Barn Bliss

Modern facility offers the ideal backdrop for the perfect wedding

The Barn on Jericho booked its first ceremony when the wedding facility was only four stakes in the ground and Jamie and Lisa Smith’s vision for creating a stunning venue for engaged couples to exchange vows and make lifetime memories.

“We didn’t even know the couple who booked that first wedding,” Lisa said. “It just meant a lot that they had faith in us to get it done. It inspired us to push forward and make sure we were done for their October wedding.”

The Smiths had lived on the 60-acre farm, which had been in Jamie’s family for four generations, most of their 25-year marriage. However, the Barn idea really started to take shape when they bought and remodeled Jamie’s grandparents’ home on the property four years ago, Lisa said.

“Because Jamie’s family had been on that farm for so many generations, we wanted to do something to honor that.”  – Lisa Smith

“Because Jamie’s family had been on that farm for so many generations, we wanted to do something to honor that,” she said.

They had recently sold some properties and were looking for an investment that would preserve history yet leave a legacy for their three children: sons Bailey, who lives in Louisville, and Brady, a high school senior, and daughter Brooklyn, a junior at the University of Louisville.

“When Bailey and his wife, Gigi, were married in 2021, the bride’s room was not connected to the wedding site, and there was no place at all for the groom and his groomsmen. Restrooms were outdoors. That gave me ideas,” said Lisa. “Helping plan their wedding did push this project forward.”

“I wanted something that looked like a barn, but was modern, something that had everything a bride dreamed of for her wedding,” she said.

Jamie and Lisa have never been afraid of hard work. And that is what it took to make their vision a reality. With the help of Jamie’s father, Wesley Smith, they accomplished what they set out to do.

“We did a lot of the work ourselves,” said Lisa, a kindergarten teacher at East Crawford Elementary School.  After a day at school, they often put in another full day at the site, she said. Jamie is assistant superintendent at Crawford County Community Schools.

Lisa credits her father-in-law, who owned and operated a construction company for 30 years, with much of their success. “We used his experience to know what to do,” she said. “Also, he worked while we were at school, and then he came back and helped us at night. Wes is our biggest cheerleader.”

The process began in October of last year. The concrete was poured Dec. 10. Their first event was an open house in August. “So, it took about nine months or so to complete the project,” Lisa said.

Pushing to get the facility up and running left little time for anything else, she said. “We have a boat on Patoka Lake and didn’t get to take it out once this summer.”

The Barn on Jericho features 3,360 square feet of climate-controlled space with fully functioning restrooms, chandelier lighting throughout, a bridal suite and a groom’s room for private spaces to get ready, a 1,680-square-foot patio with bistro lights, charming horse trailer bar, 100-car parking lot with parking attendant and much more.

The Barn on Jericho near Taswell features 3,360 square feet of climate-controlled space with fully functioning restrooms, chandelier lighting throughout, a bridal suite and a groom’s room for private spaces to get ready, a wireless microphone and speaker system, 200 white resin chairs for the ceremony, 20 round tables and 200 gold Chiavari chairs for the reception, a 1,680-square-foot patio with bistro lights, charming horse trailer bar, 100-car parking lot with parking attendant, access to many decor items, staging facilities for catering, cleanup assistance and much more.

Future plans include building cabins so the wedding party can stay overnight at the site. “And we hope to add a pavilion later,” Lisa said.

People may wonder how two educators can finance such a big project, she said. “Jamie is good with money, and we made some smart investments,” she explained. She also credits her father-in-law’s help for allowing them to maximize profit on some properties they sold.

“Wes helped us build two homes. We sold them and made good profit,” she said. “We had storage units and sold them, and we had a cabin. They all sold for good profit. That, and living below our means, is how is how these two educators had money to put into this building,” she said.

Although both Jamie and Lisa are Crawford County High School graduates, they met at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, where he was a student and she went as a high school senior to visit the college. “I ended up visiting Jamie instead of the school,” she said. “We began dating and here we are. We have been a good team. Where one is weak, the other is strong.”

Building a house is known to be one of the things most stressful to a marriage, Lisa said, “And we have just been through a massive building project.” Although they admit to a few lively discussions during constructions, they have weathered the test well.

Actually, the first ceremony at the Barn was Sept. 9, when the couple renewed their wedding vows in observance of their 25th anniversary. “We were young and poor when we got married,” said Lisa. “I don’t think our wedding cost more than $100. So, we wanted to do something special for our silver wedding anniversary.”     

The facility has a full schedule until Thanksgiving.

Thirty-five or so weddings are booked, some as far out as 2025. “Several hopeful brides-to-be have toured the facility and got information as well,” said Lisa. “They are just waiting for a proposal to set a date.”

Bookings have included clients from Evansville, Indianapolis,  Bloomington and Tell City, as well as Crawford County.

No weddings are held during the winter. The Smiths plan to eventually retire and spend those months in Florida, operating the wedding barn during the spring, summer and autumn.

The facility will be for weddings only. “We just want it to be special, not something people have gone to for birthday parties, baby showers, reunions and so on,” Lisa said.

“It was stressful during the building,” she said. “There were problems working through Covid, such as delays in getting supplies, but is rewarding now.” She is especially pleased with the elegant chandeliers. “I ordered them before the concrete was poured,” she said.

“I like to help other small businesses and to work with local people – photographers, florists, wedding planners, etc.  And people are staying in cabins in the area and using local vendors.” – Lisa Smith

“I like to help other small businesses and to work with local people – photographers, florists, wedding planners, etc.,” Lisa said. “And people are staying in cabins in the area and using local vendors.”

Her favorite part of the new business has been working with the couples to help make their dream wedding everything they want. She has the brides’ phone numbers listed in her contact list by wedding date and enjoys frequent conversations.

“At first, there were times I couldn’t answer their questions.  Sometimes I would have to say, ‘That is a good question,’ but we would get it figured out. Now I am more confident. I love talking to them and helping them plan.

“It has been so much fun meeting with the brides,” said Lisa. “And to see and hear the vision each of them have for their wedding. Each want something different. I love helping to make it happen.”

For more information, go to thebarnonjericho.com, or call 812-653-8658. The Barn on Jericho is at 2501 W. Jericho Road, Taswell, IN 47175.

Story by Sara Combs

Photos by Crystal Allen Photography

 

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