What is The Kester Homestead?
The Kester Homestead is a gathering place founded by Mackenzie and Blaine Vossler. We open our doors for weddings, farm to table suppers, retreats and overnight stays. You can opt to book the Barn + Grounds or add on overnight stay of the historic farmhouse, The 1854 House.
How many guests can stay at The 1854 House?
The house sleeps 10-12 overnight guests comfortably and up to 25 guests for small gatherings. There is a master (king bed), three upstairs guest rooms (queen beds in each), one upstairs suite (queen bed with attached bedroom with twin trundle bed), one downstairs guest room (full bed) and two bathrooms. There is a fully equipped updated kitchen, lots of big open rooms, a lush garden, swimming pool, bonfire pit and chickens on 10 acres with woodlands walking trails and historic barns.
Do you accept pets?
We happily welcome polite pups, please just inquire before booking.
What does the property entail?
There 10 bucolic acres with a rambling white Victorian Farmhouse, a large black Gambrel Barn, a small Fieldstone Barn, a Woodlands Cathedral, walking trails, chickens, a garden, a bonfire pit, a pool, and farmland for as far as the eye can see. The spaces have been designed and curated by the owners, with the intention of creating dreamy settings for photography. It’s a magical property, filled with grandeur and all the sweetest touches.
How did you come up with the name?
We decided to honor the namesake of the original owners, The Kester Family, who settled the homestead in the late 1700s. The existing Victorian house was built by the third generation who used the property as a working farm and gathering place (they held ballroom dances on the third floor!). The road was named after them and when we moved in folks in town refer to it as “The Kester House”, so it was meant to be.
Do you rent out the barn for weddings and other gatherings?
Yes! We have a day rate option to book the barn. It comes equipped with farm tables, metal tolix chairs, place settings for 170 guests and other vintage or antique props to host your event. There is electricity, a caterer’s quarters and ADA compliant restrooms (restrooms coming in winter 2019).
When can we visit?
The house, barn and grounds are all apart of the private residence — we ask that you please make an appointment, as we do not allow drop-in visits. Tours are best scheduled for Thursdays or Sundays during wedding season (May-Oct) and can be accommodated on weekends in the off-season and on a case by case basis.
What are your fees for booking?
Please email us here for our current pricing packages.
What is included with the venue booking?
Please visit the Wedding Section of our website and read more on packages and inclusions there.
What is the occupancy?
The barn/grounds can host 250 guests - however, we have parking and prop closet offerings (tables, chairs, place settings) for 170 guests. If your list exceeds 170, please inquire before booking as we’d require you coordinate valet or shuttle services as well as additional rentals.
Do you have vendor recommendations?
Yes! After booking we’ll send you a Welcome Packet with a vendor list and other planning tools.
What about parking?
There is a grass parking field that can accommodate up to 75 cars. We will have an attendant for up to 1 hour to help park cars - please carpool or use a rideshare service. Cars may be left overnight to ensure you have a safe ride home - please pick up your vehicles by noon the following day.
What should my guests know?
Guests, please be aware that this is an old farm with many uneven surfaces and terrain. Most of the happenings will be outdoors on the lawn or inside the barns, so proper footwear is recommended.
Can the Homestead team handle set-up and clean-up?
Yes! Please add-on our Day of Coordination Support + Styling option and we work our magic to bring your vision to life (and tear it down when the party has commenced!). This option also includes a dedicated Event Day of Coordinator to help walk you through the day.
Do you offer catering/bar service?
No, not at this time. Please refer to our Vendor Recommendations for our favorites. Please note, all bartending must be coordinated through your caterer.
Do you offer flower services?
Yes! We’d love to create the flowers for your special day — please read more about our offerings under the Wedding Section of the website.
Do you have a contract?
Yes, please review here.
What other requirements do you have?
We require that all couples secure Day of Insurance. We require a contract to be signed and all rules followed, (ie. no fireworks, confetti, rice, pesticide sprays or other hazardous/dangerous/disruptive activities on the property). We require that all couples provide a licensed bartender through their caterer per NYS law (no self serve bars are allowed). We also require that if you’re using our prop closet offerings that all dishes are washed and items are returned to their places before check-out (unless hiring us for Day of Coordination Styling + Support, then we handle this). We require all events to conclude by 11pm on Saturday, and by 10pm any other day of the week.
I love it! How do I book?
We will hold your date for no charge as you shop around, but we’ll still offer the date as available until it is paid for. To secure your date, we require a $1,000 non-refundable deposit. Payments can be broken up in two parts - 50% balance due 90 days before event date and Final Balance (including all additional services, additional nights, etc.) due 30 days before event date. You may also pay one time in full.
What type of payment do you accept?
Check, Venmo, credit card (incurs a 3% processing fee)
Is tax included?
Are service fees included?
There are no extra service fees with our Venue Fee. If you choose to book any of our additional services, like our Day of Coordination Styling + Support or Full Wedding Planning, the quoted service fee will be added to your Final Balance (this acts as a tip for our staff, so you will not need to worry about including additional gratuity).
What is the history of this place?
John Kester was awarded this plot of land as a war grant in the late 1700s. It was 600 acres and stretched the entirety of what is now Kester Road. The existing Victorian farmhouse was built by John’s grandchildren, the third generation. The third floor was said to have hosted the most lavish parties and gatherings - they were entertainers! It was also a fully functional working farm.
Harley Glasow and family purchased the farm and grew potatoes here, you’ll notice an Onondaga Brand potato sack in the parlor that we salvaged during our barn restoration. The rumor goes that whenever there was a drought, farmers from all over town would come to the “Kester House” to get water, as we’re tapped into an aquifer that has never run dry.
The Keller Family fell in love with the home and built stables to board horses and Shetland ponies. They raised their family here and put a lot of love into restoring and preserving the character of the old home.
In winter of 2017 we purchased the homestead. We were expecting our first child that summer, so we made home renovations our full time job - peeling back layers of flooring, cleaning and restoring systems, removing wallpaper, updating kitchens and bathrooms, and the like to unearth and glorify the natural beauty of this space. Now, it is a styled, but neutral canvas for guests to stay, bridal parties to gather, photoshoots to unfold. Last year we began improvements on the barn and we continue to chip away in order to welcome dancing feet in spring 2020.
Have a question we didn’t answer? Please feel free to e-mail us!