|Vendor Interviews are a regular feature where we highlight vendors that we unequivocally recommend to brides. Enjoy reading about these vendor’s work in their own words. Read more vendor interviews here.
What was your path to Stone Manor?
The cynics among us would say that Brian’s path to Stone Manor was perfect for the wedding industry – he coordinated delicate, high-profile events between large, volatile nations. :-) Seriously, in his former career, Brian was an American liason between French-Colonized African countries and Central/Latin American countries. He facilitated relationships between the two regions by hosting large events at the White House.
After leaving public service, Brian was consulting for another company which chose him to reopen Stone Manor. Brian has been with Stone Manor from the day one of reopening and is an integral part of the brand and success of the venue.
What makes Stone Manor unique above other venues?
We couldn’t agree more with Brian’s answer – simply put, Stone Manor offers an ambiance that you can’t find elsewhere. Stone Manor is a stone house built in 1755, set on 114 private acres, and surrounded by woods, fields, ponds, antique barns, and a vineyard. It just has a “wow” factor.
Stone Manor truly makes a bride’s wedding day “her day”. They never book more than one event a day and consider the beautiful house to be “the bride’s house for the day” (in photo below, the bride is preparing in the gorgeous Gardenia Suite) Brian and the staff pride themselves on being discreet and knowing both when to be seen and when not to be seen.
Finally, despite the demand for bookings, Stone Manor is set apart by their lack of snootiness. Brian and the staff are relaxed, vendor friendly, and pro local business community.
Has Stone Manor earned any awards or recognition that you are especially proud of?
Stone Manor was featured in Washingtonian Magazine consecutively in 2009 and 2010, a much-prized accomplishment for anyone in the larger DC area wedding industry. Southern Living then selected Stone Manor for a full spread feature in their magazine. It’s been named one of the top 30 venues in the United States. The awards are all the more impressive because they’ve been earned within 4 years of reopening.
Do you have a favorite room or location at Stone Manor?
Brian’s favorite location is on the right side of the mansion as you pull up the driveway. Guests can sit in Adirondak chairs under larged-leaved silk trees, enjoying a view of the pond, fountain, weeping willows, and gazebo, while listening to the water and feeling an ever-present breeze. There are many places for a bride to pose for photographs on that side of the house, including by an antique barn (see photo below), and there is ample room for the guests to admire the bride’s beauty.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Brian is gratified that he can bless couples with a beautiful venue without giving them a bill the size of a mortgage. He notes that Stone Manor is priced very fairly and offers many opportunities for savings. Stone Manor doesn’t have any “gouging fees” – for instance, they have no consultation fees, cake-cutting fees, champagne fees, or corkage fees. As Brian says, they offer “Just a beautiful venue for a beautiful day.”
Fill in the blank: I just love working with a bride that….
“…is confident. She knows what she wants and how to communicate what she wants. When a bride knows what she wants it makes for an easy relationship.”
Any other vendors you love to work with and want to give a shout-out to here on our blog?
Caterer: Carriage House Catering (see photo below)
Florist: Ory Custom Florals,
DJ: Matt Shew, Shew-sical
Photography: Liz Hough, Hough Photography
Cakes: Karen Carillo, Cake I Do.
Vendors have to earn a spot on the preferred vendors list with excellence in product and service.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Brian was described as the “male version of Miranda Priestly” (The Devil Wears Prada). He loved the compliment! Truly, like Miranda Priestly, Brian prizes perfection, because as he says of weddings, “There are no mulligans. If you mess it up, you mess it up.” Brian loves the intensity of the wedding day and the “hair-raising” 15 minutes that he’s lining up the bridal party and sending them out on cue (below, see Brian laughing with the groom and officiant and then opening the door to begin the procession). He believes that if a vendor can’t have their game face on every single wedding day, they shouldn’t be in the industry.
Well said, Brian! Thanks for the time!! Readers, we’ll leave you with night views of Stone Manor’s mansion and reception site. We can’t recommend the venue more highly! Find out more at www.stonemanorcountryclub.com.