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 farmhouse 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 farmhouse 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 140 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: West Melbourne, FL
Birthday: February 24
You would be surprised to know: My real name isn’t Becky
Quote I live by: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” -Maya Angelou
How I met my other half: Pool bar serving at Gaylord Palms
Favorite memory from my wedding: Having my Grandmother there….aaaand my packed dance floor!
How I came to work at Up the Creek Farms: I heard of UTCF when my family told me about this new venue that one of our family members was working on so I reached out. Jess and I met from there it was as if we had known each other for years. I knew it was a magical place with owners who have hearts of gold. I started planning weddings there and had the opportunity to plan and design the wedding of Jess and Tim and was so grateful for that special role. Now on board to design for future UTCF clients!
Favorite part of the wedding day: I love when clients see their reception space for the first time before all guests get to see it. For many it’s very hard to visualize how every concept will come together so for them to see everything they’ve trusted me with for months come to life and then those small surprise elements we throw in—-makes all the hours so worth it!
Best piece of advice for a couple: I think overall trust your team then let it go. Also remember that all those tiny details like that pink isn’t the same shade as this other pink….let that go to 🙂
What I do in my spare time: I am a mother to 3 kiddos so any time I have is dedicated to them and my husband of 10 years….oh yes and HGTV, and anything having to do with gardening and the beach and the pool…the list goes on- life is all about balance so though I take my “work” seriously, I take my personal life seriously as well.
Dream vacation: I am not a fan of flying but my heart has always wanted to go to Oregon and Colorado (adventurous right?!).
Favorite southern dish: Fried Green Tomatoes
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, FL
Birthday: February 14
You would be surprised to know: this FL girl is a mad snowboarder. Once a year I trade the beach in for frostbite!
Quote I live by: “Let your faith be bigger than your fears.”
How I came to work at Up the Creek Farms: I moved back from Nashville TN to be closer to family and had previously been involved with weddings up there. I wanted to get back into business and saw how beautiful the venue was. Up the creek is a hidden oasis in a town I had grown up in my whole life. Just being there among the trees, the breeze, the land, all of it makes my soul happy! The venue combined with a degree in Hospitality, a love for weddings, and a passion to serve people sealed the deal!
Favorite part of the wedding day: Listening to the toasts. I love hearing how special the bride and groom are to so many people and learning a little more about what makes them perfect for each other.
Best piece of advice for a couple: Embrace each season of life and all the change that occurs.
What I do in my spare time: I’m a trainer at a crossfit gym, spend as much time outside as possible, and eat unhealthy amounts of sweets!
Best vacation spot/dream vacation: Thailand. Anywhere with beaches, tropical water, and warm weather.
Favorite southern dish: Pulled pork with extra BBQ
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
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Birthday: November 24th
You would be surprised to know: I love scary movies, my husband says I even fall asleep to them.
Quote I live by: Don’t cry over the past, it’s gone. Don’t stress about the future, it hasn’t arrived. Live in the present and make it beautiful.
How I met my other half: We had mutual friends through high school, then worked next to each other, then lived 5 houses down from each other. I guess the universe was always bringing us together.
How I came to work at Up the Creek Farms: When relocating to Florida I started looking into different Venues in the area and feel in love with Up the Creek Farms. I emailed over photos from previous weddings and events introducing myself, hoping for an opening. With luck I came in at the perfect time of a transition and a spot was available.
Favorite part of the wedding day: By far, my favorite is the moment the client sees the finished creation that we’ve put together. Even though they’ve given us a ton of photo inspiration, there is always an element of surprise. I’ve created this day solely for the couple, focusing on details with personal connections to capture a moments vivid for years to come.
Best piece of advice for a couple: Always appreciate each other and remember to have fun. Life can be a lot at times, good and difficult so balancing time is important to make the most of both.
What I do in my spare time: I spend a lot of time with my family, my husband Matt, 2 kids, 2 dogs and a ferret. We love to cook and try new recipes, from homemade gnocchi to all the new fresh seafood available. Exploring all the opportunities for outdoor activities, whether we are at the beach, pool, park, fishing or kayaking. I feel blessed to be able to share these memories with them and can’t wait to see what’s next.
Best vacation spot/dream vacation: I am a blue water girl. Maldives or Fiji are top of the list.
Favorite southern dish: Super easy…Good fried chicken and greens!