Deep in the Hartford of Ohio lies a little known, yet largely-accommodating venue just waiting for its opportunity in the sun. Recently purchased in February of 2014 by entrepreneur and impressive-resume-owner, Mark Schuster, Irongate Equestrian Center is making its way into the corporate banquet and wedding scene spotlight as the need for bigger and better venues continues to be a prominent concern for planners. The team at Irongate has been kind enough to host me for a couple of tours, from which I was able to gather some phenomenal pictures and a dreamy vision of all of the event possibilities Irongate can accommodate.
I admit, before my first visit I had already flipped through a few pictures online, which, of course, were quite beautiful, but truthfully, y’all – those pictures could not come close to giving even a hint of fair representation for the picturesque scenery surrounding Irongate.
When you come across the red-brick-column-lined front gate, accented by a rustic street lantern highlighting the tree-lined drive, you can tell you are in for a real treat. The facility grounds span across 105-acres of beauty, grace, and gorgeous garden greenery as lush gentle hills accent the rolling pastures nestling the venue itself in natural elegance. Irongate is comprised of the Primary Barn, Secondary Barn, two Round Pens, two outdoor arenas, and acres upon acres of white-wooden-fenced grassland.
But for the sake of length, let’s focus on the most prominent feature of my tour; the Primary Barn.
This big, beautiful, three-story-balconied, temperature-controlled barn is more than equipped for all of your event needs. The facility is outfitted with an elegant foyer, large den, cocktail lounge (complete with wood barrel cocktail tables), two huge stable aisles, and four private suites (beyond perfect to provide one for the bride, one for the groom, one for the bridesmaids, and one for the groomsmen the night before the wedding) (see pictures here). As our tour guide (Mr. Schuster) explained to us, while the facility was only just built in 1999, the Primary Barn has also been newly renovated using a very healthy sum of cash to bring the once dormant character back to life and back to its intended beauty. Irongate is the ideal venue for the bride that wants to escape the big city scene without losing the big city amenities. The facility is located just 15 minutes from New Albany Ohio, 27 miles from Port Columbus International Airport and only 23 miles from Easton Town Center. Even more good news? Irongate is partnering with nearby hotels and transportation services to offer the best packages and values for all budgets.
But best of all, this barn appropriately boasts the ability to host any event for up to 2,000 guests. Yes, you read that correctly. Two. Thousand. Guests. This is the point in the tour at which I called upon my years of engineering education to do some quick calculations, and, yes, that is accurate. Here is a view of the Primary Barn from the second-floor inside balcony:
This is also the point at which I got all starry-eyed and called upon my years of event planning training to envision the space in one of the many varieties of ways it can be transformed. Being a small-town southern gal with big-city taste, I went with one of my favorite themes that is clearly destined to be utilized at Irongate Equestrian Center: Rustic Chic.
Picture a clear September night: the lush green grass and cool, clear skies create the backdrop for the perfect evening, and the perfect event. Scores of happy and excited guests, cocktails in hand, mingle back and forth across the breathtaking 3-storied indoor and outdoor balconies, enjoying the sunset, scenery, and snacks – each layer of balcony laced throughout with hanging string-bulb lights, warming the space and charming the night. Weather permitting, I would highly recommend taking the cocktail hour outside to enjoy the lush natural settings in their full splendor complete with a satellite bar, cabaret tables, and hay bale lounge seating. If you can make it outdoors to complete the evening, accent the starry night with a tent of tulle and Christmas lights to complement the bustling bonfire and sweet S’mores Station!
Bring the party into the show arena and take advantage of the tremendous space with farm tables strung 3 together, interspersed with huge rounds. I picture white linens with square white lace overlays for the rounds and round lace overlays scalloped across the farm tables, with burlap runners and centerpieces of hollowed-out tree trunks, carved with a simple hard, filled with bright pink peonies, blush roses, and white ranunculus surrounded by gold-mercury glass tealight votive. Tables are set with gold accented silverware, with water, wine, and champagne glasses. Tiny tree rings create a confetti look to pop against the white lace cloth and burlap are lightly sprinkled around the centerpieces. Wooden chargers cradle the blush satin or black polka-dot linen napkins, secured with personalized raspberry-jam favors/placecards bringing in an additional pop of color as guests await their served garden fresh salad on gold-rimmed plates … Oh yes, I could go on.
But the point of the day dream is that I could go on. This space is so beautiful, and so versatile, the creative possibilities are truly endless. I absolutely adore this space, and I cannot wait to see what other creative minds come up with for how to transform it into the perfect place for their perfect day. As I mentioned, the pictures absolutely cannot do this place justice, so if you are even considering the consideration of utilizing Irongate, I highly recommend contacting their Bridal Sales Director / Event Planner, Laurie Worly, for more information and to schedule a tour.
Laurie can be reached by phone at 614-989-9899 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, check Irongate out on their website at http://irongateequestriancenter.com/
For visual inspiration on some of the things I discussed in the this blog, see our Irongate Pinterest page here. Happy venue hunting!