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Pearls of Wisdom || Cooper’s Ridge Event Venue

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Happy March everyone! We are so excited to bring you this week’s Pearl from our wonderful friend Kristen Thackery at Cooper’s Ridge Event Venue! We’re obsessed with her and everything she’s been doing there, so you’re in for a treat.

- A Note From Ashley -

If you know Kristen Thackery, then you are one of the luckiest because she is just THE BEST. And, although I might use that phrase a lot, it is absolutely, positively, the truth. Kristen is one of my favorite people on the planet and I feel so lucky that our paths crossed because it is truly like I found my long lost twin. So much so that people are confusing us OFTEN! (shout out to the sweet woman at French Laundry who confuses us on an almost weekly basis at this point...) KT and I first met when we were both event managers at Coopers Ridge, then working side by side on client weddings as she took a full time position at Coopers, then I convinced her to work Delight weddings on her weekends off (aka like 1-2 times a year)... so we know each other, our flows, and our preferences VERY well. I was so honored when she asked me to coordinate HER wedding (which is just in a few weeks! ahh!) and play a part in her and Derik's big day... so that's my love letter to Kristen... now on to Coopers Ridge! I have a very special place in my heart for CR because it was the very first venue I did a wedding at as Delight Events! They were such an integral part of helping DE get off the ground and where we are today. It is one of the most gorgeous venues and outdoor spaces in Mid-Missouri and is the perfect spot for an all-in-one wedding or event. Every time we get to be at Coopers we sigh a huge sigh of relief knowing that not only is it going to be a gorgeous event, we know we will be well taken care of and so will our clients. I could go on and on about Coopers, but I'll let the blog do it's job now :) xo

Kristen is General Manager at Cooper's Ridge Event Venue and a Columbia local. In less than three weeks, she's getting married to her fiancé, Derik (so she definitely knows what she's talking about!) and they live with their fur baby, Jetson. When she's not making beautiful events happen, you can probably find her at the Les Bourgeois A-Frame or trying out new restaurants in town!

Her whole life, Kristen has had a knack for planning. While other kids were moaning and groaning over the syllabi at school, she was always excited about new dates to color code her planner with. Sophomore year of college, she learned that she could get a degree in event planning, and it’s like everything clicked into place. She got to intern and work at a ton of cool settings, like an art gallery, a theatre company, and as an in-house coordinator at an event venue. Her job at Cooper’s Ridge, however, was a sort of happy accident. She was working a 9 to 5 while taking wedding clients on the side when she got the chance to tour and meet the staff. Finally, everything made sense—this is where she was meant to be. She was brought on first as an event manager and then full-time in the Fall of 2020.

Cooper’s Ridge Event Venue is a modern industrial wedding and event venue on a sprawling 38 acres just outside of Columbia. The land is lush and gorgeous, thanks to the nearby Missouri River, and if you look closely, you can see the Budweiser Clydesdales just across the street. Although they mostly deal in weddings, Cooper’s Ridge can handle any event from 25 to 400 guests. They’ve hosted everything from conferences and fundraisers to quinceañeras and sorority dad weekends!

The team at Cooper’s Ridge is truly one of the best. For them, providing space is only the start. They’ve built a name for themselves by truly getting to know their clients and building that relationship. Sometimes in the wedding business, you work with a couple for even more than two years, and over that time, you can build a bond that makes their special day all the more special. Even if Cooper’s Ridge isn’t the right venue for your vision according to photos online, it may be worth a tour just to see how a wedding space should be. Weddings are about more than just beautiful spaces, and even though it certainly checks that box, Cooper’s Ridge will also show you what happens when a brilliant group of creatives gets together to build something special and create relationships that matter.

One of the things that sets Cooper’s Ridge apart is that there’s a place for everyone. Not only is there a gorgeous and luxe bridal suite, but in August, they debuted “The Coop,” a suite for grooms! The Coop has everything you could need: a bar, darts, and plenty of room for fun photo ops. They also offer a ton of helpful resources to couples. Planning may be our day jobs, but it doesn’t have to be yours, so take advantage of their Bride Guide, Vendor List, and Online Planner to make everything easier.

Kristen’s Pearl of Wisdom is an important one:

“remember your why.” As everything picks up towards the wedding, it’s so easy to get caught up in the details, but stepping back and looking at your person will remind you why you’re doing all of this. Sit down with your fiance and talk everything through. Your day will be special regardless of the plates or craft cocktails because, in the end, you’ll be married to the person you love.

You can find Kristen Thackery and Cooper’s Ridge Event Venue at @coopersridgeeventvenue on both Instagram and Facebook or at their website,

Make sure to join us LIVE on Instagram on Friday at 10:00 AM to hear more from our owner, Ashley, and Kristen!


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