Lauren De Koster, Hospitality Management Graduate and entrepreneur/owner of Twelfth Night Events had a 2020 calendar full of high-end events planned, including a stunning wedding in May in Santorini, Greece. What would have been her most successful year in business, was cancelled within the blink of an eye, thanks to the global pandemic. All conferences, weddings, and social events were immediately postponed, and the future was unclear.
While the pandemic quickly brought an entire industry to its knees, there was hope on the horizon. She took a weekend, time usually reserved for weddings, and visited an iconic tourist destination, once known as Winter Wheat, in Sparta, Ontario as it was for sale. With the future in mind, Lauren saw the potential in transforming the space into an outdoor wedding venue and put in an offer with the realtor.
In fall 2020, she packed up her life, passion, and drive and moved to Sparta for an uncertain future on 5.5 acres. With COVID-19 bringing so much uncertainty, couples were excited to learn of this outdoor wedding venue. Based on a few illustrations of the plan, before the venue was finished renovations, Lauren had a calendar of events booked and the venue quickly became a saving grace for Ontario couples who wanted to move forward with their wedding plans in a safer setting as the pandemic persisted.
In her first year of operation, Wheatfield Estate hosted 23 weddings. In 2022, the projections are extremely positive with another full season of weddings, including an increase of Friday and Sunday weddings on the books.
While the pandemic caused much loss for Lauren both personally and professionally, it also provided her an opportunity to slow down, prioritize, and focus on building a future that served well for her and her young family. Lauren’s goal of owning a wedding venue came much sooner than anticipated. Daily, Lauren applies the business and hospitality skills acquired at Humber College in her successful enterprise.
Hospitality Management Graduate, Lauren De Koster