When the task of finding a wedding venue for their daughter’s impending nuptials arose, one Isanti County couple decided to create their own venue.
As Pete and Jennifer Shugren got ready to set up appointments to tour wedding facilities with their daughter Kara, they found out an interesting detail regarding where she wanted to get married.
“She said, ‘I want to go look at barns,’” recalled Jennifer, “and we were like, ‘What, really?’”
The bewilderment in their reply was due to the fact that they owned a barn –
a big red barn on their Cambridge farmland. But as most good parents would do, they began the journey to find their daughter the perfect barn for her wedding.
The search and the revelation
As the Shugrens began the quest for the perfect barn to hold the wedding festivities, they started noticing something.
“So we started looking around and went in to some different places, and then he (Pete) and I were like, ‘We should just do this,’” said Jennifer. “We needed to do something with the barn anyway, and we have three kids, and they all three would maybe eventually get married here, and so we thought that it might just be worth it.”
With the encouragement of their kids, and the big red barn that had been sitting since 1949 on their 20 acres at 2800 County Road 6 NW, about 10 miles northwest of Cambridge, the Shugrens made the decision.
Jennifer recalled, “We told Kara, ‘Give us two years and we will have your wedding here.’” And she said yes.
The barn project
With the inspiration of seeing other barn settings for weddings, the Shugrens became more intrigued and sure of the decision they had made.
In 2014, the Shugrens began their two-year project of preparing the big red barn to turn into a wedding venue for their daughter’s dream wedding. The barn had become somewhat of a storage facility, so they had to prioritize where to start.
“This barn needed some work,” Jennifer said. “We needed a new roof; we had to tear out all of the cement. I mean, we did some pretty major remodeling during that time frame.”
Pete also crafted by hand all 27 of the 8-foot tables needed to accommodate 200 place settings.
After Kara’s wedding in 2016, the Shugren’s son Cole was also married in the barn in June 2019.
As the Shugrens began to see the reason why they started this journey to create a family spot for their children’s weddings, they were encouraged to think bigger.
From family spot to wedding venue
So they did.
“You know the whole wedding venue thing kind of came up because we just saw that so many other people were doing it,” Jennifer said. “And so we looked into some things. There were some hiccups with the county and permits we needed to get.”
Throughout the process of developing Pondview Farm, as their homestead is now officially known, they continued to find all the things that go along with creating a venue spot for the public.
“You really look at things a lot differently,” Pete said. “I had to put in a ramp out there for handicap accessibility and a fire alarm system. Everything has to be up to code.”
The Shugren’s wedding venue season will be open from May-October each year.
They currently have six weddings booked for 2020.
“Our goal is to do one wedding a weekend,” Jennifer said. “Our idea is to let the couple come in on Fridays and do their decorating and the rehearsals. Then on Saturday they can be here to get ready for their wedding, and then Sunday to clean up. We hope that this leaves them less stressed.”
With their large pond, walking trail, outdoor ceremony trellis and picturesque views, the Shugren’s barn has something for everyone looking for that perfect barn wedding. There’s seating for 200 inside and 200 outdoor chairs for the ceremony outside, two distinct ceremony areas to choose from, rustic decor and games like tic-tac-toe on the lawn, a bridal suite and groom’s room for dressing.
“We really tried to think of everything,” Jennifer added, “so that they don’t have to think about bringing a lot in from the outside.”
To learn more about Pondview Farm, visit www.pondviewfarmweddingvenue.com.