I had the pleasure of filming Hannah & Judson’s intimate wedding at Oakleaf Cottage over the summer, and I was blown away by the beauty of the landscape as well as the intimate vibe of the venue. Here are a few things Oakleaf Cottage has to offer! You can view the beauty Oakleaf Cottage has to offer in Hannah & Judson’s video below or view their website here.
Tell me a little about yourself and/or the venue.
Our 28-acres of mountainside forest boasts a flowing layout that encompasses the cottage itself, two separate outdoor ceremony sites accommodating up to 125 guests, and an upscale barn structure that provides a lovely indoor option for ceremonies and receptions. With all the rustic charm you can stand, the barn is smartly situated against the sloping side of Lookout, where dramatic rocks and forest trees combine for a setting so serene and magical it almost begs to be the stage of your unique love story.
What are some of the things your venue has that sets you apart from other local wedding venues?
With our mountainous rocks and old forest growth — most venues with settings like ours are found in California. As most of our weddings are destination, we have overnight options for up to 9 guests. If you need more accommodations, we have partnered with nearby vacation rentals for your guests. Also, we include a selection of decor and some of the best tableware for a Pinterest-worthy ceremony and reception. We also provide options for professional decor services and month of coordination with some of the best coordinators and planners in the Chattanooga area.
Oakleaf Cottage also works to be sustainable! We sort all trash during and after the event for recycling, and food waste is taken to a chicken farm up on Lookout Mountain. We have taken measures to reduce our power/water usage and are careful to maintain our grounds in a way that does not harm the forest surrounding us. All insect barriers are natural, and we only add native plants to our landscaping.
How many people can the venue hold, both seated and standing?
We state our maximum capacity as 125, as that is how many can comfortably be seated inside our stable barn.
How much does renting the venue cost, and what exactly does that include?
This varies by package in 2021, and in 2022 varies by season.
What are the rates for different days of the week and times (Friday, Saturday, Sunday; morning, afternoon, evening)? What about different seasons?
Our rates are definitely less for weekdays. In 2022, we are moving to seasonal pricing structures, while 2021 is not seasonal.
Is there parking available for guests? How many spots?
Yes, we have parking! Our lot is located at the bottom of our venue, and we shuttle your guests to the venue area — there are no cars in the backdrop of your wedding here.
Are couples free to hire their own vendors, or do you have a list of preferred vendors?
As part of our design and coordinating services, we help you locate vendors we feel you will love for their style and personality. You are welcome to choose vendors we haven’t worked with before, but we do require they meet with us so we can ensure your wedding flows seamlessly.
What is your alcohol policy?
In Dade County, you can provide your own beer and wine (no hard liquor is permitted in the county). You’ll need a bartender — and we know some fantastic ones!
If a wedding is outdoors, what is the contingency plan in case of bad weather?
We bring the wedding into the whitewashed stable barn! Our glass doors make a fabulous indoor backdrop, and we set the arbor, rugs, and ceremony details all in place just as we would have for an outdoor ceremony.
Are there bridal rooms and groom’s suites to get ready in?
Yes – we have a 1,900 sqft Cottage steps from the ceremony areas and a barn to get ready in. If you’re having a Saturday wedding, an overnight stay is also an option for up to 9 guests.
Can couples have their rehearsal dinner at Oakleaf Cottage? What about a morning-after mimosa brunch?
Yes! We love rehearsal dinners under the lights — on our barn deck, one of the ceremony spots, or inside the former stable barn. A morning brunch is an option if there isn’t a wedding slated for that day (we usually know that a few months out)
How far in advance can a date be reserved?
Do you have your own sound equipment and speakers at Oakleaf Cottage, or will those need to be rented or provided by the entertainment?
We do! Oakleaf Cottage has a sound system inside the barn that works beautifully for dinner, reception, and the ceremony in the back. We have an additional mobile music station with a mic for ceremonies in the Forest View area. Neither in-house system is fancy, but they work!
Will your staff be involved in setting up and breaking down the décor? In what capacity?
We set up and take down anything that belongs to us (tables, chairs, arbors, plates and glassware, etc.). Our staff is working throughout the event to bus tables, assist with the event, and sort all recycling. All of your items must leave with your appointed person at the end of the event.
What is the most common question you get asked by brides, and what is your answer?
Anytime we notice a number of our couples asking a similar question, we make sure we add it to our Welcome Packet! One that was recently added was the measurements for our tables, arbors, and all spaces within the stable barn.
What’s your biggest tip for a couple planning their wedding day?
Make time during the wedding day for the two of you! It’s so easy to be swept from one photo-op to the next or move on to the next item on the timeline, but you’ll want a second to breathe together and take in the moment!