Intimate, rustic, elegant… as far as dreamy New England wedding venues go, Willowdale Estate has it all. Not only is this venue breathtakingly gorgeous, but the folks at Willowdale truly care about making your day special and go out of their way to achieve that. It was such a pleasure getting to work with Monique and the Willowdale team at The Big Fake Wedding New England, and we are thrilled to share more about them in their very own Vendor Highlight!
“Little known fact: a spectacular venue is only as good as the staff who manages it. Willowdale Estate is absolutely picturesque, and the team there are basically wedding fairy godmothers. We loved their devotion to helping us pull of a night to remember and know that you will too!”
The Big Fake Wedding New England Team
Describe Willowdale Estate in five words or less.
Intimate rustic elegance.
How do you do it all and do it so well?
By being a full-service event venue, we are able to offer our clients a more personalized experience and build a trusting relationship – from the time they book until the day of their event. Building that relationship is important because we want our couples not only to enjoy their actual wedding day, but all the planning that goes into it. We’ve found that having two separate teams for selling and planning allows us to give our couples more individualized attention. Our sales team starts it off by only doing one on one tours and following up with a customized proposal based on the couple’s preferences. From there, our planning team is dedicated to answering all types of questions, providing advice and becoming day-of coordinators to finalize all of the details and execute a perfect event. Without the balance and seamless coordination between both teams, we couldn’t do what we do.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job as the Planning and Production Manager is watching our team of coordinators grow and learn with each and every couple. Event planning isn’t always glamorous, but their genuine desire to make every couple’s wedding unique and special is inspiring. That type of desire is not taught, it’s instinctual. I would say the best part of being a coordinator comes at the end of the night – when the bride hugs you so tight to say thank you and that it was the best day of her life – there is no better feeling in the world.
What advice would you give to aspiring small business owners?
We have been putting on events for just over eight years now. Our owner, Briar Forsythe, started the company with about four other people and they worked day in and day out to build up our customer base and reputation. Briar did it all – she cooked, baked, sold weddings and executed them. Starting a business is hard work, and personally, my advice would be surround yourself with good people and network! Never underestimate the value of the networking organizations in your industry. As a member of the International Special Events Society, I am motivated every day by the successes of my fellow industry members and use that motivation to make Willowdale (and our industry) better.
What is your favorite part of The Big Fake Wedding experience?
My favorite part of The Big Fake Wedding experience was revealing the reception space to the guests. There reception space was incredible and it was amazing how each individual design somehow fit into all of the others. We were lucky to be surrounded by such overflowing talent.