The Meekermark: Meeker family combines photography, wedding experience to create wedding venue

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Sugar Land natives and co-owners Mark and Christine Meeker spent about 15 years in the professional wedding photography business before deciding to open their own wedding venue, said Amanda Vela, another co-owner and Meeker’s daughter.

After a multitude of hurdles, the family chose Magnolia for the country vibe the city offers, Vela said, even though they live in Sugar Land.

“We really loved the outdoors feel that Magnolia has in this area. You don’t really have that much of that in Sugar Land,” Vela said. “We found this land. We loved all the trees and greenery, so we decided to build a wedding venue on it.”

While visiting Magnolia Market—the store owned by “Fixer Upper” hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines—in Waco, the Meeker family found Heritage Barns, a company that specializes in restoring old barns into new structures around the world, Vela said.

Heritage Barns restored and repaired a 200-year-old barn, originally from Tillsonburg, Canada, to create the venue for The Meekermark, which housed its first wedding in May 2018.

“We fell in love with the idea that it was old and it was authentic. It wasn’t just to make new wood look old—it’s actually old wood, but it’s still standing,” Vela said.

Mark, Christine and Vela had a lot of say in the design of the barn, Vela said. They wanted a venue that emphasized sunlight, because that makes for the best pictures, she said. The venue also features a bridal suite, groom’s loft, kitchen and reception areas, and an outdoor chapel.

“We were very intentional about how the building was built and where the sun hits at certain points of the day to get the most effective lighting elements,” Vela said.

The family hosts several events throughout the year in addition to weddings, including date nights and social gatherings for couples.

“My parents have been married for a little over 35 years, so we just value [marriage]a lot,” Vela said. “We have fun at weddings, and we enjoy making that a fun experience for our clients and their guests, but what we truly care about is the marriage.”

The Meekermark
21156 Karen Switch Road, Magnolia
281-565-4285
www.meekermark.com
Hours vary

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Kara McIntyre
Kara started with Community Impact Newspaper as the summer intern for the south Houston office in June 2018 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She became the Tomball/Magnolia reporter in September 2018. Prior to CI, Kara served as the editor-in-chief of The Wichitan—Midwestern State University's student-run campus newspaper—and interned with both the Wichita Adult Literacy Council and VeepWorks.
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