A Clermont couple risked life and limb for their dream, and now it’s become a reality: A new, modern wedding venue in White County.
If you’ve had enough of rustic barn weddings, imagine a modern venue backdropped with mountainous views. At the new Meadows at Mossy Creek in Cleveland, couples will have both indoor and outdoor options, as well as spaces designed around lighting for videography and photography.
Co-owned by Hall County couple Calah and Karson Coker, the venue will open to the public in late February after a series of deep trials for the family, including a life-threatening accident for Karson Coker.
And the new venue came to Cleveland almost by accident: The couple fell into the wedding industry a couple of years ago when they opened their 100-year-old house in Clermont as a venue.
Karson said they held two backyard weddings for their friends and family, and then realized they had the potential to make a business out of it. Calah has nine years of working as a hair stylist under her belt and Karson frequently works as a wedding videographer.
The two looked throughout various counties in Georgia before finding the current site of Meadows at Mossy Creek in White County.
But they needed cash, and Calah and Karson decided to sell their house so they could afford the property — all while having a two-day-old daughter and an 11-month-old son.
In order to have a place to live, Calah’s salon was converted into a house.
And in August 2018 Karson received second- and third-degree burns from a brush fire while working on the property, which put him in Grady Hospital in Atlanta for more than two weeks.
After undergoing skin graft surgery and recovering enough to leave the hospital, Karson moved with his wife and kids into Calah’s parents’ place.
“It was nerve-wracking,” he said. “It has definitely been an interesting year.”
The Cokers are currently finishing up the construction of their new house, which is on the same lot at Meadows at Mossy Creek. He hopes to move in by February.
In May 2018, the Cokers broke ground on the Meadows at Mossy Creek property, taking the first steps in making their dream venue come to life.
The main venue includes nearly 6,000 square feet of space, fitting a maximum 299 people. Karson said the location also offers a small sunroom salon and a bridal suite house.
“We try to really work out everything from where the groom and bride get ready, to how the bride will get to the ceremony spot without being seen,” he said. “We also look at how we can keep the lighting in all the shots the best it could possibly be.”
Before officially opening the venue, Karson’s cousin Grey Schuebert married his now-wife Emmy at the location on Dec. 1.
“It was pretty special getting be the the first wedding for them,” Emmy said. “They just worked their hands to the bone making it happen. It was amazing.”
The venue’s multiple backdrop options for the ceremony impressed her, she said, and Emmy chose to get married in front of the Meadows’ wall of ferns and a hexagonal arbor.
Even though it rained during her wedding -- good luck for them, even if it’s not ideal day-of -- Emmy said the event was smooth.
Ashlyn Cathey, the Schueberts’ wedding photographer, called the venue “an ideal spot” for photographers working both indoors and outdoors.
Natural light was key for the photographer, who said the venue’s many large windows keep the room bright while also keeping lighting soft. Cathey said the windows, white ceilings and numerous vantage points of important areas made taking shots inside a sinch.
One of the main building’s walls, which is 84 feet at its longest, opens to the outside grounds. As easy as it is to open the space, Karson said people can as seamlessly switch it to an indoor climate-controlled venue in poor weather.
Even the seating can change on the fly: Unlike most farmhouse tables, he said those at Meadows at Mossy Creek can be folded up for a quick room transformation.
“Our goal is to be more than just a wedding venue,” he said. “We really try to work with people in any way possible.”
For more information about Meadows at Mossy Creek visit meadowsatmossycreek.com or email email@example.com.