INMAN — Bob and Stephanie Sweet turned one labor of love into another with the opening of Lakeside Wedding Venue and Event Center at 155 N. Plum St. in Inman, seven miles directly north of Hutchinson.

The Sweet’s sprawling property (160 acres, all told) used to serve as the home for the Sweet Farms Pumpkin Patch. Stephanie Sweet said while she loved running the pumpkin patch, it took a lot of upkeep. That factor, plus inquiries from guests got her thinking about using the land in a different way.

“We had people asking us all the time about doing weddings,” Stephanie Sweet said.

Lakeside Wedding Venue and Event Center has its focus on nature. A covered area and a gazebo sit next to a large pond, where a dock extends out into the water.

“I know there’s a couple of event centers in town that do a fabulous job, but with our property, we thought it could give (customers) a nice country setting,” Stephanie Sweet said.

Packages for half or full days during the week, along with a weekend package, are available at Lakeside Wedding Venue and Event Center. Stephanie Sweet noted several weddings are already on the calendar.

“...They could do their rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception all in one place,” Stephanie Sweet said.

Stephanie Sweet feels her pricing makes the venue competitive — whether for individuals looking for a place to hold a family reunion or businesses needing a spot to host a corporate event. The venue can host gatherings of up to 300 people.

“We’ve had some calls about class reunions and birthday parties,” Stephanie Sweet said.

The venue provides tables and chairs, and lets customers bring in whatever food they want.

“We get to do nice events for people and let them use our beautiful property,” Stephanie Sweet said. “It makes a really beautiful setting.”

The barrel slides, basketball court, sand volleyball and human foosball areas offered when the land had the pumpkin patch will stay in place, Stephanie Sweet said.

Lakeside Wedding Venue and Event Center held its grand opening on May 19, hosting dozens of vendors and using part of the proceeds to support United Way.

“It’s a nice thing for the community and it’s positive,” Stephanie Sweet said.

For more information about Lakeside Wedding Venue and Event Center, email lakesideweddingbarn@yahoo.com or call 620-899-4986. 

Contact Patricia Middleton by email at pmiddleton@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her stories on Twitter at @MacSentinel.