Sarah with the Matthews House
A look into a Cary, NC wedding venue and how photography plays a part in their venue
N : How long have you been with The Matthews House? Tell me about the history of The Matthews House, how it started in the wedding industry, why did it become a venue?
S : We have owned the property for 2 years since this past December. Our family bought it as a joint venture. It was originally a private home, then it was a dress shop, then it was a florist, then a wedding venue. It is kind of funny that it all comes full circle to the wedding industry. We moved back to the area about 5 years ago and wanted to branch out into the market. My husband, Vincent, does the day to day work at The Matthews House and also does the graphics. I have an event planning background and assist with the events and weddings that take place here.
N : What are some key things about The Matthews House that separates it from the other wedding venues?
S : We have some prime things that separate our venue from the others. For starters, its in downtown Cary. Once youre at The Matthews House you actually feel a bit secluded via the gardens and the brick--it’s almost like a little oasis. We have great parking. We also provide easy options for guests. We have some vendors they could happily choose from, or we can give them the option to customize--it is completely up to the couple.
N : Do you work off a preferred vendor list? If so, why? If not, are there any vendors that are absolutely necessary from a venues standpoint--like catering, etc.?
S : The only preferred vendor we use is Southern Harvest as they are the ones that work out of the kitchen. However, you do not have to use them at all if you do not prefer. The only thing we require of guests to use them for would be for the bar service--which is great because they have all of the necessary permits to serve, etc. We include a day-of coordinator, Jeanette or Heather, but again, if you’d prefer to bring an outside vendor you are more than welcome to. For catering we do ask to approve of them in advance.
N : How often do you receive images from photographers who have photographed weddings at The Matthews House? Which images stand out more from a venues perspective? Which ones are you more likely to share or showcase on your website?
S : We only receive images from weddings about a third of the time. We mostly receive them because we have sent a follow up asking for images. We are always looking for photos that are unique; we want to see great emotion. Detail shots are always a great bonus, but we are more so interested in the full room shot so that our couples could see what they could do to the space. We have a clean slate ballroom, so the sky is the limit when it comes to making the space unique. We would love images that help give our clients ideas on how to make it their own.
N : What are some things that you wish more photographers did on a wedding day shooting wise?
S : I dont really have a suggestion on what to do on wedding day, per se. However, if there was a way to make the sharing of images easier, we would much prefer that. We are more likely to share if there was an easy an approachable way to do so. We would love to spread the word, but in order for us to do that we would need images of events and weddings from the photographer.
N : If you've never worked with a photographer before--do you suggest having them reach out to you? Do you ever suggest them to come by to take a look at the property? What makes for a good vendor relationship?
S : For starters, we are always available to reach out to. If someone has never shot here before, we would be more than happy to show them around the venue. This would help build a great vendor relationship, but also, ensure for a smooth day. It is our top priority to make sure our clients are taken care of, so if this means to have their photographer come by to take a look at lighting, etc., we would definitely accommodate that.
N : What is something that you wish more brides knew before booking certain vendors for their big day?
S : Typically the first thing a couple needs to book is the venue. I would then suggest to sit down and try to figure out the biggest priorities of the day. Is it the best food? Is it the best dance floor? Is it the best wedding photography? Whatever the case is, start looking at those vendors first. These will typically be a good portion of your budget, so I would do those closer to the beginning stages of booking your vendors.
N: Any advice for vendors who are looking to go into the wedding industry?
S : I think one of the best things you can do is network. You learn so much about everyones perspective come the wedding day. Always be open to communication. Communication is key to a solid wedding day.