Vendor Spotlight: Casey Watson with Linden Row Inn
Meet Senior Sales Manager Casey Watson with Linden Row Inn! Starting at Virginia Tech, she always knew that she wanted to get into Event Planning, especially for weddings! She’s found her place at the Linden Row Inn. Built in the mid-1800’s, this Downtown Richmond staple is perfect for any event!
Tell us a little about your company
Linden Row Inn is a 70-room boutique historic hotel located on First & Franklin Street in the heart of Downtown Richmond. The hotel is comprised of seven row homes built in the mid-1800’s, and meticulously restored over the years. Most of the rooms are furnished with authentic antique pieces from the middle and late 1800’s, and the hotel is proud to be featured on the National Register of Historic Places. We have a beautiful outdoor garden space that is regularly rented for rehearsal dinners, welcome parties, ceremonies, receptions, and farewell brunches. It is the perfect place for your guests to enjoy throughout the entire wedding weekend. We recently partnered with Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe as they opened a market inside the Inn and have a full service catering department which handles all of our in-house events.
How did you get started in this business?
I’ve always enjoyed planning get together’s with friends growing up and thought it would be fun to work in the weddings/events industry with dreams of owning my own event planning company one day. I was very excited to learn that I could study Event Management in college, and I graduated from Virginia Tech with a business degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and a concentration in Event Management. From there, I went on to work for Carnival Cruise Lines and then as an Event Coordinator at a vineyard in North Carolina. I am from the Richmond area and wanted to move home to be closer to family and about four years ago I jumped on the opportunity to work in a hotel environment while still handling events, meetings and weddings.
What’s your favorite wedding story?
It is truly hard to narrow down my one favorite wedding story because after being in the events industry for almost 10 years now I have seen hundreds of weddings and each couple is unique and special. I feel like one of my favorite events was a small ceremony that we hosted at Linden Row back over the July 4th weekend in 2016 for Crane and Micah (pictured above). Crane is an active surgeon in the United States Army and they originally had their ceremony scheduled for late August 2016, but during the planning process they were informed that Crane was being deployed and they had to move the ceremony up to early July. Besides this putting more of a time crunch on everything they had planned for their big day, it likely put a lot of stress on everything going on in their lives but on that day you would not have even known it. The way those two looked into one another’s eyes was magical. It was a truly beautiful day, and they handled all of their crazy changes with ease.
Why do you like working with weddings?
I love working with couples to plan their wedding because it is so fun to get to know them, learn their story of how they got to where they are and meet their friends and family. One of the advantages of not only being a wedding venue location is that we are also a 70-room Inn so while we host the event itself, we also host many of their friends and family throughout the weekend. It’s fun to meet everyone and be the gathering place for such a celebratory weekend.
What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a couple and how did you resolve it?
One of the most difficult situations that I have dealt with when I was new at Linden Row back in early 2014 was a weekend when we had two events back-to-back, one wedding on Friday night and one wedding on Saturday night. We have 7 beautifully decorated suites here at Linden Row, but one in particular, the Mary Wingfield Scott Parlour Suite, is the most requested by couples to get ready in and take photos. Our Saturday night bride originally had the room reserved from Thursday until Sunday of that weekend, but the bride for Friday night also wanted the same opportunity to take photos in the same room. We were able to chat with both clients and worked out that the bride for the Saturday wedding would stay in another room at the hotel until Friday night, once our housekeeping department was able to clean the room after the bride on Friday. We were able to please both clients, and they both had breathtaking photos to share after. It was a win-win for everyone and thankfully they were all accommodating and flexible!
From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
Book vendors that you are comfortable with and can trust! I have found that in the Richmond Weddings™ community many of our ‘friendors’ work together regularly so we are able to build a rapport with one another, speak to the product they produce for their clients which makes for fantastic referrals and a great end product for our couples that we can trust in. Your vendors are what will make your day seamless and pull off your vision for your special day.
How far in advance should couples book your services?
Typically, Linden Row is booked about 1 year out for wedding ceremonies & reception. If you have a specific date book 12-18 months out just to ensure the venue is available on the date you are envisioning, but if you are flexible and open to a season/time of year then typically 12 months out is recommended. If you are looking for a rehearsal dinner, welcome party, bridal luncheon, or farewell brunch 3-6 months out is recommended and for a wedding block over your weekend 8-10 months out. Since we are a smaller Inn with only 70 rooms we typically can host up to 5 total group blocks each weekend, but do sell out almost every weekend of the year.
What inspires you the most / where do you find inspiration?
I am definitely motivated by my parents. My dad is the owner and operator of our 4th generation family business, and he is very dedicated to our community and the company. I aspire to own my own company one day and want to create a family environment like he has with great customer service and personal relationship’s with his customers.
What do you like to do when you are away from work?
I am a recent new homeowner! I like to spend my time doing updates around my house or just being active in general. Many do not know this about me, but I recently started to train to compete in power lifting competitions so you can either find me at the gym, outside with my dog, or doing DIY projects around the house.
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
That I traveled to Thailand and Cambodia for two weeks last year over the Thanksgiving holiday…alone! I studied abroad in college around Europe, have lived in various cities/towns throughout the country and worked on a cruise liner traveling the Caribbean for a year after graduating from college. I have a thirst for travel along with the unknown and last year I had my mind set on a solo trip to Thailand and Cambodia and I made it happen. It was one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
You can learn more about Casey and Linden Row Inn on their website.
Featured Photo Credit: Crystal Belcher Photography