Falling in Love With Your Venue…and wedding planner!

In the beginning, Jessica approached us like any other bride. She called to gain information about our venue, pricing, and wedding packages. We sat down and had a consultation, she toured the venue, fell in love with what we had to offer, and booked with us. Again, like most of our brides, Jessica and Darla immediately hit it off. However, things took a little turn when she invited Darla, our Executive Director, to a girls’ weekend in New York City to help her say yes to the perfect dress (which she did find…and celebrated the occasion by popping into Tiffany & Co. to buy her wedding band!). Things only went up from there, and long story short, Jessica saw Darla as one of her own, so she invited her to be a part of her bachelorette cruise, which was nicknamed her ‘Last Sail Before the Veil,’ and of course, who can pass up a cruise to the Bahamas?! Darla gathered up her Tiffany shades, floppy sun hat, and adorable lace bellbottom coverup and set sail with the whole gang.

Wedding planner and bride

 

So we asked: Jessica, what has your experience with Castleton been like so far?

My experience at Castleton Farms has been BEYOND AMAZING!  From day one, Darla and the rest of the crew have treated me like a queen.  From the vendor experience to finding a wedding dress and everything in between, my wedding planning has been absolutely stress-free.  I mean, who else has a wedding planner that would fly to NYC with them to help them find a dress!?  I am so very thankful to be a Castleton Bride!

Why did you choose to involve Castleton in more than just the planning process and how has that benefited you?

I chose to involve Castleton in more than just my planning process because I just adore Darla.  Not only did I want her professional opinion and help choosing my wedding gown, but I also enjoyed her company.  I believe that my family and I can all agree that Darla has become more than my wedding planner.  She has become a friend, and I wanted to share all of my wedding festivities with her.  Having her help choosing my dress, my wedding band, and attire for wedding festivities has been so beneficial.  It is nice to know I am not just a number at some wedding venue, and I believe that Darla truly cares for all of her brides.  I cannot wait to have her help celebrating my last sail before the veil!!!

 

Wedding planner in NYC

If you know Darla at all, you know she loves to be hands-on with all of her brides because she loves them like her own – and hey, they basically are her own! She’s a woman with the biggest, kindest heart we know, and she has so much to give. She would bend over backwards – at any time of the day – for any of her brides, and that’s important for any girl to have during her planning season! We’re so thankful Jessica has found such a friend in her wedding planner.

Check out the girls’ trip to the Bahamas! We would highly recommend this for the perfect bachelorette weekend!

Cayla + Michael: An Intimate Wedding

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When Cayla + Michael approached us about their vision to have an intimate wedding at Castleton, we immediately knew this would be something incredibly special. The couple’s vision didn’t include a guest list of 250, a propped out photo booth, or enough DIY decor to fill our 108 acre property. They wanted a timeless event that was to be celebrated with their closest family and friends, so that’s exactly what we gave them.

With only about 20 guests, the wedding was simply charming. Cayla + Michael’s ceremony was held in the Bridal Pavilion – literally in the Pavilion, guests and all! Afterwards, they hosted an elegant dinner party in the Great Room of the Manor for their guests. All Occasion Catering brought in one of their finest menus, and the guests topped off their dinner with delicious creme brûlée. One of the best parts was Cayla + Michael didn’t have to spend hours saying “hello” and “thank you” to their guests – they could just say it across the table!

What fun we had planning this wedding, and we wish the newly Mr. & Mrs. Michael Dickenson nothing but absolute joy and happiness!

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Photography by Bryan Allen Photo

Southern Charm is Here To Stay: The Rise in Rustic Barn Weddings

It’s no secret that planning a rustic chic wedding is a trending topic among brides lately, and we hope that trend is here to stay! Couples aren’t having to travel to the South to find the perfect barn venue anymore. They are popping up all over the country – and for good reason!

Compared to a traditional wedding venue, such as a church or a reception hall, barns provide a much more relaxed environment for couples and their guests, so you could argue that people who have barn weddings have the most fun!

Picture of a rustic barn and fall wedding ceremony setting

 

Adding a little southern charm to your wedding is easy in our Carriage House garden. Whether you choose to have an enchanting outdoor ceremony in the pergola or take the party indoors during a hot summer evening, we can do it all! Our space is a blank canvas, so dress it up with sparkles and bling or keep it naturally rustic. Either way, we can guarantee you’re going to have an unforgettable experience!

 

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There’s something simple, yet so elegant about a barn wedding. The wood provides natural beauty, so tons of dollars aren’t being spilled into the decor budget. All you really need are lace + burlap table runners, a few lanterns, and chalkboards displaying your catchy hashtag. Add in some string lights, and you’ll create a venue so cozy, guests won’t want to leave!

 

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Farewell, Dirty Guv’nahs

The Dirty Guv'nahs concert at sunset

WOW, what a weekend we had at the farm last month! Our first outdoor concert event, A Sip of Summer, benefiting East Tennessee Children’s Hospital was a huge success! The farm was the first stop on The Dirty Guv’nahs Farewell Tour, so we anticipated quite the turnout. What we got was so much more! The stage was set, food trucks rolled in, and over 500 people came out to the farm on a Saturday night in July. We sang and danced, ate and drank, and said hello to Subtle Clutch and waved farewell to The Dirty Guv’nahs. Everyone knows the farm consistently creates magical experiences for couples on their wedding day, but we wanted to show that it’s a great outdoor venue for concerts too. I’d say we proved our point – just look at that sunset behind the stage!

The Dirty Guv'nahs summer concert

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Our VIP ticket holders were able to shake hands and chat with The Dirty Guv’nahs before the show in an awesome lounge space provided by Tailgate Tennessee. Delicious cocktails and appetizers were whipped up by All Occasion Catering, and all VIP guests were able to enjoy the concert from the deck of the Carriage House.

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| Photography by Katherine Birkbeck |

767 Days Later

These two waited 767 days to say ‘I do,’ so to say this day was highly anticipated is an understatement. Milestone Pictures perfectly captured every moment and feeling in this wedding video. An adorable (and creative!) first look, Jennifer’s classic look and cathedral veil, and a dance floor that wasn’t empty the entire night – it was a truly unforgettable event!

Springing Forward

We’re waving goodbye to the freezing cold temperatures and snow days and welcoming in springtime! But what’s a goodbye party without a little recognition? Thanks to ALM Photo for braving the weather to capture these shots! As beautiful as Castleton looks covered in snow, we’re ready for our property and our gardens to bloom with color again!

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We’re so excited about this warm weather, we’ve decided to offer 25% off all of our open-dates in May, June & July! Give us a call or email us at info@castletonfarms.com to see if your date is still available.

Choosing Castleton Farm: Real Castleton Couples

Castleton Farms wants to share a little LOVE from our 2013 Brides and Grooms. Here, in their own words, find out what they LOVED most about their Castleton experience and find out why they decided to make Castleton their wedding venue of choice!

Bride and groom on wedding day

 “Well, for me, I knew I was only going to get married once, so I had to do it right! From the moment I saw the sheer, effortless elegance Castleton exudes, the search for my perfect venue was over.  As a full-time law student as well as part-time employee, planning a wedding wasn’t something I could possibly have time to do by myself – that’s where Darla came in. I cannot sing her praises enough. She and the Castleton crew made my entire wedding experience a true fairy tale!

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Newton

Real couple on wedding day

“The absolute best thing about Castleton farms is Darla. She helped us make the best decisions before the wedding, and literally took care of everything we needed the day of the wedding. We loved her level of involvement! No wedding is stress free, but we are so thankful Darla was there to take care of us. We trusted her from the moment we booked the venue, and she took incredible care of us.”

Mr. and Mrs. Nick Kakanis

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“Dreams do come true! There are not enough words to completely express our thanks and appreciation for all that Castleton did to make our day the BEST day of our lives. No detail was left undone, and the Castleton grounds looked as if they were ripped from the pages of Southern Weddings magazine. The styling team really carried out our vision of a Vintage Carnival themed wedding throughout the ceremony, Carriage House, and reception. Our guests are still swooning over how amazingly beautiful everything looked! We find it nothing less than incredible that, with the volume of weddings you all help to perfect, ours was truly so unique and everything we dreamed of. The food was absolutely delicious and unique, as was the cake. The Castleton team, led by the amazingly talented Darla Walker, exceeded all of our expectations and absolutely no detail went unnoticed or unappreciated. We could not have dreamt of a better way to begin our journey as husband and wife and we are so thankful for Castleton’s hard work, creativity, love and passion that they put into every inch of our Castleton Experience. Brides, look no more…because everything you dreamed of is about to come true!!”

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Courtney

Choosing Castleton Farms: Darla Walker

Darla Walker with bride and groom at Halloween wedding

And first runner up of why you should choose Castleton Farms as your wedding venue….our very own, Darla Walker. When she reads this, I won’t be her favorite intern anymore because she is humble and wants absolutely no accolades, but the truth is, Castleton Farms could not be the most sought after venue in the South without her.  She is everything that a wedding planner should be.  She wears many hats and wears them well. I would like to think of her as a fairy godmother. She takes your vision of a fairy tale wedding,waves her magic wand and makes everything come true, just like that! *poof* How does she do it? In my opinion, she has been given a God-given talent. Talent, coupled with experience, style, negotiation and project management is a win-win in the wedding planning industry. Lucky for our Castleton Brides, her talents are at your disposal. She takes the stress, the negotiations, the budget restraints, project execution and carries it on her shoulders until the end, while doing all this, she has the wonderful ability to keep a clear head and still get excited about all the tiny details. This enables our brides to have fun during this process. After all, your wedding is supposed to be fun! You’re not supposed to worry!  This is where Darla steps in. From the beginning, until the end, she is with you every step of the way. After the initial Castleton experience, she begins her magic. She converts your vision into reality. This includes supervising vendor negotiations, managing vendors, managing guests, and handling all other wedding details, no matter how unimportant they may seem. She helps you save money, manages your timeline, while trouble shooting any unforeseen mishaps. Not only does she handle these important tasks, but she is a sounding board for decisions, a mediator, a therapist, a stress reducer and a resource of knowledge that is invaluable in this industry! Her awards and her testimonies speak for themselves. When you choose Castleton, Darla is the wedding topper on your cake, she genuinely loves our brides and follows them for many years after their big day. When you become a Castleton Bride, you become part of the Castleton family, and of course Darla, will always be your fairy godmother!

Darla Walker with bride and groom

Darla Walker with bride and groom

Darla Walker and bride at rehearsal dinner

Julie Roberts Photography

 

Choosing Castleton Farms: An Award Winning Venue

When you are researching and trying to select the perfect wedding venue, you want to make sure it is a venue that will include everything you could ever want or imagine! You must thoroughly investigate the venue and feel confident in your choice. You should be so enlightened by your venue that when you hear the name ‘Castleton Farms,’ your face glows and you can’t help but smile. Our previous brides have reacted that way and because of their past experiences at our venue, we have been very blessed to win many awards in our industry!

 

Our dedicated team of event planners is extremely goal-oriented and isn’t stopping any time soon! We want and hope to continue our success and earn more in the future! Our ambition is to gain your trust and help you plan the best day of your life! So please while reading our awards, know that yes, they are important to us, but we feel that our best awards are when we successuflly give you the wedding of your dreams. If you choose our venue, know that at Castleton Farms we adore and look forward to watching your beautiful convenant of marriage, and we believe that your happiness by far trumps any other award!


 

Awards

Wedding Wire Bride’s Choice Awards | 2012, 2013

Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Awards | 2014, 2015

The Knot Best of Weddings | 2012

Best of Borrowed & Blue Winner | 2016

Choosing Castleton Farms: The Southern Gardens

If your wedding style is defined by elegance and luxury, dream no more! The Southern Gardens at Castleton Farms is the ideal venue for you. Surrounded by the mountains of East Tennessee, the backdrop for any Castleton wedding is merely breathtaking! Add a bit of draping to our elegant bridal pavilion, and the most sophisticated of brides will be perfectly pleased. Keep it simple with a crystal chandelier and lush florals, and you will leave guests ooh’ing and ahh’ing. Not to mention, with the ability to seat 500+ guests, you won’t have to narrow down that guest list too much! The bridal pavilion is perfect for spring, summer, and autumn outdoor weddings since it is completely surrounded by natural beauty and immaculate landscaping.

Our southern pavilion, located just a few short steps from the bridal pavilion, beckons for gathering and dancing after the “I do’s.” This covered structure is great for cocktail hour and receptions. Think of it as a blank canvas! Because of it’s natural color palette and versatility, your wedding color scheme and style are guaranteed to complement, never clash. Dress it up with draping from All Occasions Party Rentals and tall, extravagant floral arrangements from the talented Samuel Franklin to leave your guests absolutely stunned. Can we say ‘Wedding of the Year!?

Our mezzanine patio sits right beside the pavilion and can be home to the dance floor, one of our specialty bars (a late night Moonshine Bar or Bourbon & Cigar Bar), or a fire pit for guests to congregate in the chillier months. The options are endless!

Last, but certainly not least, the Southern Gardens accommodate a small lake, covered by a grassy bridge that leads to a Grecian-inspired gazebo (one of our photographers’ favorite locations) that serves as a breathtaking backdrop for your bridal portraits or wedding day pictures.

The Southern Gardens are perfect for the bride who desires luxurious glamour, romance, elegance, and southern charm. It’s the venue that fulfills every wedding dream.