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Wedding in the Brick Stables at Ames Plantation


By Nancy Brannon, Ph.D.

Weddings in barns have become quite popular in recent years. There are plenty of guides to decorating this type of venue, such as:; barn wedding decor ideas; and The Barn Journal lists barns in various states available for weddings: In Hickory Valley, TN Regina Brotherton has re-built the barn on her Whitney Hill estate, which is now a popular venue with her guests for parties and other social gatherings.

In nearby Grand Junction, TN the 100-year-old Brick Stables at Ames Plantation (built around 1913 by Mr. Hobart Ames) was recently transformed into a wedding venue for the marriage of Jamie Evan’s daughter, Dr. Stacey Evans, and Matthew Markham on December 13, 2014. This was the first and only wedding ever held in the brick stables, and the décor was complete with decorated tables, scrumptious food, and fine china. There were 75 guests in attendance at the wedding and reception. Music was provided by the Dan Knowles band from Paris, TN, 2003 National Old Time Banjo Champion and five times Tennessee State Old Time Banjo Champion, as well as custom string instrument maker.

The groom is Matthew Markham is a student in the Engineering Dept. at the University of Memphis and the bride, Dr. Stacey Evans, is a pediatrician Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.  Fans of field trials may have also seen Stacey taking photos at the National Championship, some of which are posted on the Ames Plantation zenfolio site.

Ames Plantation and the Brick Stables have special meaning for the Evans family. Jamie Evans has worked at Ames for 34 years, overseeing all the historical research, the Heritage Village, the Historical Society and other historical preservation work at Ames. Stacey essentially grew up at Ames, living there from birth until she went away to college. So, having her wedding in the Brick Stables was a special “coming home” event for her and the Evans family. “She was coming home to be married,” Jamie said. “The barn is a wonderful setting – such a special place with our family ties to Ames.”

The brick stables were considered some of the finest stables in the south for their time. The stable has brick floors, brass latches, and is a very nice facility. Over the past several years, the Ames Plantation staff and others have meticulously restored the stables, inside and out. Most of the year it is a working barn, and it is especially busy during the National Championship every February.

Asked what special preparations had to be made to restored stables Jamie said, “Mainly a thorough cleaning. Just ten days before the wedding the barn was in full use, with twenty horses stabled there getting them ready for the Ames Amateur field trials. We had to convert it from a working barn to a wedding venue.”

The Evans family members express their great appreciation to the Hobart Ames Foundation trustees and to Dr. Rick Carlisle, Director at Ames, for making the facility available for Stacey’s wedding. Since the stable is a year-round working barn, it is not available to the general public for weddings or social events. This was a “one time only” special event.

(Photos by Jamie Evans)
(Photos by Amy Dale Photography

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