Post # 1
Hello there Bees!!
Wanting to keep this pretty short and sweet. 🙂
Has anyone opened a wedding venue? If so – do you have any tips or insight to a newbie?
Fiance and I have actually been talking about starting a wedding barn business since before we got engaged. Since being engaged we are talking more and more about it. Also doing things like buying our tables and chairs for the wedding instead of renting, so that we can keep them and use them again.
Anywho – has anyone been through this process?? I am excited but mainly scared to death!! haha
Thank ya! 🙂
Post # 2
Haven’t done it, but you may want to talk to a lawyer before you buy up a bunch of stuff. If you want to do it, I’d personally want to create a limited liability company to protect my personal assets, and have them draft a rental agreement and make sure you have sufficient insurance. You also would need to verify that your property doesn’t have restrictions for business use.
And then you have (in the us) laws that require the property to be handicap accessible. You may need a firemarshall etc to inspect the building and determine the max capacity. You’d need enough fire extinguishers, parking and bathrooms. I’d ask the attorney what all would be involved in making sure you’re compliant with all federal and local laws.
Post # 3
What PP said. Start with a lawyer, research laws in your area in regards to how the property can be used, if taxation will change etc.
Insurance insurance insurance.
Post # 4
We have spoken to a lawyer and insurance agent. I think legally we have our ducks in an ok row so far. haha. Last night I even started wondering if we could do a loan type thing for all the upfront cost of buying things like tables, chairs, etc….
Post # 5
cincilady2019 : Legalities and logistics of aquiring the property and everything that goes with it, I *highly* suggest that you reach out and consult with 1-2 vendors from each category to “pick their brains”. As a wedding photographer I’ve done this for a couple of venues and I can’t tell you what a smart decision it is on their part. You can speculate what would be good all day long, but if you aren’t working within that specific niche you really don’t know. A coordinator/planner can talk to you about the logistics of a wedding day and all the small details often forgot about. A caterer can go over what they need in a facility. The photographers can discuss the things to do to get the best photo results. You get the point. Musicians/DJ’s can go over what they need in terms of outlets/power, etc.
Post # 6
I’m in Canada so I’m not sure the regulations in the US but the venues have a certain # of weddings/events they can host each calendar year for the first 3 years of business. Might be different but I know it came as a shock to some venues because they weren’t able to be making profit back fast enough to pay off the money they had been loaned or pay themselves a salary for the first few years.
Post # 7
tobeornottobe7 : Seriously? Is that a law in Canada? That seems so unnecessarily restrictive on small businesses!
Post # 8
You also need to speak to a CPA. You’ll need to set up QuickBooks (or whatever book keeping program you’ll use) so that you’re tracking the money you’re putting into your business and also all of your pre-opening expenses and asset/inventory purchases for tax purposes. This way if you never do open the business, you can still deduct some of your expenses as new business exploration.
You’ll also need your LLC/LLP set up as well as your state’s resale certificate to be able to purchase items at true wholesale prices.
There may be limits (or just serious side eye) about using your future business’s assets / inventory for your own personal wedding.
And from a non legal / tax point of view, make sure as you’re purchasing items that have broad appeal to many brides, not items that suite your own personal taste. Figure out if you even want to do that now vs renting now and buying later once you’ve actually written a full business plan and have zeroed in on exactly what your business will entail.
Post # 9
starfish0116 : Thank you! I love that! I’m working on finding vendors in the area to speak with. I was a wedding planner at a facility for about 6 years and then I have been doing it on the side for a while. But the past few years has been my “off the planning scene” moment. I’ve only been helping friends and family. But I would love to get to know the vendors in our specific area, due to us moving outside of my familiar zone. I’m glad i’m on the right track with thinking of that! 🙂 Thank you again!
Post # 10
dgirl715 : Thank you!!! Yes – I’ve definitely been thinking of the “broad want” of brides as well. I think it will be a mix of renting and buying. But Quick books is a great idea!!!