The Majestic Oaks: A Venue Highlight
A Brand New Wedding Venue With A Musical History
I would like to share with you one of the newest wedding and private event venues in Northwest Florida: The Majestic Oaks. It might seem weird that I’m writing a blog about a venue I’ve never been booked for an event there, but let me explain.
As a wedding DJ, it’s really important to be familiar with venues. Each venue is unique and knowing what to expect helps you to discover the challenges you might have to face before the day of the event. With a site inspection, I can answer questions like:
“Where can I get power from?”
“Where is the best place to load in?”
“Does the venue have any requirements for wedding professionals when they load-in?”
“How early before the event can I access the event space?”
BEFORE the day of the event so all I have to do is show up, load in, and set up without having to adjust on the fly. I’ve scheduled site inspections months before an event just to make sure I can do a walkthrough. Even if I don’t have an event scheduled there when I take a tour of it, it allows me to be a resource for couples who are still looking for their perfect venue.
One Day On Instagram…
I was scrolling through my feed on Instagram about a month ago and came across this picture.
The caption read: “We would love to hear your vision for this space?” My response? “Uplights! Dance effect lighting! All the guests having a great time 😀 (but that’s just cuz I’m a DJ 😉 )” About half an hour after I submitted the comment, I thought, “Why don’t I just direct message them and see if I can schedule a tour of the event space?” Karen, the co-owner of The Majestic Oaks graciously scheduled a time for me to have a tour of the venue. Pictures give you an idea of what it looks like but the space shows so much better in person. Once I completed the tour, I knew I had to record a podcast with Karen. So, that’s what we did!
I had a brief conversation with Karen’s mom before I left the venue, so I knew there was some history to The Majestic Oaks. Usually, the best place to start a story is at its beginning. We’ll pick up our conversation there.
How The Majestic Oaks Came To Be
DJ Josh: Karen, when I talked to your mom I got the impression that The Majestic Oaks has an interesting origin story. How did The Majestic Oaks come to be?
Karen Hornsby: My whole family loves music. We’ve been in music all of my life. I remember the days vividly where I would get off the school bus, get on our family’s tour bus immediately, be gone all weekend traveling with my family, get home late Sunday night, and get back on the school bus Monday morning. The next weekend we’d do it all again. That was my life for years and I just loved it.
So, because music was such a part of our lives when I was growing up, 25 years ago my dad decided to build a musical theater at first as a hobby. But, then, it became a place that people could come and listen to Country or Christian music.
25 years later, my mom and dad are in a new season of their life, and the space was getting a little difficult for them to manage on their own. In July, the family got together and we were trying to decide what we could do with this 6,000 sqft building out in the middle of Vernon, Florida.
A New Beginning: Majestic Oaks
KH: My niece, who is a hair and makeup artist, suggested that we should try to turn it into a wedding venue. Immediately, everyone in the family was like “Yes! That’s exactly what we should do with this!” Most of the family has experience with weddings and events. While my niece is a hair and makeup artist, my sister-in-law works as a florist. I love design and decorating and have hosted and produced numerous events. My brother is a carpenter. It felt like all the arrows were pointing toward the idea, so we decided that that was what we were going to do. We took what was once a music theater and now have made space that is suited for weddings and other private events.
DJ: That’s cool that everybody in the family has different experiences within the wedding industry that they can provide to help with the creation of a new venue like that.
KH: Yeah, we’re very blessed that we could truly make it a family effort.
The Ideal Client For The Majestic Oaks
DJ: As you were coming up with the concept for Majestic Oaks, were you creating it for a specific type of client in terms of taste and style?
KH: That’s a very good question. We worked hard to make sure that we didn’t put ourselves in a niche and that we were a venue that could truly cater and compliment any couple’s style that inquires about booking us for their wedding. During the design process, we put a lot of intention and thought into every decorative piece that we picked. If the bride really loves glitz and glam we have enough crystal chandeliers in there that would go well with that look. But we also made sure to incorporate enough elements so that if a bride likes a country or the western look they could go that direction or bohemian, too. There’s even the ability to go with an industrial vibe.
We feel that whatever style the bride wants to go with Majestic Oaks would compliment it. The venue is a blank canvas. We want them to feel the freedom to let the paintbrushes of their mind go wild in the over 5,000 square feet they would have to work with. With this kind of freedom, a couple can create the wedding of their dreams.
DJ: What I appreciate about your venue is the fact that its interior and exterior are both white. To give readers context, in the area where the Majestic Oaks is, there are a lot of Barn Wedding Venues. The thing about Barn Wedding venues is they aren’t very conducive for incorporating uplighting. But when I came across the picture on Instagram of the entire space, I was like “Oh, Man! You could do so much with light in that space!” I really think that you’ve done a very good job of marrying the positive attributes of a barn wedding venue with that of a ballroom.
KH: You said exactly what we were hoping to accomplish. So that makes me very happy!
Questions Prospective Clients Should Ask
DJ: Now that we’ve touched on what you were trying to achieve with the venue itself, let’s talk about how we can help couples that are just starting out in the planning process. What are some questions that clients should ask a venue before booking that they may not initially ask that really good for them to find out answers for?
What’s the Price?
KH: Well, you’re asking a good question there. What I’ve noticed is that couples sometimes don’t know what questions to ask. But the first question they will always ask is “What is the price?” because that seems to be the only question they know to ask. The first question you want to ask a venue is “Are you a la carte or are you packages?”
A La Carte vs. Packages?
Sometimes a la carte pricing can start to add up. If the venue is a la carte, it brings up more questions. Are tables, linens, chairs, etc. included? We found that for The Majestic Oaks it made more sense to offer a package pricing instead of a la carte to make it easier for the couples who come in and inquire with us.
How Is Parking?
Another question couples may not think to ask is “How many guests can your on-site parking accommodate?” Our venue is rated for up to 200 guests. And, we made sure that we had enough parking for that amount of guests.
What Happens If It Rains?
Couples should also ask is “What is your alternative for when there is inclement weather?” Even though Florida is The Sunshine State, you never know what the weather will be like. We took the time to think through what our plan B is that way couples won’t have to think, “Oh no! My day wasn’t as good as it could be because we had to change everything due to weather”. We feel our plan B to be just as good as plan A as much as we could of course.
What Are the Insurance Requirements?
The last main question I can think of would be, “What insurances do you as a venue require?” That’s not just for the couple but the wedding pros also. Different venues have different guidelines including the amount of insurance they require. Those are the main questions I can think of that couples should make sure they ask.
The Importance of a Backup Plan
DJ: A backup wedding plan is essential especially if you’re planning on having it outdoor. I had an upcoming Friday wedding I was going to be DJing. Up until Thursday of the previous week, it had rained every day for a week and I was starting to get nervous about what the weather Monday. I had a wedding at an outdoor venue in South Walton County. On the Monday before the wedding, I was thought, “Oh, man. I hope the weather is going to be good.” But when I looked on the forecast and saw it was supposed to be sunny on Friday, the day of the event, I felt relief. Sometimes you’ll just have random popcorn showers that will show up out of the blue. Not thinking about that ahead of time can really come back to bite you in the butt, unfortunately.
KH: It sure can. It can send you scrambling and it makes things chaotic that’s for sure. We actually make sure we talk all the way through plan B right after we talk about plan A.
DJ: It helps to have everybody is on the same page so that if something does happen it’s not like “Oh, what are you going to do”, you’ve already had that conversation and everybody knows what to expect.
KH: Exactly. It keeps the surprises away. It keeps the couple and the parents at peace as well. It’s like “Oh, yeah. It’s raining.” but they’re not panicking because they know we’ve already talked about plan b. It really helps the stress level as well.
For More Info…
DJ: Karen, thank you so much for chatting with me. Where can prospective clients find out more about Majestic Oaks?
KH: Josh, it was my pleasure! Couples looking for more information can find us on Facebook and Instagram. For inquiries, prospective clients can fill out our form on our website. Our address is 3351 Mallory Road, Vernon, Florida 32462.
Thanks for stopping and learning about this great new venue that is available for weddings and private events! Last week I featured Holly Ferris from LaFleur Photography about incorporating film photography in your wedding as well as Your Weekly COVID-19 Update. If you have any questions you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to making it a HIGHLIGHT!