A hidden gem in Southern Oregon.

Nestled in the country, just 5 minutes from Interstate 5, lies a beautiful private property renovated during the pandemic to host your intimate gatherings and weddings.

Now, the story behind this venue is a special one. I got the honor of walking the property with its two owners, Joanna and Ken, and got to hear all about how this venue came to be.

Beneath this beautiful barn lies stories of a loving family. A simple cement pad for a basketball hoop. As Ken and Joanna Guerra’s seven children grew, this cement pad got less and less use. Until their friends started asking to have their intimate weddings and gatherings there. Renting tents, tables, and chairs, their friends and family gathered for beautiful events. Joanna and Ken began living for these moments where they got to host such incredible milestones for those they cared about, dreaming of turning this cement pad into a true venue - with walls, and doors, and a roof. Something to keep the elements out, and the love inside, year round.

Then COVID hit.

And Ken got sick.

I walked with Ken while he told me about his experience with COVID. Now, I know there is controversy around the virus and I am not here to start arguments, so please keep aggressive comments to yourself. I am here to tell you about the hardships this family went through and how that helped shape what is Sungate today.

Ken told me about when he got sick. He couldn’t breathe. He was in the hospital for months. The whole time, his family was there for him the best they could be. We all remember, the ICU was a tough place and you were lucky to get allowed one visitor. But with the help of medicine, love, and divine intervention, Ken pulled through. During all of this, Ken thought about his life and what mattered most to him. His family. His faith. His home.

“I realized I’m mortal,” he said.

They had been putting off building a barn venue and renovating their property for “the right time,” but we all know there is never a right time. This close encounter with death changed everything. Eventually Ken was released from the hospital and started working on their dream, working on the barn he had designed from his hospital bed - Ken picking up his hammer and Joanna grabbing a shovel. Together, and with the help of friends and family, they began building the barn right on top of that cement pad. They brought in garden beds and grass, and turned their backyard into an intimate garden venue with lawn seating for those warm summer days. They hosted their first barn wedding on May 21st, 2022 and haven’t looked back since.

This barn is not a small feat either. At 2500 sqft, this beautiful building boasts cement floors, climate control, a balcony overlooking the entire room, large barn doors on both sides of the building, 3 monitors for slide shows, hand built tables, and a custom interior. When I say that they built the venue they’ve always dreamt of, I mean they didn’t spare a thing. For a complete indoor celebration, this barn can seat 120. Now, if you want to spread out into either one of the front or back lawns, they can accommodate up to 200 guests. This includes parking for up to 85 cars on the property!

But the Guerra’s don’t just offer up their barn and outdoor property. For those having their wedding here, they have designed the master suite of their own home to second as a bridal suite. This large bedroom includes a huge en-suite and private back deck. Tons of natural light flood into the rooms, giving everyone getting ready ample light and space. They didn’t forget about the men either! Upstairs, they have a “man cave” available with comfy chairs, a TV, and space away from the guest’s (and bride’s) eyes. There is also an outdoor kitchen perfectly setup for whoever you decide to cater your big day. Ken also installed a wood fired pizza oven and loves to start it up for rehearsal dinners on the property.

When I say that this family has turned their entire home into the rustic venue of your dreams, I’m not kidding!

As for lodging, there is only one room available on the property. Joanna and Ken have renovated a room above the garage that perfectly accommodates the wedding couple for only $150 a night. The rest of the friends and family will need to find lodging in the nearest city of Grants Pass, OR. Thankfully, this is only a 10-15 minute drive south on Interstate 5 and Uber is an option!

This beautiful white horse and a buggy are available to enter/leave your ceremony as well!

The farm is home to ducks, horses, goats, and lambs in the spring. Hand planted flowers blend into the manicured lawn. Cherry and apple trees grow next to a vegetable garden, and a seasonal creek makes its way around the south side of the property. Whether you are looking for a quaint and intimate ceremony, or a bustling event - Sungate is there for you.

To rent the property for 24 hours (10am day off, til 10am day after), it only costs $4500. This also includes the tables, chairs, and access to all of the decor they have collected. If you are wanting to rent the apartment overnight, that’s $150 a night. If you are needing the space the day before your big event for decorating and setup, they can include that for $1000. And last, but definitely not least, if you are wanting to rent their beautiful white horse and buggy, that only costs $600. Honestly, that’s a steal of a deal to be able to arrive to your ceremony on a horse drawn carriage!

After living on the property for 32 years, growing a family here, I can’t think of a better way to share this incredible place with the world. Go check out Sungate for yourself if you don’t believe me!