members. When grading began on The RockWater in 2019, we had hoped to unearth a few rocks for landscaping. Little did we realize the sheer volume of boulders to be discovered where the barn is located… enough to construct the living retaining wall, situate the largest boulder referred to as the “sitting rock” in the courtyard, and vertically ‘plant’ what we call the “standing rock”. We used remaining rocks to form a lower retaining wall, and ultimately decided to bury countless boulders back under the barn. With Hog Creek within view, and the discovery of an artesian well, the name of The RockWater seemed appropriate.  

Your happily ever after begins here...

start planning today