Michael Staires: Michael Staires. I’m at Loughridge in Tulsa, one of the best wedding venues Tulsa has. I’m visiting today with Kenzie Rhoads. She’s the weddings coordinator at Loughridge, one of the best places in Tulsa for a wedding venue. I’ve got some questions I want to ask you Kenzie about some of the things that Loughridge has to offer. I wanted to start, it always occurs to me that as a bride is planning for her wedding in Tulsa that she probably shows up at Loughridge for a tour with a lot of preconceived notions that right away you know, you’re going to have to maybe do some correction to get her back on track. What are some of the common assumptions or misconceptions that brides have when they come to Loughridge?

Kenzie Rhoads: Yes. That’s absolutely the case. Loughridge is such a — just a special wedding venue in Tulsa. We really do want an open mind when brides come and tour the venue. I think one of the most common mistakes that every girl has is what I call Pinterest brain. They have this [laughs] idea in their mind and they don’t want to change. They have all these ideas that they’ve come up with on Pinterest. Those venues, or barns, or anything like that that they see in Pinterest really don’t exist, or they’re in Los Angeles, or something of the sorts. Pinterest brain is definitely number one.

[laughter]

Michael: I can definitely understand that. As they’re scanning through Pinterest on their phone or on their computer and they’re looking for a place for their wedding, then it’s easy for them to look at the pictures. Probably when they’re coming on a tour, they’re saying, “I wonder if I can do this at Loughridge. I wonder if I can do what I saw in those pictures at a place like Loughridge”.

Kenzie: Yes, they do. Definitely. It’s really better if you are just open and you know the feel of the wedding that you want but you don’t necessarily — you want to fall in love with the venue as is. You don’t want to spend a lot of time and money transforming it into something that doesn’t exist and that’s going to drain your wedding budget.

Michael: Loughridge would be considered — I’m just trying to compare Loughridge with maybe some other places that brides would see when they go on a tour, when they’re looking for weddings venues Tulsa. You think about the big church and it’s got the big altar up at the front, and the aisle, and the pews, and the stained glass, and all of that, that doesn’t change wedding, to wedding, to wedding. Loughridge is really more like a blank slate, right? Like it’s a canvas that they can set the way they want.

Kenzie: Yes, definitely. It really is a versatile space and so there is room for the dreaming to transform a little bit of what you want. It does have a more traditional style with the stained glass chapel.

Michael: Yes, that’s right. There’s different places at Loughridge where brides can go to have their ceremony, right?

Kenzie: Yes, we have our own chapel. It’s a traditional style A-frame chapel with pews that really satisfies the people who want to have more of the traditional type ceremony and then be able to accommodate all the trends that are current in the reception.

Michael: Okay. Of course, because you’re a trained professional, you stay up on all the trends, but you know brides are looking through magazines, and their own websites, and this. They’re up on trends too. I’m sure that they come in with some of their idea about some of the latest things that they want to do. Wedding Venues Tulsa

Kenzie: Yes, absolutely. As we’re talking about common mistakes, the only thing that is wrong with that is they don’t realize how much it costs or they’ll have this vision of flowers all in their reception but their wedding’s in February. They can’t really get these flowers that are common in July or something like that. They really don’t understand how much things cost. It really takes them aback. That’s the thing, I see the brides at the very beginning of the planning process. Normally, this is the first thing that they’ve done. Some have maybe gone dress shopping, some have picked a date or something, but I see everyone at the very beginning. I’m the bearer of bad news that says, “This is how much everything costs. This is standard, and this is the way to do things, and –”

Michael: By the way, this is Mike Staires and I’m talking with Kenzie Rhoads at Loughridge. We’re talking about wedding venues Tulsa and I have a question. I’m just curious, how many or do many brides come to see you that actually have a dollar figure in mind? Like, they know how much they have to spend or are they more on the other side of the equation where they only really know what they want, they have no idea how much it’s going to cost?

Kenzie: Yes. I would say that the latter is more common. They have no idea but their dad comes in with the budget. [laughs]

Michael: Okay. Dad’s got the budget?

Kenzie: Yes. Mom and Dad come in and they have a set, “We’re not spending above X amount of dollars. You spend it how you want”. The bride, she has a dream and she wants it.

Michael: We’ll probably hit more on this later. When you think about wedding venues in Tulsa, would you say that Loughridge is about in the middle of cost, or a little bit toward the upper part, or a little bit one of the more less expensive options?

Kenzie: I would say it’s about in the middle. We believe in the value of what we’re selling but as far as wedding venues in Tulsa that are in the same category and feel as Loughridge, I would say we’re about in the middle.

Michael: Okay. Yes. You say here on my cheat sheet that brides oftentimes, when they’re looking for a wedding venue in Tulsa, they don’t come to see — they haven’t even really started thinking yet about their guest list. They don’t know if they’re talking about a hundred people or 600 people. They may not even know what that many people look like in a room. Talk about that a little bit.

Kenzie: Yes. That’s going to be the first thing that a venue asks you. They’re going to say, “How many guests are you planning on?” There’s such a difference between a hundred and 300. You might think that you can just spout off a number and go with it but it really does make a difference, especially if you’re pricing things by person. That’s going to be the first question at a wedding venue.

Michael: Well, I’m sure that most brides — I’ve never been a bride myself.

Kenzie: [laughs]

Michael: I’m sure that most brides come in and when they think about their wedding venue in Tulsa, they’re thinking about the front. What the front is going to look like. They don’t think about where the guests are going to be seated. If you have a hundred guests in a room that’s really set up for 300 or 400, those people are going to be swamped. They’re going to be overwhelmed by the space. Wedding Venues Tulsa

Kenzie: Yes, absolutely.

Michael: It’s not going to feel very intimate or cozy. By the same token, if the room is designed for 300 and they end up having 500, well obviously there’s going to be some problems.

Kenzie: Right. People just don’t realize because like I said, I’m meeting with them at the very beginning of the planning process. If you haven’t sat down and really counted how many cousins you and your fiancé have, you’re not going to be able to get an accurate amount which then applies everything that you just said.

Michael: Okay. Now, we were talking about this the other day. Tell me a little bit about what happens when brides come in, they’re looking for a wedding venue in Tulsa. They come in to see you and they’ve already set on a specific date. June 2nd or whatever it is, maybe it’s a Saturday and they’re pretty much set on a certain date, how do you respond to that and how do you help them arrive at maybe a better decision?

Kenzie: Yes, that happens absolutely all the time. Their favorite movie, the couple got married on June 2nd or something, so they want to do it on June 2nd. It really closes you off to a lot of options. If your venue in Tulsa isn’t open on that date, the venue that you love, so you settle for something else because they have the date or then, maybe your favorite photographer’s booked on that date already. I think going into picking a season or a month is a lot more beneficial than picking a specific date. This is such a great place when searching for wedding venues Tulsa has to offer.

Michael: Right. The other thing that you brought out the other day that really makes sense to me is, there’s only 52 Saturdays. If you come in thinking Saturday is going to be the day and it may be, it may be a good day, but you’re really limiting your options, no matter where you’re looking for wedding venues Tulsa has

Kenzie: Yes, absolutely. Saturdays they do fill up fast, for obvious reasons but really a Friday or a Sunday wedding is becoming more and more popular as we go.

Michael: How many times do you have to tell a bride — When you have to look her in the face and say, “This is your wedding, you need to do what you want to do”. Because everybody, they hear all these voices from all these other people, mothers, mothers-in-law, aunts,

uncles. All these people that are trying to — They want the best for her but sometimes they come on a little strong and it ends up confusing the bride.

Kenzie: Yes, absolutely. That happens more times than not. We’ll use the picking a date for an example. If the bride picks May 13th and the venue is open that day and she’s loving it. Then mom comes in and says, “Well, your second cousin was trying to plan a vacation for that day”. We go back to square one trying to accommodate the second cousin who wanted to go on a vacation. It’s just things like that happen all the time. You have to just take them aside and say, “This is going to be the date that you celebrate for the rest of your life, you need to make sure that you’re picking it based on what you and your fiancé want”. This is the place that you want to go when looking for wedding venues Tulsa has to offer.

Michael: That’s good. That’s good.