Hello to all of our M&M Blog Readers!! I am pleased to be joined today by the very talented and passionate Olivia Kane who is the venue manager at one of my absolute favorite venues – The Milestone Boerne.
Olivia has agreed to hang out and let me
grill question her about all things The Milestone. 🙂 In this interview, she gives us some great insider information on what she wished brides would ask about during a tour. And she shares some of her favorite stories(some very sweet and a couple crazy) from past events. She is an absolutely lovely person and this was a wonderfully charming interview.
But before I jump right into it, I would like to offer a couple of quick, personal thoughts on this venue. There are a lot of reasons to choose The Milestone Boerne as your wedding or event venue, but I’ll share 3 reasons for why this is one of our top picks :
- Their pricing & service explanation is super-simple. As a wedding planner, one of our jobs is to dig into all of the future costs that can be incurred when booking a venue. And sometimes we have to break it to our client that a “great deal” isn’t what they initially thought. I don’t think that these companies mean to *hide* the costs necessarily, they just introduce them when they feel it’s appropriate (which can sometimes add stress to a surprised bride’s budget later on!) But not so with The Milestone venues. One simple price and a very succinct list of services that make sense and add value to your event – above and beyond just providing a space to celebrate.
- There’s passion and personality on the front side, but the back end is run like a successful business. Take it from me, it’s super disappointing to find a company that *LOOKS* like everything you always wanted for your wedding only to find out that the business side of things is mismanaged or handled sloppily. For a bride and groom, wedding planning can be a very emotional process…and when you put trust in someone to manage something SO important, it is a huge letdown to find out that the company (who looked so good and the people seemed so nice) suddenly feels disorganized or messy. That throws a shadow of doubt over their performance and it is not fun to deal with that stress. But, fortunately, this is completely not the case at The Milestone venues. Not only are the venue managers competent in customer service and administration…they are backed by a very stable and caring parent company who has proven to consistently put their client’s needs first in their practice. Speaking for myself, that makes me extremely secure when I introduce a Moments & Milestones bride to The Milestone Boerne.
- Not to state the obvious – but the place is freakin’ beautiful. You want a high-end-rustic or hill country feel to your wedding?? You cannot beat the quality of the venue or the view it provides.
All right, all right, enough from me. Following is my interview with Olivia Kane – hope you enjoy it…and even learn a few things too! 🙂
Derek : “Olivia, I’m really excited to talk with you today. And I’m looking forward to sharing all about The Milestone with all of our blog readers. Since you’re the venue manager, how about we start by getting to know you…can you tell us a bit about your background?”
Olivia : “I am originally from Austin. I moved to San Antonio to finish studying History at UTSA. I began my career in cosmetics, starting as a spray tan artist and then moved into makeup. I managed a makeup boutique in San Antonio before coming to The Milestone. I began my time at The Milestone as the assistant manager. After being promoted to manager, I feel that this is the perfect career path for me! In my spare time I enjoy dancing, going to see concerts or anything outdoors!”
D : “Perfect! So, can you give me the short-version description for The Milestone Boerne?”
O : “The Milestone Boerne is one of 6 properties. Each is individually managed which gives every property their own unique feel. The Milestone Boerne sits on 26 acres and is surrounded by stunning hill country views. I would describe our venue as Rustic Elegance. The signature tulle and chandeliers add a since of romance to our facility. LOTS of wildlife out here on Upper Cibolo Creek Road and it gives the hill county “destination” feel!”
D : “It does indeed, the property is stunning…and besides the gorgeous backdrop, what does this venue offer to your clientele?”
O : “We allow our brides and grooms full day access to The Milestone Boerne beginning at 9am and ending at 12am. We provide all tables and chairs and do set-up for both indoor and outdoor sites. We are open to all outside vendors (with the exception of the bartenders) in order to allow our brides to create their vision based on their budget. No extra hidden costs or surprise fees! We provide indoor and outdoor sound systems, a projector with screen, wifi and full property access. We also allow our brides and grooms to come out to our facility to do their photo sessions.”
D : “That’s a lot of bells and whistles for an event venue! And you guys provide the set-up for the tables and chairs too?? No wonder you are so in demand! OK now this facility is unique because it isn’t a stand-alone venue – your company has built quite a few of these venues, right? What can you tell us about the company itself?”
O : “I love working for The Milestone. Even as the company is growing, everything they do is with family values in mind. This company works hard to make each bride feel special and allows them extreme freedom in their wedding planning process. The Milestone truly makes every employee and client feel like an extension of the family. Even our regional meetings are far from corporate feeling. We get together, laugh and together think of ideas to make bride’s experiences’ top notch!”
D : “It sounds like you think very highly of the company and how it’s run. I know that makes it easier for you to do a good job for the brides and grooms that you are working with personally. But what really sells this venue?? What makes it so special compared to other San Antonio or Hill Country venues?”
O : “It’s rustic elegance with romantic charm. Breathtaking Hill Country views. And we work with brides of all budgets and allow them freedom to work with whomever they choose. We’re flexible. Honestly, our brides become like family to us so this is their home as much as it is ours!”
D : “Well you have a pretty intimate relationship with the venue since, not only are you the Head-Woman-In-Charge of the place, your home is near the property right? So what is your ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE thing about it?”
O : “I love the scenic bluff that acts as our ceremony backdrop. No matter what time of the year, it is always amazing! I remember the very first time I came to The Milestone Boerne. When I took my tour I remember stopping at the top of the bridge and thinking “HOLY COW! How is this view possibly so close to my home?” It doesn’t feel real that something so simply beautiful can be this close to where I live!”
D : “Yup, I know just the spot…holy cow is right. It’s pretty crazy-beautiful. So I totally understand how completely zen it must be for you to walk outside of your home and be on this gorgeous property. But what feedback do you get from the brides?? What do they say is their favorite thing about The Milestone Boerne?”
O : “Our clients’ favorite part about the venue is that we allow them 15 hour rental times and are open to all vendors! This convenience really goes a long way with our brides. As far as a physical aspect of The Milestone that clients love, I would have to say the bluff or the chandeliers. I hear all the time that couples book with us because of the views outdoors. They also love the elegance that they chandeliers provide! Being able to do their grand entrance in the reception is also a huge selling point for our brides!”
D : “On the other hand, I’m sure it has been pointed out that this place is quite a drive from the city…”
O : “Yes The Boerne venue is a little bit farther out but that works to create the “destination” wedding feeling. On the day of the wedding, we only have one event going on so it helps to keep the event feeling very intimate (even with our max of 320). It allows brides and grooms freedom to decorate wherever they want, without fear of being interrupted by another wedding or its guests. We also have awesome wildlife that make for great photo opportunities. Black Buck, Axis and of course White Tail are pretty common out on our property so it gives the brides and grooms and chance to really get the Texas hill country feel.”
D : “OK, that’s fair. So, this may be a little “touchy-feely” about the place, but what do you want brides to “feel” when they’re here?”
O : “I want them to feel at home. I want them to be able to picture their dream wedding on our property and know that they will be given all necessary freedom to be able to make it come to life. Nothing makes me happier than when I give a tour and hear the clients say “this is exactly what I want”, “it’s better than the photos” or “I could see myself walking down this aisle”. I want them to know that when they book at The Milestone Boerne they get more than just a pretty facility, they are gaining a team that will be here to support them and work with them to create their most special day. Although we are strictly “behind the scenes” we will be there for them in whatever way we can.”
D : “Aww, that’s very sweet. It’s so great to have that much passion for your work. Do you have any favorite stories about weddings that you’ve worked here?”
O : “One of my favorite stories is from a wedding in October. We were expecting a huge flood but it was extremely important to the bride that she got married outside. Even if it meant opening our iron doors and standing on the porch. Our team worked tirelessly with the coordinator and vendors and were able to find a lull in the rain for her to have her dream outdoor ceremony at the ceremony site. This took a lot of communication and patience but seeing how happy the bride was made everything worth it! Another favorite moment was actually from the Egger/ Wallace wedding we did with you. I LOVED Adam’s reaction to seeing Kathryn when he turned around. I thought it was so special that he stayed turned around until she got to the bridge and his face was priceless when he saw her. SO MUCH LOVE!!”
D : “Yup, that was us! I’ve got some great pictures of that moment. OK – so those are some of your favorite moments. Do you have any CRAZY stories that you can share with us?”
O : “Memorial day flood a year or so ago!!! Being flooded in with a wedding party of 45 people. The flood was a freak accident and the entire city of Boerne was underwater. We definitely made the most of it. We put on movies on the big screen for our overnight guests and even created a Honeymoon suite in the grooms room so that the bride and groom had a place to escape for a few moments. We lit candles and had some of their personal décor brought in there. They also got the only air mattress which was a hot commodity that night! We didn’t get out until 2:30 the next day so we had lots of time to bond with the bride, groom and their families. It was definitely a story I will remember forever! Especially because an hour after we were able to get out, we had another wedding come in. We all put aside how tired we were to create a special event for another couple.”
D : “Yes, I remember that well. It sounds like you guys improvised rather creatively! OK, so back to your clients, when a bride or groom is touring your venue – what questions do you WISH that they would ask?”
O : “When touring venues I think it is important that clients ask not only how much the cost is but if that is the total cost. A lot of places quote one price and the final price that the couple pays is a LOT higher. Many places will nickel and dime them along the way. Out here, that is not the case. One price with no fees, no interest, no taxes added on.”
D : “I couldn’t agree more. That’s one of the reasons I like sending you guys our brides is due to the honest, up-front pricing. Anything else about the tour? Like, once the brides finish browsing your website, what can they only get by connecting with you in person?”
O : “Exactly that. We are all about the connection! We never want it to feel like a sales pitch or that we are strictly business driven. We truly do care about each and every bride and deep down we want their day to be special. Wedding planning is an emotional time and we want our clients to feel that emotional connection to The Milestone Boerne. The way we do that is through our customer service and people skills. We strive to make meaningful connections with every person coming into our hall!”
D : “Olivia, you have been so fabulously up-front with all of these answers and I know I’ve taken up a lot of your time. And I’m sincerely honored to have had the opportunity to work so closely with you and your team. I feel like our companies and our styles kind of “mesh” somehow.”
O : “Us too! I recommend brides use M&M all the time! When a couple books M&M I know that they are getting a top notch service that goes way beyond the boundaries of photography & coordinating. The setup and business structure that y’all offer is unlike anyone else on the market. By providing a consultant it allows your photographer to focus on their art, therefore resulting in amazing shots! I think this makes all the difference! It allows the client and their guests to receive amazing customer service and photos at the same time- something that is not possible when trying to multitask! I also love that your team knows how to work in this space. When they come out to The Milestone, they are able to maximize the brides’ venue cost by pulling amazing ideas. They know our facility and where to take the couple to create incredible images. Our sunsets out here are part of why people book with us and having a photographer that knows exactly what angle to work from, allows the bride and groom to fully get their monies worth at The Milestone. All the aspects they fell in love with will be documented for their lifetime! I also love how close-knit your team is. I trust them completely and always know who will be showing up. I trust your team because I have made my own connections with them. Weddings are a team effort and for everything to come together seamlessly vendors must trust each other. I trust the M&M team 100%. I know that when we work with y’all, our clients will always leave happy.“
Many thanks to Olivia for taking time out of her busy schedule to hang out with me. That certainly means a lot. And I sincerely hope you guys enjoyed this blog post. If you have questions for Olivia about The Milestone please contact her at (830) 388-1642 or email her at Boerne@themilestone.com. I promise you – she’ll be excited to hear from you. Or, if it’s more convenient, head straight to their WEBSITE and check them out yourself! 🙂
Thanks to everyone for reading all the way to the end 🙂 If you have questions or thoughts about the blog, or about Moments & Milestones, please feel free to CONTACT US or leave a comment here and I’ll respond asap. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. On behalf of myself and the M&M team, we would be very pleased to help you and your event in any way that we can.