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A Potential Venue

by Meghann on January 17, 2012

Last night I was showing my Mom some photos of this gorgeous ranch I found outside of Tampa that I love as a potential wedding venue. It’s rustic, it’s adorable, and I could totally see Derek and I saying ‘I Do’ under this big beautiful oak tree they perform the ceremonies under. I’ve petty much looked at every goog-able photo of the place and already made an appointment to check the venue out next weekend.

That’s when she told me a co-worker had heard a rumor of a new wedding venue that had semi-recently opened in Titusville. It was a pole barn on the edge of town that was also rustic, gorgeous, and owned by a local family who built the barn on their property for their daughter’s wedding in 2010. The venue was such a big hit on their daughter’s wedding day that offers started flooding in of other couples wanting to use the space for their big day. Before they knew it, they were in the wedding business.


After a quick google search, my Mom and I found Birdsong Barn in Titusville. The photos were just as gorgeous as the other ranch I was looking at, only there was something about Birdsong Barn that just felt homey and unique. It was a venue you could take into your own and turn it into what ever you want. Even though it was after 7:00pm, I grabbed my cell and immediately began dialing the contact number. The lady that answered was so sweet on the phone and just a pleasure to talk to. She agreed to meet my Dad and I at the site at 10:00am this morning for a quick walk through.


Admittedly, when I first walked onto the property, I wasn’t as impressed as I was with the photos online. Everything was a mess and the chairs, tables, and decorations were shoved all over the place.


But then, THEN, I started to see it.


I could see the twinkling lights. I could see the tables with all of the beautiful mismatched black chairs filled with people. I could see the silver lanterns outlining the barn. And I could see snowflakes. Lots of beautiful snowflakes dangling from the roof and from trees. This place had potential and I loved it.


The woman who met us, Luanne, was amazing as well. She does the venue stuff on the side and to her – it’s fun. She said she had a treasure trove closet filled with dozens of lanterns, hundreds of mason jars, shepherd hooks, chandeliers, etc. etc. and for a flat rate of a $50 rental fee, I could use what ever I wanted for the big day. She also had antique windows, cream place settings, barrels, and stand alone heaters that could be set up when the sun goes down.


There was a space where her husband sets up a backdrop for a make-shift photobooth.


There were two bonfire pits for SMORES (<– I’m not sure why, but I really want smores at our wedding)


And there was a beautiful arch that her husband and her had build that Derek and I could become man and wife under.


Birdsong Barn holds 185 people and the rental fee includes all the chairs, tables, and access to the rental space for 24 hours the day of the event. There’s a changing area for the bride, a side property for photos, and there are no restrictions for outside vendors. All she asked was that we have a licensed bartender if liquor is served on site. She recommended a couple of local caterers and a local DJ that she has worked with before and really respected.

I’m on a tight budget, so all of this was music to my ears. The rental fee is the lowest I’ve been quoted and the fact that she would throw in all the decorations for $50 literally made me choke on air – such a great deal! The idea of being married in my hometown is also somewhat romantic. I could sleep in my childhood bedroom the night before and spend the morning getting ready at my parents’ house. Sweet, right?

I still want to look at the venue outside of Tampa and I want Derek to come see this one, but I can’t help but get this huge goofy grin on my face when I think about getting married there. Something just felt right about it.


Ahhhh!!! So exciting!!!! πŸ™‚

I left town as soon as we finished and couldn’t stop thinking about the property on the way home. I stopped at Publix and grabbed one of their to-go salads for lunch from the deli.


The turkey cob was HUGE. I couldn’t finish it.


The bread was a slice of the Honey Oat Loaf I picked up at Sunrise Bakery this morning.


They have the best bread. Seriously good. πŸ™‚


How do you know when you’ve found the right venue? Did you get that ‘this feels right’ feeling too?

1 Chelsea January 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I definitely knew our venue was right when we saw it right away– AND it was covered in snow, so that says something!

2 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep January 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I can definitely see a beautiful rustic, wintery wedding there! Did they mention anything about bathrooms? My parents went to a wedding outside recently, and they had to use port-a-potties. Not exactly classy for a wedding.
Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep recently posted..Week One on Weight Watchers

3 Meghann January 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm

haha – yes! she showed us the very clean working bathroom they have on site. It’s connected to real plumbing and even flushes. (though my Dad is in the porta-potty business, so I bet I could get a good deal if we needed more. lol)

4 Sneakers2Sandals January 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Oh good call on that question!
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5 Jessica@TWB January 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Looks like a potential winner!

6 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope January 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Sounds like a great venue! You will definitely get that feeling and know that is where you want to get married. When you can’t stop thinking about the venue then know you it’s the right one. Especially if you can visualize everything and Derek likes it too. πŸ™‚
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7 Sneakers2Sandals January 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Yes Yes Yes! If you can’t get it out of your mind, it’s probably meant to be πŸ™‚ That place looks amazing and I literally spit out my tea when I read about that $50…is that a joke?!

8 Hillary January 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I’m not even engaged yet, and the thought of choosing a venue already overwhelms me. Neither my boyfriend or I have family in either of the places where we grew up anymore, and our families are now all over the place. Where will we even begin looking?!

This looks like a great start for you though! How exciting.
Hillary recently posted..Going The Distance

9 Kelly January 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Love. πŸ™‚

10 Kimra January 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I knew right away β€” I got chills when I saw my venue! Then we kept looking at other venues for two more weeks, just in case. At least it helped reinforce that we were picking the right one.
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11 Cait's Plate January 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

It looks beautiful! I can definitely see how great it could be with what you described!
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12 mindy @ just a one girl revolution. January 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

That looks like an amazing venue!! And the price is definitely right!
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13 Kristy @ KristyRuns January 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Pretty place! Our venue felt right, because it was free! We had small wedding in our neighborhood park on a stone patio overlooking a pond. It was awesome.
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14 Laura January 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm

i haven’t had a wedding but i have the same style as you as far as where i want to get married and the feel of it. very rustic, natural, outside, barns, stone, etc…. i think this is AWESOME.

15 Abbey January 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Yes!! We knew our venue right away. We only looked at one, and decided that day we had to have our reception there (Lambeau Field). We didn’t really know if that’s where we wanted it, but after going in and visualizing our reception, we just knew. It sounds so cheesy but we both got choked up because that was a first big ‘wedding’ decision we made.

16 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm

that looks gorgeous! I can totally see twinkling lights, it would look so pretty at night! Haha and I sure wouldn’t turn down a s’more!
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17 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City January 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Aw thats so beautiful! I am so jealous that you can have a winter wedding outdoors in Florida!! πŸ™‚
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18 Corey @ Learning Patience January 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm

The venue sounds awesome – so much potential and so cool. We rented a historic firehouse for our party and it was so much fun. I think alot of people like unique enviroments like that….relaxed & happy.

xoxo from Trinidad
Corey @ Learning Patience recently posted..Pie, Polish and a Plane Ride

19 Laurin January 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm

We chose one location, paid a deposit, and walked into another location, by accident. I looked at my mom and just whispered, this is it. And it was. When you know, you know!

20 Sarah January 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm

You should totally check out cross creek ranch. I’ve been to weddings at both venues and ccr is the better one IMO.

21 Emilee January 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Thanks, I’m the wedding designer there πŸ™‚
Emilee recently posted..Chilly Weddings

22 Brie January 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Picking a venue was super easy for us. The chapel was at my alma mater and was the most beautiful place I could think of, and it fit Tim’s request of getting married in a real church. For our reception venue, we looked at 3, and the one we loved the most was also the cheapest, so…done.

23 Jennifer January 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Love the venue! When you know, you know. I read a blog called Emilee’s Health Food Journey and she works at a barn wedding venue near Tampa and posts gorgeous pictures of the weddings they hold there. Lots of good inspiration!

24 Emilee January 17, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Ha that’s me !!! πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading. I’ve been reading Meghann’s blog for over a year. She inspires me!
Emilee recently posted..Chilly Weddings

25 erica January 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

ooh, a dreamy rustic barn wedding! so exciting!!!

i think i had 3 places i knew i would love to get married at. for me, it came down to availablity and personalities. i chose based on how i was treated upon initial inquery, and i know i chose the right place! i had my dream wedding!

i can’t wait to keep reading about you planning yours!
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26 Beth S January 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

1) I could totally see you guys getting married there, and you’re right, it would DEFINITELY be amazing to sleep in your childhood bed and get married in your hometown. That would be very memorable and something to cherish.

2) I love it!! I have yet to get married, but I had a huge part in my mom’s wedding last year, and some of the BEST locations are the ones that not everyone thinks of- the ones that have potential, are unique, and your creativity and heart’s desires can flourish while planning.

I know I haven’t seen the other place, but this one is amazing. πŸ™‚
Beth S recently posted..An Amazing New Chicken Recipe AND Some Friday Fun!

27 Heather January 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm

How fun! I love the s’mores idea. You could totally package them up in little individual s’more kits, possibly with homemade marshmallows (I’ve heard it’s super easy to make) and quality chocolate.

That place looks like a winner, especially for your theme. It will be beautiful, I’m sure!

28 Heather January 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I would definitely recommend taking Derek with you before you decide on “THE” place. I just got married in September and I remember “falling in love” with venues only to have my husband be kind of “eh” about them. When we finally stepped into THE VENUE together, we both knew it. It suited both of us and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

29 Kate @Pastafreerunner January 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Its so sweet! Looks like the perfect place for a wedding. You know how you know when you’ve got the right place? You get that feeling in your stomach, and the goofy grin on your face πŸ™‚

30 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm

If you can picture yourself and Derek saying “I Do” under the arch, it’s the place.

Plus, it sounds like the price is right!
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31 Heather January 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Also, one other tip: we found a “blank slate” venue similar to yours, where they had no rules about catering, alcohol, etc. It seemed like a dream. But once we started looking into catering, rental fees for placesettings + glassware, linens, etc…our budget venue started breaking the bank! Definitely get some estimates from caterers, etc before you say “I do” to the venue πŸ˜‰

32 Meghann January 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Trust me, those numbers are already going through my head. The person recommended a caterer that sounds promising and she rents place settings for $2 a head. We also know a licensed bar tender who could cut us a deal for the evening if we supply all the alcohol (hello, Sam’s membership!), i want my grandmother to make the cake, and my aunt is already helping my sister with her flowers (they’re buying wholesale and doing the arrangements themselves), so if that works out, I want to attempt the same thing. The other place we’re going to look at is all inclusive (total price includes venue, flowers, decorations, dj, coordinator, food, cake, etc). Before I make any decisions, I plan to price everything out and see what the better deal is.

33 Anne January 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I knew that our venue was right not only for me, but for my husband. It was totally our style. Our reception was held at the Bengals Stadium in Cincinnati. The space was very modern with 3 story windows giving an incredible view of the city skyline. Plus we got to add in football touches here and there. (Although neither of us are Bengals fans, just Purdue, Clemson, and Virginia Tech.)
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34 Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life January 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I actually had appointments to see other locations, but after seeing the first location, I cancelled the others and booked the venue that day! I think when you can imagine your big day being there and it gives you chills, and your fiancΓ© loves it too, there’s no reason to keep looking!
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35 jaclyn January 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm

We are doing a destination wedding in Tuscany. So basically the church and reception is sight unseen, but as soon as I saw pictures I just knew it would meet all my expectations. Google “San Galgano Abbey” and you’ll see why. It took me days to even contact someone about renting out the abbey….no one spoke english and i know absolutely no italian!

36 Raffi Darrow January 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm

When my friend Beth got married, they did an engagement photo shoot. In some of the photos they were doing cute poses with a white 8.5×11 sheet of paper. Later they used those photos in small frames as the table #s for the wedding and photoshopped the #s on the white paper. So cute!
When my cousin Bradley got married, we printed the order of the processional on a piece of cardstock adhered to a popsicle stick so people could use them as a fan while they were waiting. My friend Saude had a word find on the back of hers with little golf pencils hanging down so if you took your seat early you had something fun to do. I kept them if you want to see samples!

37 Mary @ food and fun on the run January 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm

A place for s’mores that you don’t even have to set up!? That is amazing! That place has a crazy amount of potential. Especially since you can bring in your own alcohol.

Looks so quaint and romantic πŸ™‚
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38 Cara January 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Wow that place is beautiful! And super convenient that it is close to home!
I didn’t have too hard of a time finding our venue. I knew I wanted to get married in my hometown, and there were two venues of the style I wanted so it came down to the pros and cons list! I really couldn’t be happier with out decision tho and I can’t wait for it to all come together and to tie the knot in June!

39 Megan McK January 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Nice job, Meghann!

There’s so much to be said for a venue that lets you go nuts with their craft supplies!! πŸ™‚ To be honest, that was one of the deciding factors for my own wedding venue. I’ll shoot you a note later on facebook about VERY affordable caterers in T’ville. Unfortunately, I can’t use them (my venue doesn’t allow outside caterers), but I’m happy to pass the info along to you!

40 Meghann January 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Wait! You’re ENGAGED?!?! I didn’t know that! CONGRATS!!! πŸ™‚ And YES! please send that list my way! Which venue did you choose?

41 Megan McK January 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Yep! It happened four months ago yesterday! πŸ™‚
And as crazy as it sounds, the planning is prettymuch done! I wanted to book everyone while I was back in FL on a short weekend. The reception will be at the Club at Pelican Bay in Daytona Beach.

42 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups January 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm

How exciting!! I definitely think you sometimes just know: it has happened so far with my venue and my dress (and my fiance). I was actually extremely hesitant about the venue we ending up choosing before visiting because I didn’t like any of the photos I saw and I thought the vibe would just be completely off from what I wanted my wedding to feel like, but my fiance really liked it, so I agreed to check it out. When I walked into the room where the reception would be, I just knew that I could have it there, and I could see my vision start to fall in place. This place looks gorgeous. I hope it works out for you!!
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43 Samantha January 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Wow! You were not kidding. Its beautiful. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see what you decide.
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44 sweeter salt January 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm

That’s the feeling I got when I found my venue! I knew it was perfect as soon as I got the tour. We got married in a very cool music venue where we live in Portland, ME and when we were quoted a super affordable price, and I realized it came decorated and totally fit our vibe, I went for it. Dates book fast! I think when you know, you know. Go for it!

45 Cara @ I Don't Believe in Diets January 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Wow that does look beautiful. I am so excited to hear more about your wedding planning adventures!
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46 Amber from Girl with the Red Hair January 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm

You’re being super smart about it! I fell in love with a venue and booked it immediately without thinking a lot of prices through and now our wedding is going to be WAY over budget. Oops! Even now I’m not sure I would change my venue because I’m SO in love with it, but I do wish I’d shopped around a little bit more. Who knows what I might have found!

Also that place looks amazing and I love the sound of the vision you have for your wedding so far!

47 Amber from Girl with the Red Hair January 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm

And by a lot of “prices” I mean a lot of “hidden costs”. Ha!
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48 Caitlin January 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm

We knew we had found a place that did almost EVERYTHING within our budget. I didn’t want to deal with different vendors so when we found a venue that did food, alcohol, and decorations, it was sold.
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49 Nikole January 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm

It is gorgeous! I almost fell out of my chair when I read “flat fee of $50” to use all of the cool decorations. That is amazing. I love the idea of having mismatched vintage/rustic items. We got married at my family’s vineyard and I had to find all of the vendors but we were able to save money that way and found some amazing people.

50 jane January 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

i dont want to pry, but i just thought it would be interesting to see the breakdown of costs and how much a “tight” wedding budget is. are you and derek paying for the wedding? your poor parents have quite a few this year πŸ˜‰ i am just curious because people have such wild differences when it comes to weddings! just a thought, thanks

51 Meghann January 18, 2012 at 8:53 am

I’ve thought about this. I’m also curious as to how people’s wedding budgets differ and how much money actually goes in a wedding (it’s kind of scary the numbers I’ve seen so far). I would love to share my own experience with all of that, but I have to be respectful of Derek, my parents, and Derek’s parents because it’s not just me paying, it’s a joint effort.

52 jane January 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

i gotcha. money can be such a sensitive subject as well! and omg i just read my comment over again and i hope you and everyone realizes that by calling your parents “poor” i was NOT referring to their financial staus! πŸ˜‰

53 Victoria Runs January 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm

$50 for all the decor! Amazing! It would be beautiful… I can totally see the picture you are painting!!! πŸ™‚ Beautiful!
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54 Mollie January 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Yes! When you know, you know. Just like with the guy πŸ™‚ I actually was married at the same venue as my parents, which made it extra special. It was the first place I looked and I just compared everything else to it. Enjoy the planning process- it’s so much fun!

55 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife January 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Looks so pretty!!

I love a good mid-day salad, yumm!
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56 Erica January 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

This place sounds like it’s the perfect fit!

I knew the venue we ending up choosing was the right one because I got teary-eyed when I walked it… it was beautiful!

57 Ari @ Ari's Menu January 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

I love it!!! I planned on a strict budget, and I knew my venue was right because it felt so much more ME than any of those fancy “get married in this castle” kind of places. And bonfires for s’mores?! Fantastic!

58 Kathy January 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm

OH that looks simply wonderful!

Being that I am from a smaller town we had roughly 3 places to choose from…had to go with what would be big enough for 230 guests and what was available on my date.

This place looks so inviting, warm, unique and could be very “homey” with the individual/personal decor.

You may have found your place!
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59 Lindsay@FuelMyFamily January 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm

It looks like a dream location on a real budget!!! And I think s’mores at a wedding would be so unique and something people would always remember about your wedding. Just watch that white dress when you bite into one!
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60 Carissa January 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm

That place looks fantastic and being able to bring in your own vendors is the way to go to save money! I’m not artsy so I had to get a place that could help me… expensive hotel! hha!
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61 Amy January 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I LOVE IT!! I wish I had something like that here in Oklahoma when I got married. What an awesome space!

62 Lee January 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Honestly, my parents picked out the venue. (We got married in my hometown but I don’t live there anymore). It was probably not what I would have picked out to tell you the truth, but our wedding was fabulous anyway.
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63 Megan S January 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Oddly enough my husband and I nver even really had a conversation about the venue. When we got engaged we both just knew we would be getting married at the arboretum on the campus where we met as next door neighbors in the dorms. We both loved the arboretum, it’s where he proposed and they had also just had all their funding cut from the University so it was a win win to be able to give them some money.

I had the feeling you’re describing about the dress though…:)

64 BroccoliHut January 17, 2012 at 6:44 pm

What a beautiful venue! Maybe you’ve already said this, but what time of year are you planning on getting married?
Both of my sisters had the same ceremony and reception sites, so I had always pictured that my wedding would be there too. I explored other options too, but I finally returned to the original vision both because it matched my needs/wants but also because the price was right.
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65 Meghann January 18, 2012 at 8:50 am

We’re thinking January 2013. Did you guys set a date yet? That’s fun to carry on the tradition your sisters started with the venue!

66 BroccoliHut January 18, 2012 at 9:39 am

Yep, we’ll be tying the knot on November 3, 2012!

67 andrea January 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I had some warm and fuzzy feeling about a few venues. When I saw the one I choose it took my breath away. I could just picture the wedding there. And as others mentioned I kept thinking about it.

68 Laura January 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm

We didn’t have flexibility on our dates due to deployment, so we kind of had to take what was available. BUT the place I found was perfect. It was very classic and antiquy and best of all required pretty much zero decorating. I added 2 dozen roses and a couple boxes of rose petals. My mom add 2 big floral arrangements and that was it. It was so nice to not have to worry about decorating.
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69 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs January 17, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Ooooooh, a potential venue! How exciting!
I bet that place would look lovely when it’s all decked out — it has good bones πŸ™‚
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70 Allie January 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm

So exciting! It looks really pretty, I bet it would be an amazing wintery wedding venue!
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71 Army Amy* January 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I can totally see it! I hope that Derek likes it, too!*
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72 Tina @ Best Body Fitness January 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm

We went with a place like that for our wedding and LOVED it. I agree that it sounds so perfect for you guys.
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73 Meghann January 18, 2012 at 8:49 am

Do you have wedding posts on your blog? I don’t think I’ve ever seen any!

74 Tina @ Best Body Fitness January 18, 2012 at 9:25 am

Not really since I started blogging so long after we got married. But I have some pictures on my anniversary post. Also, there’s an album on my personal FB page of my wedding. We’re friends there, right?
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75 Jena January 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I think the ranch will be lovely! All I needed for our ceremony was a beach somewhere. We had our reception at the Citrus Tower in Clermont. (My Uncle owns it, so we got a great deal).
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76 Meghann January 18, 2012 at 8:49 am

It’s all about who you know, right? I need more family connections. The best I can get is free porta potties. lol

77 sarah January 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm

that venue has so much potential its INTENSE!
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78 Kelly @ Vegolosophy January 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm

That place looks too cute!! I love the idea of a rustic casual wedding, so nice!! Congrats again, so exciting πŸ™‚
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79 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm

My love for decorating and turning a space into something fantastic is just dying at the chance at seeing this place in person – seriously , it looks awesome!
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80 Meghann January 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm

ha! Wish you could come help me decorate it then!

81 Maureen January 17, 2012 at 10:28 pm

The minute I saw our venue in person, I KNEW it was THE place!
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82 Emilee January 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Hi Megan, I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now. Congratulations on your engagement! I’m a wedding designer/planner at a local rustic barn wedding venue. Just wondering if you have checked out Cross Creek Ranch yet, We do it all for you, and it sounds like our venue is right up your alley. You can check out some of the pictures I took on my blog.

Good luck. Exciting times!!!

83 Meghann January 18, 2012 at 8:41 am

Hi Emilee! That’s actually the ranch I’ve already reached out to. Will you be there Saturday? Email me at I’d love to chat with you!!! πŸ™‚

84 Tara January 18, 2012 at 12:23 am

The place looks lovely! Another great place is The Lange Farm north of Tampa in Dade City. I don’t know if it’s in your budget, but it is so beautiful! Good luck. I look forward to following the progress.
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85 Meghann January 18, 2012 at 8:38 am

Yes! I checked them out too, but they’re a bit outside my budget. πŸ™

86 Leslie January 18, 2012 at 9:17 am

Hi Meghann! The venue looks amazing. I’m in the process of wedding planning as well and also hoping for a rustic feel. To rent all of those decorations for 50 dollars is absolutely amazing – I have paid for douple that on mason jars alone (so far… and my wedding isn’t until Aug 2013!!). Good luck on the venue hunt – it can be a bit stressful – but once you find a venue it definitely helps you make a lot of other big decisions based on the atmosphere!! Have fun with it!!

87 Hilary January 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

Yep, I knew as soon as we saw the Magic House in St. Louis that it was where I wanted to have our reception when we get married in November. I think it’s like your wedding dress. When you know, you just know. Have fun planning your wedding!!

88 Emily January 18, 2012 at 9:52 am

Yay! I am so glad that you have already found something so promising. I hope Derek feels the same way about it!

I got ready at my childhood home and slept in my bed and my mom’s the night before I got married. There is something really quaint about it. Especially since none of my friends (two of my bridesmaids) had been there before, and then they were BOTH with me!
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89 Katie January 18, 2012 at 11:13 am

Finding a wedding venue is definitely the first big hurdle! For me, when we found Carlouel, we knew there was no way we could find a better deal, or a more beautiful location. I was able to visualize how I was going to decorate, how the layout would be, and what the overall vibe of the event would be. It was also really important to find a venue with staff that is willing to work with you and be available when you have questions. All too often I’ve heard of people whose venue contacts are impossible to get in touch with…and that can put you in a tricky spot!

In the end, if you can picture yourself getting married there, that is a great sign! Once you get that figured out, the fun stuff really gets started!
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90 Michelle January 19, 2012 at 8:46 am

I’m late to post to this, but my husband and I were married at Cross Creek Ranch back in February and were blown away by the staff and designers there. We were on a budget as well, but when you add all the things you would have to purchase if Cross Creek didn’t already have it, there is no question that having a wedding at an all-inclusive rustic romantic barn is the answer! Emilee actually was our designer and did such a great job. It was perfect πŸ™‚ Enjoy this time!

91 chris January 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm

yay, venue shopping! our experience was kind of funny in that i got excited about quite a few places! i was just so thrilled to be engaged to my husband that it did not take much to get me excited about a place and be able to picture us getting married there! our original plan was tent wedding at a vineyard – we found 2 places we really loved, but when all was said and done with everything that had to be rented (it really adds up!!)– it was just too $$. we technically could have afforded it, but it would have wiped out our savings and i just could not swallow spending that much on a wedding! so we wound up starting from scratch, found an awesome place from a reco of a friend and had the best day of our lives! it is not what i would have thought we would have picked in the beginning, but keeping a budget we were more comfortable with (which still wound up being wayyy more than i ever though i would spend!) made the whole thing much less stressful. and we still got the wedding we dreamed of! so think on it, consider all your options and know wherever you pick is going to be amazing!

92 Jessica February 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Just one hint of advice about this venue. I, too, had this on the top of my venue choices a few months ago when I was trying to choose a wedding location, but my sister pointed out something that changed my mind completely.

As you drive in, you literally have to pass a series of rusted, run-down trailers before you get to the ranch. I’m not trying to discourage you from the venue, just keep that in mind when you have guests coming in. You might want to doll up the entrance a little bit to take away from the eye sores.

I ended up not going with this particular venue– because I’m expecting about 250 guests and they would have to sit in the grass area (which I don’t really want)– but Luanne’s eclectic style had me hooked on first sight!

93 suzie February 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm

We just started building a barn for weddings. We have 40 acres-including horses cows chickens and a couple little pigs. I’m not sure when your wedding is but just thought I would let you know about The Hitching Post Barn we are building. I have my first wedding in late April. So many ideas to put in place so I can make this the perfect wedding venue.

94 Meghann February 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Thanks for the heads up. Do you have contact information?

95 suzie February 9, 2012 at 10:50 pm


96 Vanessa March 7, 2012 at 10:07 am

Hi Meghann,

Thanks for posting this I am actually going to view the Birdsong barn on tues evening. I live in tampa and my parents live in orlando, but this venue just seems to be exactly what I want for the price I can afford. Have you gotton any more detail on bringing alcohol or liability. Or any suggestions on dj and cartering. My fiance and I love sweet tomatoes so I was thinking of them do you know if there is a place to heat food?I have looked at cross creek and it is absolutely beautiful and you definately get a lot for the price, but it is just more than I am able to spend. Again thank you for your post or I wouldnt have found this place. with out it.

97 Meghann March 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Hi Vanessa, We ended up signing with Bridsong over Cross Creek and price had a lot to do with it, also flexibility was important to us. The owner gave me a few suggestions for DJ and I ended up going with A Chef’s Touch as a caterer since she has worked with the venue before and is a full service caterer so I don’t have to worry about set up of the food or anything. You can bring in your own bartender as long as it’s a licensed bartender. I’m getting my bartender through A Chef’s Touch and just buying my alcohol in bulk from BJs. Check out my wedding planning details at

98 Emily April 8, 2012 at 10:20 am


My fiance and I are looking for ranch locations near tampa, you mentioned in your post about a place you had found just outside of Tampa, would you mind sharing the location?

Thank you sooo much!

99 Meghann April 9, 2012 at 10:46 am

Cross Creek Ranch! It was a little out of our budget, but here’s the link to the post I wrote about it

100 suzie April 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm

27151 soult road brooksville fl
Hitching Post Barn

101 Ana June 21, 2012 at 9:31 am

Hi Meghann, thank you for this blog, i am too looking for a ranch venue for our wedding and im loving these pictures and your description. Do you have the contact info for the Birdsong barn so i can called them and go see it? I would really appreciate it.
Good Luck!!!

102 Meghann June 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Hi Ana, Luann can be reach by email at luammons@a?

103 Ana June 22, 2012 at 7:16 am

Thanks! Your wedding info is very helpful, love it, and very entertaining too…i saw rent prices on other places you went to, but didn’t see the price on the birdsong barn (did I overlooked?), do you mind sharing their rental fee?
Thank you!

104 joy October 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm

hi every one i just got this name from a photographer and i am so wanting a barn wedding if any one has any infor or any other places please please let me know in orlando fl thank you so much

105 suzie October 16, 2012 at 10:28 pm

I own the Hitching Post Barn in Brooksville. It’s about 60 miles from Orlando. You can check us out at

106 Sarah November 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm

This place looks beautiful and close to me! πŸ™‚ I love the outdoor and so does my fiance, we are looking into a few places and this is one of my top places… one question though… does anyone know if it is super expensive… im trying to get ahold of the owner, but its not working… any help would be great.

107 Marci December 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I am trying to get information also Sarah if you hear anything before me could you please let me know here and I will do the same for you?

108 Kristen May 29, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Just out of curiousity, I’m in the Titusville area too, what did she quote you as the rental price?

109 Meghann May 30, 2013 at 9:07 pm

I hate to give the quote because I booked it at the beginning of 2012 and her prices could have changed since then.

110 Maria June 23, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Does anyone know the price I am trying to find out how much the rental fee for thst amazing place is.

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