Richmond Wedding Vendor Spotlight: Shady Acres Bed & Breakfast
Happy Monday! Today on the blog, we’re introducing you to the Gail, the owner of Shady Acres Bed & Breakfast. You definitely want to read on about the heart behind this sweet little venue!
Shady Acres is a country setting in Hanover, Virginia offering a lovely backdrop to your event. We accommodate small, intimate affairs as well as events with up to 150 guests in a beautiful outdoor venue where your vision and creativity can come to life.
How did you get started in this business?
My husband and I love having company. Our home has always been where people gather for holidays and other events.
We also used to live in an area where the Chamber would put out a request for people to open their homes to accommodate tourists throughout the year for events such as parents weekend at colleges, foliage season, marathons, and other events. We’ve met so many wonderful people with such interesting stories from places like Oregon, Texas, New Mexico, the State of Washington, Canada, etc.
We opened Shady Acres Bed and Breakfast in 2010 and immediately started getting inquiries about doing weddings here. We have B&B guests who stay with us for romantic get-a-ways, for marriage proposals, for their wedding nights, extended honeymoons, and anniversaries. It seemed only natural that we would also offer Shady Acres as a venue for weddings and other events.
What differentiates you from other businesses in your field?
My husband, Ralph, and I feel we live in a little Norman Rockwell kind of setting. (That’s how I describe it to everyone.) Our serene country setting is relaxed and calming, surrounded by hundreds of acres of farmer crop fields. If a country setting is what you have in mind, this is it!
Why do you like working with weddings?
I am also a Marriage Commissioner for Virginia and perform weddings every week here in the beautiful, relaxed atmosphere of Shady Acres Bed and Breakfast and throughout the surrounding areas.
I happen to be blessed that I have been married for nearly 25 years to the best mate I feel the Lord could have paired me with and feel privileged to bring people together to experience the same blessing.
What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a bride and how did you resolve it?
I include a Day of Event Coordinator as part of my event packages. It’s a must for any event held at Shady Acres! So thanks to these darling angels of mercy, and the other professionals on my preferred vendor list, the bride and I both can have a blessed day!
From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
Get a Day of Event Coordinator! This isn’t always among the first things checked off on the bride’s list of things to do, but it should be. No event goes exactly as planned. There are big issues and there are small issues that can arise. How your event proceeds if problems arise lies with a good Event Coordinator.
Brides often assume family and friends can handle everything. And family and friends will step up to do what they can because they love you. But it isn’t fair to ask your guests to play the role of a Day of Event Coordinator! Aside from the experience that comes with engaging a good Day of Event Coordinator, your guests are expecting to be and should be just that: your guests. This special day isn’t just the bride’s dream. Your parents have been looking forward to this day since the day you were born. Don’t rob them of their dream by asking them to work the event. To ensure a flawless day, get yourself a Day of Event Coordinator, and everyone can live happily ever after.
What or who motivates you?
Personally, I get inspired, of course by my husband, my surroundings and my friends.
Professionally, I get most inspired by being surrounded by talented, experienced professionals that have chosen to nurture their talents into their careers. These are people who take pride in what they contribute and that they do it well.
The value of my contribution inspires me (big or small). The privilege of being part of creating beautiful memories that will truly last for the lifetime of the people we help in bringing their dream to life.
It isn’t always the grandest gesture that makes for the most cherished memories. I believe it’s doing it well and giving a little of yourself to each person’s dream that sets the most cherished memories apart from the others.
It’s so rewarding. Every event, every relationship, every vision is different. It’s like starting with just one grain of sand and when everyone else contributes their one grain of sand, the end result is a beautiful, grand sand castle. And it all started with one thought, one idea, one grain of sand.
What do you like to do when you are away from work?
I”™m a small town person and really enjoy the little things in life like baking pies with fresh fruits from our own yard (incorporating my Grandmothers recipe secrets, of course), watching the baby chicks follow their mom around the yard in the Spring and enjoying fresh flowers from my own gardens throughout the house. Ralph and I often sit on the front porch or around the fire ring with friends and neighbors. We go for short leisurely walks, and we take day trips to experience the many things to do and see in Virginia. We go on Segway tours, cruise the James River, visit Virginia’s many State Parks, pick apples, try out a new restaurant, there’s a long list of things to do in Virginia!
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I think in pictures, as you will probably find most other vendors in this field do as well.
Some people visualize, some hear and some people feel as their way of processing information. Everything runs through my head like a mini-movie. I actually visualize in my mind what a bride is describing to me.
Thank you, Gail, for answering our questions! To learn more about Shady Acres Bed & Breakfast, please visit www.shadyacresbedbreakfast.com.