This is a shout out for all those Oklahoma Brides who are either looking for a unique or inexpensive wedding venue. Since we looked for the perfect venue for over 3 months, and since I've been doing this wedding planning thing for 5 months now (dang!), I feel obligated to share a little post with some of my local findings!
Barns & Corn Mazes
- One, very reasonable, option Tyler and I almost decided upon was the Round Barn in Arcadia. The inside of the barn is lovely, has character, and a great dance floor. I had my heart set on this option for about two months, when we decided to go back one more time before making the final decision. I'm glad we did, as it did not seem quite as magical the second time there. The main issues are no kitchen, no air conditioning, low lighting, and no comfortable rooms or bathrooms for the wedding party to get ready. The barn only costs $500 to rent for a 12 hour period. It has a maximum occupancy of 150 people, which was another issue for us.
- Firey Trails in Sand Springs seemed very willing to work with us, but advised they were planning to make some updates to their property to be able to host better events. We found another option before getting into much with them, however I would suggest this option to anyone looking for a rustic location in north-eastern Oklahoma. Just shoot them an email and ask. The main cons from my emails with this group were that the event time frame seemed rather short (4 hours) but I never inquired about time extensions.
- PBar Farms looked like a promising location, but was a little too far from our part of Oklahoma for consideration.
Bed & Breakfasts, Cabins and LodgesMaster Oklahoma List of Bed & Breakfasts
- From my contact with most of the Bed and Breakfast owners, weddings were mostly out of the question (unless they cater to this). Fire regulations and limited space often prevent weddings with guests, but are a good option for elopements.
- We inquired about many cabins. Many did not feel comfortable with the amount of people that would be at a wedding, and so most turned us down. Others had room to accommodate but did not want the noise factor at their retreat area.
- We finally found Deer Creek Lodges near Turner Falls and have since chosen one of their locations. They have been nice to work with so far, requiring a $200 refundable deposit, and $425 a night, with a 2 night minimum. No extra fees for weddings. Since we would need two nights for rehearsal dinner and the wedding, this allows us to utilize a full 48 hours of the venue in the neighborhood of $1,000 after tax is added in. We like that we will have time to decorate, celebrate, and that our families will not have to rush to clean up the night of the festivities. The building is a bit small, but the outdoor area is lovely, so we are confident that our guests will not want to be stuck inside...just as long as it doesn't rain, or tornado. It is Oklahoma.
POST EDIT: You may now read my post wedding review of our wedding experience HERE at Deer Creek Lodge #1!
Christmas Tree Farms, Nurseries and WineriesChristmas Tree Association - Tree Farm Locations
- While Christmas Tree Farms seemed like a great idea to me, it was very difficult to find places that would either respond to my emails and phone calls, or who were willing to allow for such a big event to take place on their properties. Mostly, no one responded. Some advised that their property was overgrown, and not well suited for a wedding. However, as will be the case with many places with low responses (probably who are owned by older people who do not email) I worked nights, and usually contacted via email, not telephone. If one were to try asking in person or via phone, my feelings are that they would have better luck.
- I was advised to visit the Rosebrook Nursery, and that they had a barn for rent. I remember that the pricing was more than I wanted to pay for this one, but a good option for others.
- I read on theknot.com that there was a place called Chapel Creek Winery in El Reno that was free to whomever bought $400 worth of wine from the venue. Sounds too good to be true, right? Yep, you're right. A venue that is free, and you get your whine too? Ok, but seriously. I decided to contact them regarding this information. After I finally got from the people trying to sell me some sort of photography package I didn't want and to the person who actually managed the venue, I found out that this information is very outdated. The winery was once used used by a local community member under whom the $400 of wine rule stood. Now the winery is owned by El Reno's Redlands Community College. It is not free to those who purchase alcohol. However, the new price was included a $150 deposit, and $1000 venue rental.
Local Universities, Colleges and Government Buildings
- From what I heard, UCO had very reasonable venue prices. Tyler and I couldn't see ourselves with this venue, as it is a bit disloyal to our grand (and expensive) University of Oklahoma, but is a possible choice for those with no Alma Mater. UCO had options from renting sections 3,065 square foot areas of a ballroom for $600 per section, to renting Constitution hall at $1,040 for the full day. They also offer catering, which gives a discount on your room rental. You can email them to request their contracts and pricing plans.
- The Oklahoma State Capitol rents the premises for free. One makes a deposit for their wedding day, and has access to whichever room they choose from the form. Common complaints with this venue that I found through my research are that no dancing is allowed (besides customary first dance and father/bride dances). The state capitol also does not limit tourists' access to your wedding, and often make themselves feel welcome to "tour" your wedding and reception. There is no air conditioning, so this would make for a miserable summer wedding. Other than this, this venue is very affordable, needs minimal decorating, and gives you beautiful pictures.
One thing I did that brought me a lot of useful information was order free travel brochures from travelok.com. This helped us to think outside the box of what we knew, and even if you don't end up using some of the ideas for the wedding, they can make great side trips for you and your husband-to-be.
This is all the information I have compiled so far regarding unique wedding venues in Oklahoma. While I contacted many venues, I mostly posted about ones I felt there were misconceptions about, or that offered some sort of productive information. I also tried to warn about types of locations that may be fruitless effort in one's search for wedding venues. Nothing I say is intended to harm any business or location, but just giving my two cents about the realistic possibility for a wedding. Also, this information is only supposed to be helpful from the research I did while we were venue searching, and is subject to being out of date or incorrect!
With love and a pot of brewing coffee,