48 FIELDS FARM
If you ever venture outside the hustle and bustle of Washington DC and into the heart of northern Virginia wine country, you’ll find me my venue – 48 Fields Farm and Cidery. Nestled in the woods off a gravel road, our flagship space is a renovated, dual-level white barn that I own with my husband, Steve.
But it wasn’t always that way…
I was a cubicled creative. Thought I had to do the expected 9-to-5 instead of something more creative that I was passionate about. I first grabbed a camera out of jealousy and turned a hobby into a six-figure wedding photography business. I learned that my view didn’t have to be three gray half-walls, but instead my days could be filled with elaborate cakes, floral arches, and epic dance floor showdowns. And the occasional puppy in a bowtie.
Although my husband and I never set out to own a wedding venue, our years of experience with corporate event planning and wedding photography guided us to purchase our venue. As a photographer, I learned about client service, dealing with high-stress situations, planning timelines, developing vendor relations, and building and growing a business. As a venue owner, I’ve added first-hand experience with zoning laws, building code, renovation and construction, insurance, and developing enduring vendor relations.
Yes, we did start with some familiarity and knowledge of the wedding industry, but we’ve built, renovated, networked, laughed, cried, and grown our way to success as venue owners. We took a run down barn with no windows, no power, and no financial help and turned it into an elegant, in-demand space that sells out every year. All while hustling full time jobs.
Over the years, I have found that venue owners tend not to connect that often with one another. But that’s not from a lack of desire! The sad truth is that groups and resources specific to venue owners are very hard to find. I hope to change that by starting the Wedding Venue Conference!