The business is owned by her and her husband, Benjamin, along with his brothers Bradley and Jason, and their wives, Anna and Jessica, respectively.
Hanover Reserve Weddings & Events is located at 1905 Millville Oxford Road. It is a large piece of land with the building set back from the road far enough that traffic noise cannot be heard and provides a sense of rustic and isolated privacy.
They purchased the land in January of 2019 and spent a year and a half studying their concept. Groundbreaking was in May 2020 with construction and set-up finished just before their grand opening May 16.
“It was scary as we approached the end. The world was still closed. We said a lot of prayers. The timing was spot on,” Melanie Barnes said. “We did a lot of the work staining ourselves. The kids were in here riding their bikes. It was definitely a family adventure.”
In addition to the large reception room, the facility has a large covered outdoor area in back overlooking a pond with a fountain in the middle. Barnes said the fountain can be lit with different colors to match a bride’s color scheme.
Upstairs is a conference room which seats 16, complete with kitchen facilities and a restroom. She pointed out the conference table was made with wood from a black walnut tree which had grown on the property.
“It was cool we were able to use it,” she said. “We would like to get into corporate events.”
She said a selling point is the site is accessible with wedding bookings coming from an hour-and-a-half away.
On the day of the grand opening, they had vendors lined up on one side of the facility offering a chance for caterers, wedding planners and photographers to meet with potential clients considering an event there. She said a wedding planner had showed them how to use the space in various ways and not stick to one floor plan.
“It’s exciting to see the girls come in here and use the space to make it special to them,” Barnes said, adding she gets positive comments and feedback. “I am blown away by the feedback. I’m here for every event and there are no words for it, with the laughing and taking pictures.”