I’m kicking off February with my first feature on a brand new Cedar Rapids wedding venue! I am so lucky to have some amazing venues to photograph in. Megan Knatz, the owner of Ashton Hill Farm and Take the Cake Desserts, is doing awesome things in our local wedding industry. I was so excited to talk with her more about her brand new wedding venue that opened in November 2016.
I am a wedding photographer because I truly love getting to know couples and helping them capture their love story. I will cry at your wedding and during the father/daughter dance and I will drive home blasting dance music on a total high at the end of the night. I just really love what I do. And Megan shares that enthusiasm. She cares deeply about each and every couple she helps, which is what we need in our wedding vendors, right? She also had a cupcake sampler waiting for me at our photo shoot, which was so appreciated by this pregnant lady! She. Is. The. Sweetest. And her venue is gorgeous, to boot. Keep reading to learn more about what Megan describes as a “timeless setting for dream weddings.”
After owning a dessert business for the past 4 years and catering many desserts, I fell in love with weddings – everything about the hustle and bustle of set-up that day, the cake tasting and designing a dessert display became my favorite part of the dessert world. I had a chance to experience many wedding venues and work intimately with couples. I had a vision of what I felt the perfect Iowa wedding venue would be – I just couldn’t find it. I had dreams about creating a magical experience for couples.
Driving home from visiting family in Wisconsin one afternoon and watching the farmland roll by out the window, I told my husband “we need a farm…..and a wedding venue on it – something that feels like home”. I put my dreams down on paper through sketches and notes and “pins” – this began YEARS worth of research. Finding the land was hard. Finding the right builder was hard. Finding the passion to see it through wasn’t.
I knew I wanted a barn – I grew up going to my grandparents hog farm in Iowa and loved everything about it – the barns, the farmhouse, the buildings and the corn! With this vision we created a timeless venue space nestled on Iowa farmland with sweeping views of the countryside, our custom built venue was carefully designed to capture the essential elements of successful entertaining. With white shiplap walls and tons of windows – it’s timeless – classic. The outdoor spaces are perfect for whatever sort of wedding day you have planned. The bridal suite and grooms lounge add a sense of luxury to the day. Our events are distinguished by our commitment to personalized service – we truly want this day to be unique to each couple.
What makes Ashton Hill Farm a unique venue for couples is that it is such a classic design it works well with every style, every feel, every decor, every dream wedding. We have had weddings with bling and glitz and weddings with simple greenery and candles – both fit perfectly with the space. Ashton Hill Farm also gives you every you need but the flexibility to make it your own. With the grooms lounge and bridal suite, outdoor spaces, options for weddings indoors and outdoors and endless photo opportunities, you’ll never have to leave. Yet there are no restrictions on any vendors, food, decor, so you can make the day unique to you! The more creative the better – we can’t WAIT to see all of the exciting and unique things our couples are going to try!
Find a venue that speaks to you – the venue sets the tone for your entire wedding. You will find you need less to make it special when you fall in love with the space you’re in from the get go!
I absolutely love getting to know each couple through the journey we take with them. The early morning hours the day of the wedding are the BEST for me…opening up the venue, seeing everyone’s eyes light up when they see their space – watching them settle in to the suites with to get ready. I often see a bride take a peek outdoors where her ceremony will happen in a few short hours – it’s those little moments that I love.