In this Wedding Wednesday episode, Kristina is joined by brother and sister duo, Dallas and Mandi of Montgomery Farms, a rustic wedding venue in southern Indiana. Listen in as they share everything you need to ask and know when choosing a rustic, rural venue… from booking early and having a plan “B” when you want an outdoor ceremony, to understanding the contract you’re signing, why event insurance is not only important but required in a lot of cases, what’s included with the venue, vendor relationships and more.
• [05:53] Dallas explains why it is very important to secure your wedding venue after your have celebrated your engagement.
• [31:46] Kristina “Should people ask questions about where they can have activities where their ceremony could take place? If it's not going to be in the barn if it was going to be outside?”
• [35:41] Mandi “we're talking a lot of issues that clients and vendors will have is not communicating.”
• [43:06] Kristina talks about why it is important to have someone else read over your venue contract.
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Dallas Montgomery & Mandi Bieda
Kristina Stubblefield 0:00
In this Wedding Wednesday Episode, I am joined by brother and sister duo Dallas and Mandi of Montgomery Farms, a rustic wedding venue in Southern Indiana. Stay tuned as they share their expert knowledge and advice on everything you need to ask and know when choosing a rustic rule venue. You're listening to The Ring The Bling And All The Things Podcast. I'm Kristina Stubblefield, one of your hosts, along with my two good friends Michael Gaddie, and Sharon Rumsey. We are here to get you from down on one knee, down the aisle and into happily ever after. Our informative episodes deliver valuable tips, trends, ideas, and advice covering everything from you saying yes to the I do's and all that happens in between and after. Now, let's get started with this episode. I'm really excited for our listeners. And it's not because Mike and Sharon are not in the studio with us. They are definitely missed. They have me holding it down today. But I have two special guests here with me. And that is Dallas and Mandi, from Montgomery Farms. Thank you all so much for coming in.
Dallas Montgomery 1:21
Thanks for having us.
Kristina Stubblefield 1:23
So just to share with our audience, you all are brother and sister. That's correct. And you're in business together.
Dallas Montgomery 1:29
That is also correct.
Kristina Stubblefield 1:30
Yes. And I'm really excited to talk about these topics we're going to because you all actually have an outdoor venue. I'll let you say it the exact way you want to.
Dallas Montgomery 1:43
So we have an outdoor event venue with 150 year old two story barn that we've renovated. So But however, we're not a barn venue, we're a venue with a barn. And I think we'll get a little bit more as we speak into why we call ourselves that.
Kristina Stubblefield 1:59
And while it's wise to know all of the details of what to ask if you're considering your type of video. That's what I'm looking forward to. Oh, yeah. So I have to ask Mandi, before we dive into all these tips and information, what's it like working with your brother?
Mandi Bieda 2:18
That's a loaded question. Do we still want to be friends after this?
Kristina Stubblefield 2:22
Yes, you do.
Mandi Bieda 2:23
Kristina Stubblefield 2:23
You have weddings coming up.
Dallas Montgomery 2:24
Wait why does she get that question?
Kristina Stubblefield 2:26
Because we can relate. I have a brother too that I help with his business. And I thoroughly enjoy all of it.
Mandi Bieda 2:32
Oh, yes. Every bit of it. Every moment of it is awesome. No, it's great. I love it. We've always had a I always say we always had a close bond. High school years were a little rough for us. We made it through there. And here we are. But we have a great relationship. We we know each other so well and know how we think which can be good and bad at some times. But I enjoy it, I don't trust anybody else more than I trust him.
Kristina Stubblefield 2:53
I business I bring this up because weddings. It's a family affair. Oh, yes. And when you work together as a family, I feel like that is just a bonus with working with other families for such a special day.
Mandi Bieda 3:09
Oh, definitely. People absolutely love that aspect that we are a family business, because then they know it means something to us, our names are on the sign. You know, at the end of the day, we want everybody to be happy with what we provided them and everything. So that family aspect is really important. We found to a lot of our clients.
Kristina Stubblefield 3:26
And Dallas I don't have to ask you because I know your sister is amazing. And you're gonna say all these wonderful things about her and how much you enjoy working with her. So we don't even have to ask you, right.
Dallas Montgomery 3:36
She keeps me in line sometimes. But you know, I think the good thing is, is that we both have a passion for what we do. So it's not like there's like a mix of motivation or anything like that with with running the business. We both want the same goal. We want want the same thing. And that's kind of what makes us succeed and work well together.
Kristina Stubblefield 3:58
Well, now that you've mentioned that, before we started recording, we talked about loving what you do. And have you just mentioned having a passion for it. And when you go out shopping, reviewing, checking out whatever wording you want to use venues for your ceremony reception, if you're going to have them both at the same place. I think that's such an important aspect. It what all comes with it, who's the owners who's there on site, the day of all of that is what makes up how that venue is ran and how it functions.
Mandi Bieda 4:37
Oh, definitely. I mean, because you have different needs. That's your biggest thing is you want to know when you're shopping for a venue who's there, what are they providing, and what are they not providing? It's just as important as what they are. You know, we are full service. We are there from the moment you leave, or from the moment you get there to the moment you leave and any questions things you may need along the way we are there to help. There's a difference between that and then somebody just being there for the venue who sets in the back room. And it's just there in case one of the staff needs them. Which is that's fine. If that's what the venue offers, but then they're not there for you to serve you throughout that, you know, a vendors running late, do you want to be the one calling and asking where they're at? No, you want that person who is that coordinator of the day of that venue's, calling, that person is coming to you and say, Hey, this is what's taken care of, they'll be here all is good, and you're not worrying about it. And honestly, you really would rather hope they know they're running late. And before you're even worrying about it, they have an answer for you. And that's what we do. And that makes a difference. Because there's a lot of little things you don't realize that can happen on a wedding day that people who do it every weekend know the ins and outs of to make sure that your day goes smoothly.
Dallas Montgomery 5:46
And can I since we're talking about the beginning of the process, just make a recommendation for everyone out there that's getting engaged.
Kristina Stubblefield 5:52
Of course you can.
Dallas Montgomery 5:53
Get your venue first and get it right away. You know, I mean, first of all, enjoy your engagement. celebrate that, you know, be excited about it. But I talk to so many of you I do all the showings for the venue. Okay, personally, and I asked everybody Oh, so when did you get engaged? This is an icebreaker. And I hear a lot of times, oh, six months ago, and they want an October date of this year.
Kristina Stubblefield 6:19
Which is just possibly a few months out.
Dallas Montgomery 6:21
And it's like if you would have done this six months ago, or five months ago, just give yourself a month buffer, you probably could have got the date that you wanted.
Kristina Stubblefield 6:29
And I think what we can say here is where we're at in the wedding industry, be realistic, about if you're wanting a certain season, like you just mentioned, if you know you want to get married in the fall, or any season, a specific season for that matter. That plays such a role, you want to enjoy your engagement. But if you have to get married next year, and you have to have a fall wedding, and you have to have an outdoor space, or outdoor venue, you've got some filters there, that you have to start thinking ahead a little bit. And I think that's what you're telling people you don't want to you, of course, you want to enjoy your engagement. But if you've got specifics, yet to narrowing down, because it's it's one thing if you know, this is exactly where I want to get married, but you have to go out shopping, you know, five, six different venues
Dallas Montgomery 7:23
Kristina Stubblefield 7:23
That takes some time as well to get those appointments set and everything.
Dallas Montgomery 7:25
Mandi Bieda 7:27
It does. And, you know, I like I've something like for people to think about is your one of 1000 people getting married. So there's a lot of people in your same position. And it's hard. You don't think about that, because you're thinking about your day and what you're doing. And the as you should, which you know, you don't need to be worrying about everybody else. But there are other people who are wanting exactly what you're wanting. And we can only all serve so many people throughout our season. You know, we're dealing everyone talks about 2020 being the year after we're coming out of COVID and everything but I see this being a ripple effect over the next probably 5-10 years of
Kristina Stubblefield 8:03
thank you I have said that before. Yes.
Mandi Bieda 8:06
We I mean, we you know that is huge. And I everybody I've talked to this year, and it's because people aren't getting you're not getting your dates this year. So they're moving it to next year. And it's just a ripple effect right now that I see happening for a while, until it kind of clears itself out. But any more the way we have with social media and with weddings, people are just seeing, you're seeing more of what's out there. And you're like, yes, I want that. I want that I want that. Well, that takes time and effort. So you need to kind of plan those things out. Because it's all in your face anymore.
Kristina Stubblefield 8:37
Well, the other thing too is I know everybody is over, we joke around on the podcast, you know about the C word with COVID and pandemic. But in all honesty, there are people that got engaged during COVID. And they have not even picked a date yet. Because they know and they hear what's going on out there. Or they tried to make a few appointments. And some things aren't even available for 15-18 months, right? So they are holding off. I personally have talked to a couple people that are in college, and instead of getting married, they've now decided, let's go ahead and get through college. And then when we graduate, you know we'll plan our wedding. And I think you're exactly right. That ripple effect is after everything everyone's been through in and outside of the wedding industry. That is going to do nothing but mush dates, the dates are going to be gone. The specific vendors you want to use are going to be gone. And it's not just weddings, I'm hearing also there's more corporate events, team building exercises, because companies could not have those or chose not to have those events, those Christmas parties and things like that. It is it It's a full circle thing, and it affects people planning their weddings. And Sharon is really good about mentioning, you know, flexible pick and choose what is really most important to you. And a lot of times people aren't really flexible on the type or atmosphere that they want for their venue.
Mandi Bieda 10:24
Kristina Stubblefield 10:25
And I don't think we can talk enough about it, about getting, deciding what kind of venue you want, and booking that date, before you worry about the multiple other things that you're gonna have to make decisions on
Dallas Montgomery 10:37
Well, and you're gonna have to make decisions on certain things sooner than you would before. Because one, not every vendor survived COVID. And so there's less vendors out there, now that a lot of them are coming back starting up, which is great. But you know, maybe you know, you want to get start looking at your caterer a lot sooner, because you may have to look at 12 caterers to find when it's available, and also looks is what you're looking for. You know, so there's a lot of aspects there that you just might want to speed up the process a little bit on getting a lot of that stuff. And it's also going to just give you a lot of peace of mind, you know, don't wait. I mean, Mandi can tell you this, that, you know, 10, we consultation meetings where they still don't have this vendor or something like that. And it's like, Whoa,
Mandi Bieda 11:20
yeah, especially this year, you waiting to that point, you're limited in your you may have to go with the way you didn't want to go.
Kristina Stubblefield 11:29
Well, let's also toss in here, we kind of mentioned this before we started with the pandemic, and with the word out about how busy the wedding industry is going to be. You also have some people that are getting into the wedding business, that it could be their side hustle, it could be something they're trying, it could be something that they're using to make a little extra money. And I think this spins us right back around to knowing your vendors, the importance of using professional vendors. Because most of the time, something happens at an event you do anything and everything you can for it not to happen. But the key is when you have professional vendors that do this week in and week out, sometimes during the week now they are able to handle things as it's thrown at them in a professional manner. Most of the time, the couple or guests don't even know something's went on. Oh, yeah,
Mandi Bieda 12:31
Definitely. And I always say that that's what we're here for. We're here to make sure you don't know what went wrong. And depending on if it's funny or not, at the end of the night will tell you and if not, then there's no need to you move on, you know, do you don't want that experience, you know, to know that. But yes, because I guarantee you nine times out of 10 If something's gone wrong, we've seen it before. So we know how to correct it quickly, efficiently. And without any harm of anybody knowing what happened.
Kristina Stubblefield 12:58
And just meet with your vendors. I have heard so much lately about decisions being made from Instagram, from this, that and the other. And most people know I'm involved in the social media game, I'm not here to knock it. But I hear a lot going on about choosing vendors based off what they've posted on Instagram. And I don't know how you all feel. But honestly, sometimes maybe most of the time, what is on Instagram may not really show the person's personality, are you going to connect with them? There's a lot of filters and a lot of things that happen behind the scenes with social media. It just I like to mention that because I've also heard the other side of it where decisions were made. And it was so not a good fit. Oh, yes.
Mandi Bieda 13:47
And I, I think a perfect example of that is we'll see brides come in because we can help with decor as well. And they'll have a picture. And I'm like, do you know this picture will not be within your budget because that picture looks amazing. And it's beautiful. But this is $2,000 Compared to your $500 budget. And I know people don't realize what all those pictures can entail and how much you can change things and how bright angles can make things look great i i will have rights to that will come in and say well, we've only talked through instant messenger or DMS and stuff like that.
Kristina Stubblefield 14:21
And I'm like it makes my head spin but it makes me Yeah, I know we're living in a different time.
Mandi Bieda 14:26
And I end but I still think you need that personal connection with somebody even if it's one time or two times it's not like you need to become best friends with that person but you need to feel comfortable with them even on your day
Kristina Stubblefield 14:38
even over zoom exactly cannot be in person. You know, at least you're having a face to face. Yes conversation and maybe I'm more old school. But no matter what type of vendor, it is, it's a it's a big decision.
Mandi Bieda 14:53
It is it is and you want to make sure you're getting the right thing you know, people can say and do things and It may not be what you, you want to make sure expectations are met of what you're expecting from them, because they may not meet those. And unfortunately, there's no do overs.
Kristina Stubblefield 15:10
Amen to that there are no do overs. And we can talk about DIY events, we mentioned it just a little bit before we started. But so many times, we've heard from people, since we've started doing this podcast, that they were very detail oriented, they were this, they, they knew they could take on planning it and putting it together. But the day of, you're pulled in so many different directions, the day is gone. And most of the time, we hear that people don't really remember who was there, they remember a couple aspects of it. And it's too late. There, it's not a do over you've lived in learned in the moment of your wedding.
Dallas Montgomery 15:58
Right? Well, and that's why we say we're a venue with a barn, not a barn venue, you know, so we're not just handing you the keys saying Here you go, get your tables, chairs, linens, get your bathrooms, take your trash with, you know we're doing when you leave walk up when you leave and have at it. And there are places that are do that. And if that's your budget, you know, just manage your expectations, and you're probably gonna have to work a little bit harder on your wedding. And, you know, but you know, we can be a DIY price. Because we have the connections, we have the you know, we have the price breaks with our vendors and all that stuff. So we can do stuff a lot cheaper, we can run a wedding for a lot cheaper than you could in your backyard. You know, by the time you get everything that you need. And you know, you know, at the end of the day, it sounds great a year, a year and a half out like oh, I've got plenty of time to do that. Well, you're gonna go back to your work back to your life. And what are we doing, we're going back to weddings every weekend. So this is what we do for a living. And when you when you, you know, do that, then you know, maybe your family and friends are a little bit more involved than they expected. That few days leading up before they're like, oh, you know, I've heard this from somebody before, like, oh, we were at this other venue. And, you know, it's like, oh, I didn't know that I showed up and all of a sudden, they're like, Hey, can you start setting up tables with us? He's like, okay, you know, it's like, you know, and he was just there to be a guest and a family member and all that stuff. And, you know, so people don't always realize that, you know, it's, it's, that puts a lot of pressure on your family and friends to do that. And you know, then when you can go with an affordable place like us, that's going to do it all for you. There's other places out there like that. So DIY may sound great, but may not be the best option.
Kristina Stubblefield 17:49
That takes me into a question that you just brought up. I guess one of the top questions when you're meeting with venues is what all is included, and making sure you understand what that means. One of the things I think about is venue coordinator or someone on site with that. That term, you know, can sometimes people think oh, a venue coordinator is a full wedding planner. So knowing what comes with it, I'm assuming should be one of the top questions.
Mandi Bieda 18:22
Oh, definitely. And that's kind of what I was trying to say earlier is, what does that day of coordinator do? Like? Do they just are they just there to manage? Are they there to help you throughout the day, so that when things maybe you're going on a wire or you need this to be taken care of, or they're setting up for you, that that's what they're there for that they are there to help take your day. And you know, we were talking to all that's included in the venue, you want to start with your venues because like we included DJ so then you don't, you're not needing to find a DJ. So that takes away from one more thing you have to do that helps with your budget all round. What do these venues include, you know, tables, chairs, all of that's taken care of, like we tell people you just we do have an in house florist you can go with us, you need a florist, you need to cater. And that's about it. You know, that's what they're searching out for after that. And that's, that's a big deal that take a lot off your plate. And the reason I say I we have found a lot of people enjoy that, especially that we've added the DJ into our package is COVID was a perfect example. You're not moving three or four other vendors, you're moving one venue and your your DJ is going with you your floors could be going with you. So you're moving an entire team and together instead of you individually having to move them and hoping they have those dates available after that.
Kristina Stubblefield 19:37
So it's understanding what all comes with the package right at different venues
Mandi Bieda 19:44
And pay attention to that because we'll have brides that come back and weren't quite sure, really look at it and make sure you understand what is included. If you it may not seem that important to time but really give it that half hour are an hour as a couple to really go over and go over these things and make sure you know, so you know, a, I need to do this or No, I don't need to do this, because that can make a difference. And you may be spinning your wheels, and you don't need to be spending or spending time in areas you don't need to be spending time in.
Dallas Montgomery 20:16
And you should really be walking away from a showing at a venue feeling really good, you know, feeling really good about what it is that you're getting into, okay, so for example, I spend on average anywhere from an hour to an hour, 15 minutes during a showing, and we give them a folder full of packets, and we go everything all the way even down to like the security deposit and like security for the event. You know, the catering guidelines, all these different things that we go over and are, these packets that we give them are not sexy, I mean, they're not filled with like pages of like wedding pictures, and it looks like a resume. And the reason being is we want this stuff to be packaged in as fewer pages as we can get. But still pack in all the information. And I walked them through all of that, and they should walk away understanding but mainly, like Mandy said, pay attention when they're talking Amory those packets. But there's so many times when I've asked people like, I always like to say before I get into certain things like insurance, or, you know,
Kristina Stubblefield 21:20
they gotta have insurance, right?
Dallas Montgomery 21:24
So that's an example where I'll say has, you know, that's just my lead into it has any other venue talk to you about insurance yet? And they'll either say no, or they'll say, they just mentioned that we had to have it. That was it? Well, none of the details are showing packet has literally highlighted areas in there. So that they just had to take that call their insurance company, and they can get the insurance that they need for us. And I talked about why we need it, why they want it and why it's going to help them. And, you know, they they're like, oh, okay, that makes sense. But you know, when they say no one else has talked to us about that, you know, some venues obviously don't require it, which surprises me. But that's a whole nother episode. Episode. But you know, when you start talking about like, you know, bar service and stuff like that you really want to know, you know, and ask those questions, and make sure that they're making it very clear what is included and what is not, you know, you should walk away knowing, okay, if I had this many people, if I wanted these options, here's what my final cost is, we already add the tax and everything and all of our final prices, you know, because that way just makes it very simple. So that that way, it's like this number here that says $4,000, that is $4,000, that is not $4,000 plus anything else, you know, so we just try to make it as simple as we can. Because for a lot of these people are first time doing it. So you know, we don't want to confuse them any more than we have to.
Kristina Stubblefield 22:50
And most vendors that I talk to, it's an education game, as well as talking to them about your services.
Dallas Montgomery 22:57
You nailed it on the head right there with that you're educating them about getting married.
Kristina Stubblefield 23:02
You. Exactly. And I am so surprised. Maybe I shouldn't be that. We have talked about insurance topic before. And we heard from people that was I had no never thought my mind or no one mentioned to me about event insurance. Now and there's different types of insurance. Correct. I'll be honest, personally, I'm already married and have been for quite a while. I don't even know if I could even think about an event with what we've been through without considering that researching it, having a conversation with someone about it, to understand my details or my information. The whole bar thing, you know, when you when I thought a venue when we first started this conversation, you know, tables, chairs, you know, restrooms, because you mentioned we mentioned outdoor, but then as you dove into being on site as a venue coordinator, diving into that and asking questions, what does that entail? How many hours are you here? Is there a start time like, there's so many things in with a venue coordinator, especially if you're not using a wedding planner? Don't just think that there's somebody sitting in an office is what I heard you say, knock on my door, if you need something, you know,
Mandi Bieda 24:25
If you even get that you may not get anybody on site and you are left to you as the couple as the bride as the mother of the bride, or whomever the contract signer, the contracts that are perfect. They're the ones you're having to figure this out. And that's not what you want to do that day. You want to be completely focusing on the wedding getting ready, enjoying the day, and everything else. You know, like I said, I've had, we'll have our meetings with our, you know, our clients and well a lot of times we have the moms with us and they were like, you know, I went to my niece's wedding last weekend and it was um us. Nobody knew what to do this when to do that, you know? And if you don't, even if you don't have a good DJ on top of it, that's a whole nother conversation. That's a whole nother conversation if you don't have a good DJ
Kristina Stubblefield 25:10
Mandi Bieda 25:11
Exactly, you, everybody's just looking at each other with their hands in the air, like, what do I do? And that's, you know, did
Kristina Stubblefield 25:18
we forget to cut the cake?
Mandi Bieda 25:18
Right? Or how do we do this? Or what do we do next, and you get the long pauses. And everybody's trying to figure out what they're doing.
Kristina Stubblefield 25:26
The flow of the event is huge, never even started.
Mandi Bieda 25:29
Right, right. And that's what keeps your event. That's what keeps people there. And you know, and keeps that party going and everything and you need somebody there to be the air traffic control, making sure it's all going how it should go. And having an idea and working with the other vendors. And you know, like we call all the vendors the week before I you know I do and so many vendors, like thank you for calling, because we all like to know what's going on. So we're all making sure. As a team, we're providing you the best day possible.
Kristina Stubblefield 25:55
And I think that's so important to have that conversation if it says it comes with venue, anything coordinator, Assistant, I don't know what other terms would be used. Ask the questions. What does that mean? Right? Don't just automatically assume because it says coordinator that, Oh, I heard this episode. And Montgomery farms does it this way. But don't automatically assume someone else does it right that way.
Dallas Montgomery 26:22
Well, and even like when we do showings, I mean, you know, we have our spiel that we're giving. But you know, everyone's different. And they hear things differently. And they communicate differently. And so if you're not clear on something, don't just think, Oh, I'll catch it later. No, ask that question right then in there, when you're talking to that person, because you should know that stuff, when you walk away.
Kristina Stubblefield 26:43
So some top questions, since you're talking about that Dallas, what are some top questions that you that come to your mind? For somebody going out there venue shopping?
Dallas Montgomery 26:53
Are you talking about like from the guest standpoint, from what they ask us?
Kristina Stubblefield 26:57
Yes, if Yeah, once that you're asked a lot, or that you knowing with your experience that people should ask?
Dallas Montgomery 27:04
Well, one of the things that you should ask, because I will I'll let me back up a second. I used to think for a while there that like a lot of couples were just really quiet. But I realized that they just don't have any questions. By the time we get done, they have a few clarifications. But you know, I see a bride bring a notebook out. And it's just full of tabs and everything. And, and I jokingly say I say if I do my job correctly, you will not have to write anything in there. Because I'm going to either say it. And what I say everything I say is going to be in that packet that we're going to hand to you that you can read. And I very rarely see them write anything down in the notebook. And I'm not even. Wow, that's great, like pulling your leg on that one at all. But there's, there's several things that you want to know is do they have a bar service? You know, do they have that big thing? are they charging vendor fees for your caterer or anything like that? That's another thing I'll ask has any other venue talk to you about vendor fees yet? Okay, what's been your face? Yeah, exactly. So you can call them vendor fees, venue fees, catering fees, that's where we're going to take the venue is going to take 15 or 20% of your venue or your catering bill, add that on top. And that goes to the venue. And I see their eyes just get real wide. And it's like so, and I'll hear someone say, Well, I did hear about that. But we didn't go over like how much it was. And I'm like, they should be telling you that because you don't want that snuck in your contract. And then also, now you're fighting with them after the wedding. Where's my 20% of your catering bill, and that you have 250 person wedding? That's a large number. Okay, that's a really large number.
Kristina Stubblefield 28:46
That's a really good point about vendor fees.
Dallas Montgomery 28:48
You know, and another thing for venues similar to ours, where you know, that, you know, operating out of a barn, there's so many people that pop up and are like, Oh, I have a barn, I can do this. This must be easy. I can do this. Ask how the property is zoned. We're zoned on commercial property for a reason. And what that does is that protects us that protects them. And it also lets us do a little bit more and not get shut down. Okay, so we've said
Kristina Stubblefield 29:18
That would be a problem with my wedding was 18-24 months out and six months after I booked they've shut down.
Dallas Montgomery 29:26
If if, if you if you asked how they're zoned, and they look at you with blank stares, like what do you mean? Okay? Or if they say, Well, we're zoned residential property. That's not an immediate like, no, it shouldn't be but you know, you should really be a bit of a flash should be a little bit of a red flag because, you know, we've had calls before where it's like, at the last minute like my venue just got shut down for permitting issues, because it was zoned residential property. You know, we don't have to worry about that being you know, That worked. That's why we are a little bit more expensive than that venue. But we can guarantee you that your date, that's two years out, we will be here and still running.
Kristina Stubblefield 30:11
I would have never thought about the zoning and that for an outdoor space, that's.
Mandi Bieda 30:17
Because a lot of them are in rural areas, you're not in towns, you're not in, you know, incorporations and stuff like that you're out in the rural area, and you can throw that up, but your neighbor not may not like that. And they can shut that down real quick.
Kristina Stubblefield 30:30
It may take them a couple months to figure their stuff to happen. Yes, but it might not it might be open today and not open from a business standpoint, but able to have events. But there are problem brewing in the background,
Mandi Bieda 30:43
or there's restrictions that you don't want to you don't want those kind of restrictions on your wedding day that you have to adhere to. Because there you have to fall within these.
Kristina Stubblefield 30:54
That's a that's really important.
Dallas Montgomery 30:56
Don't just assume because someone has a barn and it looks beautiful. And they're running weddings, that they are legitimate business. I've heard from our zoning board before that they have caught people that have just started doing, like, event venues out of there, like a pole barn. Yeah, you know, pole barn, and it's like, they're starting to advertise that they're doing weddings, and they have to go and shut them down. Because they're like, You didn't even follow permits for this. You know,
Kristina Stubblefield 31:20
and that's a three other episodes about not only permits, honestly, it is because it can be dangerous, not only for the owner, but also for the guest,
Dallas Montgomery 31:31
you don't have to ask the Marriott Downtown if they're zoned properly. Right. But when it comes to so you don't think about that. But when it comes to barn venues, yeah, ask that question. And feel comfortable with the answer. And if you don't, that should be a little bit of a red flag.
Kristina Stubblefield 31:46
So one thing that's popped in my mind, what about the grounds? Should people ask questions about where they can have activities where their ceremony could take place? If it's not going to be in the barn if it was going to be outside?
Dallas Montgomery 32:02
So yes, they should? And, you know, with us, it's like, yeah, we have we don't we have 40 acres. Okay. But, you know, there are certain areas that we can't do it. You know, obviously, the woods where there's a bunch of trees, okay, we're not going to do a ceremony out there. But, you know, when it comes down to it, you need to ask questions, like, what's our plan B? in case it rains? So, if if, say the barns beautiful and the barn holds 150 People for the reception only, but they have to do the ceremony outside? Well, what does that mean? Okay, that means you have to have a tent. That doesn't mean, oh, I'll just get a tent at the last minute, because you can't do that. Especially right now. You know, so ask what the plan B is. And again, like everything else, and I might say this more throughout the podcast, but you should feel comfortable with the answer. You know, we are very clear, we can fit 225 People in the loft of our barn, that is our plan B, anything over that, then we tell them we need A budget A tent, will get them the price for based on what they want to do. And then we have to build that into what you want to do. Because I'm not going to tell somebody that we can fit 350 people seated in a lot of our barn. And then what are we going to drive? Everyone standing up in the back, you know, in the back half of the barn realistic with your number. So you know, you should really be asking, like, what's the plan B? And they should, you know, we I always talk about the plan be ahead of time. So they know that we know what we're talking about. You know, but they you know, that's a good question to ask.
Kristina Stubblefield 33:43
So then, what about the one I just mentioned outside, this came up in my mind, you know, you've seen a lot with sparklers, and power techniques and those type of things. And when you were talking about outdoor space that popped up in my mind, I'm assuming outdoor venues would probably have some kind of policies or procedures, what's allowed what's not allowed on usage of that kind of stuff. I would think just because you see all of it all over social media that people are doing it that you want to ask in advance before you plan to do something like that.
Dallas Montgomery 34:23
And you know what, we've got a section for that packet. You did I say that a lot during showings, because I'll say, I always say ask questions ahead of time as we go through. But for efficiency sake, oh, you might hear me say I've got a section for that. And so we'll go over that and we go over sparklers Chinese lanterns, standoffs, bonfires.
Kristina Stubblefield 34:40
You know what I was talking about.
Dallas Montgomery 34:42
Fireworks, all these things? You know, and what's nice about us, is that what the 40 acres were out of city limits and we're zone commercial property and were incorporated so we've had huge firework shows out there. I mean, I'm talking like that one in that we did. Oh, yeah, after COVID Yeah. mean this thing was impressive.
Mandi Bieda 35:01
It was a four there was our fourth of July 1 wedding backout, open after COVID. It was like
Dallas Montgomery 35:05
it was like thunder over Montgomery Farms what it was,
Kristina Stubblefield 35:08
but don't automatically assume. Right, right. Because like when you're outdoors, we be able to do this because there's other factors involved, especially if you're talking about a barn
Mandi Bieda 35:17
one, like I've always said, it could rain, it did not rain for 30 days, then the neck cuts down, you know, you're in burn bans.
Dallas Montgomery 35:22
And you're trying to set off Chinese lanterns.
Mandi Bieda 35:24
Yeah. And you can be in burn band when you're in the country. And you know, I don't know if that's a city thing. But in the you know, in the country, you can have burn band where you don't you can't do any of that at that point. And we tell our brides that, you know, sparklers you can almost always do the way we're set up. But you need to make sure, you know, I think I you know, we're talking a lot of issues that clients and vendors will have is not communicating. And vendors not realizing brides don't do this every, you know, every day like we do. I'm chuckling
Kristina Stubblefield 35:53
because communication comes up in almost every episode. Yes,
Mandi Bieda 35:58
I ask the questions. And I always joke I said, I like it when I get the brides who will email me even if it's a random question, just email me it's better than you wondering and then coming in and assuming, don't assume, because then when you get told no, it's a huge letdown.
Kristina Stubblefield 36:13
This is something you just mentioned, though, haven't feeling comfortable enough with venue that you've chosen, that you can send email, even if it's 10 different emails, that oh, now, you know, and there's some out there, you need to know how do they communicate, write it. So what you just said, there is so important, and I think people could really take in that relationship you have with your venue, because there's going to be questions that come up along the way. Oh, yeah.
Mandi Bieda 36:42
I said, it's always hard when at the end of the night when they all leave, because we've built a relationship with them. And you know, we've been, we're in our eighth year now. And you know, it's just, I still remember a lot of them. And you know, you it's, you know, it's hard, it's hard for us sometimes, if you've done it right to see him leave at the end of night, because you don't know when you'll see him except on Facebook and see they're having kids and all the happy moments and everything like that, but you having a good relationship with your vendors. And they should be willing to, to give that back to, if you're if you're in this for the right reasons, you should be able to have that communication I had one year I had brides competing to see who could email me the most because they it was it was a running joke, because I had 60 or 70 from some of them. And that's perfectly fine. I would rather that than nothing. And then you have all these expectations. And that's not how it is.
Dallas Montgomery 37:33
And here's another podcast episode for you. Like, four or five at least I know. Right? We got your schedule full for the next we do a couple of months. Yeah. Well, if you're okay, if you're a venue owner out there, and you are not treating your vendors, outside vendors with respect and helping them and working with them. Shame on you. Okay. And that's, that's collaboration, it's a collaboration, we will not we are all in this together.
Kristina Stubblefield 38:03
And now you're still in my lines. But go ahead. Okay. It's community over competition. Yeah, we are all together.
Dallas Montgomery 38:10
We have equipment in our at our facility for like if a caterer runs out of this or that or doesn't or forgot it. Things happen, and I'm not going to treat them. They don't work for us. Okay, they work for the bride and groom. Okay, so I'm not going to treat them like they work for us. Oh, you need this? Oh, yeah, I got an extra little table here. No big deal. You know, I'm not gonna scoff at that, you know, and
Kristina Stubblefield 38:34
you're all working towards the same end goal. And that's that couples day.
Dallas Montgomery 38:38
And that's why I explained very clearly how Mandi and our other venue coordinator for weddings, will be communicating with the core vendors, prior to the wedding. So that that way, we are all on the same page. We're not, they're not just showing up on the day of the wedding, like a new caterer that's never been there before. And we're like, Oh, hi, by the way, we're the Montgomery's. What can we do for you know, we already have a plan, we know where their tables going, we know what tables we're using, for them. We know if they're using the prep kitchen or not, we know we know all that stuff ahead of time. So that we can be on the same page. And, um, you know, always just courteous with them. And you know, we all are, and you know, so it's like, just treat your vendors with respect as a venue owner,
Kristina Stubblefield 39:24
but also, as couples, mothers of the bride and groom. I will throw this in. You're working together towards the same goal. So be friendly with your vendor team as well. Yes. I mean, it's a two way street. And I assure you, I've done this for a long time. Most all of the wedding professionals out there. Their heart and soul is in their business and we're Respect is earned. And I have witnessed things over the years of how vendors are treated. And I do think I've seen a big shift with COVID. Just the joy of being able to get back together and do events, that it's opened up so many eyes to working more together, collaborations being easier, and all of that. So, on the same token, I say it to the guests at the event as well as the couples out there. Your vendors are in it for your special day.
Mandi Bieda 40:38
They are, they really are. And if they're not, then they're not the right venue, vendor, vendor venue and anything that and you can tell and you know, and even will have vendor vendors that come to us and say, I don't like going to this venue, because we all talk, we all know what's going on. They say I don't like because A, B and C. And this is why. And those, you know, if you have certain clients who will choose their floors or their caterer first because they know, they're going to ask, Where should I go, where should I not go? Because it's a special day and you it there's a lot it's you're dealing with emotion. So you have to work on that level of you're dealing with somebody's day emotions, and just being kind to all and don't get mad at the vendors, if you have not been part of the planning process. And you come in, and don't be mean to them and expect to be able to come in I we've had that where they they just weren't part of the planning process for whatever reason, and then they come in and expect them to work for them and not for the client who signed the contract.
Kristina Stubblefield 41:40
Absolutely. Dallas, one of the things that stands out to me from this is you referring to your packet, for those out there that you know, we have a lot of listeners that aren't that aren't local, you know, some in other countries, why do they want to listen to us? I'm not sure, but I'm glad that they do. And hope we're entertaining and share lots of good information. For those that don't have that packet, like you talked about, I would assume it would be really important to get things in writing terms, stipulations, policies, procedures, you know, if someone out there is listening, and they are getting ready, or they've went on some tours, I would think that that would be really important to have that
Dallas Montgomery 42:26
you you should one have a contract. Okay, step one, we knew that we're going to start at the basics, they should be given you a contract, and read that contract and mean even the fine print the fine print that little stuff, read that and, you know, if you don't feel comfortable reading a contract, you know, it should be written in pure English, too, it should not be written so that you need a lawyer to look at it. You know, that happens? Yeah, that does happen. But you know, if you have someone that's maybe experienced, and you know, you want them to look at your contract for you, by all means do that. But
Kristina Stubblefield 43:06
if I can just throw something in here, maybe have your parents read it, or good friends of you, because when you're so consumed and excited, and oh my gosh, you're thinking about, you know, when you're making these decisions, it doesn't hurt to have another set of eyes, because there could be something that you didn't catch,
Dallas Montgomery 43:24
Right? So make sure if there's something that you feel that should be in the contract as a guest or as a client, excuse me. You have every right to ask, do you mind if we add that because I know we talked about it, but I don't see it in the contract. And they they should be able to say yeah, no problem,
Kristina Stubblefield 43:42
not on every side piece of paper that during a walkthrough that you've talked about.
Dallas Montgomery 43:47
And that's and that's don't feel don't feel like it's inappropriate to ask for that. Because, you know, everyone's got different comfort levels. And just because you set it as a venue you know, we add stuff to our contract every few years just because people might ask certain questions and so we're like, you know what, let's just go to put that in the contract. You know, and after the years our contract has gotten really solid and you know, it's really where it needs to be but you should really be understanding all that and then the other you know, really big thing too is like what the packets you know it should one be given to you a lot of people are surprised that we give them a packet like a folder full of all this information.
Kristina Stubblefield 44:35
Well that's where I'm I know some venues send something digitally. I'm think I'm aware that there's even some and I'm not talking local, that don't really give anything that there's really information on their website. That's why I'm bringing this up because how you've talked about this packet. That is genius. And I feel like every venue should do something like That, that's what I want to share with our listeners, if you're not getting a packet, what should you get in black and white or actual have in writing, you know, contract? I think you want to know what your guidelines are, maybe I'll probably call it something different.
Mandi Bieda 45:15
Well, you want to know what you like. So our process, when you reach out to us and inquire, we give you even an initial pipe packet to make sure this is even possibly a fit for you. Because we may not we may be, this may not be what you want, this may not be within your budget, and that's fine. So we start there so they can see okay, yeah, I'd like to proceed with this. This makes sense. I want to these, these, these are things that I that I'm looking for, and then we give you that packet because A, you're gonna walk away and like, what what did they say, again, I don't remember. Or you're looking at multiple venues and things like that. And trying to remember what this venue said and what that venue said and what they hold on to. And something else I would like to say too, is a red flag, how long they take to get back to you? Oh, yes, that's something we will hear a lot of we try. Now, once now we're in wedding season, it may take if you email on a Friday, it may be Monday or Tuesday before we get back to you because we are focusing on our brides for that weekend.
Kristina Stubblefield 46:13
But you've also probably set that expectation exactly with that. But
Mandi Bieda 46:17
if you're coming within, if you reach out to us, we nine times out of 10 outside of something random, we will get back to you within 24 hours. We've had people say it took two three weeks, before they even got back to me.
Kristina Stubblefield 46:30
Well, what if I have a question, you know, a week or so before my event? Well, even before unification?
Mandi Bieda 46:36
Is that exactly, exactly the communication is the key and to make sure and even if it's not, Hey, I can't get to you right now. And I've even done that I've had a long list of things and you just be like, Hey, I've gotten your email, I've seen it just it'll be a couple days before I can get all this information to you, at least that lets them know that you're going to be in communication with them. And that really is huge. Because if you don't want to you want it to be as stress free as possible. And if you find the right venue vendors, venues, anybody you're working with, it will be stress free. That's correct.
Kristina Stubblefield 47:11
I think that's really good information. And that's what when I'm hearing this Alice, I'm so glad you talked about this packet. Because I'll share this with some venues that I know as well. I think this can cut down to on the amount of questions you probably field after a tour. Oh, yes. And you've basically outlined, you've really put out there, this, this is the expectations, this is what we deliver you there, and how great to walk away from a tour. And, okay, I really liked them. Now wait, it was a lot, let me go back and pull out the stuff he was talking about. They're able to read through that whatever time of day it is, even though you've told them, they can go back and look through that, I think that's really important.
Dallas Montgomery 48:00
And you should really go with your gut feeling like if you if you don't feel comfortable, that they're telling you the truth, you know, that's also a red flag to, you know, are too good to be true to get to be true or anything like that, you know, I mean, just, you should have a good feeling with the person that you're working with. You know, so, you know, example that is, you know, I approach showings as we're going to book these dates one way or the other, someone's going to take them. So my job is to give them all the information they need to make the right decision for themselves. And if we're the right venue for them, and they feel comfortable and they love what they see out there, then by all means, let's great let's you want it to be a good eye in the conversation with you have a lot of good information in here that you can use at any other venue if you want to. And I'm never presumptuous about anything. I always say, if you book with us, if you go with us, or you know, if you choose us, then this, this, this, this and this, if you go with us, and you've already done this on the here's the next step, we walked through that, you know, and I just treat it very, like, like they may book with us or they may not and I want them to feel comfortable with that. I don't want them to feel like you're sitting with a car salesman.
Kristina Stubblefield 49:25
You're letting them have space to make the best decision for themselves. Because in turn, that's the best decision for Montgomery farms.
Dallas Montgomery 49:35
You wouldn't be you'd be very surprised how many people say wow, this other venue only spent like 15 minutes with us. We just talked and that was that. So
Kristina Stubblefield 49:47
I can I knew you before we recorded this, but it even this episode solidifies how much care you all have for the people that book with you. And no matter where you're listening In the world, I hope you can find a place that you can feel the same way. Because it's so important for your wedding day.
Dallas Montgomery 50:08
I, one of the last things I say, as they leave, I always just when I'm shaking their hand, I say, whatever you choose for your wedding day, I wish you had a very happy wedding. You know, and that's, to me, that's just an appropriate way to end the conversation. Absolutely. And here's my cell phone number, you have any questions about the packet after you go through it, when you get home, if you have any clarification needs, just give me a call, give me a text, you know, and just make him feel comfortable.
Kristina Stubblefield 50:33
It's all you got to do, you're not selling them, you actually do care, they booked a tour with you, they're considering your place for the the best day of their lives, the most special day of their life that you don't take, you don't take that lightly.
Dallas Montgomery 50:49
Mandi Bieda 50:50
Because this is I mean, this is most people, this is your one and only any, we want to make that day perfect for you. Because we know what we're doing. We know how to make that day perfect for you, you know. So you know, we really enjoy something else that kind of would like to mention with talking about, you know, the paperwork and stuff we give, really look at the numbers, numbers may seem big at first. But when you go back and start calculating, it may not be so big, when you really start to look at it and see, what is this going to cost me because just for instance, we do you know, tables, chairs, and linens do come with us? Well, you may be like, well, I can get those cheaper. But then you've got delivery fees, you have service fees you have and all of those things are going up immensely. Right now, what I'm paying for my linens to get shipped to me right now I want to cry. But it's just it is what it is right now. But you need there, you can't look at the basic fee there will you know the basic price, because there could be a, b and c that's also attached and then taxes, you know, you do you get your your table, then you get your delivery fee, then you maybe get a setup fee, then you get taxed. And there's another $800 Possibly,
Kristina Stubblefield 52:01
and you're also coordinating all of that with the venue, where if you're doing it on your own property, what whichever, there's also coordinating those times and things there's there's more to it than just the rental of the item. Exactly. Knowing those numbers, and really giving them really comparing apples to apples, I think is a really good point. Because a lot of times you're just seeing that bottom number yes.
Mandi Bieda 52:27
And don't know that bottom number and assume that's it and that that bottom, you know, and also make sure that you said you are comparing apples to apples, because this number may be cheaper. But is it really What are you know, is it you know, for a couple 100 more you for sure gonna get what you need. Because, you know, if they're that much cheaper, there's usually a reason and I, you know, I get everybody's on a budget, you've got to stay within your budget. But if somebody is, like you said earlier, too good to be true. There is a reason and it will you won't realize it till it's too late.
Kristina Stubblefield 53:03
The other thing is your time is money, though those of you out there that are planning your event, the amount of time that you can save needs to be considered as well. Yes, because what time comes stress? I can list several things here. But there's more to it than just that bottom number. Oh, yeah, just those numbers that you're looking at,
Dallas Montgomery 53:25
Well and you mentioned all those things that you'd have to do if you're doing yourself? Well, here's the thing, you're doing that while you're working a full time job,
Mandi Bieda 53:32
or going to school, or graduating or raising kids all kinds of things. And it's just it's not as the wedding is. So such a different type of event that requires more precise and just peep you know, paying attention to what's going on. And I just I see a lot of assuming, and that I keep saying that. It's just you cannot assume that somebody is going to take care of something, because those people won't want to be paid and for what they're worth. And if they're not going if that wasn't part of your contract, and that wasn't in there. They're not going to do above that without charging you for it. Because that you know, their time and money is just as important to you as it is to you.
Kristina Stubblefield 54:18
Right. Absolutely. I know we've covered a lot thank you all so much for coming in. I think this has really been great information for if you're local to us great. If you're not well you can still learn a lot from this episode and I hope put it to good use with you're planning Dallas Monday as we wrap this up. Is there anything else you'd like to share about your venue? And then how people can connect with you or find out more information about you?
Dallas Montgomery 54:49
Well, they can find more information. They can look up Montgomery Farms on Facebook. Or I would say check out both go to our website montgomery-farms.com They, we have our Instagram on there, we have our Facebook on there. We have our telephone number on there, they can get a hold of us. They can call us directly, they can email us from there. And, you know, one of the things just the add about our venue is, you know, we provide more services than any other barn venue really does and goes above and beyond.
Kristina Stubblefield 55:23
Now, you said you weren't gonna call yourself a barn venue? Well,
Dallas Montgomery 55:26
I got to keep it simple for for the sake of conversation. Absolutely.
Mandi Bieda 55:32
Well, I'd like to mention we you know, we do include a bridal suite groom suite, indoor restroom, a kitchen area for your cater, so we have all those amenities. So it's like he's, that's why
Dallas Montgomery 55:41
it's chairs, linens, we provide the DJ, we provide our own bar service, we carry your own bar liquor license, we take care of that. I mean, we just the venue coordinator, I mean, the venue coordinator and DJ right, there are the two biggest things that are huge for a venue like ours to do.
Kristina Stubblefield 56:01
Absolutely. Sure you have pictures on your website, where people can see exactly what we're talking about. For those that are local, will you share with them where you're located. We're located
Dallas Montgomery 56:11
in Scott County, Indiana, which is about about 25 minutes north of the river, north of Louisville, Kentucky, off of I 65. So it's really easy to get to. And I'll also add to our website, montgomery-farms.com also has a 3d virtual tour, you can tour our entire venue, including the bride and groom suites on our website from your couch.
Kristina Stubblefield 56:37
That's amazing. That's an awesome feature. And I know we're talking a lot about weddings, but you also host other types of events.
Dallas Montgomery 56:45
We do corporate events, private events, we've held festivals out there. We can have 1000s of people out there easily. We got 40 acres to play with. So we can host you know, company picnics, retirement parties, bridal showers, you know, anything that you want any kind of retreat training, galas, award dinners, you know, fundraisers, you name it, we can do it. You want the barn great, we can do a lot with the barn, you want to get white tents everywhere. And you know, we've got plenty of flat ground, we can do that and blow up our tent game. You know, we can really do whatever you're looking for.
Mandi Bieda 57:22
You know, and a lot of people there, you'll hear like, because if you have guests coming from Louisville, this wasn't a bad drive. This wasn't as near as far as I thought. This isn't what, two weekends ago. This is not at all what I expected. It's very peaceful. Very nice. It's away from the city. You're just far enough away that you're not but not far enough that you feel like you're you know, Banjo playing in the background kind of situation.
Dallas Montgomery 57:46
So you're paying Scott County prices not downtown. Exactly.
Mandi Bieda 57:50
Exactly. So you know, it's you know, it's just very we have a we have a pond with a fountain. It's just very peaceful, nice people just like just the just the
Kristina Stubblefield 58:01
The whole vibe. Thank you, yes. No matter if it's for wedding, corporate team building festivals. It is a great vibe, no matter what the occasion is,
Mandi Bieda 58:11
Right? Oh, yeah. Right. And it's, it's just nice. You know, you people are surprised. And we, we like when they're surprised because you know,
Kristina Stubblefield 58:20
it's yours. But when someone else is noticing, or some of those things that maybe others take for granted. You know, having that peace and quiet. Hearing the birds chirping or not a hustle and bustle type atmosphere. When someone says that to you. It's yours. You've put so much into it. It's nice to get that feedback.
Mandi Bieda 58:45
Exactly. Because, you know, we do get ourselves into it. It's nice, and it makes you take about, you know, a moment to realize, yeah, this is and we do have easy parking we have that we thought we'd like to throw that out. It's easy parking in downtown parking,
Kristina Stubblefield 58:58
Right? It, it really isn't a bad drive whatsoever. And it's honestly, definitely go to their website, check it out. Make sure follow them on social media, whether you're local or not, you can always support wedding professionals or anyone else by following them on social media, sharing out their information, liking their post all those great things. So thank you both for joining me. This has been really good. I know Mike and Sharon are going to be I know they're already super disappointed. They could not join us. But we were so excited to have this discussion. We did not want to reschedule. So thank you again, make sure to check out their website montgomery-farms.com. Thank you for all of our listeners. We always appreciate you following the podcast on social media. And we'd love hearing your feedback. So if you want to share with us what you think of this episode or if you have questions, we can always pass them along to Dallas or Mandi, as you they mentioned throughout the episode they are happy to give back with people with their questions. So until next time everyone, take care. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The Ring The Bling And All The Things. If you liked what you heard, make sure to hit the subscribe or follow button on your favorite podcast platform to get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website, ringblingallthethings.com where you can join our email list and get notifications about new episodes and other information. You can also follow us on your favorite social media platforms.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
With 25 years in the hospitality industry, Mandi has seen every aspect of hosting events and entertaining guests. Montgomery Farms is a third generation property where Mandi co-owns the business with her brother Dallas Montgomery. With their 40 acre farm and 150-year-old two-2-story barn they run weddings, corporate/private events in Underwood Indiana.