Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rural weddings are growing in popularity with everyone except the neighbors of event holders

Though rural weddings and receptions are a popular new fad that have wedding parties and families gushing at the rustic settings, the festivities are causing headaches for neighbors who don't like the noise and extra traffic, Paul Srubas reports for Gannett Wisconsin Media. (Post-Crescent Media photo by Dan Powers: Setting up a wedding in Greenville, Wisc.)

Peggy George, owner of Seize the Day Events, told Srubas, “It’s been a big deal for a long time, but it’s absolutely caught on fire in the last, I’d say, three years. Brides today don’t want the ordinary, the traditional. This is such a unique thing, and guests like it. And it’s not just weddings. Corporate people like them, family reunions, high school reunions. There’s a fire pit; it’s folksy; it’s family; it’s more fun.”

Steve Nagy, owner of Homestead Meadows Farm in Greenville, said he's had 1,097 wedding and 4,500 other events on his property since the 1980s, Srubas writes. Nagy told him, “In 1988, we had an almost three-year lawsuit where neighbors tried to put us out of business. Later, we were operating in limbo for many years. Neighbors are invariably opposed. Period.” He added, “I think these barns so often are derelict, look ugly for years, and this is a wonderful way to recycle them. Adaptive reuse.”

But one concern is safety. Paul Hutchison, chairman of the town of Maple Grove, said such operations "belong in the city, where there’s fire and police protection and a more controlled environment," Srubas writes. Hutchinson told him, “There isn’t one street sign telling the speed limit out here, and people from the city come around driving at 75 mph, and they’re so rude." Another concern, he said, is that Maple Grove is a dry township, and weddings often want to include alcohol. But Hutchinson conceded that most of the objections are because “we have a lot of older people in the community, and guess what? They don’t like change.” (Read more)

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