Lakeside Occasions FAQs

I’ve booked my wedding at Lakeside Occasions. Now what?
Let the fun begin! Time for dress shopping, food/cake tasting, and long nights on Pinterest dreaming up décor and the perfect invitations! Lakeside Occasions will be in touch with any important information regarding the venue, and as we get closer to your big day, you will receive an invoice by email for your final balance. It is due 30 days before your event, and you can pay by credit card or check. Once your RSVPs are in, we will schedule a planning session at the barn. This is where we’ll discuss the layout of tables and chairs (you will need a guest count for this meeting), tally up any rentals or extras you may need, and plan bar services. You will get a diagram of your seating plan after this meeting, so you will know exactly how many tablecloths you will need.

Do you have tablecloths for rent?
No, but you can usually rent them from your caterer.

I want to visit to plan my decorations/show my parents the venue/show a caterer, photographer, decorator, etc… When can we come?
Just call or email ([email protected]) to schedule an appointment. You get 2 visits for planning purposes included in the rental. Additional visits are $15 each. Please try to keep these visits to 30 minutes or less. (These 2 visits are in addition to your hour-long planning session once your RSVPs come in.)

Do you allow a unity candle for the ceremony?
We do NOT allow open flames inside the barn – no exceptions. However, if you’re getting married in the gazebo, you can light a unity candle. Be sure to bring a hurricane glass to shield it from the wind, and make sure you have a Plan B in case your ceremony is moved inside (i.e. unity knot, sand, etc.)

What about sky lanterns or sparklers?
We don’t allow sky lanterns or fireworks, per say, but you can bring sparklers. We just need to know ahead of time if you’re using sparklers for a send-off.

Any other decorating restrictions?
No staples, nails, screws, or anything that leaves a permanent hole. You can use command hooks, twine, wire, fishing line to hang things – just make sure you remove them before you leave. We have ladders to use at your own risk. We also require REAL flower petals on the lawn for processions. If you use fake flower petals, you will be asked to pick them up after the ceremony.

Can I rent a tent?
You can, but it’s generally not necessary. We have ample space indoors for a ceremony if the weather doesn’t cooperate, and we have shelter back behind the barn where guests can stay dry. Also keep in mind, most tents need to be set up on a Friday and can’t be retrieved until Monday, which may interfere with other events on the property.

Do I need to rent tables and chairs?
Nope. Unless there’s something special you have in mind, we have all the tables and chairs you need. We do cap events at 300 inside the barn, both for your safety and for the comfort of your guests. 250 or less gives you a little more elbow room during dinner.

How many rows of chairs will I have for the ceremony?
We typically do rows of 20 – 10 chairs on each side of the aisle, unless you have a special request, which we will handle at your planning session. Remember to subtract the wedding party from your total.

Can we bring our own alcohol?
No. All alcohol must be provided and served by Lakeside Occasions. We have a variety of beer and wine options, as well as a signature drink add-on option. We do not allow shots, and we don’t allow drinking in the Coop or the parking area. This will be strictly enforced.

Do we have to use a specific caterer?
We have 3 preferred caterers, but you can bring in an outside catering service or bring your own food for a $200 fee. Outside caterers will be asked to provide proof of insurance and sign off on our house rules before they’ll be allowed to cater at Lakeside Occasions. We do not guarantee quality of service for outside caterers. For cake/desserts, you are welcome to use whomever you choose.

What about music and photography?
Alomar Entertainment out of Ft. Wayne provides excellent services, however you are welcome to use the DJ of your choice. Or you can use our sound equipment for a nominal fee of $75. We have speakers, audio board, and microphones for indoors and out. We also have preferred photographers, florists/decorators, and bakeries, but you are not obligated to use these preferred vendors.

We know a police officer. Can he/she handle security?
Sorry, but no. LaGrange County Sheriff’s Office arranges security for all events where alcohol is served. Payment is due in cash the day of the event.

When can we come decorate and rehearse?
If you have reserved the barn for day-before decorating, you will have 2-8 pm to decorate, rehearse, and have dinner in the coop. If you haven’t reserved the barn for day-before decorating, you will have 1 hour to rehearse, but we will have to coordinate a day/time with other scheduled events. If you haven’t reserved the barn for day-before decorating, you can come in as early as 8 am the day of the wedding and/or reception.

Are there catering restrictions for the rehearsal dinner?
No, but we do not allow alcohol during the rehearsal dinner.

Will our guests have access to the pool table and diner in The Coop?
The men’s changing room and 50s diner will be locked once the wedding begins. However, the men can keep their clothing and other belongings locked inside, as well as any valuables for safekeeping. If you need access to your belongings, you will need to locate a staff member to unlock the room for you. We don’t usually lock the feed room/silo, but you may if you’d like.

Do we have to remove everything the night of the reception?
Yes, we ask that you remove all decorations and personal belongings, as well as leftover food and cake by midnight.

Do we have to clean?
All we ask is that you throw your trash away in the trash bins (we provide the trash bags and take the trash to the dumpster), and pick up food & trash off the floors. When you’re removing tablecloths, roll them up to reduce crumb spillage onto the floor. If there’s a major spill, we’d appreciate if you mopped, but you are not technically required to sweep or mop. If you moved any of our plants or décor, please make sure it’s returned where you found it.

What if I left something behind?
We typically clean the barn on Mondays, so if we find any items that have been left behind, we will leave them in the milk house kitchen until they’re claimed. If nobody claims the item in a timely manner, it may be thrown away.

What if I need to cancel?
You must submit a cancellation in writing (email works). Please keep in mind that the down payment you paid to reserve your date is non-refundable. If you’d like to reschedule, we will do our best to accommodate you based on availability. If you are rescheduling for the next calendar year, we will need to rebook your original date before we can apply your deposit to the new date.

When are payments due? Can I make payments along the way?
There’s no penalty for paying early, so feel free to send in payments along the way. Please note the wedding date on your checks. If there’s a balance, it is due 30 days before the wedding, along with a $500 refundable damage deposit. (Please write separate checks for the balance and the damage deposit.) You will receive an email invoice when the balance is due. If it’s late, there will be a fee. Any outstanding charges, such as extra tables & chairs, décor rental, and bar services, will be due at your planning session 2-3 weeks before the wedding.

Of course, if you have a question that is not addressed here or in the contract, please feel free to email, call, or text Kara at [email protected] or 865-773-8275.

Check Availability

Have a date in mind for your event?

The barn is available for weddings Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from April through November.

Schedule a Tour

Ready to see us in person?

If the barn is available on your event date, then contact us to schedule a tour of the property!

Words of Endearment

Brides, grooms, and guests share their experiences at Lakeside Occasions

Taylor & Wesley White

Our day could not have been any more perfect.

Taylor & Wesley

Liz-and-Les

Thanks for helping make our special day extraordinary.

Liz & Les