RIVERSIDE — Along with finding the dress and booking the caterer, finding the right venue is at the top of the wedding planning to-do list.
Kelly Wood, co-owner of Copper Creek Ridge in Riverside, said one of the most important things to keep in mind is availability. She recommends this being one of the first phone calls made because availability can be sparse during the height of wedding season.
She said when calling, the bride should have a couple of dates in mind as well as whether they want to use the space for just the wedding, reception or both.
An idea of guest count is also necessary to determine if the space will be large enough for the event. She said for her facility specifically, 300 people is most comfortable.
At Copper Creed Ridge, tours of the space are available. She said the 3,800 square foot space has a bride’s room with a private bathroom as well as a full kitchen and bar. Packages are available for customization for all budgetary needs.
A software program is used to create potential layouts of the space based on the vision for the event. She said everything from the number and shape of the tables to where the dance floor will be and how the room will be split to hold both a wedding and reception can be shown.
She said the bridal room, grooms room, catering kitchen, wooden cross back chairs, and a choice of round or rectangular tables are included in the cost.
Rental of lighting and tents for outside can be arranged as well. The bar package can be customized as well, ranging from an open bar, cash bar or open bar until a certain dollar amount is reached. Table linens can be rented through the venue and staff will put them on and take them off as well as set up and tear down the rest of the space.
An on site manager will be included in the price of renting and will coordinate the layout and details.
Wood said the bridal party is encouraged to designate someone as a contact person for the manager to contact should there be an issue the day of. Otherwise, the bride and groom will meet with the manager twice: 90 days before the wedding and again two weeks before to finalize all details.
At Copper Creek Ridge, to save the date the bride must sign a contract and make the first deposit on the same day. For choosing vendors, Wood said she has a prepared list she prefers clients choose from but they are welcome to contact their own. She said the list of vendors on the website are all local and being a small business, she said she is keen on promoting other small businesses.
Once the details are finalized, she said the bridal party will have access to the space at 8 a.m. on the day of the event and need to be cleared out by midnight. Staff will take care of cleaning up. If the couple is planning to have the wedding as well as the reception there, they will be allowed access on the Thursday before to allow for a rehearsal.
Wood said the open concept floor plan and natural palette that allows for a variety of customization is one of the key points that attracts brides to the space. The versatility of the space allows for the wedding and reception to be in the same room and in the summer, tents can be rented if the couple would like to have cocktail hour outside.
Having only been open since August 2019, Wood said they have had a handful of weddings come through so far but have several booked for the coming year. The best advice Wood can offer so far, she said, is less is more.
“Intimate weddings with bigger receptions are fun and I would always encourage that,” she said.