Nestled in the crest of Atkins’ hillsides, Meadow on the Mountain is a wedding venue that will take your breath away. A two-story structure overlooking the natural beauty of the River Valley and banked by a rolling meadow, it has a welcoming southern charm. “Rustic elegant is the theme that we’ve been going with,” said owner Sandy Huie. “It has the barn look, but once you step inside you lose that and you get more of the elegant feel. It’s not your typical barn.”
The Huie family had the idea to enter the wedding venue business when they couldn’t quite find the ideal venue for their daughter’s upcoming wedding. “When we were looking for a venue we found a beautiful location, but we wanted to know what it would look like inside in case of rain,” said Sandy. “And it just wasn’t pretty for pictures. So that’s why we created something pretty inside too, just to make sure.”
During the planning process Sandy said it was important to include the necessities.
“Most places have a bridal suite but not a place for the groom to get ready so we made sure that we had a room for the groom, he’s just as important,” Sandy said. “And as far as a kitchen, we talked to a couple of caterers to see what exactly they would want in the kitchen, like counter space and warmers. That was the main thing.”
Business is nothing new to the Huie family. Sandy and her husband own Byrd Masonry and Kids’ Stuff Daycare in Russellville. “Being in business is not something that is new to us,” Sandy said. “This is brand new to us, we’ve never done weddings before and we are learning lots. It’s been fun so far.”
The vision for Meadow on the Mountain is not only providing a scenic location for couples in the Natural State but to make wedding planning an easy process. “We make it simple for the brides,” said Sandy. “We provide the place, the tables and chairs and linens as far as white tablecloths or black tablecloths.
Meadow on the Mountain also provides numerous options for indoor or outdoor weddings, welcome versatility for brides with different tastes. “We like that the bride has options,” Sandy said. “You can get married outside here on the patio facing the view and we have an outside arbor over there as well. If it rains you can pull the wedding inside. Right now we can seat 350 people inside and can fit more people outside if you want an outside wedding. We have an overflow area upstairs as well where 100 more people can be seated. There are so many options.”
So far Sandy said they have received positive feedback from brides that have come by to look at the venue. “Most of our brides that have seen it said they love it because they aren’t going to have to spend a lot of money to decorate,” Sandy said. “It’s already pretty and they are really just going to spend the money on the tables for decorating. So that’s a plus that we’ve seen so far. And it’s helpful because decorations can add up.”
Sandy shared that one fun aspect about the business is meeting people. “It’s interesting to listen to all the different brides and their families, and it’s funny that they all have different ideas,” Sandy said. “I think it’s neat that we can accommodate pretty much all of it.”
Currently Meadow on the Mountain does not have any contracts with vendors so brides have their choice of just about anything else they need for the big day. “It’s not for everybody, but there are lots of choices and this is something that is not found in the River Valley,” Sandy said. “You’ve got several places with gorgeous views but not all the way around plus the seating capacity and the fact that it is heated and cooled. Not all the other places are heated and cooled, and you know what Arkansas summers are like.”
For advertising, Meadow on the Mountain has relied mainly on people learning about the venue by word of mouth and placing ads in ABOUT the River Valley Magazine. For the Huie family this is just the beginning for their new endeavor.
“It turned out way better than what we ever dreamed,” Sandy said. “I mean we expected it to be nice. We wanted nice rooms for the brides and stuff, but it’s just fabulous. You have to see it to believe it.”