What Every Venue Wants Brides To Know ft. The Bay Jewel

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Choosing a venue is one of, if not, the most important part of planning for your big day. It can make or break your vision of everything you dreamed your wedding would be! It’s important to choose wisely.

Beyond aesthetics, there are so many other options to consider when choosing a venue. I am 100% “The Question Lady,” so I was so excited to chat with our friends at the Bay Jewel and ask everything brides want to know!


Do I need to have my budget drafted before I contact you? 

Our venue is so much more than a location, so it isn’t necessary for you to have your budget allocated into all the facets of a wedding. This is something we can help you with. However, it is helpful if you have an idea of the all-in budget that you are wanting to stick to. This can help us match you up, not only with the best package at our venue, but also the best additional vendors you may need.


I’m working with a smaller budget, can I still have my wedding here?

Yes! We have packages of all sizes at our venue including a tailored package option where we can build a custom package according to your specific desires.


Do I need to have a solid number of guests before I book?

We know it is not realistic to have a concrete guest count until everyone has had a chance to receive and return their RSVPs. Typically, we use an approximate number as a baseline throughout the planning process then get the firm count 4 weeks before the event.

Do you have any catering restrictions? Do you have a caterer on site?

The Bay Jewel does not offer catering, but this allows our clients have the freedom to explore many different options. We have experienced everything from food trucks to four-course plated meals and everything in between. We do help in the process of finding the best match in flavor and budget, but the main requirement for the safety of our clients and their guests is that catering be from a legitimate caterer who has obtained a catering license and is insured.


How would you describe the ambiance of the Bay Jewel? 

The ambiance is one of the most unique features of our venue. It is what I like to call “adaptable beauty.” The Bay Jewel has a bit of a “historical downtown meets urban functionality” feel, but the venue is modest enough to be a blank canvas on which you can paint your vision. When a client comes in, it is important for him or her to be able to see and feel their event in our ballroom. If you are a minimalist, we can accommodate that! You want elegance? We can do that! Do you want something modern? We can create that too! We fashion the ambiance to reflect each individual, ensuring no two events are ever the same.


Do you help in the design of the event? Or do you just provide the space?

Most of the time we help from start to finish for all design elements. However, clients are welcome to bring in a designer who might want to have control of that aspect. All planning meetings are thoughtfully led, and will include all collaborators of the event, to make sure all parties are on the same page.

My fiancé and I don’t want a wedding on a Saturday, are you available for weekday events? 

Yes! Previously, the Saturday, June wedding was what every bride wanted. But today, there are growing trends that break the mold of traditional weddings. Though we are usually booked for Saturdays, it is common for us to have  Monday afternoon micro-weddings, Sunday brunch weddings, Thursday evening weddings, and most popular currently, Friday night weddings. If you have a date that is important to you, don’t overlook it just because it isn’t on a Saturday. Your loved ones will join you to celebrate your love on whichever day you choose. Setting your date is a huge first step, one that you will celebrate every year as a couple, so don’t budge on this detail.


Can I tour the venue? 

Absolutely! We encourage everyone to come in for a tour and check out all of the spaces we have to offer. We also have a video tour online for our out-of-towners or those who want to do a preliminary view before coming in.


Being a downtown venue, where do people park? 

This is a great question, and one of our most frequently asked. We provide two different secure options for parking. Valet parking is built into our all-inclusive packages. It is super easy and safe for your guests. They pull up to our front door and will be greeted by a friendly attendant ready to take their keys. The other option we provide, common with our tailored packages, is the parking garage next door. There will be an attendant to let each guest into the garage where they will self-park.

I want to have my ceremony and reception here, is that possible? 

With our “Married at The Bay Jewel” package, you will have use of the venue for ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. This is our most popular package and our brides love the ease of never having to leave the site.


Are you BYOB or is there a bar available for private events?

We do have our TABC license so that means all beverages, aside from the nonalcoholic beverage service included with catering, will be purchased and served through our venue. The possibilities are endless for any beverage services and we work with our distributors to make sure we have exactly what you want available. Our professional event staff bartenders are not only trained for all occasions but are also super creative and can help with the fruition of a signature cocktail for any event.


Is there an onsite coordinator that will help troubleshoot any problems? 

Our onsite coordinator, Jenny, collaborates with all other vendors weeks before leading up to the wedding, as well as on the day of, to make sure all elements are seamless. Everyone is given a copy of the timeline with their specific roles highlighted. She has backup plans and troubleshooting instructions ready in case of hiccups, though they rarely happen. And if they do, our bride never knows, as it is our goal to make your day as stress-free as possible.

Will I have exclusive use of the venue? Or will other events potentially be happening at the same time? 

Weddings are never coupled with other events. When we are hosting your event, you have our full attention and exclusive use of the venue and its amenities.


To book, do I need to sign a contract or pay a deposit to save the date? 

To book, we require a signed contract. We also require a portion of your deposit to be paid to secure your date, and the remainder of the deposit will be due 6 months before your event. We have found our brides love this flexible payment option.


Do you work with an exclusive vendor list? Or can I use any vendors I wish? 

We have a preferred vendor list. These are vendors that have been in our venue and worked with our team numerous times who we have full firsthand confidence in. Some offer a discount to our Bay Jewel clients. You are free to use any vendor that you’d like if their information is provided to us. We require a vendor agreement to be signed, ensuring they understand our policies.

Special thanks to THE BAY JEWEL for sharing this helpful information! You can find follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thebayjewel/ and Instagram @thebayjewel!

To book or tour their gorgeous venue you can call them at 361-881-8624 or email them at [email protected]

Don’t forget to use our free wedding planning resource at http://www.theone.community to figure out your budget and make sure to add The Bay Jewel to your shortlist of faves!

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