Edmond venue focuses on family and fun
Nestled along tree-lined Bluff Creek in Edmond, Oklahoma, The Barn At The Woods is a unique property that spreads across 40 acres of farmland and cross timbers featuring a 117-year-old historic barn. The Barn At The Woods is a wedding and event space designed to take weddings and special events beyond the extraordinary.
The venue and property
The venue includes a variety of ceremony, reception, and event locations on the property, along with amenities like a commercial-grade kitchen and guest rooms on the premises. The acreage also features the ancient “Wedding Tree,” formed by two mulberry trees that have grown together, encircled by Virginia creeper vine, signifying two becoming one, the ideal backdrop for a ceremony.
The original farmhouse on the land was built in 1908 and hosts a combination of family heirlooms and contemporary furnishings. It has been updated with modern luxuries and now serves as the dressing rooms for the bride, groom, and families.
“I have owned this property for 18 years and raised five children here. I never dreamed in a million years that it would ever be a wedding venue,” said The Barn at the Woods Co-Owner Jennifer Crow. “The old barn was a broken-down eyesore when my oldest daughter, Evangleyn, stated that she wanted to get married in it and drag her wedding dress across the dirt floor amidst the antique farm implements!”
Crow and her family began to upgrade the barn bit by bit, installing flooring, lighting, and more. As improvements were made, more of Crow’s children also held events on the property. Finally, her daughter-in-law, Whittney, fulfilled a dream of getting married in front of the old tree in the backyard.
After Whittney’s wedding, Crow’s middle son Andrew had the idea to open the property to the public to see if others would like to get married there. Crow agreed, but only if Andrew would serve as the venue’s executive director.
“During our first year in 2015, we held ten events. Last year in 2021, we held 93 events!” said Crow. “Andrew was right! Andrew’s business acumen and attention to detail have enabled The Barn At The Woods to become a stable, secure, and successful business since its inception.”
For the first few years, Crow and her son managed every aspect of the property and event space. Now, the company employs a staff of a dozen, plus cleaning crews and grounds keepers to ensure each couple, company, or family, has their best day ever at The Barn At The Woods.
The owners added a new pavilion, made to blend with the old barn built alongside it, to provide additional covered space for larger events. The business continues to expand, gradually taking over more and more of the property, including the cottage, which now serves as staff offices.
“We have recently expanded our leadership to include my sister-in-law, Samantha Votaw, our new Managing Director. She is an incredibly visually creative person with years of experience putting on large events and managing effective customer service relationships,” said Crow. “We are thrilled to have her as a part of the team, and we know our customers will be thrilled as well.”
Two of Samantha’s children were also married on the property. Much of the owners’ satisfaction and purpose comes from allowing others to enjoy the special moments like their families did.
“We experience a great amount of joy seeing people celebrating on the property as our family has over the years,” said Crow. “We love seeing people having a great party until late in the evening, celebrating their special day and creating wonderful memories!”
Each wedding party has the property for an entire day, and every corporate event is a unique experience for the guests, meant to provide time to unwind, enjoy the natural beauty, and celebrate.
One of the goals of the Barn at the Woods staff is to preserve the charm of the original property features and provide a truly relaxing experience for guests.
“You can see in our buildings and rooms many furniture, dishes, paintings, photos, and decor items that have been passed down from great-grandmothers, grandmothers, and my parents,” said Crow. “Our customers are the recipients of our southern hospitality, which speaks of another time when life was slower and simpler.”
Before engaging with prospective customers or current customers, the owners ensure every business procedure or interaction they have is congruent with their core values, which are Integrity, Passion, Servanthood, and Love.
“This enables us to have fulfilling and enriching interactions with all of our clients and helps them to have a stress-free day as far as our venue is concerned,” said Crow. “This is who we are and who our staff is! We hire based on these core values.”
Their core values also lead the company to give back to the community. Each year, The Barn At The Woods supports Beautiful Dream Society, an Oklahoma nonprofit whose mission is to stop human trafficking in Lesotho, Africa, and to provide shelter and rehabilitation to victims.
Lesotho is a country in southern Africa with the second-highest per capita HIV infection, which leaves orphans hungry and vulnerable to traffickers taking advantage of them. Beautiful Dream Society is the only entity in the country of Lesotho providing shelter for victims of human trafficking.
Each time clients have an event at The Barn At The Woods, they are also helping stop human trafficking.
“Success to me is using the resources I’ve been given to expand, bless, and help others,” said Crow. “This business allows me the opportunity to serve orphans, children, and women, who have no means of support without our involvement in Beautiful Dream Society. This is incredibly fulfilling and lets me know that I am in the right place at the right time.”
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About Phil Klutts
Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.
In addition to being the co-owner of Edmond Business, Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.