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Meet Kelsie Kleinmeyer of The Brim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelsie Kleinmeyer.

Kelsie, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
In December of 2017, we began dreaming about a way to invest in the lives of those in our community. We believe marriage matters. We believe weddings should be affordable. And we believe that people should live life to the full.

With that in mind, we started searching for land with the hope that we might be able to build a space that would help care for people and for marriage. But we couldn’t find anything in the right location, size, or price range. After driving by an 11-acre lot that we liked (that wasn’t for sale), we decided to write a letter to the owners asking if they would consider selling. They lived in California, so we knew it may be a long shot, but we went ahead and gave it a try.

A month later, the phone rang. They agreed to sell it to us. Crazy! We officially became the owners of 11 acres of land. Shortly after, we realized we needed 15 acres in order to be able to do the things we wanted to do in our county. Through some crazy circumstances, we were literally given five more adjoining acres and a beautiful driveway.

The Brim was born. The county awarded us a 50-year permit to host weddings and events on our 16 acres, along with growing onsite viticulture and having a tasting room.

It sounds unreal, and it felt that way too. A year had passed since the adventure had first started, and we were looking for guidance: what should we build?

The story gets better: there was a whirlwind trip to Austin (one we’d planned months prior) and an email that turned into meeting a couple, which led to meeting an architect. The couple believed in us enough to write a check to help us get started (paying for ten months of our mortgage on the land), and the architect decided to fly to Kansas City and design our wedding chapel for us!

Everything happens for a reason, and it was becoming clear that The Brim Chapel would be built, it was just a matter of when.

So we got to work. We resurrected a 1951 bulldozer and started leveling out a parking lot. We brought water up from the road, installed an irrigation system, and planted grass seed.

And we put poles in the ground in the dimensions of the future chapel, painted them white, and paved an aisle. We opened early when COVID-19 hit. Our outdoor ceremony space and affordable tent options ended up being just what people needed, and so we hosted 39 weddings in 2020 – our first season. Did we mention we have free ceremony options?

People began sponsoring poles, buying anniversary bricks, and investing in marriage in our community too – alongside us. We were able to raise enough support from generous donors to lock in a build date for the chapel, set to open on June 15th, 2021. We are now less than two months away and have over 50 couples set to say “I Do” in 2021, with more in 2022. We will continue to offer our free and affordable wedding and reception options, and we also have a free premarital workshop, Veraison, that we offer to any engaged couple to join.

We hope couples will invest not just in their wedding day but also in their marriage, and we want to help them by offering this premarital resource (including the book we wrote and published) and also wedding options that can be beautiful without breaking the bank – a courthouse alternative that is accessible to all couples! Marriage matters and we are excited to invest in it with others in our community, with beautiful wedding days and even more beautiful marriages!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Lots of amazing things have fallen into place along the way, and it definitely would not have been possible without the support of so many incredible people. But we have definitely had seasons of wait and of taking huge leaps of faith, seasons of pushing forward and working around the clock without knowing how we were going to make it all happen. But we knew we had to. And here we are!

We’ve been impressed with The Brim, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are different as a wedding venue because we aren’t just a space to get married – we’re a space for marriage. We care so deeply about investing in marriage and in others in our community that we offer free and affordable options at prices you won’t find elsewhere in the area (FREE), and then also a free premarital workshop with a book that we wrote ourselves. We have a brand new chapel opening in Mid June (2021), and we also do outdoor ceremonies and tent receptions. We really don’t want The Brim to be about us. It’s not just ours; it also belongs to our couples and our supporters – those in the community who have rallied around this to help people. We hope people will come back in the future for other events, for anniversary dinners, marriage retreats, and more. We hope people will always leave our space feeling “filled to The Brim”. We are so excited and honored to be a part of all to come!

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
We honestly have had to figure so much of this out along the way. We have done a ton of self-education along the way, asking questions to people who know more than us in some areas and being willing to jump in and take a risk when we know it’s worth it to help others. Like marriage, it isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. We are unique in that we are a married couple running a business together, which has its own set of struggles but is also so great. We definitely hope to help mentor others based upon our own experiences. We have one couple we ran into (the couple from Austin who helped us get started) that we really look up to and we keep in touch with them about things!

Pricing:

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Staci Ann Moore Photography (for photo of sign and of driveway) Cub Bear Creative (Drone shot) Avenue A by Andrea (couple shot) All others personal renderings.

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