16 Questions You Should Ask Yourself about Barn Venues in 2016

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The whole barn phenomenon for weddings is one that is most shared in the current Pinterest/DIY world. It is hot and very popular with today’s generation of brides.  It’s classic with a hint of charm.  However, don’t be completely blinded by these fairytale settings.

As an owner of a wedding venue going into our 10th year, I have to admit that the thought of a smaller barn type venue has crossed my mind several times.  In fact, it only boiled down to if we’re going to do it, we have to do it right. So, I chose not to wing it. Either I do it right or not at all, end of story.  For some though, it’s just the thought of “Let’s build a barn on our family’s land, everyone is doing it” and that’s where the thought process tends to end.  A few factors played into Briscoe Manor’s early and well maintained success. Simply put, we did it all the way and we did it the right way. We also were able to put a phenomenal team together with systems and procedures that work.

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Having gone through all of the motions of building a venue, here are some things to consider when looking at these barn venues and questions you should have when making this large investment. I can’t tell you how many people have come back to Briscoe Manor after choosing another venue due to pricing and then tell us that at the end of the day, they ended up spending the same or more at the other venue.  It’s true, so pay attention to all of the details and little things, because they add up!

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Things you should ask when looking at barn venues and other venues as well:1

  1. First and probably the #1 question should be: what is plan B should the ceremony or reception is scheduled to be held outside and it either rains or a cold front blows in; which happens often in Texas? What is the backup plan? Is there a room flip and is that something you are comfortable with? Make sure they completely explain this to you. Where are your guests moved to during the room flip even if it’s raining?
  2. Is there another event going on at the same venue while your living out your dream wedding? What is the access to your event like for your guests to find if there are multiple events going on at the same time? Can people from other events access your event throughout the night?
  3. Do you have a true coordinator who is in control of the whole night and not one that leaves after cake cutting? This is very important. You need someone to lead the event and this doesn’t mean some aunt down the line steps in. You will need a coordinator. Whatever venue that you do decide to book should come with a coordinator. This is huge value and shouldn’t be discounted. They should be the first person you see when you arrive on site and the last person your parents hug before leaving.
  4. How is parking handled? Some of these venues aren’t spending the money on paved parking areas. It’s not a huge deal and it kind of goes with the whole country setting, but again, we are in Texas where it can rain at any moment. If there is valet, is that an extra charge and where are they parking your car? In the back pasture in the mud? Is there a lot of walking involved for guests and if so, again, what are those walking areas made out of (think of ladies in high heeled shoes and mud)?
  5. Are Security officers included with the building rental?
  6. Is there outdoor lighting for all of the areas your guests are having to walk if the event will go into the night hours?
  7. Are any of the buildings/common areas covered by an emergency backup Generator should the building lose electrical power for any reason?
  8. How are the restrooms? What is the capacity? Do they have restrooms onsite or are you forced to pay for mobile restroom trailers to be brought in?
  9. Are the common areas easy to move around if any of your guests are confined to a wheelchair?
  10. Is there adequate air conditioning or heat for all areas?
  11. Are the tables, chairs and simple linens included or are they an extra cost? What do you get with the building rental? This is very important to ask. Some venues look great on price until you start to take a pencil to it and everything that you will need to rent outside of just the venue cost. Are they set up for you or do you have to come in and do the set up?
  12. Does the venue have great relationships and preferred vendors for your convenience? Briscoe Manor’s preferred vendor list somewhat evolves but for the most part, most of our preferred vendors have been a part of Briscoe Manor since the beginning. Relationships with vendors is important. You need vendors to be excited to come to the venue you’ve chosen which, in turn, will make everything run smoother. They also typically know the venue inside and out including all the rules and restrictions that may come with the venue rental.
  13. Are there areas dedicated to the Bride and her bridesmaids and the Groom and his groomsmen? These could be known as Bridal Suite and Groom’s Lounge. Do they have these rooms? If not, where do you get dressed?
  14. With catering and bar, are the plates, silverware and glassware included or also an additional cost?
  15. With the bar service, are guests under 18 years old backed out of the catering bill or is everyone charged the same?
  16. Does catering offer a “kids menu” at a lower cost than what would be charge for an adult plate?

 

Opinion by: Jorden Briscoe Mahler                     

Owner/Operator – Briscoe Manor                    

Richmond, TX

Selfie Status – Week of May 30th

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Ladies and gentlemen, rev your engines, for the newlyweds, Mr. & Mrs. Burks. The ride of a night got started outside with a beautiful lakeside ceremony. Miranda and that perfectly-picked dress of hers had the most amazing entrance! A special thanks to our ushers Forrest and Nathan for helping make that moment even more perfect for everyone. Y’all rock! In the reception, the “chalkboard” cake (so fun!) and groom’s motorcycle cake were a hit. Then, guests got to witness the real deal. A motorcycle (gift of the bride) in the courtyard waiting for Cash to claim. He LOVED it! We just HAD to try out their new gear for it (helmets decked out with signatures from their wedding guests). You can’t blame us for joining in with the #HappilyEverBurks, right?! They didn’t leave on two wheels though.
The bride and groom left in style in a yellow Lamborghini. Briscoe got a taste of the fast lane tonight (and on a Thursday, too). We love you for that, Miranda and Cash!
Miranda and Cash Burks

Miranda and Cash Burks

This adorable couple had SUCH a fun wedding. And the FLOWERS. Dream Bouquet totally outdid themselves on this one. Our ballroom looked absolutely stunning. DJU kept the party going all night long for these Aggies (never leaving out the Aggie War Hymn) as they danced the night away. Sweet, thoughtful toasts, a bubble-filled departure, and late night What-a-Burger taquitos were the major favorites from this awesome event. Love this couple and their super sweet families. Cheers to the new Mr. & Mrs. Daily!

Courtney & Jacob Daily

Courtney & Jacob Daily

Where do I even start with this amazing couple? Toured them, booked them, planned with them, and then got to witness them saying “I do”. This wedding was perfection, much like the bride and groom. Rustic chic was the theme with bright summery colors and personal touches throughout. Such a seamless, beautiful event. Shoutout to tons of our preferred vendors who rocked it out for these two! No doubt y’all adore them just as much as we do! Much, much love to this stunning couple and many well wishes for their future! Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Smith!
Shannon & Keith Smith

Shannon & Keith Smith

Manor Planners

Selfie Status – Week of May 23, 2015

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I cannot say enough amazing things about this couple. They may be young, but they have goals and aspirations in life that put many twice their age to shame, along with faith that can move mountains. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Bradley Maddox! #briscoemanor #marriedtomaddox

Courtney & Bradley Maddox

Courtney & Bradley Maddox

It’s ALL in the details, and this bride sure did have the (best) details. SO much care and thought went into every little thing. Briscoe was honored to be involved with the behind-the-scenes preparation that took so many amazing vendors and family to pull off. The incredible chapel setup with a sofreh table and floral (thank you to both Sofreh Chic and Plants n’ Petals!) was the most beautiful backdrop for both ceremonies. First, Aghd(Persian Ceremony) and the second ceremony was led by our bride’s very own father! In the reception, the newlyweds incorporated every last bit of our acreage. On the lakeside platform, guests were entertained by larger than life Jenga games and checkers. That wasn’t all the outdoor area was used for during the night. We had FIREWORKS!! Such a fun surprise for everyone. Shout out to Elegante Entertainment for their special touch with DJing and lighting! This entire day was really something to see in person but we’re betting John-David’s pictures and Evoke’s video are going to blow us away. To Tara and Ben, you made it! We hope this was the night of your dreams! Enjoy Hawaii, you two!
Tara & Ben Duran

Tara & Ben Duran

Let me introduce you to the new Mr. & Mrs. Garcia – two of the sweetest (and coolest) people you’ll ever meet. This couple did it big, starting with their beautiful, larger-than-life wedding cake (served alongside delicious tres leches). The bride had so many personal touches, including her up-cycled centerpieces! Party Pod provided an AWESOME interactive photo booth that kept their guests entertained when they needed a dance break from the musical stylings of Klentzman Entertainment. To top it off? A gorgeous fireworks display to keep their guests feeling on cloud 9. I seriously had such a blast working with this couple. Much, much love and a big congratulations to the newlyweds!
Rebecca & Matthew Garcia

Rebecca & Matthew Garcia

Manor Planners

Selfie Status – Week of May 16th

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Honestly, does anyone really ever NOT love a photo booth? Managed to steal a moment in the Photo Lounge with the new Mr. & Mrs. Scott Clark. Congrats! #theclarks

Brittany Grant

Brittany and Scott Clark

It was hard saying goodbye tonight, y’all. We didn’t want the party to end. Our Saturday started in the chapel with an entrance for the books. Our bride (and her stunning dress) had her groom catching his breath all the way down the aisle. Friends and family mixed and mingled in the courtyard and were serenaded by a string ensemble. In the ballroom, Brandon’s baseball-themed cake and toppers were a homerun! Lauren’s vision came alive (with the help of floral by Dream Bouquet and one heck of a monogram and lights by the DJ from Divisi Strings). And everyone danced the night away. Literally. Everyone. Our staff got more love and hugs than ever. (Did we mention we love the Priestleys and Chambers?) All in all we have to admit, it was so much fun #KeepingUpWithTheChambers. We want to do it again! Enjoy the honeymoon, lovebirds!!!

 

Lauren & Brandon Chambers

Lauren & Brandon Chambers

Signature

Selfie Status May 8, 2015

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There is nothing like planning an event with an event planner. This sweet bride works in special events at the Houston Zoo (FUN!) and she had her details down pat. These two had a simply amazing wedding – amazing weather, amazing linens, amazing decor, amazing band…they really had it all. And we are so honored that they chose to have it with us at Briscoe! Congratulations Mallet & Tanner Stafford! ‪#‎happilyeverstafford5815

Mallet Bucher

Mallet and Tanner Stafford

The Doctors are in! What a beautiful reception for Drs. Tom & Jessica Wang! A gathering of family and friends witnessed a tea ceremony in our Ranger Bar and then joined guests in the courtyard for cocktails. A fun night is ahead with music, dancing and a larger than life photo lounge. Wishing them both a lifetime of love and laughter!

Jessica and Thomas Wang

Jessica and Thomas Wang

Manor Planners

Selfie Status Week of April 11th

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Rain or shine, at Briscoe, it’s always wedding time!! They had guests here from near and far, too! In the chapel, some of the sweet details included: dapper ushers, the ladies in waiting in the processional, scriptures read from the couple’s gifted bible, beautiful music from the pianist and harpist, and the cutest flower girl and ring bearer combo! After that, guest were greeted with acoustic music in the courtyard and the Band, the Grooves, in the ballroom. And groove they did! The father/daughter dance sure was something special! The whole night was super smooth and a party throughout. With a laid back couple like Kelly and Steve, how couldn’t it be?! Thanks to all who were a part of making this day COMPletely great. Happy marriage to y’all!

Kelly Tauriello Steve Comp

Mr. & Mrs. Steve Comp

 

I absolutely adore watching a couple from two different backgrounds join together because of love. Everything about this wedding was lovely, especially the bride & groom (and yes, we used their awesome ‪#‎selfiestick to take this pic)! Chinese firecrackers, a STUNNING crimson wedding cake and a beautifully (hand made!) reception dress are just a few details that made this event so elegantly unique. The father of the bride kept everyone entertained with his heartfelt speech just before guests enjoyed a night full of dancing, chocolate eating and photo lounge fun! Hats off to this fabulous couple! Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Altman! ‪#‎altmansatthealtar

Mr. & Mrs. Wesley Altman

Mr. & Mrs. Wesley Altman

Absolutely adore the fabulous couple that is Kyle + Angel Rains. Beautiful people inside and out. Excited for all the reception goodies – Homemade Guacamole Bar, Brownie/Pie Bar and a fireworks show. Ending this crazy week with a bang! ‪#‎everrains

Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Raines

Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Raines

Manor Planners

Fleur Couture

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As we enter into the warmer weather of spring, some of the most beautiful floral we see begins to emerge in the form of bridal bouquets and large centerpieces. The variety of combinations is truly mind blowing. Our florists seriously know what they are doing. We have made a list of our favorite flowers for the spring time and the ones that we believe provide the biggest “WOW” factor in terms of a bouquet.

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Selfie Status Week of 3/28

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Perfection. Times ten. Although the bride’s thorough decor layout and design had guests “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing,” we have to admit the only thing that topped it was the way we’d catch her hubby looking at her throughout the night. So, what else did they even need? Just some amazing floral, a set of handsome ring bearers, one heck of a sweet flower girl, a Grand March for days, and a family owned and loved Rolls Royce for departure. So yeah, they had it all. It’s clear, these two are loved. So, so loved! Rest well, Langes, Gullos + Co. — all of you who helped make this day happen deserve a pat on the back too. We LOVE you Taylor + Grant.

Taylor Lange

Taylor & Grant Gullo

 

FUN (adjective): amusing, entertaining, or enjoyable. Or, tonight’s bride and groom’s middle name. Darcy kicked off her heels. Patrick tossed his jacket. And they both got down on the dance floor! Their friends and fam backed ’em up…with maracas in hand! We have a feeling the hotel is gonna be in for a looong (but fun, of course) night with this gang. Thanks for letting us be a part of the #Naylonlife y’all. Here’s to the beginning of a life full of laughter and, well, just awesome-ness!

Darcy & Patrick Naylon

Darcy & Patrick Naylon

 

Super excited for these two! We had not one, but TWO ceremonies for this lovely couple. It was so awesome to experience their Indian ceremony! Seeing two people from two completely different backgrounds join together as husband and wife is one of my favorite things about this job. Family and friends enjoyed Indian and American cuisine, music and décor throughout the one-of-a-kind event. Favorite part: the choreographed bride and groom AND father/daughter dances! So fun!! Many blessings and a big congratulations to the new Mr. & Mrs. Armbrust!

Dhvani & Karl Armbrust

Dhvani & Karl Armbrust

Manor Planners