Whitetail Meadow Opens Its Barn Doors


Feature Whitetail

Whitetail Meadow. The place is as bucolic and serene as it sounds. Set against the meandering Red River and bordered by bales of freshly harvested oats, this new wedding and event venue has opened its doors for business. The first big event, a fall wedding, took place September 30.

Joanne Jones, venue manager, says that she has been inundated with curiosity seekers and rental inquiries. 

“We have a number of weddings booked this year, as well as Christmas parties and other confirmed events for 2017,” says Jones. She adds that the most popular months for weddings are already beginning to fill up for 2018. “Saturdays in July are booked and August and September are filling quickly. We are receiving multiple requests daily. We also have a number of events booked in 2019.”

Whitetail Meadow is a thoughtfully planned event centre situated on a piece of pastoral land at the corner of Highways 311 and 200. The venue’s features include an 80-year-old restored hip roof barn, an elegantly refurbished home-turned-honeymoon-suite called Marigold Cottage, and a series of ponds, bridges, and landscape features that beg eventgoers to explore the grounds.

“I think everything about Whitetail Meadow and Marigold Cottage is unique and special,” says Jones. “I am so thrilled to be part of this amazing project. Dave has built this incredible place, holding on to the rustic elements of the original barn that he loved, and adding to it a simple elegance that will make a beautiful backdrop for any couple’s special day.”

The dream began with Dave and Lori Neufeld, owners and builders of Whitetail Meadow. Dave is no stranger to recapturing the beauty of once-loved homes. When the old barn and home that would become Marigold Cottage fell into his sight lines, he relocated them to this idyllic spot and began the long and arduous journey of purposeful restoration.

Today, the old barn is almost unrecognizable. Extensions were added for space, along with several verandas and balconies overlooking the landscaped grounds. Neufeld went to special pains to maintain the rustic appeal while achieving the modern standards of current building codes with Energy Star ratings. This, Jones says, was in itself an enormous feat.

Inside, the great hall features a massive stone fireplace, knotted fir flooring, wrought iron chandeliers, and a grand staircase leading to a loft. The hall includes a fully equipped, commercial grade kitchen with a private entry, expansive washroom areas, and a bar.

Neufeld has used much of the original barn wood and old windows to create special interest areas. Several of the barn’s Tudor-style windows are hinged and set into a rustic-wood feature wall, allowing couples the perfect spot for photos. Adding to the venue’s antique charm are a host of handmade solid-wood tables and high-backed Chiavari chairs, enough to hold 300 guests in the 6,300-square-foot space. The building is equipped with five air conditioning units, providing 21 tons of cool air during hot summer months as well as a superior heating source for the winter months.

Outside, large attached balconies provide the perfect locations to enjoy summer breezes while sipping cocktails. The manicured grounds can be strolled along via paths leading to the river and back meadow. 

A concrete path and bridge leads to Marigold Cottage, a quaint yellow-sided house with space on the main floor for bridal entourages to groom, relax, and eat. The second level is dedicated as a honeymoon suite and includes a roll top tub, chandelier, fireplace, and private balcony. 

Outdoor wedding ceremony options will also be available to couples.

“Our plan is to have a tent in the meadow in case weather is questionable or too sunny,” says Jones. “They can choose to have chairs set up ceremony-style and then tables brought back in while guests wait at the bar or on the decks. For a smaller wedding, they could also have the ceremony up in the loft area with the reception set up downstairs. The deck could also accommodate a smaller wedding ceremony.” 

Caterers are not provided, allowing renters the opportunity to choose from the vast array of caterers already available in the region. Whitetail Meadow does offer beverage service and bartenders as well as setup and takedown services. Down the road, Jones expects that additional décor items may be added. At this stage, renters have other local options if they desire more than the beautiful backdrop the venue already provides.

“We love the Manitoba prairie and feel that there is so much natural beauty here,” concludes Jones. “Anything we do [here] will be to enhance the natural state. I envision lots of movement with tall grasses, prairie flowers, and of course Russian Sage. Every [outdoor space] needs Russian Sage.”

The Neufelds and Jones are working towards a tentative November 18 grand opening open house. More information will be announced on their website in the coming weeks.

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