A Venue in the Forest: The Oakleaf Story

We fell in love with these woods on the side of Lookout Mountain

Dave and I never planned on having a wedding venue. 

We just fell in love with this place. There's something special here, something beautiful that doesn't have a name. A sense of peace sits here, you'll feel it when you visit. 

In the summer we feel completely swathed in green forest, in the winter we love the exposed, sloping mountainside and the sunsets over the next mountain range.

So how did we become a venue, and venue owners? Well, that's all Hillary Moore's fault. She suggested it. We tried it -- dipping our toes into very small weddings booked only a short time out, giving ourselves an out if we needed it.

We found out we love it. We never thought "weddings" would be our place in this world. I mean, when we started, we barely knew anything about weddings beyond our own, let alone how to make a wedding sustainable on top of that.

But here we are, 8 years and more than 300 weddings later.

This place wasn't designed to be a venue. It was a family residence before we bought it in 2016. The Cottage was here. The barn structure was here. We renovated all of the spaces, working to make the barn a more refined space. We remodeled, redecorated, added walkways, redid walkways, fixed drainage and added native plants.

As we've made improvements, it's on always our minds that we never want to lose that private space feeling -- not at all commercial. We want that connection, with you as a couple and your guests here in our woodsy space on 32 acres.

We want it to feel like you are getting married at a friend's estate. Once we have shuttled your guests up from the parking area, the rest of the world fades away. It's park-like. The ceremony locations and buildings aren't long distances away from each other. 

Dave and I run most of the tours -- you meet us. This is our place, we want to welcome you here. 

As we've progressed in our time here, we gained lots of experience with what commonly causes stress on a wedding day. We don't like stress, so we sought ways to make it go away. Through experience, we found fantastic Wedding Planners and Coordinators in Chattanooga, and recruited them to work with us. A Planner is your new best friend, they make the whole process of planning your wedding so much easier. 

As we solved the big things, we were able to note the small things. We discovered bar services often don't include ice and so a groomsman would have to run out to get it, often delaying photography and causing a bump on the timeline, so when we partnered with Splendid Occasions, we made sure ice was included. Little things like that make a difference in the smoothness of your wedding day.

We include setup of all the things that belong to us, in part because I like setting the tables for you. By your wedding day, I have a sense of who you are as a couple, and I share some of that excited bubble you feel in your belly. I love seeing your selections from our collection come together, and I really love seeing your delight as all the things we talked of and dreamed of take shape.

We have great people here to help your day go smoothly, too. When I hear Cameron welcome an arriving guest in the parking lot and help point them to a space, I smile. When guests rave about the caterer or love the ambience we worked together to create, we share in their delight. When we see our couples feeling relaxed and taking a few precious moments together on their wedding day, we know we are on the right track.

We've found our place. It's here at Oakleaf.

Cris & Dave Angsten

Our Location

Oakleaf is conveniently located near Chattanooga TN, bordering Cloudland Canyon State Park. We are an easy and scenic 24-minute drive from downtown Chattanooga, and an even 2 hours from Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville and Birmingham. Please inquire for a list of nearby accommodations. Our 28-acre grounds ideally accommodate events with up to 125 guests.

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