The tranquility of The Venue at Southern Oaks Farm is ideal for a beautiful southern wedding. The rolling hills, centuries-old oaks, old fence line and farm make it a popular wedding destination, but Southern Oaks offers couples more than just a gorgeous setting for their big day. “There are five venues close by,” explained owner Carol Ann Powell. “The Gulf Coast is fast becoming a wedding destination. Even with so many other places in the area, we are already booked through fall of next year.”
One thing that attracts couples to Southern Oaks is its timelessness. “We want people to look around and wonder, ‘Has this been here 100 years? Or 50?’” Powell said. “Everyone loves the farm and the barn and all the preserved wood that gives everything that historic look. “Another feature that truly sets Southern Oaks apart is our recent addition of the Magnolia Cottage,” she continued. “This is where the memories begin. The cottage is perfect for staging photography, where families gather before the wedding, where couples have their first looks and the bride can create memories.” The Magnolia Cottage offers luxurious accommodations for 8-10, allowing families to stay on site before the wedding. It is also the bridal suite where the bride and her bridesmaids can prepare for the big day.
The generous wedding packages are another reason couples choose Southern Oaks. The Royal Package reserves the entire estate all weekend. The Grand Package, which is the most popular, allows the bride and bridal party to stay onsite. And the Friday-Saturday Package takes the pressure off wedding preparations. Each includes tables, chairs, pews, chandelier in the big oak tree, French doors that create a grand entrance to the outdoor setting and a room stocked with wedding decorations in many styles. “When wedding planners get access to that room, they are like a kid in a candy store,” laughed Powell. “We offer so much and it’s all right here on site.”
Once a couple contacts Southern Oaks, they will receive information and book a tour. There is a ceremony site outdoors with pews already set up under an oak tree. The climate-controlled barn is available in case of inclement weather, but Powell said some brides walk into the barn with tears in their eyes and want to get married there, regardless of the weather.
Powell encourages couples who are interested in booking The Venue at Southern Oaks to inquire a year to 18 months in advance. “We are booked through fall of 2020 and have a few Sundays left. Fall books up first, then spring. The addition of climate control in the barn allows us to have weddings for all seasons.”
The wedding professionals at Southern Oaks take brides through the process of planning, step by step. “We have so many visits with our brides along the way. We go through a lot of details a little at a time so there are few surprises. If things don’t go perfectly, don’t let it stress you out,” she advised. “Enjoy the moment. You will be married at the end of the day. Be in the moment.” Powell and the staff at Southern Oaks love weddings, and it shows. “Every wedding is amazing,” Powell said. “And it’s a privilege to be a part of these families’ stories as they begin their new lives together.”
The Venue at Southern Oaks is located at 15461 Northrup Cuevas Rd in Gulfport, Mississippi. For more information, visit Southern Oaks online.
Photos courtesy of the Venue at Southern Oaks.