December 2022: wedding bells are ringing

My musings…

Happy December! While it’s busy and chaotic, I simply love this month. And I love it even more this year because this is the month that Mike and I get married!

In celebration of our upcoming wedding, I want to dedicate a portion of this month’s newsletter to Mike. It may be cheesy, but I could not imagine building and running this business – let alone “doing life” – with someone else. He is the best partner in every sense of the word.

Mike takes care of the tasks that I don’t like doing (like carting our new cross-back chairs to and from storage. IYKYK!). He is incredibly handy and creative. A lot of what people see around the venue, Mike either designed or built – or did both. Our new, work-in-progress bar is one of those items.

He is also very attuned to my feelings and needs. Both in business and in life, he constantly asks me how my day was, what I’m feeling, and how he can help lighten my workload on the days I’m feeling overwhelmed. When I need to vent, he even knows to ask if I want solutions or if I simply want a listening ear (my stubbornness usually just wants a listening ear).

This past weekend, we had our fourth wedding of the month, but he wasn’t going to be in town for it because he was traveling to take the kids back to their mom’s house post-Thanksgiving break. I was incredibly stressed the week leading up to the day, because when things go wrong, Mike is often the one who fixes the problem, especially when it comes to maintenance around the venue.

Knowing how anxious I was for my first solo wedding, what did Mike do? He pulled an all-nighter (while I got some sleep!) before his 6:30am flight to haul out all the tables and chairs for both ceremony and reception, put up lights in the tent, fix the A/C in the get-ready suites, take down the arch in the ceremony space as the florist was bringing her own, and make sure the bathrooms were ready to go. Some of these items were on my to-do list, but he did them anyways because he knew it would make my day a lot less stressful.

It’s the small, everyday gestures that let me know that I am the luckiest lady in the world to have found someone so wonderful. It’s the fact that Mike helps to inspire me to improve myself daily so that I can be the best soon-to-be wife, friend, family member, stepmom, Catholic, business owner, and member of the community that I can be.

I could keep going, but I’ll stop for there for now in hopes you haven’t gagged yet at the mushiness. 😉

This all leads me into the lessons and takeaways I’ve learned over the past month+.

1. If you’re going to have a business partner, make sure they complement your skillset.

I feel that Mike and I work well together. We divide and conquer tasks. I have [probably an unhealthy) mentality that I should be able to do everything by myself. Mike reminds me that it’s okay to delegate tasks and that it’s okay for me to focus on the priorities that I enjoy doing.

A lot of people warn that it’s not a good idea to go into business with family members – especially a significant other – or friends. Business can bring about nuanced discord that can feed into the rest of the relationship outside of work.

However, with good communication, business with family members and friends can also be a beautiful thing. And there are plenty of success stories to show for it.

I personally am grateful that I get to run this venture with Mike – someone who balances out my skillset so that we can each tackle more tasks with efficacy. Whether it’s a family member, friend, former colleague, or relative stranger, having a business partner that does the things you don’t want to do is invaluable.

Photo Credit: Alyssa Diaz Photography.

2. As a business owner, know your value.

Yesterday Mike and I attended a “Friendorsgiving” (AKA a vendor friends Thanksgiving) hosted by Magnolia Sunsets, one of our very first vendor friends, at Candle Land. At Friendorsgiving, vendors in the events industry were able to come together to form connections, make candles, and eat great food.

A portion of the evening was dedicated to sharing about our experiences as business owners in the wedding and events industry, and we were able to learn valuable lessons from each other.

One of the common themes shared was to know your worth as a business owner. Deciding on a price to charge can be one of the most difficult things to do, especially when just starting out. It can be scary to charge a certain price and then stay confident about that amount.

At various times, business owners will come across people who feel their prices are outrageous. That’s okay. There will be other service providers or product makers that offer it for less. (Disclaimer: if you’re priced too high and no one books your services or buys your products, you should probably reevaluate at the point.)

Running a business can cost money, take a lot of effort and time, and require years of experience or knowledge. This doesn’t come cheap.

Mike is good about staying confident in our pricing. I’ve tended to waiver more out of fear that “we won’t get any bookings.” But I’ve been learning that it’s important we stick to the amount we’ve agreed to, and low and behold, we’ve had more bookings than I ever thought we’d have in our first year of business 

Setting a price that we’re comfortable with is key to not burning out, providing the best service we can with vigor, and having the ability to reinvest in our venue so that future clients can enjoy more benefits.

3. Not everything will go according to plan. Be adaptable.

As you may know, we are a completely outdoor venue. While our goal is to build a permanent structure for rain (and that allows for A/C), our current rain plan is to assist our clients with renting a tent, and we work with a couple of local tent vendors who offer a wide selection of them.

We encourage clients to save room in the wedding budget for a tent, and we’ve even created a package that includes one right from the get-go. However, it’s ultimately up to the party hosts whether they want to rent one or not.

At one of the weddings in our venue this past month, there was no tent, and it ended up pouring right in the middle of the wedding (as soon as the ceremony ended when cocktail hour was supposed to begin), even though the forecast had been clear for the day.

Anyways, I felt terrible for the couple as well as the guests of the wedding. I. thought their wedding might be ruined. However, something amazing happened. Everyone sought some form of shelter for the 40 minutes it poured, but then they all rallied afterward, and from what I heard (and witnessed) from multiple guests as well as the bride and groom, they all ended up having a great time.

This was the epitome of “things don’t go according to plan,” yet because the bride, groom, and their guests chose to have a positive attitude about the day, they had a wonderful time and did what they came to do: celebrate their marriage with those whom they love.

Updates for TheGoWM…

This month, we plan to:

  • Continue hosting regularly scheduled open houses and tastings (our next one is this Sunday at 10:30am with Tasty Creations)

  • Finish Live Oak Bar (our new bar) that sits between our cocktail and reception hosting spaces

  • Hang Art by Shannon Martin Perkin’s artwork up in the get-ready suite

  • Host our very own wedding!

Our Asks…

This wouldn’t be a community space without the help from, well, our community! If you can assist us with any of the following, we’d greatly appreciate it.

  • Share our next venue open-house and tasting on December 4 with any newly engaged couples or party hosts you know in the South Florida area!

  • Please subscribe to this monthly newsletter if you haven’t and share if you like what you read!

  • Please follow us on our social media pages: Instagram (@thegardenswm) and Facebook.

  • Please engage (share, like, comment, save) with our posts on social media.

  • Help us brainstorm events we can host in our space outside of private parties (e.g., wellness events, art galleries, concerts, gaming events, etc.).

  • Book a tour if you’re in the area and would like to see our space!

Thanks for tuning in this month!

-Emily, Co-Founder, The Gardens of Weber Manor

Blog News: We love to connect with our clients and friends, and we publish a special newsletter every 1st Thursday of the month. We also provide a lot of wedding tips from our preferred vendors.

“You will find that most times you have a vision of what it is that you want to accomplish and that’s most important. It allows you to work backwards and make cuts and changes that will still reflect the overall outcome you wish to achieve. What good is splurging on one particular item if it doesn’t result in the overall outcome you were trying to create?

-Emily, Co-Founder, The Gardens of Weber Manor

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When I say that pictures and videos do not do this space justice, that is an understatement!! The Gardens of Weber Manor, in all of its whimsy and magic, is truly a perfect little nook in the heart of the Redlands. No matter what the vision or mood board, this venue and its versatility will allow you to transform it to match your wildest dreams. Add to that the fact that Mike & Emily are the absolute sweetest owners & venue managers, and there should be NOTHING holding you back from booking a tour and picking your wedding date that same day. It is clear that they have put their heart and souls into building up The Gardens from the ground up. So whether you’re planning a wedding, anniversary, birthday or corporate event, you need not look further. 

– Alianne Valladares-Prieto

The Gardens of Weber Manor is a hidden gem. This venue is magical. I can’t express how amazing it was working with Emily and Mike. They answered every question I had and made me feel that they had everything under control at all times. The staff was awesome!!! The rooms looked beautiful!!! I want to give a special thanks to Emily it was an absolute pleasure working with you. Everything went smoothly, easily and successfully thanks to Emily and Mike and the rest of the team. We felt like family from the time we started to plan the wedding and especially on our wedding day. Thanks to the Gardens of Weber Manor for the wedding of our dreams!

– Fernanda Rodriguez

We cannot say enough good things about this venue and the owners, Emily & Mike! It is truly a hidden gem. The garden is absolutely gorgeous – you really don’t even need to decorate because the scenery has so much beauty all itself. There are so many spots throughout the venue that could be used for different parts of an event, and no matter where you turned it was a perfect photo backdrop. Our friends and family kept telling us how beautiful the venue was and wondering how we found it.

– Kyla Hill