“You live here?”
This is a question we are asked just about every time we’re showing a new bride and groom around The Grantham House.
Photo: Tiffany L. Johnson
Yes! We live and work at our farmhouse wedding venue.
Some people love the idea and some question our sanity, but for us it just makes perfect sense.
When we were first considering moving to The Grantham House, Daniel and I both had this nagging feeling that this home wasn’t JUST for us. We have had a few homes through the years and we have always opened our home to people around us because we believe that home is meant to be shared.
The Grantham House is a special place. If you’ve ever visited our farm you’ve felt it. We felt it the first time we ever stepped foot on the grounds. You can tell this house was loved and cherished through the years. In fact, it was loved so much that it was kept in the same family for 176 years.
We are the first family to own the home that was not an ancestor of the original builder, Hiram Grantham. It is still hard to believe that we get to live here! There is no way we could ever keep this home to ourselves, so we open the property to brides and grooms and their loving families for their outdoor weddings.
Living at the venue, we’ve had to reframe our minds about what our home would look like. We want our guests to feel the warmth of home, yet not feel like an outsider. Because of that, we keep our decor more neutral in the parts of the home that we rent to our couples. As they’re getting ready for their wedding day we want them to feel like they belong in the space. Most people are shocked to find that we actually have lots of kids living here. We keep our “kid clutter” as minimal as possible and always stored away during events.
The original house was built in 1840, and several additions were made through the years. We live in the entire house, but during weddings we hang out in the back part of the home. If you go in that section of the home it will look more lived in. You’ll see a few more toys scattered about, book bags and kids’ jackets of every size hanging in the hallway, and probably a few dishes in the sink.
The bridal party gets ready for the wedding in the original section of the home. In that part of the house, you won’t see family photos or toys. We’ve been very intentional about this as we decorated. This was a big change in mindset as we decorated and thought through how we would organize our space. We’ve ended up with a space that works well for our family and is perfect for the bridal party as well.
Photo: Tiffany L. Johnson
One of the best parts of living at our wedding venue is getting our kids involved in the business. When you come for a wedding you’ll see lots of little Weeks, dressed in their “uniforms” consisting of a black shirt and khaki shorts. They help direct traffic with Daniel or lend me a hand in checking on the facilities during the event. Many times they’ll find a few kids their age and introduce them to the animals or show them around the farm.
Leading up to the wedding, the kids are pitching in with yard clean up or stocking the bathrooms with toilet paper. It’s a total family effort!
If we didn’t live at the venue, it would be much more of a challenge to participate in weddings as a family. From the beginning, family involvement was something that we really valued. We think it’s important that our kids learn how to work and serve others. Plus, they enjoy getting paid after each wedding! They do drive a hard bargain though. One night after a wedding, they called a family meeting with Daniel and me to negotiate a higher paycheck. In the end, they presented their case well and did in fact get a raise.
Photo: Jessica Creech Photography
We’re all family at The Grantham House
It’s our hope that every person that visits The Grantham House feels like family. We want each guest to feel at home and relaxed when they are here. There is so much preparation that goes into every event and we hope that our guests feel loved and cared for while they are at the Grantham House. We count it as the highest privilege to open our home to other families, especially for a milestone as sacred as a wedding…the start of a new family.