Tyler and Jessica Carter are convinced that the bride and groom will fall in love with their chapel and their wedding venue – and the TLC they bring there.
The couple spent nearly four years renovating the Mountain Springs Chapel, located about 20 minutes from downtown Greenville in Piedmont. They designed their place with all tastes and budgets in mind.
“You can have any type of wedding you want. We are open to everyone. We work with people to give them the wedding of their dreams,” says Jessica. “We will work with their budget to give them the best celebration, the best memories and the best time during their stay.”
Some couples want a big family (the Carters have four boys); a large house (they renovated an 1890s farmhouse in Anderson); a career for her (Jessica is the fourth-generation owner of Merle Norman Cosmetics Studio in Haywood Mall) and a career for him (Tyler grew up working at his father’s restaurant, The Fishnet, on Whitehorse Road, then spent 20 years installing restaurant equipment throughout the Southeast while flipping houses to the side).
But what the Carters really wanted was an event venue. They looked at barns and properties and even considered starting the business in their home. Eventually they said “yes” to an empty church on Mountain Springs Road. The spot hadn’t been touched in about 10 years, Tyler said.
“It was a typical Baptist church when you walked in,” says Tyler. “I wanted to keep the bones of the place because of the history.”
The building has a restored traditional chapel, with wooden floors and chandeliers. The rest of the space includes a dining room that seats 200, a bridal suite and groom’s quarters, a home-style kitchen, and a catering kitchen.
“In the dining room, we tore up the carpet and found original century-old hardwoods. So we kept them,” says Tyler. “I’m almost completely done. Our first wedding of over 200 people is in July. And I’m finishing up the groom’s room.
Tyler also added a patio and space for an outdoor tent. So far they’ve only held two weddings, but bookings are increasing.
Both Tyler and Jessica think the chapel is the strongest attraction.
“It’s one of the things that makes us so unique from other sites,” says Tyler. “You can’t find a pretty church or chapel around here. Most churches are large and modern.
Churches and wedding venues typically have long waiting lists, especially after the cancellations that have accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic. And churches often limit the use of their spaces to members.
“I have a feeling the chapel will never go out of style. It’s timeless. And we are in the South. A lot of women want a church wedding, but they can’t find a place to have it,” Tyler says.
“We have a couple who are getting married in September. They both go to a very modern church. And they wanted the vibe of the old traditional church. They couldn’t find another church because they weren’t members. That’s how they found us,” says Jessica.
“We wanted to have a chapel where you could have your perfect church wedding, but you don’t have to be a member. You can be whoever you want, and we’ll work with your budget.
The motto of The Chapel At Mountain Springs is “Hosting the Celebrations of Life”. In addition to weddings, the Carters have had graduations, reunion, baby shower, bridal shower, birthdays and funerals.
The couple also have a partner who helps with finances.
“We heard Pathway Church was looking for a place to have their congregation. And we contacted them,” says Tyler.
“What has developed is one of the most amazing relationships… We couldn’t have dreamed it would fit together so well.”
The congregation uses the chapel on Sundays, and the building has room for classrooms and church offices.
The Carters even became members.
Tyler is happy to be home with Jessica and the boys (ages 6-16), although he continues to work with equipment installations.
“It’s a way for us to work together and get me out of the way,” he says. “I was starting to miss soccer and baseball games. And I was leaving Jessica as a single mother with four boys throughout the week.
A year ago, Jessica had a stroke. “It was another reason for me to be home to help her,” says Tyler, who calls his wife of 11 years “a champion.”
The blood clot that traveled to her brain caused damage, Jessica says. “I should be blind, paralyzed on the left side and unable to speak. But God had a different plan.
Though deeply spiritual, the Carters say they don’t let their own religious beliefs define their clients’ weddings. Customers can hire a caterer to provide alcoholic beverages or provide their own. They can also bring their traditions and their officiants.
Couples make their own arrangements for food. Caterers can use the professional kitchen, and handymen use the small kitchen.
“We wanted families to be able to do whatever they wanted,” Tyler says. “A lot of places require you to use their caterer.”
What the Carters will do is handle the details and the relationships – personally.
“It’s going to be our big thing… just me and Jessica. She’ll take the women. I’ll take the guys. And we take care of everything in between,” Tyler says.
The Carters say their values will define the service they provide to customers — in a good way.
“Some Christians say they love everyone, and they don’t. I want to make sure people know we love everyone. This place is open to everyone,” says Jessica. “And we’ll make it perfect for you.”