The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Friday, May 7, 2021

Outdoor Fall Wedding at The Manor at Stark Farms

 Anna + Junior

Ten years or so ago, I remember driving by a southern styled manor house sitting proudly on a hill off Lutz-Lake Fern Road in Odessa. I thought its pastoral setting with lots of full oak trees would be an ideal setting for outdoor weddings. Signs clearly said, "not for sale," although it appeared abandon with grazing cows as its only inhabitants.

Fast forward to 2018, when new proprietors John and Martha Zumwalt, took over management of the property. Besides making major improvements to the house, they began renting it out as a vacation rental with events allow on site (it is across the street from their Stark Farms property and barn).

Selected Photos by Ashley Phillips Photography

I was thrilled to be able to recommend The Manor at Stark Farms for several weddings including one for Anna and Junior who needed to re-locate their celebration from another venue.

Because they each had an extended family, they rented not only the entire house, but the overnight accommodations across the street at Stark Barn. This also gave them additional photo "opps" at this pre-Revolutionary War structure relocated here from its original site in New Hampshire by John and Martha.


I had worked intensely with the bride's mom, Ronda, in adapting original ideas to the new location. Since Ronda was located in the D.C. area, most communications were by email or phone.  A tent for dining and a chandelier/cafe lighting over the dance floor were the main focus for the celebration.


Our event partner, West Coast Events and Rentals, provided all on site rentals including the dance floor which initially served as the ceremony seating area facing the backdrop of the large oak tree. 

Anna got ready in one of the upstairs bedrooms overlooking the event area. She and Junior did their first look at both properties. 


The dance floor/ceremony was focused on the back right side of the manor house.

Anna and Junior chose a dual fall colors for their celebration: Cranberry and Deep Purple. Florist, Bloomingdays Flower Shop provided the bouquet and other smaller detailed flowers in those colors. 

There was no bridal party, just Anna escorted by her dad and step-dad.

After the ceremony, our staff transferred white garden chairs to the adjoining tent. Social hour was held on the back lawn as formal and family pictures were being taken in the fields surrounding the lawn.

Our service staff hand-passed hot and cold appetizers that included marinated mushrooms, hamburger sliders, mini empanadas and "drunkin dogs."  


We alternated long and round tables inside the tent with alternating centerpieces utilizing our hurricane globes and glass cylinders surrounded by a multitude of colorful silk flowers and candle light. 

Our popular Paella was a big hit

Highlight of the reception was a lavish cake and sweets display from Goldies Goodies Bakery. 


Thank you, Anna and Junior for allowing us to be a part of your special day!

If you are considering a wedding weekend at a private property, please contact us for package details!

Planning, Design, Day of Coordination, Catering and Bar Service by Catering By Robert / Event Concepts. FL