It’s Spotlight Day, where we introduce you to incredible Orlando wedding venues and share the stories behind these companies who help Wedding Venue Map couples have their best wedding day.
Hiring the right wedding venue is so important on your wedding day. The venue is the backdrop of every moment, every picture, and every memory.
It gives us great pleasure to introduce this week’s venue spotlight, Jess Watson of Up the Creek Farms.
When people ask “what do you do?” how do you answer?
I tell them that my husband and I have turned my old family homestead into a wedding venue that we also live at with our three Labradors. Our lives are centered around this property and the unique opportunity that it provides to wedding couples.
What did you do before you did this?
Prior to starting Up the Creek Farms, I was in the food & beverage industry as a catering manager.
When and how did you get into the wedding industry?
2013 was the first official year for us, although there were several years of planning ahead of this. I love the wedding industry and got started when Up the Creek Farms was just in its infancy. The property has been in my family for over 30 years.
Tell us about your most memorable event so far and why it was.
My most memorable event so far was my husband and I’s wedding here on the property. It was a very special day and we relive a small portion of that moment each time we watch a bride walk down the aisle.
What’s the best part of your job?
This will be a carryover from the last question regarding my most memorable event so far. Life gets so busy that we tend to let time pass by without a thought or care in the world. There are very few moments in life that time seems to slow way down, even if for just a few minutes. The day two people get married creates this pause in life that cannot easily be recreated.
The best part of my job is providing a backdrop for this to happen. We provide the foundation for memories that will last couples a lifetime.
What motivates you to do this every day?
I just love it when new people come to our property and love it. I love watching their faces and smiles as they wander the grounds seeing each space. As anyone who creates something beautiful does, we love to share it and let other people get the same enjoyment that we do.
What fun fact would people be surprised to learn about you?
That our property was actually my former childhood home and is the original homestead of one of the area’s first pioneers, Ernest Svedelius– he built our two-story farmhouse in the 1870s! Through many years of different owners, the house fell into disrepair and my family acquired the property in 1984 and repaired the old farmhouse. In 2013, I returned home with a vision of transforming the property into a sprawling event venue.
What is the best compliment you’ve received from your clients?
That we have exceeded our client’s expectations.
How did you decide on the name of your company?
We wanted a unique name and the original homestead, The Decklan House, sits high on a hill looking down Goat Creek. The name Up the Creek Farms fell into place to showcase the beautiful 8-acre property that overlooks the water. The Boathouse was designed and built specifically to host events with modern amenities in mind. The name ties in the low country feel of the property and our family history of rowing and love for the water. You’ll see subtle nods here and there with large oars as door handles and rope accents.
What is important for clients to know about your company before they book you?
Up the Creek Farms is owned and maintained by the Watson family. You will find passion is evident in every aspect of UTCF from our customer service to the landscaping upkeep.
What is the most unique service/product you offer?
Our sister company, Crystal & Crates will provide you with all of the extra elements to create your own ‘one-of-a-kind’ occasion and dress up your special event with unique pieces from our eclectic inventory of furniture, accents, and decor. We even offer a 1948 fully restored Ford pickup truck to rent!
What types of events do you specialize in?
We specialize in wedding ceremonies and receptions. We are a very versatile property and can accommodate corporate events, holiday parties, and any other celebrations.
What makes your business stand out from others in your category?
Our pricing reflects inclusive packages that give brides complete use of our venue and boathouse, planning, design, and styling, plus all of the special amenities for a perfect wedding celebration. Invitations, music, cake, and catering, as well as designer floral, linen, and décor from our on-site design studio are all provided. We believe it’s the little extra touches that are flawlessly executed that make your day that much more beautiful. Our pricing offers clients control of their budget and extraordinary quality.
Tell us about your favorite type of engaged couple.
Couples that are truly in love and excited to plan their wedding!
Why do couples hire you?
I feel our couples really put their trust in us, from recommending vendors to our planners helping put all the final details together and making sure everything runs smoothly day-of. Our customer service is five-star!
Tell us briefly about some of your package options.
It really depends on what you are looking for. We have packages to suit everyone! We have a la carte packages where you can bring in all of your own vendors; intimate packages for 50 or fewer guests; and all-inclusive packages for the couple that wants us to provide catering, entertainment, cake, floral, and a wedding planner.
Why do you think your business is successful?
We treat each client as if they were our only one. We want every single person walking through our door to feel that their wedding is the most special day of their life.
Up the Creek Farms shares some helpful information for engaged couples…..
What are the most common questions you get asked by brides and/or grooms?
1. Will there be another wedding on the same day?
We only allow one event per day to give complete exclusivity of the venue to you and your guests.
2. What’s the story of the gorgeous trees at Up the Creek Farms?
You’ll find a canopy of Live Oaks, some over 100 years old, on the property. Spanish moss grows naturally on them and gives them that truly Southern look! You’ll also spot magnolias, and of course, you wouldn’t be in Florida without a variety of palm trees.
3. Can we have our dog be a part of our ceremony?
Well behaved dogs are welcome outside at Up the Creek Farms. We recommend having someone manage your furry friend; entertain them, pick up after them, and keep them hydrated.
What current trends have you seen at weddings that you personally like the most?
We’ve been getting tons of requests for more statement-making flowers like our hanging floral hoop that highlights the dancefloor. Greenery is still a big trend as well as fun, unique cocktail hour ideas like mobile prosecco and beer bars. Tall floral centerpieces for our farm tables have also been a big hit this wedding season.
What is your best piece of advice for someone who just got engaged?
Enjoy every moment of this special time and try not to focus so much on your wedding to-do list.
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions that people have about weddings?
That wedding planning equals stress and anxiety! We try to make the process as seamless and fun as possible by working with clients on every detail big or small so that the months leading up to their big day are filled with joy and excitement.
What some of their previous couples had to say….
“I cannot say a bad thing about UTFC, we were able to have our wedding on June 20th and it was absolutely magical! I’m so grateful for Jess and our coordinator Briana they are both so kind and accommodating to our families and guests, If any brides are looking into wedding venues I highly recommend this one!!” – Ellie P.
“Hands down gorgeous! From the grounds to the house…Old Florida Charm in a romantic setting. Flawless execution of events. Jessica and her staff are amazing! Can’t say enough about this venue and the staff. ❤️” – Sierra L.
“My husband and I got married at up the creek in December and our day could not have been more perfect especially because of the amazing help of up the creek! Our wedding day coordinator Briana was so wonderful, she took care of so much and it really took the stress off of us for our wedding day. And the property was stunning and our guests were blown away by the venue. I highly recommend up the creek farms for weddings!” – Katelyn P.
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