About Être Farms

Barn Weddings Enter A New Era

Gone are the days of conventional, rustic weddings. At Être Farms, you’ll find that we have elevated the concept of a “Barn Wedding” to align with the expectations of modern brides and grooms. Within our luxury venue, you’ll find a sweeping event space that maintains a clean, crisp, and contemporary aesthetic. 

Located in the resort town of St. Joseph, Michigan, Être farms is just a one hour drive from Chicago and only two hours from Ann Arbor.  We like to consider ourselves a “Local Destination” - meaning you get the carefree atmosphere of an elopement with the elevated touches of a grand wedding celebration.  

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The perfect combination of cozy and lavish, our grounds feel more like those of a modern estate than a typical rustic barn venue. The venue’s opulence is only enhanced by our on-site, speakeasy-inspired bars -“Seven XVI'' and “Spirits + Soul”. 

With space to accommodate over 325 guests, Être Farms is a wedding venue beyond compare.

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Our Mission

Our vision for Être Farms was born from a dream. This dream was to not only give you and your partner a special day, but also to inspire the eye to beauty in its rare form. Our barn only blossoms with your love.  

We created Être Farms with our couples in mind. With the development of our services, we believed it was of utmost importance for our couples to have an all-inclusive and upscale experience.  At Être Farms, you are accompanied by a team of experts who will lead the way through your event planning. 

From invitations, florals, and exquisite cuisine, we will manage it all. It is our priority to see that you worry less about the details and more about creating beautiful memories. 

We go beyond designing a visually stunning event. We want a connection with our couples that will withstand the test of time. We want to continue the story beyond your big day. 
Our story begins here with you. 

 

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Être Farms Family

Meet the Etre Family!

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Nicole VanLente

Owner & Lead Designer

Nicole has worn many hats through her professional career but always stayed sharp on the business side and followed design intently.

 

Nicole also known as Nic was in a HR role for the contractors at Whirlpool Corp. This is where she found her love of working with people. She went into an Operations Manager role at a high-end  men's clothing catalog. She decided after a few years to grow her husband's automotive company through sales and marketing. As expected it did exceptionally well but foreseeing the upcoming struggles in automotive they knew to look at other endeavors.

 

During a trip to Traverse City, MI almost four and half years ago, she was inspired by the charm of the rolling landscape. On the way home Nicole woke from a nap and said to Mark "What about a white wedding barn?" And that's how it all began.

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Taylor Hollis

Event Coordinator

Taylor grew up in South Haven and is no stranger to the service industry. She’s worked many roles beginning at the young age of thirteen. She has a total of fifteen years in the restaurant industry with eight of them focusing on restaurant management. In Piedmont Italy she spent three months interning and volunteering where she gained an interest in winemaking. Once back in Michigan she obtained a degree in enology and viticulture (winemaking & grape growing) and worked as an assistant winemaker.

 

Her background in the service industry, management, and education have proved to be a great asset the team. Her skills combined aid with coordination and logistics associated with event planning.

 

Taylor now lives in St. Joseph with her fiancé Jerrad, set to get married at Être Farms June 2023. They have a beautiful baby boy Boone who is the youngest member of the Être family. 

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Kathy Johnson

On-Site Florist

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Mark VanLente

CFO

Mark is a former accountant and pilot but was never happy just being in an office.  He started his own automotive recycling business at the age of twenty-five before there was internet to tell you what to do and not do.  This is why Être has been able to stay on track through construction and planning. His knowledge of how to work through roadblocks and design changes Nicole throws his way, makes him the go to person to get things done quickly and accurately.

 

​Mark's father was an Industrial Arts & Drafting teacher at the local High School. In the Summer he did contracting and restored antique cars.  Mark was always told that he was born with a hammer in his hand and wrench in his mouth, by the time he was seventeen he was restoring show cars on his own. He had the pleasure of his work on display at a Pebble Beach Car Show.  

 

He turned his attention from automotive back to construction, he says "it has been like saying hello to an old friend."

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Maylee VonBehren

Designer

Maylee was born and raised in St. Joseph Michigan. Spending time outdoors by hiking, climbing, or going to the beach is her favorite way to utilize her free time. Along with several passions ranging from fitness, nutrition, and baking. She also has an adorable cat named Misty Moo. 

 

Maylee has an eye for design and developing vision boards for events. Her creativity, passion for the art, and outgoing personality make her perfect for determining client’s wants and needs to ensure Être provides a personalized and detailed design for each and every event. She has previous experience as an event intern prior to joining our team. She describes her position on the team as a dream. We’re excited to see her abilities grow and have her a part of the Être Family. 

 

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Louis V. aka

Best Friend

VP of Animal Mgmt.&

Corp. Paper Shredder

I was a graduation present for my mom, Morgan.  She said she wanted a little white dog to carry around and match the barn, boy did I surprise her! Now when she carries me she usually needs to support me on her hip because I have a gained a few pounds from last year, hehe. Don't judge, mom says it's all muscle. 

 

I rule the house, and everything is mine, mom just lives there to take care of my every bark. I love going to the venue, but I get a little dirty with all the dirt being moved. I take my job VERY seriously and you will find me on patrol at the barn keeping an eye on everyone.  I'm trying to show them I can be security detail if needed. It's always good to add to your resume.

 

I can't wait for the couples to bring their fur babies so I can show them around.

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Morgan Newman

Director of Operations

2020 Graduate from University of Tennessee - bachelor’s in supply chain management with a collateral in entrepreneurship

 

Morgan keeps everyone organized and uses her skills in logistics to keep the client operations on track. Also, acting as the communication liaison between the venue and our clients. Ensuring to build lasting relationships with the couples who decide to join our Être Family.  

 

Morgan was born in East Tennessee but grew up in Southwest Michigan and knows all the great little local places in town for whatever you’re looking for. She is obviously a huge University of Tennessee fan.

 

Also, she is a proud mother of a 1-year-old Westie named Louis who keeps her busy. You will see them on their daily walks around downtown St. Joe usually heading to get a matcha latte or going to visit the lake.

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Andrew Strube

Production Manager

Andrew was born and raised in Zeeland Michigan. He has plenty of experience in production with three years in construction and two more focusing on HVAC. He is one of the many people helping to build the barn to its full potential from carpentry to landscaping he assists with it all. 

 

In his free time he enjoys socializing with his friends, spending time outdoors, listening to music, and is an avid sport watcher (especially if it’s the University of Michigan Wolverines or Detroit Lions)

 

He is our go to for building any unique décor needed for events from arches to a custom ice-cream cart. Attention to detail, problem solving skills, and ability to communicate ensure he is perfect for the position. In addition to carpentry he found a new passion and hobby for florals through becoming a part of the Être Family. Going as far to obtain a florist certificate with plans to further his education in botany; he truly has a green thumb. The designers and Andrew assist in the creation of the floral arrangements that will be a part of the events.

 

With an outgoing personality, strong work ethic, and knowledge in construction he continuously proves to be an important part of the Être family. We can’t wait to see all the great pieces he builds! 

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Alexia Berkson

Executive Chef

Chef Alexia has over twelve years in Chicago fine dining. Her passion for food started at the early age of thirteen. With a strong connection to her Italian and Hispanic heritage it gave her a true appreciation for the memories and connection food can bring to people. Appreciating the art of culinary is what brought her to hone her skills under the talented professionals of Mark Bolton, Gaetano Nardulli, and John and Karen Shields. 

 

After moving from Chicago to West Michigan she fine-tuned her catering capabilities of creating delicious meals for large quantities of guests. Besides an obvious talent for food creation she also is a superb mixologist where she can lend her expertise to custom cocktails. Her overall creativity, hard work ethic, and love for curating delectable cuisines have proven to be an immense asset to the Être Family. We couldn’t be more excited to have such a knowledgeable, accomplished, and inventive Chef leading our culinary program. 

 

Respecting food and creating experiences are what inspire her. She is thrilled to make your culinary dreams a reality!

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Bailey Bauer

Executive Assistant

Bailey is a 2021 graduate from Michigan State University, she followed a unique path that led her to join the Être Farms family. While completing her degree in Elementary Education, she took a job at a local wedding venue to pay for school. She ended up falling in love with the industry and stayed at that job for four years working hundreds of events. After graduation, it didn’t take long for her to realize that her heart was no longer in teaching. She made the decision to continue a career in event management which brought her here to be the executive assistant to our Founder, Nicole, as well as part of our management team. 

Born and raised right here in Stevensville, Michigan, Bailey is full of recommendations for activities and restaurants in the area. You might catch her at her favorite pet friendly brewery, Watermark Brewing, or hiking through the dunes of Grand Mere. 

Bailey is so eager to meet all our Être couples and help make sure their special days are everything they have dreamed of!