A place to say I do: Scottarosa Farms opens as new venue for weddings, other special occasions

FRANKLIN LIVING JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2024

Scottarosa Farms has been in business just over a year, providing Franklin Countians and those from the surrounding area another option when it comes to making the all-important choice of a wedding venue. Property owners Brian and Amy Scott had the vision in 2021 to upgrade their hunting preserve to also accommodate weddings and other private events.

“They live on a really large, beautiful piece of property in Phil Campbell,” explained Scottarosa Farms manager Savannah Hamilton. “Wedding venues are popping up left and right, but there are so many people getting married that they are in such high demand.” Hamilton said that apparent need is what inspired the Scotts to open their own venue and share their beautiful space with brides-to-be. They particularly hoped to offer another option to couples in Franklin County, to keep them from being forced into the Shoals or elsewhere to find an available venue for their preferred date. “Building began in October 2021. It took about a year,” Hamilton said. “We started advertising and were officially open for business in January 2023.”

The property boasts a pond with a pier – the spot where many brides choose to hold their ceremonies, since “that outside space is so breathtaking, it’s hard to pass up,” –  as well as an open barn, about 6,000 square feet, which is an ideal spot for receptions. “In my opinion, it’s the selling point,” Hamilton said.

Brian Scott explained he built the barn himself, all from reclaimed wood – from the old Crandall House in Spruce Pine, which he had to tear down when the feed mill started construction, and from a couple old chicken houses at his father’s farm. His father has another connection to the property, as well – the “Scottarosa” name is a combination of the family surname plus “arosa” in homage to a favorite TV show – a nod to the Ponderosa Ranch on the television show Bonanza. Brian also crafted and installed the stonework on the barn, an outgrowth of another business he operates, B. Scott Stone.

Of course, the barn is just part of what creates the overall aesthetic of the venue. “Right when people pull up, it’s just open, peaceful,” Hamilton described. “When people come in, they say, ‘This is exactly what I was wanting.’” Another “selling point” is the property being an active deer hunting reserve – “for the guys, it’s the deer and the possibility that they are going to come out in the middle of the ceremony.”

A bridal suite provides a place for the bride and her maids to dress and get ready, taking advantage of the long wall of mirrors with vanity lights – along with big windows letting in plenty of natural light – and a set of couches. The groomsman’s loft boasts a pool table and a flat screen, a place where the fellas can hang out. Hamilton said these two spots are separated in such a way that there is no chance of the groom and bride crossing paths before they’re ready.

While suitable for weddings, Hamilton said they also market the venue for other special events, like graduation parties, reunions, showers, athletic banquets, retirement parties and more.

Brian Scott also pastors Witness Outreach Ministries in Spruce Pine, and he said his work as a minister was a big part of what opened his eyes to the idea of operating a wedding venue. “I’m a pastor, so I started doing weddings a lot at these wedding barns,” he said. “I knew it would be a good business plan – that’s the going thing now, these weddings in barns. He said his wife Amy, a teacher at Phil Campbell Elementary School, and Hamilton are the ones who do most of the work now the business is up and running.

Hamilton, 27, came on board toward the end of 2022, as the Scotts were preparing to open. The Scotts are among Hamilton’s in-laws – she married their nephew Jacob Hamilton, who is head football coach at Phil Campbell High School, in June 2022.

“I’ve always wanted to get into the event planning/wedding industry, but it was never really the right time,” explained Hamilton, an Atlanta native who graduated from the University of Alabama. She’s no newcomer to business management, having worked in communications for her family’s business, MS Industries, and owning her own online boutique, Smith and Mode. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity and happy to be where I’m at.” She added she has been especially pleased with how different the local community is compared to Atlanta. She moved here a little over four years ago. “People are so much nicer. People are so kind, real and authentic,” she said. “I absolutely love living here.”

After talking through the roles and responsibilities the Scotts wanted her to handle for Scottarosa Farms, Hamilton was ready to take the reins. “We have a good system going now. It’s been really great to work with family,” she said. The Scotts handle property maintenance and upkeep, and Hamilton handles bookings, social media, contracts, scheduling, tours, payments and other details of coordinating with clients.

Brian Scott said he would love to see his newest business venture host 30-50 weddings a year, noting there are already a couple of dozen booked for 2024. Scottarosa Farms is located at 2800 Highway 63, Phil Campbell. For information visit their website, www.scottarosafarms.com.

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