Lynsie Blau joins Christy on this episode to break down VENUE basics for us. Site visits, vibes, and contracts...all important! Picking your wedding venue is one of the biggest and arguably most important decisions you will make during wedding planning. Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls!
Lynsie is the owner, manager and everything-person for BRIK Venue in Fort Worth, Tx. Brik is a stand alone industrial beauty - 2 stories, original hardwood, exposed brick and pretty white painted walls, a graffiti courtyard and a gorgeous studio to get ready in. It is a premier venue for North Texas - for all these reasons and more. Namely - Lynsie herself. Now, let’s talk money, dolls!
(Forgive Christy - she sounds a little sick on this one!)
Priorities for Lynsie when she bought Brik and began the transformation into a wedding venue:
1- two seperate indoor spaces that don’t require a ‘flip’ - it has 2 full floors so you can do ceremony on one floor and the reception on the other floor.
2 - Location - close to downtown
3 - Capacity - bigger than 200 guests (Brik is 300 max)
4 - Open, versatile and flexible
Brik is not an ‘all-inclusive’ event space - but it does include the tables (super cool custom tables), chairs (chivaries!) and bars (also custom and very cool). But the rest is up to the clients. Lynsie hopes that the ‘blank space’ element is what draws couples to book her space over a different venue. It’s a pro, not a con. Every couple makes Brik their own for the wedding day - no two weddings there look the same. This is something that a lot of venues claim to have, but just don’t!
Whatever a venue offers - make sure you see it all before you book. Not all inventory is created equal. It doesn’t matter is chairs are included, if the chairs are horrible and you don’t end up using them. And if you do have to bring in a bunch of rentals, make sure you know the venue’s policy for set up and strike - and if rentals can be brought in early, or left overnight, etc.
Why do people book Brik? Because Lynsie says ‘YES’. But if that’s overwhelming, Lynsie will give her personal recommendations for vendors and designers. People book Brik because the site visit and booking process are organized and cohesive. Lynsie is accessible. She answers emails. Her contract is detailed and in plain English. The business side of Brik is solid...and they want to help. They want to say YES. All event venues should be like this. They aren’t.
Site visit advice:
Know your date, or at least the month you want your wedding
Is there a budget limit you have worked out for the venue?
How many hours do you want the venue?
For pricing - make sure you ask if the numbers they give you are the FINAL quotes, or if there are hidden fees
Look at the bathrooms at the venue!
See if you have to work with a set vendor list, or if it’s a ‘preferred vendor’ list. Ask questions about how open their policy is
Does the venue have insurance requirements? Required valet or security? Is the set up and strike time included in the rental time?
Do you get an extra hour for the rehearsal? What about for engagement photos before the wedding?
The ‘getting ready’ room is very important! Look for room, the light, the mirrors…
Look down at the floors and look up at the ceilings...remember to include full perspective in your vision when you are thinking about how you would ‘transform’ a room.
Look into the transportation, parking and proximity to hotels/civilization when you are looking at venues. The fact that Brik is 5 minutes from downtown FW is a HUGE draw for couples - and it’s a big reason why Lynsie took the plunge and bought the place. She doesn’t worry about guests driving drunk, cause everyone can Uber!
“Mostly, my outdoor space is used for photos. Which is something that is a big deal that I didn’t think about when I started.” - Lynsie on Brik’s rad outdoor shoot locations
“We’ve talked about venues like this a lot because they are that sweet spot...they are made for events.” - Christy - on how Brik hits the spot
“People might say, you’ve thought of everything! Yes, I have!” - Lynsie on how she navigates the ‘yea, buts’
“I get a lot of people that say they’ve liked other venues as much as Brik, but that they thought I was so nice, they wanted to work with me. That’s the biggest compliment.” - Lynsie
“If you have a planner, I don’t have to worry about half the stuff I usually would...I love planners.” - Lynsie
“Altar pieces are where people get super creative. We’ve had a mantle, different arches, candelabras, floral installations. A bar with floral hanging down is so so pretty.” - Lynsie
“If a venue owner is worth their salt, they have a really good contract. Read that contract. Everything should be laid out in the contract. A good contract makes all the difference.” - Lynsie
“Be nice. Being nice gets you so much further than being an ass hole.” - Lynsie (Christy agrees!)
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