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Blackacre Nature Preserve/outdoor wedding

I am looking into having an outdoor ceremony and reception at Blackacre nature preserve. Has anyone ever been to a wedding there or having theirs there? And do you have any suggestions or tips for an outdoor wedding? I am planning to have it in September or October of 2012.

Re: Blackacre Nature Preserve/outdoor wedding

  • edited December 2011
    I just recieved an email from a friend that they need help fighting against regulations trying to be passed at Blackacre. (which would include not having weddings) It's on their facebook page too.
  • Blackacre is a beautiful place.  I havent found many photos of wedding at Blackacres but I am getting married there in September 2012.  Think that it will be the perfect set up and am really looking forward to it.  We are having the ceremony out behind the barn and the reception under a tent in front of the barn.  Our plans are to put the dance floor inside the barn.  Hopefully it all works out.  It will be Sept. 1st.  If you are getting marrried in later in Sept. I will try to post pics later. 

  • Be very careful with having your wedding at Blackacre. I had my wedding there this past May and the process was a nightmare.

    Blackacre is beautiful and a gorgeous venue. I had a beautiful wedding and everything went great, however, if I could, I might have considered using a different venue.

    1. After I had signed my contract AND paid the security deposit for a June 2nd wedding, Jackie called me weeks later and asked if I would consider changing my wedding date because my scheduled wedding date was during a weekend they have their "pioneer weekend." I said no because I was in school and not wanting to push the date too close to my graduation.
    2. Jackie calls me the next day and tells me I HAVE to change the date! I was completely stunned. After nearly a month of having a confirmed wedding date and telling all of my friends, I had to change the date! Reluctantly, we changed the date and didn't have a choice because many venues were already booked. However, we were offered 50% off our wedding venue so that was encouraging.
    3. While visiting the venue, my husband asked about our dogs being in the wedding, to which Jackie said was fine. However, TWO WEEKS before our wedding she tells us dogs are absolutely not allowed on the property. This was devastating to us. Our dogs are basically like our kids and incredibly well trained animals. We even had the dogs as part of our wedding invitations. Her reasoning behind this was that one of the goats was pregnant and the dogs would disrupt the "process." Our ceremony location was nowhere close to the barn and the dogs would immediately be transported home after the ceremony so this was hard for us to understand. After a lot of going back and forth, a few days before the wedding, Jackie said we could have our dogs in the wedding. By the way, our dogs behaved wonderfully and didn't even pay attention to any of the animals. It wasn't even a big deal.
    4. We wanted hay bales for seating. When I asked Jackie about ordering hay bales, 9 months before the wedding, she told me that they cost about "$1.50-2.00 a bale." She said a week before the wedding I could call her and tell her how many I wanted. We wanted to order 40 bales and when we ordered, she told us they were $3 a bale! I argued with her and told her that she had told me a different price MONTHS ago to which she told me I was wrong at $3 was always the price. I couldn't believe it. So instead we only bought 20 bales, which meant a lot of people had to stand during the ceremony.

    5. THE WEDDING DAY: I wish I was joking about this but I'm not. Right before the ceremony was about to start...I look up and see Jackie on the upper level porch with all of her "buddies" drinking beer and TALKING! My aunt actually had to ask them to be quiet as the ceremony began to start. We had a super short ceremony..seriously? Who talks loudly during a wedding?

    Lesson to be learned: Do not make assumptions with Blackacre. Jackie is very nice but also incredibly unorganized and unreliable. She forgets everything! Make sure you have all the things you want on paper and with a signature. Document everything. Do not sit back and assume that she may remember all of your requests. DOUBLE CHECK everything!!!

    It's incredibly dissapointing because Blackacre is an amazing venue and becoming more popular but the whole process of wedding planning there is a complete nightmare! Be careful a good luck!!

    **By the way...I did not know this but even when you reserve the grounds for a wedding, it is still open to the public. On the day of the wedding, strangers were just walking through the grounds and going into our tent. The public is allowed on the grounds any time of the day even if you're having a wedding!
  • I had my wedding at Blackacre in September, everything seemed to go good Jackie was helpful in many cases but also at times it seemed as I was trying to find out about things that she should have been doing instead.  There was a wedding the day before mine that messed up having the rehersal the day before.  I was in contact with the tent company which luckily they were using the same as us and got it all arranged so they would be set up and picked up on time.  On the contract it says that the grounds keeper will tidy the restroom and put out candles.  Honestly right before my wedding it started to pour which made things really hectic and I only saw Jackie once the day of my wedding when she came in b/c the caterer needed to be paid.  I didn't mind that she didn't come out to the wedding, things got really hectic right before the wedding was suppose to start and some of our stuff got left in the house.  The guys thought it was locked so the next day when we went out to clean up we were going to go in and get our stuff and to our surprise it was sitting on the back porch.  We did only have the house from 3-5 with the ceremony starting at 5 but I didn't think she would just sit it outside glad nothing of value was in there.  Other than that things turned out good, really think it could have been a perfect wedding minus the rain. 
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