Hello, and welcome to our little corner of the world! We are Brian and Alison Faulkner, the proud owners of The Wilds Wedding & Event Venue here in Bloomington, Indiana. We live here on the farm in Brown County with our two young children and a handful of critters.
The Inspiration to Open a Wedding Venue in Indiana
Many people have asked us about the inspiration behind The Wilds and the journey we took to get to where we are now. The most simple explanation begins with a question: Have you ever watched the movie, “We Bought a Zoo?” In it, the main character, played by Matt Damon, quits his job, moves his young family, and you guessed it- opens a zoo!
Well, this is us. Our little family of four was just crazy enough to buy a farm in Brown County, Indiana in 2015 to pursue our wild dream of bringing The Wilds Wedding & Event Venue to life. Though our story didn’t unravel quite as quickly as the plot did on the big screen.
Professionally Photographing & Planning Weddings
In the Spring of 2011, Brian and I traveled from our home in Missouri to Florida to photograph a dear friend’s wedding and enjoy some vacation time with family following. Little did I know the same beach where we captured our lovely friends exchanging vows would be the same beach I’d say ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ to a very important question a few days later. We were engaged! After spending over a decade in the wedding industry, professionally planning and photographing weddings and special events, it was FINALLY time to plan our own big day! I was FINALLY going to marry the love of my life.
Over the next six months, we devotedly planned out every last detail of our wedding. We did so without Pinterest if you can believe that! It started with the hunt for a perfect wedding venue in Indiana and beyond. Our wedding venue wish list was simple, or so we thought! We were hoping to find a place to host our wedding that had the basics (heating, air conditioning, restrooms, etc.). We also wanted a beautiful, rural location that was close to accommodations.
Searching for a Wedding Venue in Indiana and Beyond
As we set foot on our own wedding venue search and continued the venue search for our full-service planning clients, something became very clear. There weren’t many wedding venue options available between the super rustic barns, that lacked modern day amenities and the hotel ballrooms or event centers, that lacked character and the country setting we so desired. Though we managed to come pretty dang close with our pick!
Brian and I decided to get married at the lovely Fresh Air Farm in Kansas City on October 15, 2011. It was a beautiful 70 degree, sunny day. Brian, myself, and our guests fell in love with the way the casual, comfortable atmosphere laid contrast to such an elegant event. It was a place where everyone was invited to breathe a little deeper, stay a little longer and take in the little slice of heaven on earth. It was a place and this was a journey that forever changed the trajectory of our future.
The Wedding Venue Seed Was Planted
We left our wedding day with so much joy in our souls. We left with a tiny seed planted in our hearts. One that would continue to grow through the years and leave us longing to bring this type of joy to others.
Fast forward four years, add in three moves to three different states, two children and one big plan, and we did just that! We landed exactly where we were meant to be. We’re living on a beautiful stretch on farmland in Brown County. And we’re passionately serving couples and guests at The Wilds Wedding and Event Venue in Bloomington, IN.
The Farmhouse Renovation
Unlike the shows on HGTV, our plans didn’t exactly come to life overnight! But much like a great episode of Fixer Upper, it does involve an awesome farmhouse renovation! Read more about the above paraphrased portion of the journey it took to realize our dreams by clicking here!