By Jessica Isaacs | [email protected]
One of the High Country’s newest venues opened its doors to the wedding and events community last week for a grand opening celebration, and guests who walked through them enjoyed a great evening of food and fun in a truly beautiful place. You’ll love the Overlook Barn as soon as you see it, but you may love the story behind it even more.
Following their engagement in late November 2014, Katie Elder and David Schumann embarked on a journey to find their perfect wedding venue in the hills of western North Carolina. When they decided to tour an old barn in the Beech Mountain community, which has belonged to the bride’s family for generations, the couple set sail on another new adventure.
Built by Katie’s grandfather in the 1960s, the expansive barn sits atop the mountain with a truly breathtaking panoramic view. Upon first look, its infrastructure showed signs of wear from its past life as a horse stable, as a storage facility and even as the site of community square dances hosted by her family long before Katie was born.
Despite its leaky roof, dirt floors and the countless old relics that called the place home, the bride-to-be saw endless potential in this piece of her family’s history, and she wasn’t alone. CeCe Hampton, her wedding planner, also knew they were staring at a diamond in the rough.
“CeCe absolutely loved the space and gushed about it, and, with that positive affirmation from an industry professional, I started to give it more serious consideration,” Katie said. “All of this happened while I was in North Carolina for the holidays and David was in California visiting his folks. Imagine his surprise when I called, completely convinced that we should by my uncle’s farm, renovate it to get married there and start a wedding venue business, all within a year.”
David was on board immediately, without even seeing the property, and renovations began right away. After tackling countless renovation projects to bring the place to life, the two exchanged their own vows at the newly outfitted ElderMann’s Overlook Barn.
Today, the property boasts a polished concrete floor, state-of-the-art styling suites, event lighting, pristine landscaping, an outdoor fire pit, a two-acre meadow and enough space in the barn for 250-300 reception guests. The couple now looks forward to hosting special wedding days for other brides and grooms who love the barn as much as they do.
“This has got to be the most exciting part about owning a wedding venue. David’s ‘day job’ is in software sales and mine is in human resources. Neither of us get to see a real, direct impact on customers on a daily basis for those jobs,” said Katie. “To think that couples will be using the barn my grandfather built and we renovated as the place they will kick off their life journey together is astounding. We had the time of our lives at our wedding and reception surrounded by friends and family, and we just can’t wait to see others have that same experience.
“We also are curious to see how couples make the barn their own for the evening by decorating with their own personal style. I’m sure so many people will come up with great ideas and we can’t wait to see pictures from those events!”
If your heart is set on using this new venue for your next special event (and we totally don’t blame you if so), then hop over to overlookbarn.com for more information or reach Katie and David at [email protected]
Visit the blog to our sister publication, High South Weddings, for photos from Overlook Barn’s recent grand opening event.
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