Winter Wood Farm
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are your guidelines for events during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A. We have not been ordered to close our venue, and therefore will be conducting events as normally as possible.
We will not require any event to be canceled or rescheduled, however, we believe it is up to each couple to decide how they are going to manage their guest lists and the tailor their event plans to what is best for them, their family and friends during this time. Additionally, we believe that guests coming to Winter Wood Farm also have the right to decide if they should participate in or attend an event.
We recommend that anyone in attendance wear a mask and we will provide hand sanitizer and anti bacterial soap, and we ask that anyone who is more susceptible, who has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, or if anyone that may be feeling sick, to please reconsider attending.
Winter Wood Farm, its owners, officers and/or affiliates cannot be held responsible for any illnesses or injuries obtained. Enhanced health and safety measures are of the utmost importance. Guests and patrons entering the venue will assume all risk related to COVID-19 when visiting Winter Wood Farm.
Please see our FAQ on cancellation and rescheduling for more information on what your options are if you feel you cannot continue with your event as originally planned.
Q. What is the venue’s capacity for guests?
A. We recommend a guest list from 150-175 guests or smaller (including your wedding party).
We may be able to accommodate 200 guests in some instances. If you the weather is nice, there is plenty of room to spread out. However, inside seating arrangements will have more limitations and in the event of inclement weather, the barn can get a bit crowded with upwards of 175 guests.
Q. How far in advance should I secure a date for my event at Winter Wood Farm?
A. We recommend booking as soon as possible as dates do fill up quickly – especially for the upcoming year. We require 1/3 of your package price as a reservation fee upon signing your contract to secure your date, with a second 1/3 payment at the midway point leading up to your event. The remaining 1/3 of the package cost as well as a $500 security deposit are due 30 days before your event date. The security deposit will be refunded to you within 30 days after your event, provided there are no damages or clean-up required after your event.
Q. What is your pricing structure to reserve the farm for my event?
A. Please refer to our event packages here. If you are interested in booking on a weekday or need more days than our packages cover, please contact us and we’ll be glad to create a quote for you.
Q. Do I need event insurance for my event?
A. Yes. We require you to obtain a Special Events Liability Policy for your event. If something unfortunate and unexpected happens during your event, this policy will cover things like bodily injury and property damage.
A policy can be obtained from your preferred insurance provider and are typically inexpensive ($100-$200 depending on the number of guests).
Winter Wood Farm will obtain a policy on your behalf, if you prefer, or if you fail to obtain a policy on your own. We’ll add the cost of the policy to your final payment.
The coverage details you’ll need are outlined in your rental contract.
If you plan to serve alcohol at your event, the policy will also need to include Alcohol Liability.
Additional coverage options for cancellations/postponements, wedding attire, etc. may be added on at your discretion for additional cost. Your agent can provide an additional quote with details and costs for those.
This liability policy will likely not cover anything related to COVID-19.
Q. What if I need more time than your packages allow for my event?
A. For our Wedding Weekend and Reception packages, we can add on additional time for an additional fee per hour should you need it. Please contact us with your specific needs, and we’ll be glad to quote a longer rental package for you.
Q. Will there be any other events on the same day as mine?
A. No. We only schedule one event at a time, and we do not overlap any events. We believe that your special day should be exclusive to you and your guests.
Q. What should I do if I need to change the date of my event or if I need to cancel? Do you offer refunds?
A. If you have secured a date and signed a contract, please contact us as soon as possible if you are considering canceling your event or changing your date. We would be happy to try and come up with some options for you.
In the event that you want to reschedule your date, we will allow one date change to a new date within the same calendar year with no rebooking fee.
If you want to change your date to a different calendar year, we will require an additional payment of 1/3 of your total package cost at the time of the change. This will be applied to your balance and is not an additional fee.
All monies paid toward your package are non-refundable if you cancel your event.
If you cancel 60 days or less from your event date for any reason, you will be responsible for the entire cost of your reservation, as we will not be able to rebook the date at that point.
We understand that the restrictions set forth by our government due to COVID-19 have presented unavoidable logistical challenges. However, Winter Wood Farm cannot accept responsibility for a global pandemic or any challenges that it has caused. We are more than happy to work with any couple who encounters difficulties and wishes to postpone or cancel within the guidelines above.
Q. Do you host other events besides weddings?
A. We do! Our barn is a flexible space that could also be used for corporate events, anniversary & engagement parties, bridal & baby showers, family reunions and memorial services.
Q. How do I get to the farm?
A. From the center of Sparta where HWY 18 and 21 intersect, take HWY 21 N for about 3 miles.
Bear right at Twin Oaks Store and Stay on HWY21 N toward Virginia for another 1.1 mile, then turn right on to Lon Mack Rd.
Follow Lon Mack Rd about 0.7 mile and turn left at the end of the road on to New Haven Rd.
Take New Haven Rd about 0.9 mile, then turn left at the little rock church – New River Baptist Church – to continue on New Haven Rd.
Continue down New Haven Rd for another 0.9 miles and Winter Wood Farm will be on the right, just past the big white farmhouse.
Turn right into the driveway, head up the hill and turn left into the barn driveway just after you come out of the woods.
There are signs all along the way to help you. Go slow, enjoy the scenery!
We caution you to be very aware of GPS directions! If your GPS directs you to take “Independence Road” from Sparta, you need to find an alternate route. Independence Rd is an old, rough unpaved road that goes through the mountain. It is a a NCDOT maintained road, so it will appear on GPS as part of the “shortest route” to the farm. Please use our directions and make sure your guests are aware of this as well.
Q. Can I schedule a tour of the barn and grounds?
A. Absolutely! We are hosting tours by appointment. We would prefer you schedule a tour, rather than just dropping in so we can be there to show you around. We’d hate to miss you. Please see our calendar here to schedule your tour!
Q.Is the barn climate controlled at all?
A. Yes! We have full HVAC systems in place inside to keep you and your guests as comfortable as possible any time of the year.
Q. May I have photos taken on the farm prior to my event?
A. Yes, we can arrange for you to come with your photographer for engagement photos or bridal portraits prior to your event date. Please contact us and we will be glad to set up a weekday for you to come.
Q. Do you have restrooms on site?
A. Yes. We have clean , modern ladies and men’s rooms inside the barn.
Q. Is there a dressing area for the bride, groom and bridal party?
A. Definitely! We have lovely well-appointed rooms for the bride and groom and their respective bridal party members. The rooms will have areas for hair and makeup, as well as a lounge area. The bride’s room will also have a private entrance into the ladies restroom next door.
Q. Do you have a sound system or PA system available?
A. Yes. We have a fantastic Bose sound system if you’d like to provide ambient music. It can also be used with a wireless microphone during your ceremony and reception if needed.
Q. What kind of parking arrangements are there for my guests?
A. We have an adjacent parking lot near the barn. There is a pick-up and drop off area right outside the barn’s front entrance, as well, for those who might not be able to walk from the parking area.
Q. Do you have lodging available on the premises? Are there places to stay overnight nearby?
A. We do not provide any lodging at the farm, however there are several options for accommodations locally and we can provide you with their information.
Q. Are my guests and I allowed to smoke on the premises?
A. There is a designated smoking area outside the barn near the parking area. We ask that no smoking occur at any other location except the designated smoking area, please. Receptacles for cigarettes/cigars are provided. Please note that if any cigarette butts are left on the property, it will result in forfeiture of your entire security deposit.
Q. Do you allow pets?
A. If you’d like to have your family pet as part of your ceremony, you are welcome to do so, just please let us know in advance. However, pets in general are not allowed on the property.
Any pet involved in the ceremony must be leashed at all times, and is not allowed to roam the property freely.
Q. Can I choose my own caterer, florist, bakery, etc?
A. Yes! We are happy to work with vendors you choose. We do require that you provide us with their information once you make those choices, as we would need documentation of insurance, licensing, etc from them well in advance of your event date. If you would like information on local vendors that we recommend we do have a list of vendors that we can provide.
Q. What is your policy regarding alcohol?
A. If you would like to serve alcohol at your event, you are welcome to do so and we can provide you with all the details of what type of permit and insurance you may need. Winter Wood Farm does not have a liquor license, and cannot provide or serve the alcohol for you.
Cash bars are not permitted, as we do not have a license to sell alcohol.
Additionally, your guests, families or bridal party are not permitted to bring their own alcohol on to the premises for consumption during your rental duration.
Q. What happens if rain is in the forecast on the day of my event?
A. We will discuss options with you for this. We always recommend having a backup plan for rain or other inclement weather. Depending on your event plans and number of guests, we can help you come up with some solutions.
Some of the most gorgeous sunsets we’ve seen often happen after a storm comes through. Sometimes just waiting a few hours to hold your ceremony if it’s raining can really pay off with a spectacular sunset.
Q. When will I have access to the barn to begin decorating for my event?
A. Please refer to our package listing for the durations of each package. We will work with you to determine the time of day that you’ll need access to the venue to begin set up, based upon the package that you choose.
Q. Do I need to plan to set up tables and chairs for my ceremony and reception?
A. Winter Wood Farm’s packages include set up of chairs for the ceremony, and tables and chairs for the reception as specified in your contract and to your specifications. We provide white wooden folding chairs for your outdoor ceremony, and dark x-back cottage style-chairs are provided for indoors.
You also have the option of using round, rectangular, or farmhouse style tables (or a combination of them) for your reception.
You must provide Winter Wood Farm with your preferred layout for the tables and chairs at least 30 days prior to your event.
We do not provide table linens, but can recommend several companies where they can be rented or purchased.
Q. Who is responsible for cleaning up after my event?
A. You would be responsible for all cleanup. You can find our clean-up checklist here. We build time into our packages for you to clean up at the end of your rental. Most caterers and other vendors should clean up before they leave. In general, the venue should be left in exactly the same condition of cleanliness as it was when you arrived for your event, and any rented items should be prepared for pick up per the rental company’s instruction. Failure to clean up appropriately will result in the forfeiture of your security deposit.
If you’d rather leave the clean up to someone else, we can recommend a cleaning service that you can hire to handle all the clean up for you.
Q. What time do I need to plan for my event to end?
A. You would need to plan for your event to end no later than 10:30pm. If serving alcohol, you would need to cut off service one hour prior to your event’s end. Guests would need to be off the grounds by 11pm.
Q. Do you provide decorations for my event?
A. Other than the decor in the barn (draped fabric, string lighting, etc), we do not provide decorations for your event.
Q. Do you provide ladders to use when decorating?
A. We can only provide small one-step ladders due to liability. If you need something installed inside or outside that requires a taller ladder, you may request help from the Winter Wood Farm staff in advance and additional per-hour fees will apply.
Q. Would I be allowed to use candles as part of my decorations?
A. Unfortunately, we cannot allow candles or any type of decor that would have an open flame on the premises at all. Battery operated flameless candles are a great substitute! The one exception would be if you would like to have a unity candle and/ or memory candles as part of your ceremony.
Q. Will there be any staff members of Winter Wood Farm available during my event?
A. Someone from Winter Wood Farm will be available to you for the duration of your rental. We may not always be in the building, but we will be accessible to you for questions at all times, You will be provided with a contact person and their phone number in case you need someone to assist you. We will set up tables and chairs (if included in your package) to your specifications the day before you arrive – unless weather prevents that, in which case we will set up the morning of your arrival. Should you need assistance with any other setup (decor, etc), someone on staff can be available to help at an hourly rate, but this would need to be pre-arranged.