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In the country outside of Chrisman sits ‘The Mill’, a 40×94 rustic wedding venue. The venue is owned by Jacob Roskovensky.
Roskovensky grew up in Vermillion County, Indiana. “My grandparents bought the farm next door in 1968,” he said. “So I’ve always been in the area, just on the other side of the state line.”
Not long ago, his grandparents farm came up for sale, but Roskovensky didn’t buy it, instead he bought the farm next door.
In addition to owning the venue, Jacob has a job as a Librarian. Roskovensky spent six years at Shiloh, then moved on to Charleston for six or seven years before settling at West High with the Vigo County School Corporation.
It was while working at Charleston that a friend, who was a decorator, mentioned that she was taking people to Springfield and Taylorville to find the larger venues. “When you’ve got this raw barn sitting here, it came so naturally,” Roskovensky said. “You’ve got this rustic look and it’s authentic.”
The upgrading of the barn began shortly after that. The west wall of the venue is actually from the Round House that was in St. Bernice back in the 1800’s. “You have the ambiance so easily. You didn’t have to erect the building and make it rustic because you already had it,” Jacob said. “The main thing was upgrading it to have all the amenities.”
The renovations took around a year and a half and included heating, cooling and bathrooms. “I’ve got back up generators so if the lights go out, we still have lights, a DJ and water,” Jacob said. “It’s more about making the building work for the client.”
Though it took a year and a half for renovations, it took another two years to go forward with the clients. “To me, to be a successful business, it’s never going to be done.”
The first wedding at ‘The Mill’ was held in the fall of 2017. “It was not the services that I provide today. I didn’t have the air conditioner, the two or three stall bathrooms, we were still using the bathrooms with the changing rooms in the house,” Roskovensky said. “That first wedding, I like to call that your zero because it wasn’t quite the services that you’d be proud of.”
Since 2017, Roskovensky has hosted a little over fifty weddings to date.
The entire space for weddings comes to 40×94 and can seat around two hundred and seventy people with another room available right next to the space. “Your bar, food, desserts and drinks could all be put into the next room and you can seat guests in that room,” Roskovensky said.
In 2019, The Mill hosted twenty-four weddings, but that took a toll when COVID hit. “I did twelve in 2020, then twelve in 2021 and we’re sitting at fourteen in 2022,” Jacob said.
“We’re going back up there, but it’s not at the twenty to twenty-four mark, which would be ideal.”
With the venue being in the country, weather plays a factor in the months of January and February due to the possibility of snow. “If you’re pulling clients out of Vermillion County Indiana, you’re in darn good shape,” Roskovensky said. “If you’re pulling them from Chrisman or to the north, it’s a bit of a challenge unless they take thirty-six to seventy-one and come back through St. Bernice.”
Roskovensky offers two main directions that clients can choose from. One choice is full day rental, which includes the barn, furniture, linens and any decorations. “It’s more of a do it yourself package, plus whatever decorations they care to get off of me,” Jacob said. “When you walk in, your decorations are set up that you get from me.”
The second set up is an all-inclusive package, which has earned the name the ‘Disney World’ Package.
“You walk in, I’ve got your flowers, food, DJ and photographer. I’ve got a shuttle to go back and forth to the hotel,” Roskovensky said. “It’s a walk in and have a party, then walk out at the end of the night. A lot of clients are liking that because there’s no stress on them.”
In order to get an idea of what the client likes, Jacob gives his clients a one page questionnaire on what they like including food and desserts.
“That’s basically the decision making they have besides on what decorations they like.”
Clients are also able to bring their own decorations if they would like, but Roskovensky stated that this adds more stress to the client due to the setting up and tearing down of their decorations. “I’ve had some clients go all inclusive and bring in a decorator which is fine by me.”
Roskovensky also lends his recommendations for vendors, but does have the right to refuse a vendor. “As long as the caterer is licensed in the county that they operate, they’re good to come out here,” Jacob said. “I have my regulars that come out here because of the price point.”
Roskovensky stated that this is one of the benefits of the open catering. Clients are able to save a lot of money not being locked into a caterer that charges a large amount per plate.
“Some caterers that are here on a regular basis run twelve to sixteen dollars for two main, two sides, bread, tea, lemonade and salad,” he said. “If you want to cut your meal down, you cut your price down.”
Time is up to the client as well. “You tell me what time you want to be here,” Jacob said.
Since Roskovensky works off of the farm, he begins preparing for the next event once the previous one ends. Linens are pulled and taken to be cleaned. “Each one is different because this week we are set up for two hundred and fifty six. Last week, we were set up for sixty. There was a big change over.”
The shear size of the venue and the authentic rustic feel helps ‘The Mill’ stand out. “When you can seat two hundred and fifty-six people in one room comfortably and still have a head table, dance floor and a DJ in one room, that’s a big benefit,” Roskovensky said. “There’s plenty of room outside to still have your ceremony or have your ceremony in here, depending on your numbers.”
2022 is a new slate for ‘The Mill’. A total of fourteen weddings are currently on the books. “They claim in the industry that it’s going to be the ‘Year of the Wedding’ that we haven’t had a year like this since the 1950’s.”
If you would like to visit ‘The Mill’ to see about having your wedding there, you can visit www.themillatsugargrove.com, or contact Jacob by phone at 217-251-5815 or by email at email@example.com.