Richmond Wedding Vendor Spotlight: Omni Richmond Hotel
Meet MaryBeth, Catering Sales Manager at the Omni Richmond Hotel and one of our favorite people!
Tell us a little about your hotel!
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. It is a day you will never forget! At the Omni Richmond Hotel, we are committed to making sure your wedding day is nothing short of spectacular, by filling it with love, laughter and magical memories. That is our promise to you.
Whether we are playing host to your wedding reception, rehearsal dinner or farewell breakfast, we will bring together the best of everything. Distinctive Venues, exceptional cuisine, luxurious accommodations and legendary service all come together to ensure your event is truly sensational.
Located in the heart of historic Shockoe Slip and just steps from dining, entertainment and shopping, the Omni Richmond Hotel offers 361 luxurious guest rooms, including 38 Club Deluxe guest rooms, 2 Presidential Suites, 2 Parlor Suites and 1 Hospitality Suite. Nineteen guest floors offer guests inspiring views of the majestic James River as well as our historic state capitol.
The Omni Richmond hotel offers 15,000+ square feet of function space including the beautifully appointed 7,027 square-foot James River Ballroom with more than 3,700 square feet of spectacular pre function areas. State-of-the-art video, web conferencing and an onsite audio/visual department with tech support are also at your disposal to see that your event goes flawlessly.
The Omni Richmond Hotel features a vast array of amenities including luxurious on-site dining, a relaxing lounge with plasma TVs, a full-service Starbucks located in the lobby, complimentary access to a 30,000 square-foot state-of-the-are fitness club and an indoor heated pool and sundeck.
How did you get started in this business?
I actually got started after high school, working my way through college as a theater/banquet server at a large, upscale golf resort in Illinois. Seven years on the front lines of hospitality gave me a fundamental understanding of what it takes to provide excellent service as well as the teamwork necessary to successfully execute events from the small intimate gathering to thousands of guests. With over 11+ years in the hospitality industry, my paths lead me to the Omni Richmond in 2015 as the Catering Sales Manager, handling all of the weddings and social events at the hotel. And I couldn’t be happier!
What’s your favorite wedding story?
Hands down it was when I brought a recent bride (and groom) inside our ballroom for a “sneak peek” before we let all the guests inside the room and she immediately started jumping up and down, clapping her hands repeating “Oh my goodness!! Oh my goodness!! It’s beautiful!! It’s awesome!! It’s just the way you said it would be MaryBeth!!” She then walked around the room looking at her cake and the table decorations with her hands over her mouth shaking her head and thanking all the staff in the room that helped make her vision come true! That’s why I love to do what I do!
Why do you like working with weddings?
My favorite events to plan are the personal celebrations (compared to business or corporate meetings.) It’s so much fun when I can envision the families coming together from near and far to celebrate a special day. I am focused not just on the bride and groom….but all of the guests attending, including vendors! I want to make sure everyone feels welcome. My personal goal the day of an event is to greet everyone with a friendly smile and help out wherever necessary to ensure a successful and memorable event!
What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a bride and how did you resolve it?
I remember I had a bride who was able to use the Virginia Tourism LOVE sign for her wedding reception. Their crew set the huge letters up in the back of the ballroom and immediately left. Two hours before the doors were to open, the letters “L” and “O” lights went out! (Not a good start to a couple’s big day if the word “LOVE” was not fully lit!) While we normally do not touch other vendor’s items (due to liability issues) as a full service hotel, I immediately called our amazing onsite engineering staff to come upstairs and see what they could do. They said the strands of lights were old and the connector was bad. I asked if they could please make an exception and fix it. After over an hour of repairs they got all the letters to work! All of the lights went back on (and thankfully stayed on to the end of the evening)… doors opened with no one the wiser. The guests loved taking their picture by it.
From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
To please-please-please…remember what this day is really about. Committing to each other to spend the rest of your lives together. It’s a celebration with family and friends! So often, I see couples (and parents of the couple) get so caught up in the small details of planning the event that it stops being fun. You’ve entrusted us with this special day so please, let us take care of the details so you can have more time to enjoy each other, family and special friends. The weekend will be over in a blink!
How far in advance should couples book your services?
I think 12-18 months (max) is more than enough time to plan a wedding, especially if you decide to book your wedding at a full service venue such as the Omni Richmond, where we handle so many of the details for you! My personal favorite time frame is the shorter the better! My record is 3 weeks from site visit to wedding and it was amazing!
What inspires you the most / where do you find inspiration?
I always get inspired when I have a fun couple to work with! When they share their vision with me of what they hope to accomplish, I make it my personal mission to ensure it comes to life! Working at the Omni Richmond provides me with access to a number of extremely talented staff and together we can ensure our guests have a truly memorable experience!
What do you like to do when you are away from work?
My husband and I love to travel! We have been to 20+ countries, explored the Caribbean, completed 4 cruises and have hit about 35+ states so far. Plus, I work for one of the most luxurious hotel companies in North America which affords me the chance to stay at many of our 60 distinct properties. When we aren’t traveling, we love boating and kayaking.
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
That I actually went to college to be a Social Worker. I have a BA degree, and worked as a counselor for “at risk youth” for over 11 years. My years of experience in this field taught me to be a good listener and remain calm in difficult situations. I am so fortunate to have worked with clients from so many different backgrounds and cultures that my communication skills have served me well.
Thank you for chatting with us, MaryBeth! It’s always a pleasure. To learn more about the Omni Richmond Hotel, please visit www.omnihotels.com/hotels/richmond!