I had a chance recently to sit down with our CEO, Keith Clark (I call him Dad), and asked him some questions about Waterford.
How long have you been involved in the wedding and receptions industry?
While I came up with the idea for Waterford Receptions way back in 1983, it took me 17 years until we opened the doors of Waterford at Fair Oaks in 2000 and Waterford at Springfield in 2006. Prior to 1999, I had a wide range of managerial and entrepreneurial experience in other industries.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
There’s nothing better than knowing that you’ve helped make a bride’s dream wedding day come true or helped a meeting planner look great in the eyes of his or her boss or client.
What are some tips you can give couples planning their weddings?
1. If your wedding will take place in the winter, or even during hurricane season, or if you’re worried about the health of an important loved one, consider purchasing wedding insurance. It’s relatively inexpensive and will save the day financially if you run into a blizzard or if you are forced postpone your wedding due to illness or death in the family. 2. No matter how well you have planned, understand that you’re dealing with human beings, weather, etc. In short, when something goes wrong on your wedding day (fortunately not at Waterford), don’t let it ruin your day. The flat tire on the limo (or a similar “disaster”), while seemingly so important that day, will be the very thing that you’ll be laughing about months later when you’re looking over your photos with your wedding party. You dreamt about this day, you planned, you paid for it. Don’t let the small stuff wreck it. 3. The single most important thing on your wedding day is your new spouse. Do your best to tune out all the potential stresses and connect with your groom or bride throughout the day. Experience the food, the music, the love from family and friends, but most importantly, experience each other. There will never be another day like this – that is, until your first child is born!
What about to someone planning a meeting for their company?
We at Waterford are your partners in ensuring the success of your event. Have an open mind when it comes to our advice. Believe me when I say, we know what we’re doing!
What is one of the most unique requests you have had from a customer?
Probably that we come through on a wedding reception that took place when there was almost two feet of snow on the ground. The out of town guests had already arrived before the blizzard, so this was the only chance to hold the wedding. We had to get our staff to work by using four wheel drive vehicles, but we did it and the bridal couple couldn’t have been happier!
How do you spend your time outside of work?
Just finished writing a novel. Now, we’ll see if I can get the darn thing published!