Happy FriYAY, y’all! We’re back with another “Friendor Feature” on the blog today! This feature is another very special one for me, and I love that this blog series allows myself the opportunity to introduce you to some really great vendors in the industry. The idea of this blog came to mind when I was still dreaming up Brooke Shehan Weddings and Events over a year ago, so it is truly an honor for me share some great vendors (or “friendors”) that I’ve had the pleasure of working with since then… because these featured friendors are people that I wholeheartedly believe will make your wedding day extra meaningful and special.
If you’ve been following along with me on my social media, you’ve probably heard of and seen all of the pictures I regularly share of Big Spring Farm. Aside from this venue being absolutely stunning in every way, it has an extra special meaning for me because it’s the place where I married my very best friend on that absolutely perfect (and very hot) day in June of this year! 🙂
Soon after Ben proposed back in July of 2014, I had heard of a relatively new farm venue in Lexington. This immediately peaked my interest, so upon “Googling” Big Spring Farm and finding their website, I immediately fell in love with everything about this place. It was perfect; a gorgeous, restored barn surrounded by a 10-acre lake and the mountains where Ben and I grew up… Seriously – what more could we ask for?! So as you can imagine, I was so ready to schedule a site-visit to the farm. I completed the contact form on the website, and Buddy Powers, owner of Big Spring Farm, responded with such a friendly and inviting email. And just like that, our first visit was scheduled in September! Before we even visited Big Spring, I could already picture our wedding day (and let’s face it – I’ve been dreaming about this day since I was a little girl), but after seeing this venue in person, everything we hoped for and the vision we had for our big day just seemed to fit so effortlessly. And honestly, we never wanted to consider another venue. I could see our family members and closest friends laughing and mingling on the lawn in front of the barn during cocktail hour, I could see a massive tent (and by massive, I mean one that could fit 300 people!) with all of the tables and pink and gold décor underneath, and could picture myself (while crying, of course) walking down the aisle with my Pops to marry the man of my dreams under those gorgeous trees on the peninsula by the lake. So fast forward to a little over a year to June 11, 2016 at the farm, which goes down in history as the absolute BEST day of our lives.
Buddy was so wonderful to work with through our engagement. From our very first emails, he was so friendly and genuinely excited every time we spoke, was very patient with my many questions (there were lots of emails… sorry, Buddy!), couldn’t have been happier for us when we officially chose a date and booked Big Spring during our second site-visit in March of 2015, and was so open and supportive of all of our ideas, which included bringing in an insane amount of props and furniture to add some extra special details to our wedding day. Thank you so much for that, Buddy! (In case you missed it, my aunt did an amazing blog on all of those details here! Check it on Kathy Jennings Photography’s website!)
I could go on and on about how wonderful the farm is, but I thought it would be great to hear from the owner himself! I had the chance to ask Buddy some questions about Big Spring and he and his wife, Jill’s, journey to the farm, and I’m so happy and thankful that he was excited to share more about his story and this gorgeous location in Rockbridge County!
1. Tell us about yourself and Big Spring Farm!
Buddy Powers: My wife and I have been in the wedding work as photographers for 8 years now, and always dreamed of owning a venue ‘someday’. That day came a lot sooner than we expected when we found Big Spring! The farm has a great balance of natural beauty and a unique location, but is easily accessible and minutes from downtown Lexington, making it a great location for events!
2. What inspired the name of the farm?
BP: Big Spring Farm is named after the Big Spring which is at the center of the farm and is one of the largest undeveloped springs in Virginia, producing over 3 million gallons of natural spring water per day! We love that the name and history of the farm go hand-in-hand.
3. What inspired you to transform the farm into a wedding venue?
BP: Our initial inspiration came from our own wedding, where we had the reception at our old farm in Swoope, VA. It was a stunning property with a 1700’s stone farm house, and we just put up a tent in the backyard. Everyone loved it, and we actually started getting inquiries for hosting other weddings there after that, but the timing just wasn’t right for us.
4. How many events are hosted at the farm each year?
BP: Right now we are hosting 50 to 60 weddings a year at the farm.
5. What do you love about hosting weddings at Big Spring?
BP: It’s so fun seeing people come from all over to our little farm in Lexington, and hear people rave about how fun downtown is and how beautiful the farm is. And people really come from all over! We have had a handful of local weddings each year, but then most people have never been to Rockbridge County before, so it’s just fun seeing them discover it!
6. What is your proudest accomplishment?
BP: With Big Spring, getting the venue approved by the county was a big accomplishment. It ended up being much more involved than you might imagine. We had to propose an amendment to the zoning, get that approved, and then apply for a permit under that new amendment; all with several public hearings. So it was cool to “pave the way” for other venues that hopefully pop up in Rockbridge. Everyone at the community development office was great to work with, which was huge in making that phase of the project a success!
7. Whom do you admire most in the wedding industry?
BP: We have so many great friends in the wedding industry that are constant inspirations to us. Without a doubt, our best friends, Michael and Katelyn Alsop, from Katelyn James Photography, have been a huge blessing in our lives! We went to college together watched first hand as they grew their business. They are both such life-giving people, and are so sincere. They do a lot of education in the photography world now, and it’s cool to see them sharing themselves so generously with others. Not to mention they are such hard workers. We have had a many late-night brainstorm with them about business ideas, industry stuff and working with your spouse – haha! It’s great to have friends like that in the same industry!
8. Tell us about your dreams for the future of Big Spring Farm.
BP: We hope Big Spring will continue to grow as a rustic wedding location! There are lots of ideas for future projects at the farm. J It’s fun to dream up things that don’t change the aesthetic or ecological footprint of the venue. We always want Big Spring to be a farm first, then a wedding venue. Winter time is usually when we hit the drawing board so this winter, we will start pushing in a few different directions and proceed with what makes the most sense. We’ve been working on our relationships with existing businesses in downtown Lexington so that we can work together more directly. We’re looking forward to even more partnerships like that in the future!
9. Anything else you’d like to share? 🙂
BP: We just love Lexington and Rockbridge County, and are so excited to have Brooke’s wedding planning business based in our backyard!! Thanks for including us in your friendor series!
I just can’t say it enough – Big Spring Farm is so special for so many reasons. Not only is it such a unique venue, but it has a great team and heart behind it! It has been so exciting to see how Big Spring has evolved in the (almost) two years Ben and I have been involved throughout our engagement and wedding day, and we look forward to the exciting things to come! My many thanks to Buddy for taking the time to share the meaning and vision behind the farm – I greatly appreciate it and I know our readers will, too! And thank you for bringing such a wonderful business to our home in Rockbridge County! If you’re interested in learning more about Big Spring, and having your wedding at the farm, you can learn more here and you can get in touch with Buddy here! Don’t forget to follow along to see all of the pretty on Big Spring’s social media, too!
Until next time, y’all! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend doing whatever you enjoy with the people you love most! <3