Storybook Barn —
Set Amidst Pastures Green, Not Quarantined

The silo, the barn’s many windows, and the open doors in the front of the barn.

At Storybook, we love to open doors and invite people into the 140-year old dairy barn. Storybook’s interior of rough-cut oak and swaying beams evokes images of nineteenth-century settlers who eked out a way of life on the windswept Missouri plain.

Yet, in recent weeks, telling words like quarantine and social distance have headlined the news with messages that threaten to undermine our social norms. In every state in the Union, and on every continent, sounds of shuttering shutters and latching locks testify to a new state of global fear and worry. Day and night, these latching sounds shutter dreams and subdue the lift of spirits.  

This unnatural state affronts our very way of life. Sequestering dictates where we go and where we stop along the way. We rush about at arm’s length from one and all. We scurry; in and out we go, and then swiftly in again, only to dutifully latch and lock. 

Take heart, though! These dashing days have rushed into the heart of spring, where dreams like pastures green defy this state of quarantine. Soon, wedding guests, prom dates, and reunion mates shall dance again to rhythmic tunes filling the interior of Storybook’s barn. 

Wildflowers at the entrance of Storybook.

Outside, in acres roundabout Storybook’s perimeter, wildflowers will quietly bloom in unrushed celebration. Stem touching stem, in togetherness they boom, vibrant-yellow, poppy-red, and hues displaying natures’ palette true. Meanwhile, robins chase about gathering straw and twiggy bits, noticing neither the bluebirds darting by nor the bald eagle perched high in the mammoth walnut tree. Thus, at Storybook, spring carries on gifting life to nature’s un-sequestered. 

As venues go, Storybook’s quintessential barn offers an interior quite unlike a windowless banquet hall. Sunlight and fresh air move through Storybook’s interior, as freely as a welcome breeze lifting freshly laundered-linens on an outdoor line. One should not minimize the health benefits of fresh air and sunlight. At Storybook we invite them in.

Wildflowers blooming at the Writer’s Cottage. Image by Brandon Alms

Facing south, a pair of pine doors, nine feet tall and nine feet wide, centers the back wall of the barn. Each door has twenty panes of old wavy glass, forty in all, through which warm sunlight floods the interior. To the north, doors ten feet tall open wide, allow  fresh air to pass through the structure and whisk away unwanted particles that tend to linger in structures of boxed-in space.

The open doors of Storybook.

Instead of those dismaying, viral words pressed into today’s headlines, at Storybook, a duo of uplifting words guides all that takes place. Aspirational and inspirational make up the pair. Like a duo of buoys, they undergird the mission of Storybook Barn, challenging not only the décor and ascetics of the historic structure, but the nature of events and gatherings which come to life in Storybook time. 

So, let the doors of Storybook open wide this spring, summer, and fall, as these present days of quarantine trail away and, one day soon, fully pass. Then, post autumn, may celebrations of winter rise, lifting spirits high to the very rafters of Storybook. At which point, we’ll all bid farewell to the stealthy fear which shuttered the world one long and awful night. 

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, may Storybook always “Be an Opener of Doors.”

The hand-crafted doors of Storybook.

On a highly important and practical note, these are some of the health and safety features of Storybook:  

Radiant heat that eliminates the passage of air through filters and ducts.

Hand sanitizers placed in strategic locations throughout the venue

Special medical-winged faucets in the restrooms that can be wrist-operated

Mini-Splits installed in the barn’s interior deliver another source of heat in winter and cool air in summer. The self-contained units eliminate worry over unseen contaminants affecting air quality.

 Wrist door pulls on restroom doors like those used in commercial kitchens 

Fresh air pavilion

Stainless steel work tables and commercial sink in the catering and food prep area

Commitment to use the best of antibacterial products

Signage

Unswerving commitment to thoroughly clean and disinfect Storybook’s interior after each and every event. 

More than two dozen outdoor benches, making it possible for guests to spread out and spend quality time out of doors as well as 15 acres of  fields to walk through under open skies

Bill Jefferson
Author | Owner | Storyteller

The Open Doors of Storybook

On a plateau in the Missouri Ozarks, a 1880s barn named Storybook has a reputation for catching eyes and galvanizing the senses of all who step through its open doors.

Lined with native red cedar, Storybook’s interior provides a vaulted sphere of scented space. The scent, like an invisible elixir, tends to brighten the eyes and quicken the senses. The sound of creaky floors, the ears detect, as well as gusts of wind, doing what wind does to weathered cedar shakes.

Continue reading “The Open Doors of Storybook”

Wedding & Rececption

Pictures Copyright © 2018 Haleigh Schaeffer

Weave a Unique Story of Worth into the Perfect Wedding Toast

Someone you care about has found the love of their life, and they’ve invited you to participate in their special moment.

They’ve asked you to deliver a toast at their wedding.

Your heart fills with excitement, but also more than just a little bit of dread. What do you say? What if you mess up? How do you propose a wedding toast that captures the unique story of this particular couple, on such a sacred occasion?

For starters, let’s keep in mind the purpose of the wedding toast: it’s all about offering sincere congratulations to the newlyweds and sharing why their relationship is special.

And it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous. The pressure to come up with just the right message, combined with a natural fear of public speaking that most of us have, is a recipe for turning almost any joyous occasion into an uncomfortable one.

Perhaps the best way to calm your nerves is to follow the old scouting motto: Be prepared.

Here are some tips for writing and delivering good wedding toasts, so that when the blessed day arrives, you’ll be ready to give a heartwarming toast that guests will appreciate and the happy couple will treasure. Continue reading “Weave a Unique Story of Worth into the Perfect Wedding Toast”

How Much Does a Wedding Cost? Tips for Setting Your Wedding Budget

The question has been popped, that engagement ring sparkles proudly for all to see and now it’s time to invite your loved ones to celebrate with you.

But there’s one other big question looming over your big day: How much is this going to cost?

Believe it or not, in 2016, the average wedding cost $35,000 in the United States.

But don’t worry! At Storybook Barn you can enjoy a dream wedding for a down-to-earth rate in a rustic, idyllic setting just east of Springfield, Missouri.

Your overall wedding budget will vary based on where you live, what you can afford and what’s on your wish list. There really is no one-size-fits-all number when it comes to the cost of a wedding.

Setting a budget early is one of the smartest and most romantic ways to plan the perfect wedding, and start this exciting new chapter in your story on a good financial footing.

Our wedding budget planner below gives you helpful tips for putting together a memorable occasion that won’t break the bank. Continue reading “How Much Does a Wedding Cost? Tips for Setting Your Wedding Budget”

How to Plan a Prom Night to Remember Forever

Students look forward to prom night for months or even years. It’s a time for students to celebrate with friends and classmates that share a strong community bond and an unforgettable journey of life and learning.

So, it’s quite natural to feel some pressure about making the night “perfect.”

This is why planning is so important. Whether you’re a faculty member or a student trying to plan a prom, here are some tips to guide you through the process. Continue reading “How to Plan a Prom Night to Remember Forever”

Inspire and Motivate with 7 Corporate Event Planning Tips

Corporate events are great for connecting with clients, prospects and colleagues to share stories and exchange the latest insights for prospering in today’s world.

But how do you plan a corporate event that creates a positive buzz, makes people want to come — and, ultimately, makes them want to do business with you?

Keep reading for 7 tips on hosting a corporate event that benefits attendees and stays within budget. Continue reading “Inspire and Motivate with 7 Corporate Event Planning Tips”

7 Tips for Planning the Perfect Wedding Reception

Hosting a memorable wedding reception is the perfect way to share one of the most important chapters in your story with people you care about.

But with such a dizzying flurry of details to attend to, reception planning can turn what is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life into one of the most stressful.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of 7 helpful tips for planning a wedding reception that you and your guests will treasure. Continue reading “7 Tips for Planning the Perfect Wedding Reception”

Delight Your Attendees with These New Year’s Eve Celebration Ideas

Another New Year is upon us. Time to weave yet another new chapter of worth into the story of time.

There’s still time to mark the occasion by planning a New Year’s Event your attendees will treasure long after the ball drops at midnight.

Here are 10 helpful ideas for planning a memorable New Year’s Eve party. Continue reading “Delight Your Attendees with These New Year’s Eve Celebration Ideas”