Oak Meadow Event Center began when Mark and Joy Acker purchased a little piece of property right off Highway 144 in Ohatchee, Alabama. Mark commonly buys and sells land but this particular one was different. They began clearing and cleaning not totally sure what they were going to do with the property. During the summer of 2017, as Mark was transitioning into retirement and their youngest child was leaving for college, Joy had a vision of a all-white farmhouse style building with the capability to handle the unpredictable weather in Alabama as well as offer something totally unique in style and experience.
With a simple drawing in hand, Mark and Joy met with Rodger Borders to start the planning of the building. During the planning process and building a fence around the property, Joy booked her first bride for May 2019. Joy was floored to say the least and amazed this young woman caught her vision before the foundation had even been laid.
With one booking, an amazing builder, and a whole lot of grace, they began construction in January 2018 in hopes to finish before 2019. Joy likes to say her process of planning was a “design by day”, tweaking and perfecting the plans she drew on a piece of graph paper. Although Mark likes to remain in the background and take no credit for himself, he played a vital role in the building process with his extensive knowledge of electrical and construction engineering. Throughout building, Mark and Joy would go up to the venue every day and work together. They laugh when asked if it tested their marriage because in light of what they’ve experienced together starting a venue was a fun project.
In April of 2018 Joy got a call that would change their grand opening from January 2019 to August 2018. A desperate father called asking if the venue could be ready by August. His daughter was supposed to get married at the Jacksonville State University Alumni House but sadly was damaged from the tornadoes that year. Joy, being the optimist she is, said absolutely.
“our experience has been nothing but wonderful. Joy is very flexible and having a daughter herself she really understands all that goes into a full wedding day and all the needs that need to be attended to. She’s made our process so easy and we couldn’t be more thankful for that.”
On August 25, 2018 Oak Meadow Event Center was open for business. They had their first wedding with 125 attendees set up in the stunning Great Room in front of the fireplace. It was a day to celebrate. Between August and December they finished up some building details before having their last wedding of 2018 right after Christmas.
Right at the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, Oak Meadow sits on a tiny hill surrounded by Oak trees. It’s an all-white modern day farmhouse with vaulted ceilings, a giant fireplace, and a bridal suite laced with shiplap. It’s pure elegance with an airy feel and an unlimited amount of natural lighting. Style, versatility, a state of the art facility, and the personal touch of being a family owned and operated business make Oak Meadow a stand out venue in the wedding industry.
Joy desires for every couple to have the wedding of their dreams. Because of her own experience in planning her daughters wedding and the sweet memories they made, she hopes many other families can have the same experience. She believes marriage is sacred and it’s a privilege and honor to take part in such a beautiful union. Ultimately, she prays for strong, life-long, God-honoring marriages to come out of Oak Meadow.