Adventures in starting a Wedding Venue
“So what do you think?” I glanced at my husband Steve to see if he had heard me. His usual response
to my crazy ideas for a business was a quick no or a laugh. I could tell by looking at him that he might
actually be considering my latest proposal to flip our barn, currently housing the animals, to a wedding
venue. I mean, he is a construction manager by trade, so it’s right in his wheelhouse. Me, maybe not so
much in a formal education, but as a Mom and previous Navy wife I had learned a few things in putting
on a party and managing stressful days.
It seemed like only yesterday that I was in your shoes. The surprise proposal with all the fun and then it
hits you. Where are we going to have the wedding? How much do we have to spend? It’s only 10
months away and can we find a good venue? The search was on, and it quickly became apparent that
this was going to be a challenge. My daughter loves the country and grew up raising 4-H animals and
riding horses. We knew it had to be a barn venue. In 2015, that was still a newer idea, and we didn’t
have a lot of choices. And then I knew. We had the land, the barn, and maybe a little more guts than
expertise. The land was ready but the barn not so much. It still had animals living there and a dirt floor.
So many more questions than answers but we jumped into the renovation with both feet.
So, who are we? We are Steve and Carolyn Rookus, married 40 years and Steve is a retired Naval
officer. His background is in construction management, so he was perfect to start this business.
Carolyn(me) raised our 4 children while moving all over the world and gained lots of experience
managing life (isn’t that what a wedding day is all about). While I have held many jobs over the years,
my favorite was Mom, and now Grammy. Our very first wedding was for my daughter and we and our
staff continue to treat every wedding as if it is for our own family.
Fast forward to 2022 when we decided to buy another farm to open a second venue location. Check out
Old Grove Barn at www.oldgrovebarn.com for another beautiful barn venue with a modern industrial
I hope that we can share a little of our story and what we have learned to help you along the way
planning and creating your vision for your wedding day.
Something Blue Berry Farm
Old Grove Barn