About Protea Weddings & Events
This is our dream... This is our story...
Our Family Story - The Legacy
Joe was born and raised in Chillicothe, OH on his family's farm where they breed and raise, a small number of Thoroughbred racehorses. As a young man, Joe enjoyed barrel racing and was very active in 4H. He moved to Ocala, FL in 2007 for a job opportunity with a small Thoroughbred breeding farm. While working in his new position at the farm, he also attended the College of Central Florida and was enrolled in the Equine Business Management program.
Courtney was born and raised in a small town just south of Miami, FL called Homestead. She started riding horses at the age of three and hasn’t looked back since. Throughout elementary and middle school, she showed Hunter Jumper horses. When she started attending high school, she switched gears and fell in love with the sport of barrel racing. After graduating in 2008, Courtney moved herself and her horses to Ocala to also attend the Equine Business Management program at the College of Central Florida. There is where Courtney and Joe met. They both felt an immediate connection and have been together ever since.
After graduating college, Courtney and Joe started their own business called Pick View (named after Joe’s family generation farm) where they still break, train, and sell racehorses in the two-year-olds in training sales. After a few short years of operating Pick View, they purchased 45 acres in Ocala where they currently live and run their business.
In 2014, Joe proposed, and the venue search was on. Courtney and Joe both knew they wanted to get married in a barn-style venue after attending a beautiful barn wedding in South Africa. But they soon discovered that they were having trouble finding the perfect location. That's when they both decided to start Protea Weddings & Events, a premiere, one-of-a-kind barn venue.
The 45-acre farm is known as the old Cashel Stud Farm. It was originally purchased in 1960 as 300 acres and was one of the very first Thoroughbred race horse farms in Ocala. This beautiful land—surrounded by 200-year-old granddaddy oak trees—was home to many champion racehorses that were born and raised on this property. With the property having so much history, Courtney and Joe knew this would be the perfect location for their new venture. Not only does the historic barn hold so many stories, but the land it sits on does as well.
Courtney and Joe are excited to continue to make history on this beautiful farm by sharing it with the public and celebrating with each guest who steps through the door.
The History Behind Protea Barn
This unique, historic “Swing-Beam” barn was built in the 18th century in Canada using only hand-hewn timber. These rare “Swing-Beam” barns have a large-depth beam in a middle bent that extends from wall post to wall post. They came into use in the mid-1800’s to allow a clear span in the middle of the barn with no vertical center posts blocking the threshing floor. This main “Swing-Beam” is tapered on the ends, Protea’s being 17 inches at its smallest width and 22 inches at its widest. Forming such a clear span in the middle of the barn allowed for a farmer to tether an ox in the center of the barn and walk him in a circle threshing out grain, thereby eliminating the need for flailing grain to free the grain kernels from the heads.
The exposed beams in the building are made of hemlock wood, a lovely, golden honey-colored wood evoking a vintage style, while modern amenities, accessibility, and other features bring a touch of class and sophistication.
Moved to Ocala in 2019, this barn is the only original barn venue in Florida, making it a truly one-of-a-kind location for couples to host their celebration.
The Heart Behind Protea
Pro•tea | prō-tē-ə: any of a genus of African evergreen shrubs often grown as ornamentals for their showy bracts and dense flower heads
As South Africa’s national flower, the protea flower is more commonly known as “King Protea” with its unique shape and colorful petals resembling a jeweled crown. This large and strikingly beautiful flower is frequently used at wedding celebrations in South Africa.
Couples deserve to be treated like royalty on their wedding day. As one of the most important celebrations in a person’s life, a wedding should be full of joy, love, and time for making memories. The location of your wedding is paramount in making your dream a reality; Protea Weddings & Events is the premiere barn-inspired venue in Ocala, FL providing a one-of-a-kind wedding day experience for couples from all walks of life.