When Hunter Williams’ daughter, Kellan, was getting married seven years ago, he wanted to make sure that the wedding, which was being held on his third-generation family farm, was perfect. When it succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, he began thinking about turning part of his property into an event venue, and today Misty Mountain Event Barn provides a place for people to gather for all kinds of celebrations in Hardy County, West Virginia.
The county itself is a prime destination for anyone wanting to enjoy the great outdoors: the South Branch of the Potomac River has some of the best fishing in the state, and there are ski slopes less than an hour away. And now those looking for a place to hold weddings, proms, corporate parties and more can enjoy getting together in a bucolic setting that is still a working farm.
“When my daughter was getting married, I became kind of consumed with making the place perfect; I’m one of those crazy ‘first-impression’ people, and I obsessed over getting every detail right,” said Williams. “We had a huge tent for the wedding and two tents for food, and generators and porta-potties, and 200 mums; and then it dawned on me that when the wedding was over, I had to take everything back.”
Realizing that there had to be a better way to hold an event like this, Williams spent the next few years drawing up plans and attending more than 20 weddings to get ideas. “Finally, I broke the news to my wife and daughter that we needed to build a venue; they thought I was completely out of my gourd, but I kept on them until they finally gave in,” said Williams.
Their hesitation was understandable; Misty Mountain is a large breeder-layer hen farm with more than 400 cows and an active club calf enterprise. To reconfigure the space to create an event venue would require a lot of work, as well as a huge learning curve.
They broke ground in 2018 and hosted their first event, the Petersburg High School prom, in April of 2019. While the business plan was to host five weddings in the first year, this spring the center had booked weddings every weekend from late April through the first weekend in December.
In addition to the 6,000 square-foot barn, which includes a full commercial kitchen, bride and groom suites, restrooms and DJ booth, the property also includes a pavilion, pond and gazebo, patio and fire pit. The full-service venue also holds an ABC private club license and all music licenses.
“What really sets us apart is that when you purchase a package, everything is included—you get the full use of the building, including the suites upstairs and the outside pavilion and firepit, as well as every table, chair, Wi-Fi and more,” said Williams.
“We also wanted to make it affordable for this area’s demographic, so we consciously chose to host more small, affordable weddings instead of a few expensive weddings,” he added. He also offers special pricing for local community groups including schools and nonprofits.
“Hunter and his family have created a facility that is a great example of agritourism and an important contribution to the tourism industry in Hardy County," said Michele Mouré-Reeves, executive director, Hardy County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Future plans for the venue include building a 15-room lodge to house wedding parties or other guests.
For more information:
Misty Mountain Event Barn, mistymountaineventbarn.com
Hardy County, visithardywv.com