A little about us and how we became a farm wedding venue. Chasing the dream to be a farmer in the modern world is a near impossible feat in the modern era. There’s been many stories fashioned on the age old American dream to have land and be able to farm it and “live off the land”. Green Acres may be one of our favorite shows because very closely resembles our very own story. So if you want to get to know us and our story a lot better, go watch Green Acres from the beginning and you’ll pretty much have it down.
In 2007 Steve had started looking for the ideal farm location that wouldn’t be too far from St.Louis. Not just any property, but a farm that would still have a historic barn, and an old country house, with enough ground for orchards and of course that nice open country view. That search took 3 years but in 2010 he finally found it! So Steve & Jen took the biggest risk of their lives and “bought the farm”
As we launched out seeking to slowly but surely getting our ideal life started we ran into numerous obstacles both fiscally with job loss, emotional stress, and physical exhaustion and sickness. Seems like when you are trying to chase your dream, all the nightmares come out and start chasing you. We won’t bore you with all the sob stories here, but here is a nugget to all our future couples that we can give you for free! “When you are going through hell. KEEP GOING!” Don’t stop and visit, just keep going!
It’s what we did, and in doing so, with a lot blood from scrapes, cuts, thorns all over this place, more sweat than I’d like to admit, and a few tears (usually associated with blood). We were able to take this old house and the land that hadn’t been used as a farm for over a generation and turn it into what we have become today.
Now in 2017 we have finished our 4th consecutive year of hosting weddings. Our venue has changed and grown constantly over these years. Since starting this journey we planted 1000 apple trees, 1000 blueberry bushes, 300 peaches, and 300 blackberries. Watched 290 peach trees die, 500 blueberry bushes die, replant 500 blueberries and pulled out 1000 apple trees. Watched 297 peach trees die! (3 still alive!) Planted 1500 grapevines. (Still alive! ) Turns out that anyone using a broad leaf herbicide containing 2-4 D within a mile on a sunny day can pretty much wipe out a young orchard if the wind is right. Who knew?
Then we put floors in the barn, electric, and water. Then we reclaimed a few of the outbuildings for the purposes of grooms and brides cabins. Then we built a catering kitchen, and then we started rehab on the main house. We usually consisted of me and my retired Dad who deserves a lot of credit in helping me learn how to do carpentry, electric, pluming, and old tractor stuff. Still today you can probably catch me cutting grass on the old 1955 Ford Tractor we started out with. When you come visit us, just about everything you see, every flower, vine, every granite stone, every bit of gravel, every light, all the waterworks, the wood floors, and every flower in the gardens had to be done with our own two hands and the occasional helpers (you know who you are). Most people will never get to appreciate the whole story. But they will get to enjoy the fruits of that story.
Our services and offerings for weddings just grew from one event to the other getting better and better. Our decorating services got better and better, as did our catering, both delivering consistently good service and high quality food. The barn venue just got better with one new rustic thing after another. Always adding things to make it more enjoyable for our clients. Never stopping, always researching, always thinking, planning, and creating a better service and farm venue for our brides.
Our challenging start is very much part of the fabric that makes us who we are today here at Dodson Orchards and much of the reason for our success.
We know that really good things don’t come easy!
We believe that hard work pays off one way or the other.
We believe that anything worth trying is worth giving it our everything!
We believe in constantly striving to grow ourselves in education dedication and hard work.
We don’t stop. It’s just who we are. It’s how we got here, and it’s how we are going to continue towards becoming the best barn wedding venue in the Missouri & Midwest.
We look forward to sharing what we’ve created with you and getting to know you personally. We’ve made many friends on this journey and we look forward to making so many more.
Finally, we’d like to thank all of the couples of the past, the present, and those in the future who chose or will choose us for to host their rustic barn weddings and events. We consider it an honor.
– Steve & Jen Dodson
Please contact us here to learn more about our Farm Wedding Venue