It’s funny how sometimes your personal life and professional life can mesh, providing you with some deeper insight into both aspects. About two weeks ago, we were blessed to celebrate a wedding in our family. It was held at the University of Tennessee Arboretum in Oak Ridge, which offered an outdoor pavilion where the wedding was held and a beautiful meeting space for the reception. Being involved in the planning and execution of the event gave us the opportunity reflect professionally on what we liked about the space and what we wished were different – and to reflect on our own plans for renovating our existing Stony Woods building into our Villa Event Center.
After working within the small kitchen space, which was equipped with only a sink, standard fridge, microwave, and limited counter space, we felt affirmed in our decision to offer a catering kitchen with both prep and serving space. We had to be pretty creative to work in the space we were given.
The event space itself was great. We loved the floor to ceiling windows that really brought the beauty of nature indoors (see below). Who needs elaborate decorations to compete with a room with a view? The building also had a wide patio that wrapped around a portion of the building. This enabled us to have our bar and cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres outdoors while post-wedding photos were happening. We were also able to have reception tables outside on the patio for guests who preferred to take in the gorgeous autumn afternoon. Most of all, we liked the space of the room. It was just the right size.
We liked it so much that we decided that we needed to reconsider the size of our own event space. We had planned for a space between 900-1000 square feet, which fit within the existing footprint of our building. However, in the end, we have decided that a space that is more like 1500-1600 square feet makes better sense for what we want to be able to offer. This means pushing out the back wall of our main meeting space.
Not only will we gain a larger event space, but we will take the opportunity to enlarge the windows to capture that sense of being in a “room with a view”. We had large windows, but we want our guests to feel surrounded by the beauty of our property on a much grander scale.
Having the opportunity to be a part of a family member’s special day really reinforced our desire to help create these moments for other families. We enjoyed having the chance to pitch in to make this a memorable day for the bride and groom. (Steve even worked with the groom to build that beautiful wedding arch pictured above, which will be available for future weddings at Stony Woods 😊)
More than anything, we want to create a joy-filled space for people to gather and enjoy their time together, whether it is for celebrations, meetings, or retreats. We are eager to be a part of making memories for each group who comes to Stony Woods.
The Team at Stony Woods Estate – Jack, Wendy, Leslie, Steve, and Kim