A few weeks back I wrote about getting married in a barn, in Minnesota, and talked about why you might want to do that (you do, you do!). But I just had to take the time to talk just a little bit more about Bloom Lake Barn. Because it's really pretty and the family behind it is just precious. Read on for my conversation with Monique Wallis: proprietor, mom, former vintage market owner (found article with photo here), and husband to Twin A.
So from antiques to antique venue, how did you finally make the dive?
We got the idea when we were on vacation with some friends and we all got on the topic of how cool it would be to fix up an old barn and host events. At the time, were were living in Phoenix, AZ, so it was not going to become a reality because of where we were located. About 2 years ago, we just decided to dust off our dream and pursue it. We moved back to the midwest and started looking for the right property.
Your gorgeous barn is a major upgrade from the original infrastructure. What were some of the craziest moments when renovating?
The whole project has been a crazy exciting roller coaster, with many ups and downs along the way. Day-to-day life while working full-time jobs and renovating an old barn to be safe and up to code for the public was insane... intense physical labor, getting bid after bid for what work we couldn't do ourselves; coordinating engineers, electricians, contractors, inspectors... tucking our daughters into bed and then running out to the barn to try to convince couples and families we weren't crazy and that this rough falling down barn would soon be a gorgeous venue. We pushed through with prayer, lots of coffee, and pure adrenaline.
A few of the craziest moments that stick out are 1.) Pouring concrete in the lower level of the barn. It was over 100 degrees out that day and the concrete was coming from a long distance. The concrete was setting up so quickly that they had to work for about 6 hours straight. Chemical from the concrete soaked through Adam's boots, jeans and tall socks and he got 3rd degree burns resulting in major skin graft surgery. 2.) We worked 18 hour days on some of the final renovations and we received our occupancy permit the day before our very first wedding!
Uhm. Okay that is like REALLY intense. Adam, we are glad you are okay, and promise not to stare immediately at your ankles next time we see you - whispering 'glad your okay' behind your back. Not uncommon, however, is that barn venue renovations are really a lot of work, they kind of take a life unto themselves. So what sets you apart from other MN barn venues?
People are immediately taken aback with the sheer size and unique architecture of the barn. Although the barn required a great deal of renovation, we re-purposed materials from the property and really aspired to preserve its original character and charm. The vaulted ceiling, salvaged gothic church windows, and candelabra chandeliers give the barn a cathedral feel that really sets us apart from other barn venues.
Our property location is also a great benefit to our clients. We are located under an hour from the Twin Cities near Taylor's Falls just south of Highway 8. Access to the venue is very easy and the property is set in the country on 15 acres, which makes it very peaceful. There is so much to do in the beautiful Lakes Area; we are close to great lodging, outdoor activities, wineries, restaurants and the St. Croix river valley.
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
We love the ceremonies, to see the absolute joy on everyone's faces when all of the buildup with planning and coordination is finally at its peak and the real reason for everyone coming together is happening. Once the nerves have subsided, I do's have been said, it's fun to see everyone relax and enjoy the space.
How has it been raising two girls, and having a bun in the oven, amidst moving to MN and opening an event space?
It has been the most challenging and exciting time of our lives!! There were so many times where it shouldn't have worked out - it was a great lesson in trusting God. We have put our all into this venture, we truly care about the people we meet, and are continuously improving on the barn and the property around it.
Bloom Lake Barn is certainly worth the venture, to at least check out what I mean when I say that 9 years of marriage, three girls under the age of 5 and 15 acres of farm looks good on Adam and Monique.
Planning to check it out for yourself? Click here for my must do Bloom Lake Barn itinerary, planned just for you by me!
Prosperity, Love & Happiness,
Header photo by Kelly Birch Photography