NORTHFIELD, Minn. (KMSP) - A popular wedding venue in Northfield, Minnesota was destroyed Thursday when storms rolled through.
Losing the Red Barn Farm meant losing pretty much everything for one family who was inside the structure when the powerful winds hit.
The barn had been there for 104 years and for 10 years, the Winters had been serving Wednesday night pizza and holding hundreds of weddings
They were booked a year out, and there was supposed to be a wedding there Friday night. Now, those couples have to find new venues and the Winter family has to start over.
“We were pretty much almost buried alive,” said Pat Winter, owner of Red Barn Farm.
“It’s just like they say, it’s a freight train that’s coming,” Winter said. “Then everything’s black and everything is flying.”
In 10 minutes, 10 years of work hosting weddings and making pizza was gone.
“My immediate family, my kids, my siblings, my parents. Everyone who’s anything to me, everyone was with me in that hole,” Winter said.
“We have a lot of young brides and grooms that are going to have to find a new place to get married,” said Winter.
Sarah Rumon and Ben Johnson were one of those couples.
“In the voicemail they described how their entire property was flattened, that no celebration was going to be happening there probably for the rest of the year,” Rumon said.
In 10 minutes, what was supposed to be the site of the start of the rest of their lives had to change.
“At that moment my jaw drops,” said Johnson. “You can’t even imagine that would be happening to you the night before your wedding.”
They went from the barn they had dreamed about marrying in for months, to the barn they had to move to overnight.
“We're just trying to piece together our vision because we had a plan for everything at the barn and how you want everything to look,” said Rumon. “You know it’s your dream wedding. It’s just incredible.”
“We’re going to be fine,” Johnson said. “Everything is going to work out and that is what has kept us grounded. All of the rest of the stuff is extra. The most important part of the day is that were getting married.”
“It’s one day for us, but that’s their whole lives. My heart hurts for them,” said Rumon.
“It’s going to be starting over,” Winter said.
The woman that owns the Edgewood farm where Sarah and Ben are getting married gave them the night free of charge.
As for the Winters, Pat Winter said by next spring they hope to host weddings again.
If you want to help the Winters out, there is a GoFundMe for the Red Barn Farm.