Howe Farms, which currently operates two wedding venues on a farm in Georgetown, is opening four new venues later this year.
The business was launched in 2015 after owners Don and Talene Howe held their wedding on the property, which was previously Don's hobby farm. In three months they transformed the farm into their wedding venue, and it worked so well they decided to open up the space to others.
By their second year in business, their first venue, The Vineyard Barn, was completely booked. This led them to open a second, The Apple Barn, constructed with hand-hewn wood from a 400-year-old barn originally located in Navarre, Ohio, and owned by the family of Ulysses S. Grant, said Talene.
"We wanted something with history and meaning to it," she said of their second venue, which they decorated with crystal chandeliers to add a romantic feel to the historic space.
All of Howe Farms' venues include an outdoor space for a ceremony, along with an indoor space that can be used for a reception as well as a ceremony, so couples don't have to worry about renting a tent in case of inclement weather.
Each venue also features bridal and groom suites, a commercial catering kitchen, and a decoration room with decor such as mercury glass vases and candle holders that couples can use free of charge to help personalize the space.
"We want to have everything here, so no matter what the day throws at you there's an awesome alternative," Talene said.
The new Highlands Chapel venue, located on the same 130-acre farm, is set to open in April. Situated atop a hill with almost 360-degree views of the rolling landscape and nearby pond, the couple's attention to detail shows in every aspect of its design, she said.
For instance, they shaved down one side of the hill so that it tilts slightly forward, making it so the guests look down on the wedding party and aren't forced to stare into the sun.
Those details come from the Howes' experience with their own wedding, as well as the more than 300 weddings held at Howe Farms since 2015 and feedback from couples considering the venue.
Wanting to expand beyond just barn weddings, the Howes found inspiration in the small chapel already on the property. Despite serving as a storage shed, the tiny chapel is often used by couples in their photos, and the Howes were receiving requests from couples who wanted to use it as a venue.
The charming three-story chapel will feature white shiplap walls and exposed beams with space for up to 150 guests, offering an option for couples wanting a smaller wedding. (The Vineyard and Apple Barn accommodate 300-400.)
The owners are expanding even further, with two more venues planned at a 200-acre farm down the road they're calling Cherry Hill at Howe Farms.
The Loft at Cherry Hill, available starting July 1, is designed to appeal to couples attracted to the urban vibe of downtown Chattanooga and those who want a more casual setting, said Talene. The 5,000-square-foot space features an arched corridor providing depth and dimension for photos, as well as details such as pretty landscaping and 10-foot arched doors of solid mahogany.
The view is the main attraction for The Pavilion at Cherry Hill, available beginning Aug. 1. The Pavilion will accommodate up to 300 and feature garage-style doors on both sides that can be raised to take advantage of the view.
Although The Pavilion hasn't been built yet, dates are already being booked for 2020 and beyond, as is the case with all the venues at Howe Farms, said Talene.
The fourth new venue planned is the Woodlands, inspired by a French chateau and nestled in the woods at the Cherry Hill property. It will feature a solarium off the main building with cushy seating in a tea party-type setting surrounded by a flower garden, she said.
All packages include use of the new Bowtie Club, a place where the groomsmen can spend the day playing games and relaxing.
Optional add-ons include vintage getaway cars, fireworks, photography, and pretty much anything else people may dream of having at their wedding.
"Nobody ever tells you how to do this, and there are all kinds of hurdles to jump over," Talene said of planning a wedding. "We make sure everything's smooth, that someone's thought through all the details and provided everything they might need."
The venues are also available for other events, such as corporate retreats and parties, with pricing dependent on the client's specific needs.
Howe Farms is at 7600 Runyan Road in Georgetown and can be reached at 362-4517 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit howefarmstn.com.
Email Emily Crisman at email@example.com.