Burdoc Farms: Kentucky's Nature and Beauty All In One Place
In Kentucky, it seems there are never enough outdoor wedding venues, let alone four in one place! Burdoc Farms is a family owned farm in Crofton, Kentucky that strives to make your big day unique and memorable. Your search for a great outdoor venue could end here!
Sara Shepherd: Burdoc Farms was purchased in North Christian County just south of Crofton, Kentucky in 1952. Dr. Norma Shepherd and Burwell Keith Shepherd Sr. were married, they used their wedding give to fulfill their mutual dream of buying a working farm and someday building a home there. After buying this farm, they used both their names and the farm became Burdoc Farms.
The farm was eventually taken over by John Shepherd and Burwell Shepherd, sons of Norma and Keith, and when John decided to leave farming, Burwell and I took over operations.
KBM: How long have you been hosting weddings?
SS: We have been hosting weddings for three and a half years.
KBM: How has the farm changed in its 62 years of operation?
SS: Well, we were a cow and calf operation and tobacco farm for over 50 years. A very traditional farm. Then we when my husband and I took over, we sold all the cattle and our tobacco allotment and now we are a stewardship and conservation farm--doing no-till crops, planting and encouraging the growth of indigenous grasses and flowers that promote wildlife habitats, replanting trees native to Kentucky, and managing those trees. We planted 30,000 trees 15 years ago.
KBM: Where can a bride get married at Burdoc Farms?
SS: We have two barns and several outdoor areas a bride can utilize for her big day. The Tobacco Barn was built in 1952 to house cattle and tobacco, but has been converted into a beautiful, rustic reception area with crystal chandeliers, string lights and modern amenities.
The Leaning Barn used to house all our hay and equipment, but has been converted into a chapel complete with church pews, wood floors and string lighting. This barn is also your "plan b" if there's bad weather.
We also have a wedding platform overlooking north Christian County for an outdoor ceremony, or a gazebo nestled in a tree grove for another possible outdoor ceremony area.
KBM: What is included when a bride reserves Burdoc Farms for her wedding?
SS: When a bride books with us, she has access to all the areas and barns on the farm, plus a cabin to get ready in. She also has use of the vintage props we have, parking attendants, tables and chairs. There would be no other weddings or events going on.
KBM: What makes Burdoc Farms a unique wedding venue?
SS: Well that's a good questions. I think the fact that we live on the farm and that it's a family farm is unique. We didn't build a barn to have weddings in, we recycled and re-purposed barns that were on the farm. Our original goal was to open the farm for recreational use, but then we had our daughter's wedding on the farm and the feedback was so positive that we thought we'd give it a try. Now we are totally booked for this year and we are starting to book up for next year! Weddings really found us, we didn't find weddings!
KBM: How early should a bride reserve the location, and what kind of details do you need to know immediately?
SS: We are booking so fast. I would recommend they book one year in advance. And I would need to know how many guests they will have, start time of the ceremony, and whether or not they are having alcohol.
KBM: How many guests can your venues hold?
SS: They can hold about 300 guests.
KBM: How long do brides have to create their wedding vision? (day of, day before, etc.)
SS: If they get the day of, they can come in as early in the morning as they want. If they get the two-day package, they get to come in at 12 noon the day before.
KBM: What kind of ideas do you typically see when a bride wants to book your farm as the venue for her wedding? (Country, elegant, etc.)
SS: We have really seen all kinds of themes--very vintage, very country and southern elegance.
KBM: Do you have a list of recommended vendors, or can brides bring in who they want to use?
SS: I do have vendors I recommend, but I also allow outside vendors as well.
KBM: Since you're a farm, what is the parking like for the guests of a wedding?
SS: We have a big, open grass field for our guest parking. We also provide parking attendants during all our weddings.
KBM: I see on your Facebook page that you are building a deck for extra space for weddings and events. When do you plan to complete that and what do you envision it could be used for?
SS: The deck is complete and can be used for a ceremony location, or for extra seating or dance floor. It can be for whatever the bride and groom envision.
KBM: What's the most rewarding part of hosting a wedding on your farm?
SS: I love seeing the bride and groom happy and finally seeing their dream come to fruition. I also love seeing the families of the bride and groom taking in the day.
KBM: What kind of advice do you offer brides as they are looking into Burdoc Farms as their wedding venue?
SS: Well, Burdoc Farms is an outdoor venue ... "nature" could very well be a part of your wedding! But that is the beauty of Burdoc too!
KBM: What do you think is the most important thing for a bride to know when booking her wedding's venue?
SS: It's important to know the "do's and don'ts" ... every venue has them. Make sure you understand and can live with them.
KBM: What other things should a bride know about having her wedding at Burdoc Farms?
SS: We are very flexible here at Burdoc Farms. We strive to be a venue that is more like a home and not just a place to have a wedding.
KBM: At Kentucky Bride, we strive to educate and inspire brides. What's some advice you would give to our readers as they get ready for their big day?
SS: Enjoy the journey of planning your wedding! Include your groom and include your family members in a meaningful way on the day of your wedding. And no one is going to remember the color of the napkins!
Photographs courtesy of Burdoc Farms' website and Facebook page with permission of Sara Shepherd.