University of Tennessee Grads Wedding Ruined by BP Oil Spill; Wedding Saved by Local Merchants

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Castleton Farms luxury wedding and event venue in Loudon, Tennessee steps in to rescue the wedding ceremony of a local Knoxville bride whose original plans were displaced by the BP Oil Spill fallout on the beaches of Florida. By offering their venue free of charge along with several Preferred Vendor services at free or steeply discounted rates, Castleton Farms is truly going above and beyond the mark to give this bride a beautiful wedding ceremony. With less than five weeks of planning time, Darla Walker - Executive Director at Castleton Farms - has worked with bride Rachel Bethmann to ensure all details and wishes are being set into place for her August wedding.

Darla has worked with us on every detail and tiny nuance of the wedding ceremony & reception to make it the wedding of our dreams. We never dared to believe we could rescue such a difficult situation and find a fairytale setting like Castleton! - Rachel B

Have you ever heard of a luxury wedding ceremony at a dreamlike venue being offered free of charge? Sometimes, in unusual circumstances, dreams still can come true, and Castleton Farms has stepped in to wave that proverbial magic wand.

What does a young bride do when faced with an environmental disaster mere weeks before her wedding? How is it humanly possible to recover from such an unexpected occurrence, yet also move forward and find a way to still have the wedding of her dreams, particularly when venue deposits are in contention and deposits being refunded are in question? This bride is fortunate to live in the Knoxville area, and savvy enough to choose one of the most exclusive, premier wedding venues in the southeastern region. Read on to discover the jewel that is Castleton Farms and how their vendors go beyond that extra mile to deliver the perfect wedding ceremony, even in the midst of a less than perfect string of events.

Rachel Bethmann and Aaron Clark of Knoxville were looking forward to their destination wedding on the beach of Pensacola, Florida this summer. This was to be the beach wedding Rachel had dreamed about since childhood. Then Rachel and Aaron (both UT grads) were informed that the BP oil spill had washed away their months of planning along with their deposits. Fortunately, Rachel and her mother, Ginger Bethmann, had attended a local bridal fair back in October 2009 and had visited the Castleton Farms booth, met several of the Castleton Preferred Vendors and chatted with everyone. This made a lasting impression and ultimately saved the day…the wedding day! We’ve all heard the dreamlike stories of the white knight in shining armor riding in to save the fair maiden. In this instance, Castleton Farms is that white knight and they are offering an unheard of opportunity to Rachel Bethmann and Aaron Clark to produce their wedding ceremony, in luxury style…free of charge!

Once the realization sunk in that the Florida venue was not going to be an option, Rachel contacted Darla Walker, the Executive Director at Castleton Farms. Now, thanks to Castleton Farms and a number of local East Tennessee businesses, the displaced bride and groom, along with their 150 guests will be relocated to a new destination far from the tar balls and oil soaked beaches of Florida. Obviously when a venue is canceled, money is a concern. Rachel’s Florida deposit refund is currently in limbo, leaving her with the challenge of creating an equally beautiful wedding ceremony on a shoestring budget. This is the best part of this story – Castleton Farms and many of their Preferred Vendors have agreed to create Rachel’s dream wedding gratis (free of charge). What would normally be a substantial investment for a wedding ceremony at Castleton Farms, including complementary fireworks, hair and makeup, theatrical lighting & decor plus their honeymoon stay at Whitestone Country Inn, Castleton Farms is giving to Rachel and Aaron. Castleton Farms is, indeed, a fairytale wedding venue, and sometimes doing the right thing supersedes all financial concerns.

Castleton Farms in Loudon, Tennessee, along with its vendors, has stepped in to rescue this Knoxville couple’s wedding. They are going above and beyond, pulling all of their resources together to create a last-minute wedding to remember on August 8, 2010.

The participating vendors are:
Castleton Farms (venue)
All Occasions Party Rentals (rentals)
All Occasion Catering (pre-set buffet for 150 guests)
Waldorf Photographic Art (photography)
Rosa’s Catering (cake)
Samuel Franklin Floral (bridal flowers and reception arrangements)
Whitestone Country Inn (honeymoon)
Creative Event Horizons (lighting and décor)
Pyro Creations (Fireworks)
Image Cinema Photo Booths
Catering Connection (bridal brunch)

-Great Oil Spill follow-up story!
-This is also the weekend of the Wedding Show – Premier Bride and would make a great tie-in!

Any requests for interviews, set up times for shots and b-roll or additional information can be received through Darla Walker:

Darla Y. Walker | Castleton Farms | Executive Director
150 Cedar Grove Road
Loudon, Tennessee 37774
Office: 865.376.9040 | Cell: 865.235.2500
dwalker(at)castletonfarms(dot)com |


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