A Wedding Venue Owner’s Job is a Labor of Love – Cross Timbers Gazette | Denton County South | mound of flowers

Argyle resident Sherrill Naomi Niederer admits she didn’t know what to expect when she opened a small wedding and events venue for Justin 20 years ago. At the time, she and her husband, Don, were new empty nests, and Naomi thought that helping young couples begin the next chapter of their lives would be a fun way to spend her weekends – at least for the next 10 years.

“I figured I’d do this for 10 years, and by then I’d have grandkids to adore,” Naomi laughed.

Naomi was right about the grandchildren – her three adult children blessed her and Don with five of them, including a precious grandson born last Mother’s Day. But little did she know that her place, officially known as The Country Abbey, would still be such a big part of her life after all these years. And, honestly, she didn’t want it any other way.

It opened in February 2002, did some renovations, and then held its first wedding in May. Twenty years and countless events later, The Country Abbey embraces centuries-old traditions with cheerful hospitality for those seeking an intimate setting for their special occasions. The venue specializes in small to medium-sized weddings for up to 150 guests, as well as birthdays, anniversaries, graduation parties, corporate events, memorial services, and special requests. It includes a chapel, reception hall, two guest houses and spacious grounds that reminded Naomi of 14th and 15th century European abbeys that were communities unto themselves – hence the name, The Country Abbey.

Naomi Niederer helps create memories at The Country Abbey in Justin. (Photo by Lynn Seeden/Seeden Photography)

Due to its space, flexibility, and location, the venue often serves as a temporary home for start-up churches that need space for worship services, youth group meetings, or young adult classes. . Racing fans frequent the guesthouses, coming to town for the thrills at Texas Motor Speedway. Even families waiting for their new homes to be completed – especially in this busy housing market – often rent guest houses to fill the gap between old and new homes.

“People ask me, ‘Have you always dreamed of having a place like this?’ And I always say, ‘No. It just happened,” Naomi said.

Located three miles north of Texas Motor Speedway, just off FM 156, the site is easily accessible by car from Denton, Flower Mound, the Alliance Corridor and Fort Worth.

“It’s rewarding to see how it’s developed in 20 years, and because I have such great staff, I get to enjoy both my job and my family time. Things are going very well here.

She added, “It’s always fun! I see myself doing this for a little longer.

Naomi certainly caught lightning in a bottle with The Country Abbey. In 2000, she was looking for different ways to spend her free time and noticed a gap in the market when it came to venues for small to mid-size events. Of course, many hotel ballrooms and churches have hosted large weddings and events. But for small parties of 150 people or less, these locations were too big and often too expensive.

So she kept her eyes peeled for an opportunity, and that’s when she heard about Justin Baptist Church’s groundbreaking ceremony for a new facility. Luckily, Naomi had a friend who attended church there.

“I called her and asked her what they were planning to do with the original church. It was a small, century-old church that had stood on the corner of Jackson and 2nd Street since 1914, and before that it had been a school since 1898,” Naomi said. “I found out they were planning to sell it and quickly made an offer.”

Naomi waited while the new Baptist church was built. Eleven months later, she took possession and redeveloped the property into a wedding and events venue. All these years later, the Chapel is still the perfect setting for exchanging vows, while the Ballroom, a few steps away, has a great atmosphere for dining, dancing and celebrating. The Country Abbey offers on-site catering and has an experienced team to handle decor, music and more so guests can focus on the moment.

“It’s a very versatile venue, to the point that it will seem full with 50 people but can still fit a lot more,” Naomi said. “The guesthouses stay busy and there is usually something going on there every weekend. My Events Manager, Sarah Parr, has been with me for 14 years and she does a fantastic job of making sure everything runs smoothly and weddings and events are memorable.

As for Naomi, she prefers to work behind the scenes to make sure the centerpieces are perfect, the lights are dimmed properly and the microphones are ready. From there, she quietly steps aside to let everyone enjoy the place and all it has to offer.

“We really filled a niche. I thought it would just be a weekend job, but it became so much more than that,” she said.

To find out more about The Country Abbey and plan a visit, visit thecountryabbey.com

About Octavia A. Dorr

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