The property at Up the Creek Farms is the original homestead of one of the area’s first pioneers, Ernest Svedelius. Ernest migrated from Stockholm, Sweden to the east coast of Florida and built a two story frame house in the 1870’s. He began an orange grove and started a wholesale fish camp at the head of the creek that runs the length of the property to the Indian River Lagoon. Svedelius is purported to have named the town of Valkaria after Valkyre, a maiden of Norse mythology.
Through many years of different owners, the house fell into disrepair. In 1984, the Tuten family acquired the property and repaired the old farm house enough to raise two kids and lots of animals for the ensuing 29 years. In 2013, one of those ‘kids’ returned to the home with a vision. Transitioning from a catering and restaurant management background, Jessica Tuten, brings her knowledge and passion for event coordination to a new level.
Recognizing the beauty and envisioning a space to share with others, work began to update the homestead into a Bed & Breakfast. With an appetite to entertain, the scope of the project expanded into including a wedding and special events venue. Up the Creek Farms clients are welcomed as friends and can expect nothing less than extraordinary with our facility and grounds.
Southern and charming, Up the Creek Farms offers a unique setting for wedding ceremonies, receptions, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, as well as corporate events.
Situated on over eight secluded acres, Up the Creek Farms epitomizes Old Florida’s charm. Classic white post and rail fencing line the property giving a southern plantation feel. Landscaped and manicured flower beds and paths wind around the lawn and the 130 year old Decklan House. Century old oak trees surround, standing tall and stately, Spanish moss draped from their branches. Look anywhere and spot iconic Florida wildlife from singing Scrub Jays to Ospreys and Sand Hill Cranes. Underwater natives living in Goat Creek, an estuary to the Indian River Lagoon include manatees, turtles and countless species of fish. There are many locations to choose for a romantic and intimate wedding ceremony. Set up a game of corn hole on the lawn during cocktail hour. Followed with a Boathouse reception – a barn designed to feel outdoors with great views of the property, with all the amenities you would want for such a special day.
A sensational space for receptions… Walk through the Oak Hammock to the Boathouse. Enter through an open air porch into a 6,000 square foot barn. Exposed wood rafters and two grand sliding barn doors contribute to the rustic character of the space. Crystal chandeliers add the touch of elegance required for a southern wedding. Gaze outside the French Doors to dramatic views of the property. A porch to the east delivers a nice creek breeze. A custom bar is accessible inside and from the porch. Restrooms, catering space, and option to air condition the interior are included.
An 1878 Farmhouse has been lovingly updated as a Bed and Breakfast. Sitting perched on a hill, and up the creek, the two story cracker style home’s southern details boast the character inside and out. The hardwood plank floors are accented with both antique and updated furniture and décor. French doors open to porches on every side of the home to reveal many breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
With our Exclusive Weekend Package accommodations for up to six guests are available the night prior for the bride and bridal party. Check in is at 3PM and includes three upstairs bedroom suites with private updated bathrooms. Spend the following morning relaxing on the porch enjoying a light continental breakfast. Have the day to prep, get dressed and take pictures throughout the property. Check out is just before the day’s big hour!
Wedding night accommodations are available to the bride and groom exclusively. Breakfast is served to the privacy of your room. Check out is Sunday at 10am.
MEET THE OWNERS
Up the Creek Farms is owned and operated by Jessica and Tim Watson. The couple live at the Decklan House and surrounding property with their two labs Max and Parker
Jess studied at Jacksonville University majoring in Marketing and Business Management. Her background in hospitality combines restaurant management, catering special events, and advertising campaigns in the industry. A vision to expand on an idea brought her back to her hometown.
Tim met Jess in college via a rowing rivalry between their schools. Fortunately, the two settled any disputes early by showing feelings for each other. His degree in Mechanical Engineering from Florida Tech in Melbourne, has given him the opportunity to work for the Department of Defense and private corporations in various engineering roles. Overseeing the day to day operations at Up the Creek Farms, Tim enjoys taking care of the maintenance and landscaping at the farmhouse and considers it a labor of love.
Hometown: Satellite Beach, FL
Birthday: November 9
You would be surprised to know: I received my Bachelors Degree at 20 years old. My goal is to live on a farm with cows.
Quote I live by: Life isn’t perfect but it is still beautiful.
How I came to work at Up the Creek Farms: I went to college in Orlando, had a job there and soon realized that I hated city life. I wanted to move back to where I grew up. I found Up the Creek Farms and instantly fell in love!
Favorite part of the wedding day: Sending the Bride down the aisle, bustling dresses and watching the first dances.
Best piece of advice for a couple: Remember to always say, “I love you” and “thank
What I do in my spare time: Take care of my chickens, ride horses, hang with family and anything outdoor related; camping, kayaking, shooting.
Best vacation spot/dream vacation: United Kingdom or African Safari
Favorite southern dish: Biscuits and gravy!!!!
Hometown: Melbourne Beach, FL
Birthday: September 7
You would be surprised to know: I am a dirt bike mom!!
Quote I live by: “Everything happens for a reason”
How I met my other half: I heard someone (Alex) playing piano at a house party.. went over and sat down next to him.
Favorite memory from my wedding: Looking back now, my favorite memory was my dance with my father. Since he is no longer with us I just cherish that moment.
How I came to work at Up the Creek Farms: My friend Lisa Marshall @ Lisa Marshall photography called me and said I have a friend who is looking for some help she just opened a wedding venue and I think it would be the *perfect* job for you. Jess and I setup a time to meet and that’s all she wrote. It really is the best place to work.
Favorite part of the wedding day: When the bride and groom see each other for the first time.
Best piece of advice for a couple: Always be honest!
What I do in my spare time: Drink champagne!!!
Best vacation spot/dream vacation: Fiji
Favorite southern dish: Shrimp n Grits
Hometown: Melbourne Beach, FL
Birthday: August 8
You would be surprised to know: I was a coxswain for JU’s men’s rowing team.
Quote I live by: “Be like a duck – calm on top and paddling like heck underneath!”
How I met my other half: Mutual friends in Jacksonville.
Favorite memory from my wedding: While my Dad and I were waiting to leave the dock a family with two little girls had just returned from fishing. They ran up to me and asked if I was a princess and took pictures with me. It was such a sweet moment bringing smiles to those little girls.
How I came to work at Up the Creek Farms: Jess and I became friends in high school. We moved back to the area about the time that they started work on the venue and it all just fell into place.
Favorite part of the wedding day: Right after the ceremony when the couple comes back to the Boathouse – I get the first married hug!
Best piece of advice for a couple: At the end of the day you get to marry this person that you have chosen, nothing else matters.
What I do in my spare time: Negotiate with my 3 year old on why she has to wear socks with her gold cowboy boots even though Moana doesn’t wear socks!
Dream vacation: Diving with whale sharks in Belize.
Favorite southern dish: Black cherry grits.
Hometown: Mentor, OH
Birthday: October 28
You would be surprised to know: I rolled down a hill in New Zealand in a human size hamster ball.
Quote I live by: Everything happens for a reason.
How I met my other half: Both work & surfing caused us to meet!
Favorite memory from my wedding planning: I am currently in the planning stages because our wedding is 1/7/18! So far the best part has been booking the honeymoon!
How I came to work at Up the Creek Farms: I found out about Up the Creek Farms through one of the many, many photographers I follow on social media. I thought “there is a wedding venue where?!” & “OMG those photos! I have to see this place!” I had been looking for a weekend job, so I reached out to Jess, got a tour, and started working shortly after! Dream job! Love working with YOUR dream wedding!
Favorite part of the wedding day: I have three! 1 – The groom’s reaction during the ceremony, especially when he is (and then when his bride is) walking down the aisle. 2 -The first dance! Butterflies! 3 – The toasts – love to hear the fun & cute stories about YOU!
Best piece of advice for a couple: Plan together! It is fun to hear each other’s ideas about the big day. Love my fiancé’s ideas!
What I do in my spare time: Beach! Travel/Road Trips! Surf!
Best vacation spot/dream vacation: Dream Vacation? Italy!
Favorite southern dish: Cast iron cornbread!
Hometown: Melbourne, FL
Birthday: May 10
You would be surprised to know: I know how to operate a tractor
Quote I live by: Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle -Abe Lincoln
How I met my other half: Rowing in college
Favorite memory from my wedding: Our ceremony was designed in a circle full of vintage furniture for seating with the two of us standing underneath a suspended ring adorned with greenery and flowers that Tim constructed. I loved looking out at my family and friends and so many memories that shaped me and brought us to that moment, it was
one of those significant life experiences.
How I came to work at Up the Creek Farms: I’m the girl you see in pictures standing on a 2×4 in diapers watching my parents renovate a 140 year old farm house. Years later, we had this crazy idea to share an amazing piece of property, thus the beginning of Up the Creek Farms.
Favorite part of the wedding day: When the newlyweds walk into their reception through the barn doors of the Boathouse!
Best piece of advice for a couple: Be each others biggest encourager.
What I do in my spare time: We love to take the dogs out in the river and let them be labs.
Best vacation spot/dream vacation: A tree house in Costa Rica!
Favorite southern dish: Fried green tomatoes