The Slice of Heaven You’ve Been Looking For
By Shalese Higginbotham, POSH PR®
When he was driving past a beautiful farm property every day on his way to work as a police officer, Chris Stem never imagined that he would someday get to turn that property into a wedding venue.
“I kept telling my wife that I couldn’t let it turn into a housing development,” Chris says. “I think she thought I was a little crazy, but here we are!” After surviving 2020 after just opening in 2019, Oakdale is now fully immersed in the wedding boom and booking well into 2023.
When they chose to create the wedding space, one thing was completely clear to Chris and his partners, Jeff Sears and Eric Pair: they had to maintain the integrity of the land and its rich history. The first step? Choosing a name with plenty of personal meaning.
The name Oakdale comes from Jeff Sears’ nearby family farm that has been passed down from generation to generation since 1902. Today, Oakdale still maintains its agricultural roots. It is the home of 75 head of cattle, pigs, sheep, and a booming hay operation. It is also Chris’s home and of course, a stunning wedding and event venue.
Oakdale is the perfect combination of convenience and seclusion. The 100 acre property is perfectly quiet and idyllic, yet it sits just 10 minutes from Short Pump and Downtown Ashland. Options for rehearsal dinner spots and guest accommodations are plentiful! Plus, for your out-of-town guests, Oakdale is a quick 35 minute drive from the Richmond Airport.
The jewel of it all, a modern black and white barn with giant picture windows, provides the perfect balance of rusticity and elegance. “It looks like a barn, but inside, it’s a blank slate,” Chris says. “Our couples can create a space that feels really elegant, or they can make it feel simple and cozy. It’s all over the map. We’ve seen everything from rustic themes to an opulent indoor garden theme. It’s a great space to create whatever dream you have for your big day.”
The fully climate-controlled barn overlooks a glittering pond and open hayfield where couples can choose from multiple picturesque outdoor locations for their ceremony. Your cocktail hour can take place inside or you can use the two outdoor patios complete with a fire pit and outdoor bar for those pre-dinner drinks.
With 4,000 square feet of indoor event space, Oakdale can host weddings up to 200 guests. You can choose to have your ceremony outside or inside, whichever you (or the weather!) prefer. There’s also an option to host a fully outdoor wedding under a tent or in the open air so you can enjoy a night under the stars. The venue is fully handicap accessible and of course, includes plenty of parking for guest vehicles as well as limos and buses.
Oakdale is the perfect venue for the couple who wants to keep the planning process simple. Your package includes 10 hours of venue access, a day-of coordinator, multiple outdoor ceremony site options, indoor event space, tables, chairs, linens, golf carts to shuttle your guests from their cars to the event, bartenders, set up, break down, and even a DJ if you’d like! “The building sells itself,” Chris says, “and we’re very laid back. We offer so much, so our clients are comfortable because we take so much off of their plates.”
“When it comes to hosting a wedding here, all you have to do is bring in catering,” says venue manager Mary Jane Spagnolo. And it’s true! All you have to do is find your caterer, photographer, and florist, and Oakdale’s incredible staff will handle the rest.
If you’re looking for a slice of heaven not too far off the beaten path, Oakdale is exactly what you need. Not only will you have a dedicated and experienced team by your side for all of your planning needs, you’ll also get to be a part of this beautiful property’s history.
Oakdale is now taking bookings for 2021-2022 and beyond. Visit their website, www.oakdalerva.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 804-629-1824 for booking inquiries or more information. 13497 Ashland Road, Ashland, VA 23005