I caught up with Marissa at The Barn at Sycamore Farms to give us all the scoop on questions you need to ask your venue manager. And if you've been following along, you've seen part 1 of her advice here that includes a list of questions to ask your venue manager. And today we have even more helpful insight into roles and responsibilities your venue manager has. It's different in most cases, but today Marissa will outline how it works at The Barn at Sycamore Farms and what to expect from all of your vendors on your big day! Check it all out below…
Photo by Jenna Henderson
There are surely things that come up during the wedding planning process that brides did not think of at the beginning. What are some of these situations that can ease the process if talked about at the beginning?
Marissa: Hire a Wedding Coordinator! The best way to ensure your event will go off without a hitch is to hire someone designated to do so.
-Start now! The sooner you plan, they less stress you have. Keep a notebook and think of questions, concerns, ideas as they come. Designate a time for these items to be addressed, or set a meeting with your coordinator etc. It can be overwhelming to have “wedding brain” all the time, but designating weekly tasks will help you stay on the ball. Make a list of priorities and knock them down week by week. Don't try to plan your wedding in a day, MANY things most likely will change from that point to the wedding day so don't worry about small things until the basics are confirmed like the location, dress, vendors, timeline. Once those are in the works.. décor, color scheme, guest count, table numbers, seating chart, signage, etc. will follow.
-Make sure you completely understand the role and responsibilities of the venue, and venue staff. Never assume! (Same goes with all vendors, understanding each party's roll leading up to and on the day of the event will illuminate countless stresses).
-Timeline is very important in planning your day, that is most important when planning. Remember closer to the event, all information has been communicated to multiple parties/vendors. For instance, if the timeline has changed, it is imperative ALL vendors are aware. Remember, catering is the most important for timeline details to ensure your guests are not being served unprepared or cold food.
-Vendor communication: Make sure your venue is aware of who all will be attending the event, and any special processes or responsibilities each vendor may have while onsite.
How will a bride know the tasks that their venue manager can plan vs. their wedding planner? What is this dynamic like at Sycamore Farms?
Marissa: We always highly suggest a wedding coordinator, as we do not assist with any type of detail or coordination of the event. Sycamore Farms will always have a venue representative onsite all day to ensure the venue is clean and to answer any client, vendor or guest questions or concerns. Our staff members have all been in the wedding business and can answer any questions a client may have, but a coordinator should be hired to facilitate the event start to finish, including set up and clean up.
Can you provide a brief outline of what point in the planning process brides need to make certain decisions with their venue manager? How far out do you need a guest count, vendor bookings, etc.?
Marissa: Many venues are all-inclusive or require this information upon booking, however, guest count and vendors do not affect our venue, Sycamore Farms, directly until very close to the event. These details will be confirmed with your caterer and coordinator before they will be with us, so we would received that information from that vendor and plan accordingly. We will need a confirmed guest count to ensure the amount of chairs for ceremony and reception upon arrival. I would suggest making sure we have all vendor information at least 2 months in advance to ensure to have time to eliminate and issues that may arise. Guest count will be confirmed 1 month out, this may change until that last minute but always plan for more than expected to ensure seats for up RSVP'd guests.
Can you explain what all-inclusive vs. a la carte means for wedding venues? Which option does Sycamore Farms provide?
Marissa: We are easy! We are simply a 12 hour venue rental. We have a preferred vendor list of amazing vendors to choose from, but we do not offer any additional services onsite. All-inclusive would be a venue with one price inclusive of all or some of the vendor cost. We feel it is easier to plan a wedding and budget in an a la carte way by choosing your own vendors.
Thank you so much for sharing such great insight with us, Marissa! Remember, you can check out more on The Barn at Sycamore Farms here on their website and follow them on Instagram for the latest + greatest!
All photos except the second one are by Meredith Teasley