While there are SO many amazing aspects of running my own business, one of the sad truths is business ownership can be a lonely endeavor. When I first started out, I had the idea in my head that I needed to be an expert on everything, had to do everything on my own, to look and feel successful. Boy, I learned quickly I couldn’t have been more wrong! I don’t know about you, but studying tax law is NOT my idea of a good time. So once I figured out it takes a village to put together a couple’s special day, I started reaching out to say hello! One of my favorite ways to get to know new wedding vendors is to sit down and chat over coffee. While that’s not possible right now, I’ll take my cup of coffee and enjoy some virtual chatting instead!!
So in this Vendor Spotlight series, I’ll spend some time introducing you to the amazing vendors in the wedding industry I am lucky enough to call a part of my community. It’s the perfect way to brag on them plus it gives me the chance to provide my current and future couples with details to help build the vendor team of their dreams!
The Wilds Wedding Venue | Bloomington, IN
Is it okay to say I’ve been stalking a venue? No?? Oh well, cuz it’s true!! I’ve been dreaming of shooting at The Wilds wedding venue since I found their Instagram back in 2018. Dreams finally came true back in March when I joined an amazing team of creatives for an epic styled shoot at The Wilds. HOORAY!! Alison and her team are seriously the best around, going above and beyond in ways I’ve never seen, and I’m excited to share more about them and their dreamy venue today!
Tell me a bit about your business! What inspired you to start your wedding venue?
My name is Alison Faulkner, and my husband, Brian, and I are the proud owners of The Wilds Wedding & Event Venue here in Bloomington, Indiana. We live here on the farm with our two young children and an exponentially growing number of four-legged friends. After a decade in the wedding industry, both as a professional photographer and planner, our little family of four was just crazy enough to buy a farm in Brown County, Indiana to pursue our wild dream of bringing The Wilds wedding venue to life. It was time to build something different and to serve wedding couples in a different way. You can find more on our journey at https://thewildsvenue.com/aboutus/.
What is your mission?
Here at The Wilds wedding venue, we believe that people matter. This concept underlies all we do and say, and we believe that our venue can play a beautiful role in helping couples’ dream weddings come to life.
We believe in treating our clients like family and putting everyone at ease. We think that attention to detail and kindness can walk hand-in-hand and that anyone who works with us can rest easy knowing we have taken care of everything.
What can a bride and groom expect when booking with you? What do you want them to get out of an experience at The Wilds?
At The Wilds, we take great pride in making sure the journey from a couples’ first tour to their wedding day is a wonderful adventure and that no stone is left unturned. It’s our heartfelt hope that sharing our experience and knowledge from a decade in the wedding industry, combined with hosting 100’s of weddings at The Wilds, will assist our couples in forging their own joyous path to wedding day! In order to do so, we provide our couples with several amazing resources to make wedding planning turn-key, stress-free and fun, including:
* The Booked Client Resource Guide: a 100+ page magazine that serves as our couples’ trusted companion along their wedding planning journey. Inside the pages is honest advice from industry experts, inspiration from former couples, and important venue information to ensure your wedding days run as smoothly as possible. This stunning Booked Client Resource Guide includes, stationary check lists, wedding day timelines, sample floor plans, monthly wedding planning task lists, wedding vendor advice by category, wedding photography must-have shot lists, rehearsal and ceremony tips, and so much more!
* The Wilds also provides couples with a free all-in-one Online Wedding Planner, which is designed to compliment the Booked Client Resource Guide. This interactive wedding planning spreadsheet suite is fully customizable and created by wedding experts specifically for The Wilds couples. Whether couples are in need of an overarching view of their big day or they want to dive into the nitty gritty numbers, The Online Wedding Planner will help couples plan their perfect day. The comprehensive wedding planning suite includes spreadsheets for floor plan designing, timeline customization, ceremony organization, assigning tables and seats, managing guest lists and RSVPs, tracking budgets and expenses, checking off wedding to-do’s, creating packing list, and so much more!
* The Wilds wedding venue also welcomes booked couples to join our private Facebook group community! In this space, The Wilds team shares expert tips, announces exciting venue and shop updates, posts new Booked Couples Open House Dates, and so much more. It’s also a comfortable space for couples to ask questions, share ideas, ask advice, and share inspiration for their wedding day at The Wilds.
How early should couples reach out to book you to ensure you’re available for their wedding day?
The Wilds has quickly become Southern Indiana’s most sought after wedding venue! Prime weekends often book years in advance, so it’s never too early to secure your date. Because we are here to serve, not sell- we publicly post all of our dates of availability, pricing and inclusions on our website at www.thewildsvenue.com/details! We also make it incredibly convenient to book a tour at www.thewildsvenue.com/schedule.
How many people can your venue fit? What are some of your amenities?
The Wilds includes all of the high-end amenities that discerning clients demand, with no hidden fees or extra service charges of any kind:
SERVICES + PLANNING TOOLS
* Ability to host up to 200 guests (*or as mandates allow)
* Ability to host indoor ceremonies in the event of rain or for winter weddings
* Generous 12 hour rental period from 11am-11pm
* Monthly Open Houses for booked couples
* Private access to the venue and grounds for your entire event
* On-site venue management team at your service
* Assistance with setup and decorating
* Email check-ins and task reminders
* Professional and timely responses to all inquiries
* Private access to the Client Hub with extensive preferred vendor list
* 100+ page Booked Client Resource and Planning Guide
* Comprehensive Online Wedding Planner spreadsheet suite
* Custom floor plan designer
* Set-up of all venue furniture according to your custom plan
* Complete post-event cleaning!
* Handcrafted wood farmhouse dinner tables & white metal cafe chairs
* Custom fabricated iron buffet table * Credenza for wedding cake and desserts
* Access to designer table decor, accessories, and furniture rentals, many items for FREE!
* Floor to ceiling windows and french doors on every wall for the ultimate views
* Heating and air conditioning for year-round comfort
* Chic bridal suite with hair and makeup stations
* Parlor with a hand-painted mural, mantle, and credenza for collecting gifts and cards
* Large, modern commercial restrooms with Carrara marble walls
* Beautiful stained concrete floors throughout eliminating the need to rent a dance floor
* Modern restaurant-like indoor bar
* Double-sided, indoor-outdoor stone fireplace with live edge wood mantle
* Handicap parking and accessibility throughout
* Private entrance and exit and full prep kitchen for staff
*NEW* covered ceremony pavilion with pergola overlooking Yellowwood Forest
* Custom fabricated metal benches with beautiful wood tops for ceremony seating
* Open-air patio perfect for cocktail hour and dancing under the stars & string lights
* Modern, chic outdoor cocktail tables and optional, second outdoor bar
* Double-sided, indoor-outdoor stone fireplace with hearth
* Professional exterior lighting and wrap around concrete sidewalks
* Two modern wood-burning fire pits, managed by The Wilds team
* Handicap parking adjacent to the building
* Professionally lit parking lot for 100 vehicles
* Back up generator in case of power outages
* Unobstructed 180-degree views of the Hills of Brown County
* Endless photo ops from the rolling wheat fields to the forest canopy, to the pond’s edge (see Instagram Highlight Story ‘SITES’)
* Private escort to photo locations on golf cart
* Conveniently located only 10 minutes from restaurants, shopping, and hotels in Bloomington, IN or Nashville, IN
What do you feel sets up apart in the wedding industry?
The Wilds wedding venue is truly unlike anything in the Midwest. The Wilds has all of the comforting elements we love about barns, such exposed timber beams, and soaring ceilings, yet it takes on a much more modern, elegant feel. Think comfortable, yet very sophisticated. Think Joanna Gaines! #itsnotabarn
Though the venue design and the great location are undeniably alluring, The Wilds is best known for its second-to-none, individualized approach to customer care! Here at The Wilds, we believe in providing every couple with a turn-key, stress-free experience.
What is your favorite part of working with couples as they plan their special day?
The thing we treasure and always keep near to our hearts is that we will forever be a part of our couples’ story, a chapter in their lives written in stone. It’s an honorable role, and one we take very seriously.
Are you working on anything fun for this wedding season or the next?
We are constantly striving to find new and exciting ways to serve our couples! This year we’ve added several amazing decor options to our shop (www.thewildsvenueshop.com), many of which are FREE!
Additionally, just when our couples thought The Wilds wedding venue couldn’t get any better, we constructed the new ceremony pavilion! Constructed by the same master builder as the venue, the ceremony pavilion holds true to The Wilds’s luxury farmhouse aesthetic. The ceremony pavilion is dressed to impress with beautiful stone columns, soaring vaulted ceilings, and wood beams, and custom fabricated benches. ⠀ ⠀
Our couples can now take in the sweeping views of the sunset over the surrounding forest as they exchange vows under the hand-crafted pergola! Then they can kick off their reception with a happy hour on the open-air patio under the string lights, by the warmth of the stone fireplace and new wood-burning fire pits! ⠀ ⠀
Most importantly, our couples can let their worries of rain or blinding sun wash away under the protection of this gorgeous new addition. The chances of having the outdoor wedding of a couples’ dreams have become a reality at The Wilds! ⠀
If you could give brides and grooms one piece of advice for their wedding, what would it be?
Be present! The best way to achieve this? The ‘trick’ to ensuring you can soak it ALL in on your big day is quite simple- build a dream team of wedding vendors. When you secure industry professionals you’re not just investing in their experience, you’re benefiting from their experience. The service and advice pro vendors can provide is invaluable. They will take the stress and guesswork away, leaving you to truly BE PRESENT!
Much love friends,