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Barn Bliss

The Barn in Zionsville offers rustic elegance & country charm for weddings.

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer /Brian Brosmer & Submitted Photos

As a little girl riding horses on her family’s farm in Zionsville, Sarah Agee never dreamed that one day her functioning horse barn would be converted into a stunning wedding venue where brides and grooms would exchange vows. But that’s exactly what transpired.

Several years ago, Agee, who owns Plum & Poppy Weddings, a full-service wedding planning and design company, noticed a trend in her client requests.

“I was doing a lot of barn weddings,” Agee says. “So, it got me thinking that perhaps I should consider converting the family barn into a beautiful spot where my clients could tie the knot.”

She consulted with her father, Randy Keeker, who co-owns the property. He was on board so they renovated the 1,800 square-foot space, and in 2013 opened The Barn in Zionsville for business.

Agee admits that initially it was difficult for her to envision this space that once housed hay, horseshoes, saddles and pitchforks as a place suitable for a fairytale wedding. With time, however, she began to see the barn through the lens of prospective brides.

The rustic ambiance appeals to clients, though Agee spiffs up the space by hanging soft lighting and chiffon drapes and by using gold chiavari chairs to make the location feel more formal.

“We incorporate some high-end aspects that add elegance,” Agee says. “That’s definitely our niche in regard to barn weddings.”

Other fun touches include the fact that Agee’s childhood Shetland pony, Merryleggs, still resides on the property for all the guests to admire.

“We got her when I was 5 years old. She’s now 29 — a grandma — but still so very sweet,” she says.

Bride Stephanie gushed about the gorgeous venue and the appreciation of accessories, including the barrels, bronze bike and spools. But it was Merryleggs who made the biggest impression.

“The pony was a hit with our guests,” she says.

Agee’s background is in catering and restaurant management. When she attended culinary school in upstate New York, she worked in weddings and dreamed of one day helping brides make their dreams come true.

Now, she holds approximately 30 weddings a year at the Barn (which can hold up to 150 guests), hosting events from April through October. Though these months have the greatest potential for nice weather, Agee and her staff have ways to both warm up and cool down the Barn should temperatures creep to one extreme or the other.

Agee enjoys working with a wide range of clients, each of whom has their own ideas for how to make the day special. And because Agee allows them to select their own vendors, her brides and grooms don’t feel pressured to spend more than they can afford.

“That’s one big point of distinction for us because most wedding venues have a controlled list of vendors,” Agee says. “Because we let our clients choose their vendors, every wedding feels different. We’ve seen everything from fine dining plated food to BBQ buffets to food trucks and everything in between.”

Groom Brandon notes because the Barn is privately owned, his family saved a good deal on catering and alcohol.

“When searching other venues, we found a lot of hidden fees whereas at the Barn it was a flat fee, which helped make the rest of our planning much easier and less stressful,” he says.

Wendy, who walked down the aisle in 2014, says the Barn boasted all of the qualities she was looking for in her wedding: shabby chic, rustic and country.

“Sarah is very open when it comes to decorating and [achieving] the vision you want,” Wendy says. “We even had an old ford truck of my husband’s grandfather that we used in some of our wedding photos.”

Agee thinks that folks are drawn to a family-owned and operated business.

“We take a personal approach to taking care of our clients,” Agee says. “It’s just me and my dad, and my husband is a huge help, too. We enjoy being part of a day that families will remember forever.”

To learn more, visit thebarninzionsville.com.

About Christy Heitger-Ewing

Christy Heitger-Ewing is an award-winning writer and columnist who writes human interest stories for national, regional, and local magazines. She is also the author of the book “Cabin Glory: Amusing Tales of Time Spent at the Family Retreat” (www.cabinglory.com).

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