It’s Spotlight Day! Where we introduce you to Shantel from The Howey Mansion and the stories behind their company.
When people ask “what do you do”, how do you answer?
I tell them that I am a Special Events Manager at the Howey Mansion, or that I have the pleasure of assisting couples in planning one of the biggest milestones in life! I have always been a hopeless romantic so I love that I get to tell people that I am in the wedding industry!
What did you do before you did this?
I was a server and bartender before I jumped into the wedding world!
When and how did you get into the wedding industry?
I got into the wedding industry in 2015 when I started my first position as a catering coordinator for a hotel. I was lucky enough to meet an amazing Director of Catering who saw potential in me and took a leap of faith and hired me on Full time with her!
How long would you say you’ve been doing what you do today?
I started my career in the event world in 2015, so about 5 years now!
How did your work evolve to get you to where you are today?
I started as a catering coordinator for a hotel, and within 6 months I was out selling my predecessors which caught the attention of the Regional Food and Beverage Director. They had just taken on another property and needed someone to take over the Sales Manager position and she offered me the job, which I happily accepted! After about 3 years, the venue, unfortunately, had to close and I was lucky enough to reach out to a very well known vendor in the wedding world who introduced me to my new bosses at the Howey Mansion!
What is your favorite thing about what you do? What’s your WHY?
I love getting to meet with the clients during their initial site visit. I love hearing their love story and how they meant and just getting to know the couple before just selling them a venue. I get to know and understand what each client is looking for and figure out how to make their dream wedding come true (at least on the venue side!).
Tell us about your most memorable event so far and why it was.
One of the best weddings I have gotten to take part of was a 400 person wedding which was hosted here at the Howey Mansion! I loved seeing this wedding come together for a number of reasons, the biggest being there was literally the BEST team of vendors involved in the entire process. The couple had a tent with flooring which took 5 days to construct which was so fun to see, it was like a whole other building plus all the details on the day of, seriously so FUN to watch come together. It didn’t hurt the couple was absolutely amazing through the whole thing as well.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is getting to watch the couple’s fall in love with the Mansion …. twice! The first time when they book, and the second on their wedding day when they see all their hard work come together!
What motivates you to do this every day?
I have to be honest that I just love selling, it’s so fun to wake up and accept the challenge of the day! Seeing your goals being achieved is such an accomplishing feeling, which is just in double when I am also getting to help a couple bring their vision to reality as well. I just feel like I win all around!
What fun-fact would people be surprised to learn about you?
I am OBSESSED with the Nightmare Before Christmas, I have an entire collection of figurines and Tim Burton’s original stories that inspirited the movie.
What is the best compliment you’ve received from your clients?
The best compliment for me has always been when a couple takes the time to tell me “Thank you” on their wedding day. The fact that they even stop for a moment in their big day to show appreciation is amazing. It’s the best feeling that they thought enough of me to pause and just say “Thank you”. It’s literally the best feeling!
How did you decide on the name of your company?
Well, I didn’t name it as I am not the owner of the company. However, I can tell you that as a historic mansion built by the founder of Howey-in-the-Hills, the name The Howey Mansion, was just always the perfect fit!
What is important for clients to know about your company before they book you?
It’s important for clients to know and understand what is expected of them as well as the Mansion before they book us. The Mansion is a primarily outdoor venue and we do require back up plans and day of coordinators to also be booked. It’s not us trying to set a lot of rules, but it’s us trying to protect our couples from not having the perfect day they deserve!
What is the most unique service/product you offer?
The atmosphere! The Mansion is a truly one of a kind venue, with its historic nature, Mediterranean style and multiple locations, no where else can offer you the intimate, homey feeling that the Mansion does with such a large space!
What type of events do you specialize in?
Weddings! We love and host many weddings throughout the year! We also specialize in Quinceanera, Birthday Parties and Holiday events.
What makes your business stand out from others in your category?
The Howey Mansion is unique in that even though we are a historical venue, we do not have a lot of the same rules and regulations that other historical venues (like no red wine! have). The Mansion is also relatively larger than a lot of the historical venues as well, offering cocktail hours and dancing inside the grand ballroom vs under a tent or in their outdoor locations. We also offer sleeping accommodations on-site as well!
Why do you think your business is successful?
The Mansion is successful because we have an incredible team of leaders here, everyone works together to make each event special. No one feels like they are above anyone else and everyone pitches in when needed! It takes a team of people to create success for a venue, and we have the best team around!
Tell us about your favorite type of engaged couple.
All engaged couples!
Why do couples hire you?
I think couples appreciate my honesty, I am here to sell and hit goals, but I am also here to ensure that a couple feels comfortable and confident in their decision to book the Mansion in the first place! I never want someone to regret their decision to trust me, and the Mansion with such an important day!
What does your most popular package include?
Our most popular package is our All Day Rental, which includes access to our onsite getting ready Suites starting at 9 AM, mahogany Chiavari chairs, round banquet tables, linens in couples choice colors, fruit infused water as a welcome beverage, onsite parking with parking attendants, up to 6 hours of event time and complimentary cake cutting.
Tell us about some of your package options and the price range for the products.
All of our packages include tables, chairs, getting ready suites, linens, etc. The biggest difference is the time included, with some packages being 8 hours, others all day, and even an entire weekend! Packages range from $1,500-$12,000 depending on the date, day and package a couple selects.
What are the most common questions you get asked by brides and/or grooms?
Since we are a primarily outdoor venue, the #1 questions I get is “What is the backup plan?”. It’s a valid and important question! While we know that not every venue requires a couple to have a tent on a rain plan, this is exactly what we require. Why? Well, because we certainly don’t want to be a moment of regret or stress for any reason, especially not due to weather which is out of our control! We want everyone’s day to be flawless, so a solid back up plan is an absolute must, and this is exactly what we tell our couples when asked!
What is your best piece of advice for brides or grooms?
My best piece of advice is to ensure you understand your contracts before booking. Make sure you read through and understand exactly what you’re agreeing too before you sign. There is nothing worse than having to explain to a client that additional fees are due because they failed to read that confetti was not allowed in the venue, especially because its such a silly thing that could have easily been avoided! This is a small example of course!
What current trends have you seen at weddings that you personally like the most?
This is a tough question because I love so many things! Some of my recent favorites have been the Champagne Wall Seating Chart, Neon/Custom Signs, and vintage lounges!
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions that people have about your vendor category?
This is a tricky one, I think the biggest misconception that people have is that venues in particular price gauge. I can’t tell you how many parents call me complaining about wedding costs or telling me that when they got married they paid $500 for their venue. I think people think the wedding industry as a whole prices things willy nilly. They don’t stop to think that there are a lot of overhead costs for a venue in particular. We have a setup team, house managers, electric, water, paper goods, cleaning crews, maintenance teams, event managers, etc that are all a part of a rental fee. It’s even more for a historical venue as you also have a restoration team involved as well. It’s not just a simple rental of the venue, there is a lot of costs that get layered in as well to keep a business open and to also be profitable.
Here is what some previous couples had to say…
“We got married at The Howey Mansion in January 2020 and it was nothing short of the most romantic, picturesque, and perfect day. Tasha was our main contact throughout the planning process and she was wonderful, helpful, and knowledgeable. She had no issues answering my many silly questions and multiple phone calls. Tasha and Myrna were on staff during our big day and were extremely helpful with setup, etc.
The mansion is available for rent for the entire weekend, we chose this option to give our bridal party a place to sleep both Friday and Saturday nights, which made life and setup/takedown extremely easy. We chose to include the prohibition cellar option which includes a whiskey tasting for a few hours during your event, it was a HUGE HIT. I would HIGHLY recommend booking your wedding at this beautiful, historic venue.” – Lindsey D.
Most beautiful venue! My wedding was so beautiful there and had many guests raved about how beautiful of a venue it was. I’m so glad my wedding was there! It was definitely a venue meant for us. I fell in love with it the first visit. Let’s not forget how beautiful of a ready room we both had, great for pictures! Honestly, so glad the Howey Mansion opened for weddings when we started looking. Our wedding photos look amazing and that’s thanks to my man vendors but also to this beautiful venue. We were lucky.” – Jessica M.
“AMAZING Venue Incredible Staff. This beautiful venue was the perfect backdrop for our NYE wedding. The venue staff has been so kind and helpful throughout the planning process. I really couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful place or a better team for our wedding day!” – Christine
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