How My Life Changed After We Started the Business

How My Life Changed After We Started the Business

That is a loaded title! How my life changed after we started the business. OMGoodness, where do I start? I’ve been a loner since childhood with one special friend up through high school. I was shy, chubby and felt very out of place in a crowd.

I took some sports in school, did 4-H, was in drama (my mom said that is where I started to come out of my shell) and attended youth group. Beauty school was my one year of college and then off to work in a salon.

I was married at 23 and had four children over the next few years. It was when the children started getting older we realized more income was needed. You see I was a homeschool mom and chose not to work outside of the home.

Fast forward to about 8 years ago; we started the business that turned my life upside down. Being out with the public a lot was very different than what I was used to, and honestly, I was scared to death!

How has my life changed since our home business started? Let’s take a look.

The first few years:

I remember at our first wedding ever as I was helping the bride bring her things into the bridal room, she looked at me and said, “so we are the Guiney pigs?” My heart dropped and probably my mouth too. I said “well, you are the first wedding here, but I hope you do not feel like a Guiney pig!”

I remember another wedding where I told the bride I would let the caterer know where to set up when he arrived. And there I stood looking out the window in the house when the caterer arrived, frozen to the floor. Luckily my husband was out in the yard and our bride gave him the message for the caterer.

A lot of my fear at the beginning was that I didn’t want to get in the way. I was not sure what I was and was not supposed to do. I didn’t know the right questions to ask and was very unsure of myself.

At one client tour I actually indicated the more bookings we get this year the more options we can provide at the venue. Wow, does that scream desperate to book weddings?!  I was out of my comfort zone and messing things up regularly.

The middle years:

Finally, I got it together. I realized peopled liked me, I didn’t have to be a salesman. I had been a stay at home mom for so many years that I oozed with reassurance and calmness, I knew how to make the bride and their family feel valued, special and let them know I was there for them. Once I realized I could be me instead of playing some roll I knew nothing about things got fun.

I’ve been using a life couch now for about a year and she suggested I take the Gallup Strengths Finders test. You can find that here if you are interested. I ordered the top 5 Clifton strengths for $19.99. You get a code and take it on-line.

This test is amazing! I learned my five top strengths, which I think I knew but didn’t, if that makes sense? To have it on paper and explained to you, it’s like the light was turned on.


My Top Strength

Learner is my top strength, I have always loved learning! I’m not weird, it’s a strength, lol. Starting the wedding venue was full of learning. If you have read my eBook: How to Start and Run a Wedding Venue – In Your Own Backyard  you know all the new things I have learned.

I’ve loved every minute of this learning process. The research before implementing took a long time. I always want to do it right the first time, if I can, so I don’t have to re-do things.

I had to learn how to start and run our website, about contracts, the best way to set up tables and chairs, where to find linens, setting up for reception, oh my word the list goes on. And still every year we are learning how to simplify without compromising quality.

My fourth strength is Responsibility. I take full responsibility for the things I do. Commitment, honesty and loyalty are a high priority for me.

I take care of my clients, I want them to have a perfect day and I will go above and beyond for those that book our venue. It’s like I’m on a mission to make sure everyone is satisfied. I want to be helpful, you know, the problem-solving sets in.

That is my 5th strength, restorative. I’m good at dealing with problems, figuring out what is wrong and resolving it. Did God put me in the perfect place for my talents or what?! I feel so fulfilled in my roll as venue owner. There is never a dull moment and I thrive on that.

I get to be creative, an encourager and even share in the excitement of each brides dream wedding.

The later years:

I have personally changed so much. You guys, my children are proud of me. They tell me I’m an inspiration to them. This chokes me up. I have gone after my dreams; it was not easy.

There have been naysayers along the way that have questioned my dreams, have looked down on my dreams – it hurt. It’s my strengths that have kept me going, I just couldn’t stop, I was compelled to keep going.

If I have any words of wisdom it would be PRESS ON. Where there is a will there is a way. God gave us strengths to use, use them! It will take courage and determination and probably time.

Taking time is not a bad thing; we learn things on our way to the destination. Embrace where you are, but don’t stay there! Keep moving forward.

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18 Comments

  1. M. Watson says:

    I’m so glad I found you! My husband and I are considering the purchase of some farm property that happens to have a barn like building that was built as part of a winery. It has really caught my imagination as a party venue but I have been filled with second guessing and self-doubt! I can tell that I’m going to learn a lot from your e-book and blog and keep moving forward with excitement and inspiration!

  2. Hello Mary! Thank you so much for taking the time to share. Second guessing and self doubt are dream killers and I know this to well.You have chosen to move forward Mary and I’m very excited for you!! You’ve got this, press on new friend.
    Blessings, Teri : )

  3. My husband and I have dreamed about doing a Wedding venue now for 2 years.
    We just bought 12 acres with a move in ready home and a barn we are rehabbing into a wedding venue now.
    We are so excited to launch the opening by the end of August or September.
    However we have so much to learn about thus business.
    It’s gonna be a real learning experience but I’m buying your book this weekend in hopes of gaining some education from your experience in this business.
    Thank you , Belinda Baker.
    The White Dove Venue

  4. Belinda! I’m so excited for you. 🙂 And… What a beautiful business name. The eBook will truly help you feel more confident and ready for this great adventure you are about to start. Thank you so much for sharing, I love hearing from fellow entrepreneurs.
    Blessings,
    Teri 🙂

  5. Christine Overdick says:

    We live in a house on a cul-de-sac but out back yard gate opens to our church, so lots of parking. Sitting on a quarter Acre lot our back yard is mostly private. We have a covered patio with a masonry fireplace. We have had two weddings in our back yard. As retirement years are approaching (5-10 years) my idea of using our place as a venue for small, Intimate backyard venues from weddings, rehearsal dinners and large birthday to family picnics as a income supplement has me thinking. My husband is very handy and a server by nature, hospitality is on my strength list. We have a large house and live alone. I’m thinking your book would be of value even though weddings may not be our only use. I’ve encountered many ( I’m a hairdresser too) who won’t or can’t host events even just for family because they just lack belief that they can. I’ve hosted a number of times for others so they could enjoy a gathering. What do you think about the need for small venues like this?

  6. Hello Christine! I have seen a trend, just this year for smaller weddings. Weddings would suit you perfectly it sounds like. My only caution would be to check with your county and city about the rules for having an event center/ venue in your backyard. They can get really picky. You do not want to put a lot of work into something and then have them say you can’t do it.
    Blessings,
    Teri 🙂

  7. Renee Womack says:

    My Husband and I purchased 40 acres and will be building a barn for Our Venue. We are in the process right now of landscaping, building bathrooms, Bridal suite (in a 30×35 grain silo) and Grooms quarters. Also a 14ft grain silo Bar. I’m really concerned with the tax and bookkeeping aspect of running a business. Any advice? Good books or classes to take? Thanks so much, Renee

  8. Hello Renee! Hubby Les records everything in quick-books (they have tutorials and classes too) and then we hand it off to our accountant at tax time. There are many accounting and software programs out there and some cater to the wedding business industry. All you have to do is Google it and a lot of things come up. Don’t let this part of your business steal your joy! I would -for sure- at least let an accountant get you set up. I could never do that part of the business, lol! As you know, it is a very important part of any business so get it right from the start.
    Blessings,
    Teri 🙂

  9. Renee- I am so glad to have found this and read about your experiences with starting a wedding venue. I’ve been dreaming for a long time about starting my own glass conservatory greenhouse wedding venue. And I can agree with you that you get knocked down by the naysayers and you must pick yourself back up and keep pushing on toward your goals and dreams and don’t listen to their negative opinions. It’s really hard when you don’t get the support from your spouse to help you achieve your dreams. Always being told you can’t do this or that. You give me hope! I’ll keep pushing on.

  10. Hello Ann! I love your idea – glass conservatory greenhouse wedding venue!! How unique and different. A big marketing advantage. I totally get your frustration of being told you can’t do that. When my husband tells me we – can’t do that – I tell him … Don’t tell me what I can’t do, tell me what I can do. 🙂 You’ve got this Ann. I believe in you, and yes there is always hope. Press on sweet friend.
    Blessings,
    Teri 🙂

  11. Wow this post really spoke to me . We have a contract on 20 acres with a beautiful hilltop and Long winding driveway where we plan on building a white barn style home/wedding venue on but our house is currently up for sale and with everything going on it’s really hurt the sale of homes around my area. I’m starting to get discouraged that the dream of owning a wedding venue will not happen . My husband has become a dream killer recently when he was on board before . I’m trying really hard to not let all this get me down but it’s not easy when the circumstances are saying no . I know God is bigger than all of this and that He will make a way where there seems to be no way and I have a lot of faith but I can’t convince my husband to think the same way and it’s hard not having your spouse on the same team. I am coming up on a new phase in my life where my job as a stay at home mom will be coming to an end since my youngest will begin school this year so I’m freaking out a little because for 10 + years I’ve been staying home with my kids . I don’t desire to work a regular job. I’ve always wanted to be a business owner and have great leadership skills . I also love to be creative and host events. I’ve ran a couple of small businesses from my home for periods of time so I’ve dealt with the bad side of business like upset customers , etc. I am very thankful I came across you and your book about running a wedding venue which I’m still reading . There’s been many times in your posts I’ve felt God speaking through you to me . The first thing that caught my attention was the scripture at the bottom of all of your posts , Jeremiah 29:11. This scripture has always got me through tough times so it’s very special to me. I love the part in this particular post where you talk about your kids seeing you as an inspiration. I told my husband yesterday that it’s one big reason I want to do this because I want them to go after their dreams also and I want them to set big goals and I want to be a good role model for them. I want to be different from the rest of my family because none of them really did anything unique. They all have had standards 9-5 jobs and that’s just not what I feel God has called me to do. I could be wrong but only time will tell and I’ll be ok with wherever he wants me but I’m not going to stop dreaming about this particular thing until I hear a clear no!
    -Future Hopeful Owner of “Humble Beginnings Wedding Venue”-

  12. Oh sweet Meagan!
    I hear your heart, I do understand everything you have shared. I have lived with a dream killer also. I love your faith in God, it will see you through this as it did me. We cannot change our husbands, trust me I’ve tried, lol! By the grace of God we will have been married for 38 years this Oct. Our situation was different but still in a critical state. From one wife to another, I would stop talking about it and continue to cry out to God, in your prayer closet (I will commit to praying the rest of this week for you both also). It reminds me of the verse in Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” The whole chapter is exciting. Never stop dreaming girl, never! You’ve got this Meagan, I believe in you. God will handles this (whatever the outcome, you will know HE was present), watch and see.
    Blessings,
    Teri 🙂

  13. I love your article! It’s helped me realize strengths I’ve had in me that I didn’t know I had before. I’m only in High School but I’ve loved the idea of building a venue one day, Italian themed lots of brick and arches. Seems silly to think about these things so far in the future but I’ve always loved every aspect of weddings since forever, and I love learning about new things! You have great articles and it’s so cool to learn more about what it’s like to own a venue, again thanks for sharing your experiences for everyone 🙂

  14. Rachel! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and dreams. 🙂 You are not silly at all for thinking of your future. The choices you make now will decide when you get your very own venue. Press on Rachel. ?
    Blessings.
    Teri 🙂

  15. Jessica Arbuckle says:

    Hi Teri, my mother and I are hoping to start our own venue and air bnb space on some property in the northeast corridor. I’m worried about being near to many other venues and trying to start in a saturated market. Any advice? Thank you!

    Jessica A
    Bricoleuse Weddings.

  16. Matthew J Donlon says:

    Hi Terri & fans….
    Congrats on your dreams coming to fruition & to those here that are dreaming of following that same path.

    I guess I’m the odd ball out. I bought a 47 acre farm in 2018 & have been rehabbing the house & outbuildings ever since.

    I also would like to use my property as a wedding venue & my wife is the one not on board.

    We have the most beautiful Sunsets one could ask for living up on the hill surrounded by mountains, hay & corn fields etc all that country life is about.

    My plan is to rent the place out from like Thursday through Sunday, longer if they like.
    I think I may start as an air BNB renting the property out for people wanting to have parties, weddings etc where the guests can camp out if they like before during & after the event.

    Not sure I’ve got what it takes to be just a wedding venue without the wife coming onboard.

    So if I just start by renting the space to those in need I can slowly learn from those that come & go with their own event planners before becoming a dedicated wedding venue.

    I already have one bunkhouse built & would like to add simple living spaces around the property such as small sheds decorated appropriately as sleeping quarters etc. so the close guests may stay on site if they wish too.

    I live in an area of the Adirondacks where in either direction 20 minutes you have horse racing, big beautiful lakes, ski mountains etc
    So a lot of people vacation in this area so they may need lodging so why not include it in the venue I figure.

    I read someone else’s concern about a saturated market which I also have in this area.
    My words would be if your investment is totally dependent on being booked all the time to survive do your home work, see what others are charging, see how long they are booked out for, go see what your competing against & find a niche that separates you from the rest! (in my area many barn weddings are booked out nearly 2 years in advance) So I see that as an opportunity!

    For me this is my retirement home that I’ve always wanted so I’m not dependent on having bookings but it sure would make life more fun. 🙂
    Now if I could just come up with a simple to the point name that captures my space I’ll be good 🙂

    Oh & the pressures is on because my son is getting married at the farm in September ready or not ….

  17. Hi Matthew!
    “I read someone else’s concern about a saturated market which I also have in this area.
    My words would be if your investment is totally dependent on being booked all the time to survive do your home work, see what others are charging, see how long they are booked out for, go see what your competing against & find a niche that separates you from the rest! (in my area many barn weddings are booked out nearly 2 years in advance) So I see that as an opportunity!”
    This is so true, and great that you saw the oppertunity instead of the drawback. As far as your wife coming on board, in my personal opinion, don’t do it. We know couples who went to divorce court over this. An others to save their marriage, get out of the business.
    Blessings,
    Teri 🙂

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