By Katie Bohannon, News Editor
A new wedding venue is now welcoming couples near and far to celebrate their relationships and build strong futures together. Located at 5970 US Highway 11 in Attalla, The Rose Chapel owner Donna Lee writes an enthusiastic and hopeful chapter in love stories throughout Etowah County.
The venue sits 100 yards down from the old Wilson’s Supper Club, which burnt down several years ago. When the restaurant was rebuilt, it surged with popularity, attracting banquets, proms and award ceremonies alongside Saturday night regulars seeking scrumptious meals and bustling entertainment. Lee noted that often people rave of their experiences at Wilson’s Supper Club with she and her husband, Daniel, commenting on its atmosphere with ravings of the best steaks eaten in Etowah County.
A lifelong lover of the gospel and natural preacher, Daniel’s roots in the ministry date back to his childhood. His innate calling manifested in sermons to stuffed animals and eulogies for beloved dogs before he became ordained as an evangelist almost 17 years ago. Following the Fultondale resident’s marriage with Centreville native Lee and the birth of their children, the family moved to Springville seven years ago – a thirty-minute drive from Attalla.
While the couple initially purchased the building as a church where Daniel could minister, COVID-19 affected the congregation. Despite their efforts to remain open, the church could not recover from the pandemic and ultimately closed. Yet, the building remained – a hollow vessel awaiting its next purpose.
Throughout the hardships the pair faced from COVID-19, their generous servants’ hearts never wavered in their vision to minister to the community. The building, which garnered gasps and a gleam in their eyes at first sight, remained stalwart with strong bones and infinite potential. Prior to their purchase, the building was in disarray, but that never halted the determined pair. As Lee and Daniel meandered through the clutter collecting inside, their first tour resonated with them that this building held something special.
“You just walked in and it was beautiful,” said Lee. “Even though the building was junked up [at first] and we had to clean it out, we could see past that. It’s almost like how God sees you – He sees past all the junk and He knows the beauty inside of you.”
Brushing the cobwebs from their hidden gem, the Lees transformed the building, first from a vacant home to a loving church, then from a church to another place where love abounds and the Lees could nurture the community – a wedding venue.
“When you have a building that massively sized and you close the church, I just didn’t want it to sit there and become an eyesore to the community,” said lee. “We didn’t want all we poured into it to go to waste.”
Complete renovations ensued, with the Lees’ mission of service resolute at the venue’s heart. With Daniel’s professional experience as a contractor for over two decades, the couple understood the work necessary to manifest their vision, blessed with the skillset to bring it to pass. Together, they installed lighting (including old-fashioned gas station lights outside and accent lighting inside), landscaped, painted the exterior brick and whitewashed walls to brighten up the space. They gutted the bathrooms completely, resulting in pristine spaces and polished floors.
The venue provides a plethora of services for brides and grooms seeking a personalized space that adapts to their wishes. A bridal suite complete with a lounge sofa, two vanities and ample mirrors grants brides, bridesmaids and members of the wedding party a relaxed yet sophisticated room to complete their hair, makeup and attire.
A reception preparation space designated for caterers allows wedding coordinators an area designated for food, drink and décor, while the grand main room (complete with columns, a stage and outdoor access) emerges as a charming ceremony and reception space. The patio, with its lovely archways and twinkling lights, paints portraits of dancing and laughter, giving couples additional room for guests.
While couples are free to use their own preferred caterers, florists, wedding planners, DJs and photographers, Lee shared she has access to valuable resources that appease any jitters or stress. She offers an all-inclusive package for couples that includes the venue rental (Friday or Saturday), a caterer selected from two options, photographer, DJ for reception, both bride’s and groom’s cakes, tables and chairs with linens, decorations and a wedding planner for up to 100 guests. Brides and grooms are welcome to Lee’s decorative barrels, backdrops and sound system for no additional charge.
The beauty of The Rose Chapel resides in its adaptable nature. Its glistening pine floors and shiplap walls blend rustic, Southern charm with elements that exude elegance like ornate doors, regal sofas and exposed brick. All the appeal of the quaint countryside culminates with a classic atmosphere at The Rose Chapel, which Lee describes in three key words: rustic, elegant and affordable.
“It’s a blank slate,” said Lee. “I don’t have it preset for anybody, because my vision for a wedding and your vision for a wedding are two entirely different things. You can make [the venue] as rustic or elegant as you want – you can dress it up or dress it down.”
Though Lee strives to offer couples the perfect venue for their unforgettable day, her hope for those exchanging vows at the chapel transcends the moment. Lee desires for The Rose Chapel to serve as the catalyst for lifelong commitments and partnerships, where husbands and wives can plant seeds of joy, faith and love to nurture, protect and preserve for all the years to come.
“I hope that couples [married at The Rose Chapel] have a walk with the Lord,” said Lee. “Knowing the journey that Daniel and I have been through over the last 20-plus years we’ve been married, I hope couples know that marriage is a covenant relationship with God first, then with each other. I’m hoping [through The Rose Chapel] we can sow that seed into couples, who take it and grow into a wonderful, loving couple who has a beautiful family [and does] whatever the Lord leads them to do.”
While The Rose Chapel accepts weddings, the venue is not limited to specific events. Lee shared that the venue accommodates corporate events as well, inviting Christmas parties, dinners or conferences to contact her for available dates.
“In doing The Rose Chapel, I wanted a positive thing in this community,” said Lee. “We have met many wonderful people. We wanted a beautiful, positive thing to bring to this end of Etowah County.”