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New business offers wedding alternative

The husband and wife team of Dale Montpelier and Katherine Young saw a need in the Knoxville market and created a new business to fill that niche.

Middlebrook Gardens, located at 9020 Middlebrook Pike in Knoxville, is a full-service wedding facility that opened this month for those seeking to start their marriage with a touch of class and style.

“Our philosophy here is that we want everything to be as nice as if it were our own wedding day,” Young said.

Young and Montpelier both practice business law during the day and leave the daily operations in the hands of David Johnston, Middlebrook Gardens general manager.

“Dale and Katherine had such a good idea, I was excited to come on board,” Johnston said.

Middlebrook Gardens is 7,000 square feet, Montpelier said. The interior décor resembles Victorian-era furniture.

“When we started this business, we knew we wanted to reflect an eighteen-fifties, southern style home,” Young said.

The bride’s dressing room offers a full-length mirror, a dressing table and room for a couple of attendants.

The groom’s dressing room also offers room for a couple of groomsmen and a phone jack, but no phone.

“We joke with the groom that there’s no phone so he can’t call for help,” Johnston said with a smile.

The heart of the facility is its wedding chapel, Johnston said.

“The chapel can hold about eighty-five to ninety people,” he said.

In the wedding chapel, padded, hardwood benches line either side of the aisle that the bride travels on her way to the raised altar at the front of the room. Under the light of Flemish crystal chandeliers, the eyes of friends and family aren’t the only ones that watch the bride on her “big day.”

Johnston said there are four cameras set up in the chapel to video every moment of the ceremony. The cameras are trained on particular areas, such as the bride’s entry walk and the lighting of the unity candle, as well as the overall ceremony.

”We have trained technicians on staff that monitor the cameras during a ceremony,” Johnston said. “They sit in a room adjacent to the chapel.”

Should a couple choose to conduct their wedding outdoors, the landscape design of the grounds at Middlebrook Gardens offers a couple the opportunity to be married on lush grass in front of a picturesque waterfall that falls into a small pond.

Johnston said, Signature Landscapes, another company owned by Montpelier and Young, created the design.

“If they want a wedding outside, we’ll have a white canopy with chairs out here,” he said. “We’ll also bring out a riser and have it here with a view of the waterfall.”

During the outside weddings, portable cameras are used to video the service.

The video for the weddings developed through another company owned by Montpelier and Young called Appalachian Video Services.

“We first got interested in this in order to video depositions,” Young said. “It just developed from there.”

After the wedding, Middlebrook Gardens offers two reception rooms in which the new husband and wife can celebrate with family and friends. Johnston said Middlebrook Gardens has an in-house chef who can prepare food items from scratch.

“Our chef, Brenda Beaty, has more than twenty-seven years of experience in the kitchen,” he said.

“The main reception room can hold about one hundred and fifty people if they want to have a dance floor,” Johnston said. “It will hold about one hundred severnty five without the dance floor.”

The reception rooms also are available during the week for groups who need a space to conduct meetings.

Johnston said prices vary, depending on the number of people expected and if they would want to have a meal with their meeting.

Johnston said the need for this facility has been borne out in the number of engagements they have booked. In the short time Middlebrook Gardens have been open, he said it has booked 25 engagements, and 16 of those are weddings.

“We have ten full-time staff members and we’ll have fifteen part-time people,” he said.

For more information, call 865-769-7667.


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