- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
Aug. 2, 2019
As a photographer, Kristi Shanks saw plenty of wedding venues – including the growing trend involving event barns.
So when a relative agreed to sell Shanks and her husband, Jason, some property west of Sioux Falls, they used what they had learned to create their own space: Emerald Pines Barn, which is under construction about a half-mile west of McGovern Middle School.
“There’s a need in the community,” said Jason Shanks, an attorney who also helps with the photography business.
“We took all the positive things we heard over the years and got rid of the negative things, so hopefully it will be a venue everyone will like.”
The 60-foot-by-132-foot barn has a loft over about one-third of it, bringing the total capacity to about 600.
The banquet space on the lower level holds about 400.
“My wife describes it as elegant country,” Shanks said.
Design features include exposed wood beams, chandeliers and an open double stairway. There are white resin chairs for ceremonies, wooden cross-back chairs for receptions, and tables, lighting, sound and parking are included in the rental fee.
It’s designed for outside caterers, with bar services available.
A “groom’s den” will be “right outside the bar,” Shanks said. “With a big-screen TV and gaming system. My son is a freshman, so we’re going to rely on him for what games we need to purchase.”
The bridal suite is huge, he said, and overlooks the wedding area to the south with six tables for bridesmaids and a separate area for the bride.
“I think it will be the largest bridal suite based on what’s out there now,” Shanks said.
They started booking weddings this spring and have 30 reserved for next summer already. The goal is to have construction done by the end of the year but start weddings in early May or possibly sooner.
The venue sits on 4.6 acres with a 1,000-foot drive and is surrounded by spruce trees on multiple sides – hence the name.
The outdoor space includes an area for ceremonies, a large parking lot, propane fire pits and – naturally – photo backdrops.
While weddings are the focus, the venue also will be available for showers, parties and corporate events.
Here’s a peek at what’s to come when Emerald Pines Barn opens west of Sioux Falls next year.