Couple Create Ivory Acres Wedding Venue

John Volpe and Kelsey Akin, with help from their families, brought a unique country-rustic wedding venue to Frewsburg. The couple began working on the property in October and held its grand opening last week as well as hosted its first wedding recently. P-J photos by Jordan W. Patterson

FREWSBURG — After searching for venues to possibly host their own wedding, John Volpe and Kelsey Akin decided to open their own wedding venue Ivory Acres.

In October, the couple purchased the land that featured a field and an old red barn that Volpe said was built in the early 1900s. Ten months later, the barn is refurbished with a reception hall, four bathrooms and two changing suites. The 10-acre venue at 191 Ivory St. in Frewsburg now has an outdoor pavilion and the addition of a pond. Last year, the plot of land was simply an old barn in a field.

“We worked through the winter,” Volpe said while joking about how cold it was working.

Volpe and Akin didn’t outsource the work to contractors, but rather had help from their families. Volpe’s parents, Patty and Pete, and Akin’s parents, Marty and Kathy, and additional help from Akin’s brother, Wayne, contributed to completing the project in under a year. During their busiest segment, Volpe said there was someone working on the land almost every hour of the day.

Volpe is a professional fireman for the Jamestown Fire Department and Akin is a X-Ray technician at Western New York Urology Associates, LLC, so all the work for them was stacked on top of their already busy lives.

The reception area at Ivory Acres wedding venue in Frewsburg. For information about wedding packages, call 397-1544 or visit ivoryacreswedding.com. Photo by Jordan W. Patterson

“It was a lot of work from October until now,” he said.

Volpe said the venue is different from other typical places to hold a wedding. He said that many people during the grand opening on June 16 enjoyed the rustic and country feel to the location.

“I think the rustic setting is really nice and casual — its laid back,” he said of the venue’s vibe.

“I don’t think any other venue is quite like this,” Volpe continued.

With the inclusion of the pavilion, outdoor ceremonies can commence even if it rains.

“Our game plan was that (wedding’s) could be all in one,” Volpe said of the business.

The rehearsal, the ceremony and the reception are all made available at Ivory Acres, including all the tables and chairs. In addition, the location is 100 percent ADA compliant.

“We took a chance,” he said as to why they pursued this avenue.

The family project included remodeling the entire downstairs and replacing the floors of the barn as well as installing septic and electric.

“We hustled,” he said. “We had to because of the amount of money we put in we had to be open for this year.”

Volpe said couples were booking with Ivory Acres purely off of hearing about the idea prior to its completion.

The venue has already hosted its first wedding and has 10 weddings booked for the rest of the summer, not including Volpe and Akin’s wedding.

“We were looking for a place and we really couldn’t find what we really wanted in our price range,” he said.

To rent the venue for Friday, Saturday and Sunday the total price is $3,000 and for Friday and Saturday costs $2,500. Weekdays cost $600 and Sunday alone totals $1,500. As for catering and bar service, customers are allowed to use any outside company while Ivory Acres will make suggestions, but those suggestions are only that.

“What we wanted to do was to let people have their choice,” he said. “All we do is rent (customers) the facilities, tables and chairs. We have suggestions, but they’re welcome to use whoever they want.”

Having already had previous conversations about starting a business, the two drove past the old, red barn and made a rather quick decision to purchase the property.

“It was just about perfect,” Volpe said of finding the land and it being for sale.

As to hosting their own wedding at their own business, Volpe said the experience “is going to be really neat and rewarding” when the couple gets married later this summer.

“It’ll be more than a wedding,” he said.

Following purchasing the land and beginning the work in October, the two families quickly got to work on the property and are open for business.

Ivory Acres has 16 weddings booked for 2019 and two for 2020 already.

“We knew there was need for it (in the area),” he said.

Ivory Acres will also host company events, graduation parties, birthday parties, reunions, club meetings, community events and can be used for photos for its rustic theme and setting.

Volpe said he and Akin were thankful for their families’ help, the town of Carroll and their neighbors for making Ivory Acres happen.

“We’re excited to bring a business into Frewsburg,” Volpe said.

For occupancy and other related questions, Volpe and Akin can be reached at 397-1544. Various packages are available online at ivoryacreswedding.com.

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