A History of Black Iris Estate
Black Iris Estate opened under the ownership of Kelly and Vince Early as a Thomas Caterers of Distinction Venue, but that's just the latest in this storied buildings history. The Mansion was built in 1940 as a private home and was originally located on River Road in Carmel Indiana. It went up for sale in 1990 and was purchased by a local businessman who had a crazy idea. He wanted to move the entire Mansion as it was to his event property on 116th St. So in 1991 he made that happen, moving the building to it's current location at 5801 E. 116th St. Carmel Indiana. Once moved, he attached an 8,000sf Ballroom to the back of the Mansion and opened the location as an event venue named The Oak Hill Mansion.
Kelly and Vince Early purchased the venue in 2016 and began an 11-week renovation that completely changed the look of the Mansion, inside and out. All walls, floors, ceilings, light fixtures, you name it, were updated. The Bridal Suite and Man Cave were added and are true works of art. Great places to get ready, unwind and have great photo opportunities.
As for the outside of the building, much has been done over the last 6 years. In 2016 the back Gardens were given a new centerpiece in the form of a 22' tall Gazebo. Along with the stunning brick paved path from the mansion through the Gardens, it has become a popular spot for wedding ceremonies.
Kelly and Vince Early expanded the total Black Iris Estate property in 2017 from 10 acers to over 13 acers with the acquisition of the land between the Mansion and Hazel Dell Parkway. As a result, they re-faced the "Barn" from a metal shed to a wonderful backdrop for an open air event or just a photo opportunity.
Most notably, however is the addition of the Willow Chapel. The Willow Chapel can seat over 230 people for a wedding ceremony before holding a wedding reception in the glorious Ballroom of Black Iris Estate. This breathtaking space didn't just happen, it took quite a bit of imagination and hard work. Kelly Early set out to create something not seen before in the Wedding Industry in Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers or Zionsville, and she did just that.
Cover Photo by Rebecca Shehorn photography.