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 is a premiere wedding venue that epitomizes Old Florida’s charm. Our unrivaled century-old oak trees surround, standing tall and stately with Spanish moss draped from their branches. Whether you’re looking for the perfect setting for your wedding, reception, or both, the Oak Cathedral, the Point, and the Cocktail patio & lawn provide a beautiful backdrop for you to make stunning memories.
The centerpiece of the property is the stately Boathouse, a 6,000 square-foot, fully air-conditioned reception space with classic wood framing. Polished concrete floors and natural wood rafters juxtapose against romantic crystal chandeliers, providing a timeless, versatile backdrop made for any type of event.
Atop a hill, and up the creek, sits our beautifully renovated two-story Decklan House with southern details boasting character inside and out. In the spirit of the rest of the property, the historic 1878 farmhouse combines old and new – from hardwood plank floors to updated decor and bathrooms. French doors open to porches on every side of the home to reveal breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
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 Murphy 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 you.”
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: 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 fell 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 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!
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 other’s 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: Mentor, OH
Birthday: October 28
You would be surprised to know: I am in a competition with my Dad for most airports ever been too (must have landed there to qualify, not been there by car).
Quote I live by: “Love is Patient, Love is Kind” and more from 1 Corinthians 13.
How I came to work at Up the Creek Farms: I follow many photographers and had seen one tag Up the Creek Farms in early 2016. I was curious to see the pretty property for myself. I was looking for a second job and emailed to see if they needed help… and here we are! Since then I have also gotten married here.
Favorite part of the wedding day: Seeing the groom’s reaction when he first sees his bride that day! Also, the ceremony, especially when it has personal touches in the vows/service.
Best piece of advice for a couple: While you can (and will) have differing opinions/ideas/views/plans, don’t fight about it. Figure out a way to compromise, or move on.
What I do in my spare time: Travel, travel, and travel. 🙂 Whether going to another Florida county/city, out of state, or out of the country, I love to get out of town.
Best vacation spot/dream vacation: Main bucket list location is Italy, but I’d like to also visit every continent!
Favorite southern dish: Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread
Hometown: Palm Bay, FL
Birthday: February 10
You would be surprised to know: I lived in the Big Apple for a decade.
Quote I live by: Keep on, keepin’ on – Joe Dirt
How I came to work at Up the Creek Farms: I’ve known Jess and her family since high school and emailed her about potential job openings the second I decided to move back to Florida.
Favorite part of the wedding day: Seeing all of the florals and design aspects come together.
Best piece of advice for a couple: Don’t hate each other.
What I do in my spare time: I love playing records on my old turntable, reading a lot, and watching anything that’s on Bravo.
Best vacation spot/dream vacation: Egypt!
Favorite southern dish: Mac n Cheese
Hometown: Sebastian, FL
Birthday: April 25
You would be surprised to know: I pushed my college graduation back a semester to backpack through Spain, Italy, & Greece for the summer.
Quote I live by: Live less out of habit and more out of intent
How I came to work at Up the Creek Farms: I was actually an UTCF bride and fell in love with the property. Before my wedding I told them if they ever needed help I’d love to stay part of the UTCF family & here we are!
Favorite part of the wedding day: Seeing the ceremony & boathouse come together and take on the personality of each couple.
Best piece of advice for a couple: Don’t ever stop dating and remember to communicate!
What I do in my spare time: Travel – anywhere & everywhere, spend time with family, or shop lol
Best vacation spot/dream vacation: Best vacation spot: Florence, Italy; Dream vacation: Thailand or the Maldives
Favorite southern dish: Chicken & dumplings!