The Monroe on 415th – Above and Beyond Businesses

July 28, 2023


Joshua and Sarah Morgan own The Monroe on 415th, a modern wedding venue in Middle Tennessee. Sarah discusses how each detail of the venue — from the design to vendor recommendations — aims to make each couple’s wedding day a perfect and memorable experience.

Show Notes

Transcripts have been lightly edited for clarity and readability.

Karen Wilson: Welcome to The BLC Connection Podcast. I’m Karen Wilson and your host for today. These small episodes will focus on local businesses that excel at particular parts of customer care. Today, I have Sarah Morgan with The Monroe on 415th. Welcome to the podcast, Sarah.

Sarah Morgan: Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. I’m excited.

Karen Wilson: It’s a beautiful drive out here. Your facility is amazing. I’m happy to get to see that. First of all, you know, congratulations. This place is gorgeous. How long did this take you all to build?

Sarah Morgan: It took about a year and a half. We finished it in September of ’22 and had our grand opening in September as well, so.

Karen Wilson: Okay, yeah, and then you had a ribbon cutting recently.

Sarah Morgan: Yes. Yeah, we wanted to wait a little bit longer to have the ribbon cutting for like the grass to come in and all the things to feel a little bit more developed. So that was really fun.

Karen Wilson: Yeah. So give me a tour of The Monroe on 415th, so the mind’s eye of our listeners can kind of visualize what guests see as they arrive.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, so we are a modern barn style venue. I don’t usually like to use the word “barn” just because there’s so many barn venues in Middle Tennessee, but we really try to become the modern side of that. We’ve kept everything really white and black and crisp. We have a lot of custom pieces inside. We have two custom staircases that we put in and my husband helped build. He helped build this whole thing together. And then we have our custom arches as well that bring a really modern touch to the space. We have a beautiful bridal suite and groom suite, and one of my favorite places is our outdoor spaces. We have a beautiful covered porch and courtyard area and then a rock pathway that is used for ceremonies. But we just really try to keep everything white and clean to kind of step out of some of the barn feel that you can get and have something new.

Karen Wilson: Yeah, I would say the shape is barn-like, but after that, not so much. Because it’s very clean. It’s not what you think of a barn.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah. We really wanted to keep it modern and just very white and bright in here.

Karen Wilson: Yes. Everything’s new. It’s not repurposed or anything like that.

Sarah Morgan: Correct. Yes. I handpicked these pieces. It was so much fun. And we just really, I designed it, and my husband built it. And we really put our hearts into this space.

Karen Wilson: Well, you can really tell. I mean, when you walk in, it’s very impressive. I said, you know, you could probably eat off the floors if you wanted to – clean as a whistle.

Sarah Morgan: Yes.

Karen Wilson: And very modern and a very, you know, nice space for brides and and their husbands to be to get ready and that type thing.

Sarah Morgan: For sure. Yeah. We have a lot of people that love the bridal suite. We have like six stations for getting ready and a beautiful lounge area. Both of the suites have mini fridges and like a coffee bar and stuff. So we try to keep the experience really fun in here too.

Karen Wilson: Yeah, plenty of room for hair and makeup. Not cramped in any way. Plenty of room for people to come do the hair and makeup for dresses to lay and be, you know, kept clean and that type thing. So, I guess tell the audience the story of the beginning of how you got into the event and wedding business.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah. So I come from a really large family. I have six sisters, actually, and getting married was just such a big family affair. We would always help with everything. And I think that’s where my love for weddings kind of first began, just helping with my sister’s weddings and close friends and family. And then after I got married, so about the past five years, I’ve done small weddings and parties and things like that. And I was about to kind of launch a wedding planning business full time. And then as me and my husband were talking about it more, we decided to kind of put our brains together and take his contracting experience and my design experience and doing parties and weddings and kind of mesh those together to actually open a venue and be a part of the wedding industry that way. And it’s been a crazy journey, but I’m so excited that we’ve been able to do this together, and it’s been a blast.

Karen Wilson: Now, you said you’re originally from Michigan, and you all live in Coffee County. What brought you to Warren County? Did you just fall in love with the land? Or what brought you here?

Sarah Morgan: Yeah. Yeah. So my husband actually grew up most of the time through high school and stuff in Warren County, so he was very familiar with the area. And when we had talked about starting to build a venue and thinking about that, we knew we wanted it to feel really private and secluded and just have lots of space to eventually add on more accommodations and things like that. So as we started looking for land, we found this piece out here and just fell in love with it. The whole field view is amazing, and we have lots of wooded area around us, so it just feels very private. But we’re not far from town, so it just kind of made sense. It felt like a very ideal location, and we just couldn’t pass it up.

Karen Wilson: It is. I will say you’re maybe ten minutes out of town, if even that. But I kind of call this area maybe the lucky area. It’s close enough, but very private, very secluded back here. But you all also, I will say, have the grounds groomed immaculately.

Sarah Morgan: Yes, we definitely want to keep those up for sure. I think that makes a big difference. And we want it to just feel very fresh out here.

Karen Wilson: It does. The grass and the trees and all of those things just really complement the architecture of the building too. And lots of parking and things like that for guests. You all have thought of everything.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, we can accommodate up to 250 guests here, and our parking lot can accommodate that as well.

Karen Wilson: So I guess tell me what the wedding venue market has gotten more crowded. What sets you apart from other venues in Middle Tennessee?

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, I would say one of the big things is our design, which we kind of touched on. I think that we’ve just kind of tried to step away from a lot of what is in Middle Tennessee. And there’s so many beautiful venues to choose from. We tried to kind of offer something a little different with the modern interior and kind of speak to the brides that want more of that feel that maybe you would get from somewhere like Nashville, but more in a small town feel as well. And then we just try to excel in our customer experience. That’s very important to us, and we love to do fun things along the way. Like we always put their favorite drinks in our mini fridge, and we send out bride boxes to our brides and just try to really up that customer experience for sure.

Karen Wilson: Yeah, that’s a special time for brides and grooms as well and their families. So I’m sure that customer care goes a long way in making them feel special.

Sarah Morgan: For sure.

Karen Wilson: And, of course, we’ve talked about the event space, and that’s important too. I look at this space, and I think any style of wedding would be appropriate here.

Sarah Morgan: Yes.

Karen Wilson: Whether you’re into the boho or the ultra modern or even the country, it can go back to that. The space, I’m sure, can be modified with flowers and all of those details.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, I think, because we’ve kept it so white and open, it’s kind of a blank canvas for whatever you want to bring in. Nothing is crazy standing out. It’s just very clean. All of our lights are like brass and gold and black, so it just has a very elegant feel. But you can make it your own, 100%.

Karen Wilson: Well, and let’s touch on again the client experience at The Monroe. You talked about little touches that make the bride and groom feel special and as well as their families and their parties. And I guess that’s probably something that you really love to do and is part of, also, what sets you apart.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, for sure. I would say that our brides become like family. We’re in communication with them so much, you know, leading up to the wedding. So we take that very seriously. They’re not just, you know, another number to us. We are so honored that they chose us to be part of such a special day. And we take that very seriously. And we have a great team that, you know, really we try to focus on nothing falling through the cracks. We stay in communication with them always, and we just do everything we can to ensure that their day is perfect. And, you know, there’s things that always happen. But we will go, you know, the second mile every time to make sure it’s perfect, for sure. And we are so excited and honored to have them. We think that this attitude just spills over into how we do our business with our brides in mind, for sure.

Karen Wilson: Yes. You don’t take the client for granted.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, Yeah. It just feels so special that they even chose us for their backdrop. And we really just do everything we can to make it perfect.

Karen Wilson: Yes. Okay. So I guess, you know, going back again to this farm in the middle of Dibrell, who would have thought that that would be a perfect destination for weddings all over our area? Of course, you’ve got to be found by the people of Middle Tennessee. How do you all market yourselves to be found by brides all over the region?

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, so we are on The Knot and WeddingWire, which most people know about. They’re very big in the wedding industry, so we can be found on there. We have a beautiful website that was custom made by a girl that’s local to Nashville, and then we also use Instagram and Facebook a lot as well. We have a lot of clients that are local too. They just hear from word of mouth, but we have several from Nashville and even out of state too. So I would say our clients come from all over. Instagram has been a huge tool for us, and that’s something that I have experience with in the past too. So I love being able to post behind the scenes on there, and we really keep that up to date.

Karen Wilson: Yes, Instagram is a great place to kind of curate and show the best of what all you have to offer here. Brides can be notoriously picky. To me, it’s an intimidating industry. How do you work with the bride to make sure her day is as close to perfect as possible?

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, so I think that kind of goes back a little bit to our client communication. So even leading up to the wedding day, we, you know, communicate as much as we can. We make expectations clear, what we can do clear, and then what they need to do, things like that. We have different packages. So it kind of depends on what they choose for that. But we do our best to constantly keep them aware of what’s going on here. And then when it comes to the day of, we’ll do whatever it takes to make the wedding happen the way they wanted to. And I would say that because of that, most of our brides are so understanding. They know the policies behind what happens if it’s going to rain and how we’re going to move that. And we’ve already done that a few times with weddings where we’ve had to flip a space, and it’s just gone really well. So I think just making those expectations clear can be really helpful because then they know what to expect when they’re here. But again, we just really try to make them feel like family so we can both understand how to execute things the day of.

Karen Wilson: Yeah, you know, I didn’t really think about that, but that is something kind of a last minute issue that can happen is weather. You know, especially if they plan to do the ceremony outside, and then come inside for the reception. That’s something, I guess, that you all take care of and change as the weather can accommodate.

Sarah Morgan: So we have tables and chairs and linens all included. So all of that stuff is controlled by us the day of, and we’ll set it up and tear it down. So if weather, you know, is, you know, rainy or super windy or something, then we will have our team here to accommodate that. And we talk about what that would look like before, you know, at their meetings to make sure that they have a set up, you know, a rain plan that makes sense for them.

Karen Wilson: That’s a good idea.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah.

Karen Wilson: To go ahead and tackle that and get that vision of what they want if it changes ahead of time.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, for sure.

Karen Wilson: So the wedding event business seems like it’s a collaborative effort from the space to the caterer to the planner and florist. How do your relations ships with these people make the brides moment easy and special?

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, I would say vendors are definitely a huge part of the wedding industry. Having good vendors makes all the difference. You know, people that are good to work with and that we know we can trust to recommend to our brides as well is very important to us. So we’ve met great local people, you know, even to Warren County and then Middle Tennessee. And I would say that makes a huge difference. We take that also very seriously. We don’t recommend anybody unless we know that they’re going to do well with our brides because, again, they’re like family to us, and we wouldn’t recommend someone that we don’t trust. But we have really just hit the jackpot. I feel like everybody in the wedding industry is very collaborative, and they want to work together. So that’s been actually a really, really fun part of doing this.

Karen Wilson: Yeah, I’d say that is a relationship that you kind of establish with these people. Caterers and they know what your expectations are, and you get to know each other. And same thing with flowers.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, the more that you have a vendor out here, have them together, then you know, the smoother a day can run because they know your space, and we know them better too, so.

Karen Wilson: So has technology that has been available through Ben Lomand Connect been helpful? I know you all are kind of like, even though you’re ten minutes out of town, it does set quite a ways off the road. And, you know, I’m sure regardless of the event now, people still want that connection, whether it’s the DJ needing to download music, or you all are utilizing it. How has that helped you all?

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, it’s been very helpful. We love having Ben Lomand Connect out here. It’s very fast and efficient. It’s easy for our vendors to connect to and use, and we’ve had zero complaints. I mean, it always works really well, and we really are grateful for that. And we’re also just grateful for the whole Ben Lomond team for coming out here and, you know, helping with the ribbon cutting. They’ve just been really supportive along the way, and it’s been super easy to work with them. I think it’s helped a ton.

Karen Wilson: Well, good, good. That’s what we want to hear. And anything, you know, you don’t even think most of the time of technology playing a part in the wedding industry. But it can as far as placing orders, I’m sure. Of course, you may do some of that from home as well. But here, once the event is going on, and then, of course, everybody wanting to connect and take pictures.

Sarah Morgan: I would say technology is definitely a huge part. I mean, I come here and just use this as my office as well, and I do, you know, meetings here and calls and things. So it’s something that is definitely used, and we need it to be a quick and efficient, and that’s been the case for us.

Karen Wilson: Yeah. So you all I know you are, you know, specializing in weddings right now. Do you foresee yourself stepping into corporate events and things like that? Or you want to focus on weddings?

Sarah Morgan: Yeah. So we mostly like to stick to weddings. I think if we did move into something else, it would probably be corporate events. Because that’s something I think our team could really handle. But we like to keep it simple. People know what we’re here for and what we offer. I think sometimes if you do, you know, baby showers and birthdays and all these things that can kind of be hard to streamline the process and make sure that everything is taken care of. So we are a wedding venue, and that’s strictly what we do for now. But I think we would like to move into corporate as well.

Karen Wilson: Yeah, well, there’s a need for it here. It’s hard to find a space that’s large enough to accommodate things like that, corporate events and stuff, so. Well, thank you so much, Sarah. You and your husband have done a fantastic job. This is such an asset to the community.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, we’re so glad to be here, and everybody’s been so welcoming and wonderful.

Karen Wilson: Well, good, good. And good luck. And we hope you have a wedding booked every weekend, two or three booked a weekend. I know that’s what you’re going for. You’re giving your time. I know you have a little boy. Is that right? And so it is a family business that you and your husband run together.

Sarah Morgan: Yeah, we’re all here almost every weekend working on some. And even my little boy will just tag along, and it’s been great.

Karen Wilson: Yeah, well, good. Well, congratulations.

Sarah Morgan: Thank you.

Karen Wilson: And I’ll say to our audience, thank you for joining us on The BLC Connection Podcast.

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