The Wedding Barn & Event Venue @Likazoo: From Animal Addiction to Wedding Wonderland

by | Apr 2024

LYNDON LAFEVERS has had a lifelong addiction — an animal addiction. Every birthday and Christmas, he had to have an animal of some kind. His parents said that he never asked for anything else. For all of his married life, which is going on 40 years, he has been collecting animals for the farm he shares with his wife, Jane, and their children and grandchildren.

Lyndon worked for the fabled “Hee Haw” right out of college, was the video program administrator for The Nashville Network (TNN), and then a realtor for RE/MAX. Still, the dream of doing something animal-related persisted. Once, one of his TNN co-workers came to the farm to get Easter ducks for his children. 

As Lyndon recalls, “He said, ‘This is like a zoo! I don’t know how you have time to come and work at TNN!’ And I thought, ‘Like a zoo. That’s the farm name I’ve been looking for.’ ” 

The spelling “LIKAZOO” ensures that this fits on Lyndon’s license plate. He oversees a full-fledged menagerie. 

“I have a camel and a zebra, alpacas and black swans, emu, rhea, poultry, rabbits, Nigerian dwarf goats, and mammoth donkeys, a miniature Scottish Highland cow, miniature Herefords, and more,” Lyndon enthused.

There was another ambition as well — to run a venue where people could celebrate life’s moments. Over the years, outdoor weddings, such as a barn wedding event, became popular. But this was a dream that wasn’t happening.

In 2017, he and Jane attended a land auction for his daughter and son-in-law to watch them get a tract of land. The barn and property suddenly became available. His daughter was emphatic. 

“It’s going cheap,” she told him. “You should be bidding on that. It could be your ‘wedding barn.’ You’ve talked about it my whole life.”

Lyndon asked the auctioneer for 10 minutes to talk to his wife and his banker.

And, incredibly, he said, “Right there on the spot, we put together this plan.”

The Wedding Barn & Event Venue @ LIKAZOO is the fruition of that plan and the culmination of a long-held dream. The whole family pulled together to get the old barn renovated for on-site lodging and an event space while designing and building the new wedding barn. The venue, which boasts over 100 acres, hosts bank management and other corporate retreats while giving back to the community by hosting sports banquets for the school where the LaFevers’ grandchildren attend. Weddings, though, are the backbone, with around 83 since 2020.

Getting the venue into shape took a lot of effort. There was an old barn that had to be renovated. Its previous incarnation had housed a convenience center, according to Lyndon, “where people in the community bought their milk and bread.” The Cowboy Connection, a honky-tonk where the Melvin Sloan dancers of the Grand Old Opry would come to rehearse, was on another level. The barn’s next incarnation was as a paintball business. 

“When we bought it in 2017, we started repainting and replumbing and changing the light fixtures and updating it.” 

The whole family pulled together to get the old barn renovated for on-site lodging and functioning as an event space while designing and building the new wedding barn. And, of course, there were the animals that Jane and Lyndon brought over as they moved to the new farm. There is a display area that’s just a few acres, with an eight-stall barn and seven other paddocks. This is where the quiet emu and rhea are kept, and Lyndon brings down the camel and zebra for most events.

LIKAZOO, it should be noted, is not open to the general public, and the animals are not an automatic part of the wedding process and are not kept by the wedding area. Guests don’t see them unless they make a deliberate effort. Guests can walk down to the fence and see the animals, but they’re not at all in the wedding. Most of the guests, though, do want to see “at least the camel and the zebra.” Nobody says no to a camel and zebra!

The upkeep and feeding of these animals is, of course, a huge part of Lyndon’s routine, and local vets have received on-the-job training in treating animals that normally aren’t part of their practice.

The word “unique” is overused. However, the Wedding Barn & Event Venue @ LIKAZOO, with its acreage and uncommon array of animal life, promises a truly unique experience. GN 

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