Just outside the city, a gorgeous new venue sits on 130 acres of wooded land. The wooden structure resembles a rustic barn, but the inside is so much more than rustic. Think a romantic country wedding with a traditional white wedding gown and cowboy boots. Think a formal black-tie affair with sleek suits and elegant gowns. Think handsome wood draped with white lights and lacy gauze. If that’s the kind of wedding that you’re dreaming of, it’s time to contact the team at Country Celebrations Event Center in Sioux City.
Erica Antrim, Country Celebrations Event Coordinator, said the venue offers a barn feel that’s not over-the-top.
“We are secluded from the city, but still in the city. We have a large, wooded backyard area with an open field. Inside, we have Black Hills wood throughout the building, a fireplace, and polished concrete floors with rock showing,” Erica explained.
If it sounds breathtaking, that’s because it is. Country Celebrations provides a backdrop with lighting, and brides can design and decorate the space to achieve their dream wedding.
The indoor space holds up to 500 people, which is bigger than many of the venues in Sioux City. Since the venue is secluded, it also offers a sense of privacy. There are comfy dressing rooms for the bride and groom, and a homey children’s room complete with toys for kids who might get bored on the big day.
For a bride who needs to feel fresh air on her face as she says “I do,” there’s an outdoor patio and beer garden, which wraps across the building. She’ll walk down a concrete stained aisle and marry under a gazebo as 200 guests gaze on from white chairs.
Erica’s parents, Todd and Kathy Ellison, opened the event center in 2016. Her brother, George Ellison, and his wife, Kelsey, offer carriage rides with their Percheron horses for couples who want to ride off into the sunset, fairytale-style.
“When George was getting married to Kelsey, it was tough to find a venue, so we knew Sioux City was lacking. That’s when we thought it’d be a great idea to start Country Celebrations,” said Kathy Ellison.
The rustic event center sits on 130 acres of wooded land that has been in the Ellison family for more than 150 years. Todd’s great-great-grandfather, George D. Perkins, purchased 1,000 acres from a railroad company sometime before 1870.
In 1995, the Ellisons opened Country Drive Driving Range on the property. Later, in 2003, they expanded with the addition of mini golf. In summer 2015, the driving range shut down to make room for the new event center, which Todd constructed. Country Celebrations’ first wedding took place in June 2016.
Todd’s 83-year-old mother, Shirley Perkins Ellison, has lived on the property all her life – and the rest of the family lives there, too.
“It’s our family compound,” joked Kathy. “You can’t see our houses, because they’re in the back.” Country Celebrations sits on 14 acres of the land. “We have the original windmill that was placed on the land out front.”
In case you were wondering, Country Celebrations does much more than hosting weddings. They are also available for graduations, celebrations of life, business parties, fundraisers – basically any event you can think of. For those who require lodging after the event, Country Celebrations recently paired with Linda Sue Manor LLC, a Sioux City bed and breakfast only 3.5 miles away. Shuttle services are available to and from the event center.
“We go above and beyond to give you the wedding you’ve always wanted,” said Brittny Lafleur, Erica’s cousin, who has a background in bartending and helps run the family business.
Kathy does the initial meet and greets with bridal parties and completes the bookings. As the first person who meets with the bride, Kathy’s goal is to make them feel comfortable.
“Our goal is to make you feel just like part of the family,” added Erica.
What are some tips from the Country Celebrations team for having a memorable wedding?
“Book your venue first, and then your vendors. Pick out a good DJ, because they can make or break the show,” advised Brittny.
Erica agreed. “Have a written game plan, and let your event center, caterer and DJ know it all. Here at Country Celebrations, we do a two-week final comb through to make sure everyone is on the same page.”
Right now, Country Celebrations has Saturdays booked through October 2019, but there are still some Fridays available. Are you intrigued by the rustic elegance that Country Celebrations provides?
Call (712) 253-8952 or visit countrycelebrationseventcenter.com to learn more.