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A Majestic transformation

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 9:21 PM CST
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VERNON, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

Tucked away on 35 acres of land in Vernon is an old building that has found a new purpose.

For nearly 25 years, sounds of classic country and gospel music could be heard coming from Gilley’s Family Opry.

“The foundation of this place was laid in ’96 I think it was and Dad just wanted a place to be able to have some music,” said Majestic Oaks Co-owner Karen Hornsby.

Now Gilley’s has a new name and a new look.

“He just reached a new season and he was like, ‘I’m not really sure this is something I can do anymore,’” said Hornsby. “‘What do you kids want to do with it?’ So it was actually my niece who said I think we should make it a wedding and event venue. We’re like that’s genius.”

Hornsby shares co-ownership of The Majestic Oaks with her brother Michael and their parents.

The transformation took 18 months.

“We did all the work ourselves. We had every weekend coming up here and painting and stripping and putting out landscaping,” said Hornsby. “It was a lot of work.”

A lot of work that is now getting a lot of attention.

“We try to offer a little of everything: Bridal Suite, Groom Suite, reception area,” said Hornsby.

They’ve left no detail out. From the Bride’s Suite...

“It was important to us to make this space where they could laugh and have fun and talk about memories and what she was like when she was a little girl. Have those sweet intimate moments,” Said Hornsby.

To the Groom’s Suite...

“It is the man cave,” said Hornsby. “We understand that men need a little bit of entertainment while the ladies are getting dressed. So we have a PS4, dartboard, cards, fun stuff for them to do while they’re waiting for their princess.”

The reception room is a huge blank slate.

“We actually use a customizable software where we can share a zoom call and I share my screen with them and we literally lay out the reception room together. You can see it in 2D, 3D and in AR format,” said Hornsby.

There’s a loft they call the Happy Day Cafe.

“People love to come up here and lounge,” said Hornsby. “Look over while people are dancing, having fun.”

Even the chandeliers are designed to be functional.

“We put it on a pulley system so that it can lower and the florist can add the flowers they need to add to it and pull it back up,” said Hornsby.

Let’s not forget the outside.

“The pergola that everyone loves for their cocktail hour,” said Hornsby. “Even have a full-size Cinderella carriage outside under our beautiful oak tree.”

As for the ceremony you have your choice there as well.

“We have our tent pad area for the bride to use overlooking a farm. I think it’s called Hilltop Farms,” said Hornsby. “We even have electrical outlets all the way out here.”

The most popular location is under a fallen oak tree that forms the perfect canopy of green by an old barn.

And if you’re wanting that laid back country feel, they have you covered there too. There are more big plans in the works.

“Our desire is to eventually have a little honeymoon suite, a little cottage out here,” said Hornsby.

But she wants to point out The Majestic Oaks isn’t just for weddings.

“We really want to be a community event place where people can come and make memories together and do life together,” said Hornsby.

While you may not hear the country classics ringing through the building anymore, you will hear lots of laughter.

“We’re very glad that we can take this property that mine and Michael’s grandpa had for almost 80 years now and do something amazing with it. Keep it in the family and do things for this wonderful community that we love,” said Hornsby.

Hornsby says as with everything, COVID-19 has changed the way they handle their events.

If you’re interested in knowing more about The Majestic Oaks, you can find them at www.majesticoaks.com or you can find them on social media at Majestic Oaks.

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