By Anna Skiles
A local family is adding to the attraction of Chattanooga by building a wedding barn on a local mountain.
As rustic barn weddings gain popularity across YouTube, social media, Pinterest, and HGTV, it made sense to take advantage of the trend. DIY projects and tutorials are simply a click away (see video). Hollie Coffman, a hairdresser and Chattanooga local decided to pursue this dream with her family. Thus, Mountain Heights Venue was born.
The Barn is located on Flat Top Mountain in Soddy-Daisy, just on the outskirts of Chattanooga, Tennessee. When asked what lead to this decision, she said, “We felt we could build a successful family business on our own property. We were intrigued at the idea of building a barn and renting it out.” She also said they were excited to work with people on their special days, “We have a dream to have a beautiful venue and for our children to work alongside us.”
In addition to the couple, Hollie’s son Ben Neighbors and his wife Courtney have been a big part of the endeavor. Hollie describes them as having a passion for working with brides and undeniable knowledge of the industry.
The barn is still undergoing finishing touches, but it hasn’t all been easy. “The daily physical labor has been the most difficult. We broke ground in September 2017 and have worked continuously to clear the land, form the three-acre pond, and construct the barn,” said Hollie Coffman. Her husband, Jerry Coffman, has done most of the work himself with guidance from Phillip Lewis, a skilled carpenter and family friend. Lewis said he never starts anything he can’t finish and has been hands-on month after month. When asked if he had any concerns, Jerry said, “We truly aren’t worried about anything. We’re enjoying our journey in this.”
While weddings won’t be happening until 2020, the venue has other projects in mind. “Our first event is Dec. 7th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s our first annual Christmas Open house,” said Courtney. The event will have over 15 local vendors, photographers offering mini sessions, food, kids activities, and much more. Additional information on the vendors can be found on the venue’s Facebook and Instagram. “After the open house, we will finish the little details to complete the barn to have our first wedding on April 11th,” she continued.
Ben Neighbors has been involved in most of the planning and says that Phase One should be completed in May. “Phase two will be completed by the end of 2020. We hope to develop most of the land as the years pass,” said Ben.
The family has enjoyed the process of building the rustic barn but can’t wait for the completion. Jerry said, “We are most excited about having our venue booked every weekend and all the happiness that this place will hold.”
This project has been and will continue to bring joy to those involved in its creation, as well as to those who will get to use it in the future. The rustic venue will be a welcome addition to the attraction of Chattanooga, Tennessee.