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Podcast for Alta Vista Country Club

Podcast Summary

Liz Garcia, the venue manager at Alta Vista Country Club, was interviewed by Shawn Grindle on an episode of Eventful Endeavors. Liz shared her journey into the wedding industry, starting as a wedding planner and eventually transitioning into sales and marketing. She emphasized the importance of loving the industry in order to succeed.

Liz has been with Alta Vista for four years and discussed the distinction between a wedding planner and a venue manager. She explained that venues offer similar services, but each customizes and specializes them to their specific venue. Liz’s previous role as a venue coordinator involved hands-on assistance throughout the entire wedding, from lining up the ceremony to managing the decor and tearing down.

However, the term “venue coordinator” or “venue manager” can be ambiguous, as some venues may only focus on protecting their property and generating social media content. In contrast, a wedding coordinator is experienced in taking care of all the needs of the couple, ensuring a seamless wedding day.

Throughout the interview, Liz expressed her passion for the wedding industry and her love for working at Alta Vista. She praised the fantastic nature of the industry and stressed the importance of enjoying one’s work. Linking to their website, this interview was provided by Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos.

For engaged couples seeking a venue that offers customizable services and a dedicated wedding coordinator, Alta Vista Country Club is an excellent choice. Liz’s expertise and passion for the industry ensure that couples will have a memorable and stress-free wedding day.

Podcast Transcript

Shawn Grindle (00:01.805)
Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to another episode of Eventful Endeavors. We are here today with Liz Garcia, who is the venue manager at Alta Vista, uh, country club. Uh, so before we get started, cause we always ask them the same questions, everybody Liz, I want to talk a little bit about kind of your history, where you got started, uh, and just go through that. So you used to actually be a wedding planner, correct?

Liz Garcia (00:25.53)
Yeah, so 10 years ago, I had a wedding planner come to one of my college courses. And I still at 19 years old had no idea what I was going to be doing with my life and didn’t know what kind of career I wanted to have. And she came and she spoke for 45 minutes. The topic was hospitality. And that was it. I walked out of that class saying that’s exactly what I want to do. I love hospitality.

Shawn Grindle (00:52.545)
you wanted to do it.

Liz Garcia (00:54.258)
and I was like, there’s no question about it. So I started with assisting wedding planners and planning weddings myself and doing all of that. I really wanted to go into it full time and the venue management seemed like the way to do that. So I ended up being like a venue coordinator at an Orange County venue.

and then ended up in sales. And I have no idea how this happened, but I absolutely love sales and marketing. I no longer plan weddings, I no longer coordinate them, and I absolutely love it. So it’s been very interesting. I’ve also worked with like photo booth company, a photographer company.

Liz Garcia (01:43.898)
Yeah, just kind of learning everything I possibly can about the wedding industry because I love our industry. I think it’s absolutely fantastic and I think that you have to in order to succeed.

Shawn Grindle (01:56.797)
I agree. I agree. You have to really like what you do. Otherwise, it’s very obvious to everybody. So how long have you been with Altavista?

Liz Garcia (01:57.591)

Liz Garcia (02:04.962)
So I’ve been here for four years. Mm-hmm.

Shawn Grindle (02:07.621)
Now, let me ask you this because this is a question that sometimes I even get confused by. I’ve been working on weddings for quite a while. So wedding planning, venue managing. What’s the biggest difference when that happens? Because sometimes when you’re on site, there’s a wedding planner and a venue manager. So to you, what’s the biggest difference? What is that distinction?

Liz Garcia (02:24.903)

That’s a great question. So there’s a couple things in venues that I think are really rough. And one of those is that we all offer very similar services. We just offer them differently. And we tweak them and customize them and specialize them to our venue, which makes it harder on the clients and our couples to try and navigate through that. Because the venue I worked at previously,

I would line them, I would do the rehearsal. I would line them up for the ceremony. I would make sure that the DJ knows exactly where to go and set up their decor and really follow them through the night up until maybe about dinner. And then all they would be responsible for is like tearing everything down. So I was very hands-on for a like venue coordinator. But the term venue coordinator or venue manager gets tossed around for, and there’s not one clear role for it.

So a lot of venues are saying that there’s a venue assistant or a venue manager, but really all that they’re there for is to make sure that you don’t ruin their walls and that to get social media content for their social media, they’re not there to help you down the aisle. Or if they are, they’re not experienced enough to take care of all the needs that a wedding planner would. So when you hire a wedding coordinator,

Shawn Grindle (03:32.874)

Liz Garcia (03:49.366)
she’s going to make sure you’re completely covered. You’re not going to run into an instance where your mom walks up to the venue manager, the venue coordinator and says, I don’t know what to do, I can’t find my flowers. The wedding planner is going to be like, I’m going to take care of that. A venue coordinator is going to go, not my problem. Or like, I can take care of it, but it’s not going to be in the best way because I don’t have the experience of wedding planning.

Shawn Grindle (04:11.369)
Right, yeah.

Shawn Grindle (04:17.753)

Liz Garcia (04:19.702)
So I think it’s really valuable. We actually, what is it, about two years ago, started requiring our couples to have a day of coordinator because we found huge, yeah, huge value in the fact that they need one. So we feel like instead of explaining it to them on why we need them and hope that they encourage them to get one, we just said, you know what? We know you’re gonna need one. So we’re gonna require it so that your wedding goes really well and you’re happy.

Shawn Grindle (04:27.353)
I was gonna ask that, yeah.

Shawn Grindle (04:42.293)

Shawn Grindle (04:46.613)
Yeah, and you do need one. I mean, when I got married, I remember my venue was like, you need a day of court air. And I was like, no, I don’t. And then I was like, oh yeah, I definitely did. And this is before I started doing a lot of weddings. I was like, oh yeah, it’s crazy. I ever thought about it. You know, yeah, thank you. That was great. I liked that. Okay, so I wanted to ask you something. So you’ve been doing, so you said you got into this about 10 years ago after you took that class, you kind of started getting into things. So 10 years with weddings and all that stuff.

Liz Garcia (04:48.971)

Liz Garcia (05:01.394)

Liz Garcia (05:12.706)

Shawn Grindle (05:16.485)
One question I like to ask people that I think is interesting is, from when you started till now, what are some of the biggest differences in the way people are doing their weddings? Like different trends that people maybe used to do and now aren’t doing, or used to not do and now everybody’s doing. Is there anything you can think of that’s just really taken off recently that’s changed the game for a little bit?

Liz Garcia (05:39.614)
Okay, so that’s a great question. I would probably say when I jumped into this 10 or so years ago, I would be covered in the little needles of burlap all the time. So a baby’s breath and burlap were just everywhere and lanterns and the rustic look. At this point, I feel like you could show me a wedding from five to 10 years ago and I can tell you it’s five to 10 years ago.

Shawn Grindle (05:50.421)

Shawn Grindle (05:56.811)

Liz Garcia (06:06.466)
So I think that’s really interesting that we’re not seeing that. I did hear from a florist recently that the baby’s breath might be coming back, which I wonder if it’s in a different way because it’s definitely not coming back the way that it used to be done, that’s for sure. But I feel like I appreciate our couples are very, I mean, it’s a country club wedding venue, so we have very classic couples.

Shawn Grindle (06:07.306)

Shawn Grindle (06:16.079)
Uh oh.

Liz Garcia (06:33.27)
And our couples are leaning more towards the things that are going to be like timeless. So a lot of pastels, a lot of like whites and soft pinks and those kinds of tones that I appreciate more so that is I’m not going to be able to zero in on your wedding year by a few years and tell you exactly when you got married based on your colors.

Shawn Grindle (06:59.621)
That’s interesting. Um, yeah, things have been, you know, nowadays, I think TikTok too, I noticed a lot of people are changing. Like they’re seeing something and they’re like, oh, that’s cool. I want to try that. And like everything spreads now with social media, you know? Um, so it’s been kind of an interesting last couple of years. I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff. So that’s always why I asked. Um, speaking of weird stuff, uh, one thing I always, I’m curious about is in, as long as you’ve done this, is there one moment, let me, let me put it this way.

Liz Garcia (06:59.969)

Liz Garcia (07:17.128)

Liz Garcia (07:21.25)

Shawn Grindle (07:28.053)
What’s the cringiest thing you’ve ever seen? Or something that you’re like, oh, nobody should ever do this at their wedding because I saw this happen once and it was just, everybody was uncomfortable. Is there anything that pops in your brain?

Liz Garcia (07:39.678)
Okay, so cringiest, I’d probably say, this is like personal cringy. This isn’t, um, they’re okay. So there has been a toast. I’ll say this by a best man where he just decided that he’s going to mention all the ex girlfriends. That’s every no, no. I don’t know how many times to say no. So you’re just standing. The hard part is, is your, that was when I was doing wedding coordination.

Shawn Grindle (07:57.845)

Liz Garcia (08:09.142)
you’re just standing there and you’re just staring at him. And you’re like, what do I do with this? Because like, everyone in the room is just like, no. And he kept like saying a joke about one and then laughing. But like everyone else is doing that. Like, ah, like it was so uncomfortable. Um, but that was

Shawn Grindle (08:09.84)

Shawn Grindle (08:16.662)

Liz Garcia (08:36.866)
But I feel like that’s like standard like don’t do that. That’s not something that you do.

Shawn Grindle (08:40.393)
Yeah, as the guy who usually has to be in charge of the sound and microphone, I’m always like, do I step in here? I don’t know, like, should I stop this? Yeah.

Liz Garcia (08:44.148)

Liz Garcia (08:47.81)
There’s a line, yeah, and you’re not really sure when to cross it because you’re like, this is going very poorly, but like, and I have access to the microphone, we can stop this, but is that appropriate?

Shawn Grindle (09:02.453)
I know, you don’t want to be like, it’s a weird situation, I don’t like that.

Liz Garcia (09:07.374)
Yeah, okay, so that one, I feel like that one’s pretty straightforward. I have a personal one that I don’t like and I think it’s a very unpopular opinion.

Shawn Grindle (09:11.414)

Shawn Grindle (09:16.085)
Okay, I’m curious. What is it?

Liz Garcia (09:18.906)
I do not like choreographed first dances. At all.

Shawn Grindle (09:24.249)
Okay, I can see that, I can see that. I can see that. Let me, why? Yeah.

Liz Garcia (09:26.626)
They look so stiff and structured and not romantic at all. And it’s like a show that they’re putting on. So they have like two specialty dips where he’s like awkwardly leaning her. And like, I just feel like it’s supposed to be like this really sweet moment as like husband and wife that everyone is experiencing with you. And it turns into like this very structured choreographed like line of.

doing that and then you see them like counting numbers or you see them like telling them like now you spin and they’re like I’m like don’t be stressed like this is supposed to be really sweet. It’s not oh gosh not my favorite.

Shawn Grindle (10:03.074)

Shawn Grindle (10:07.977)
I get that, I get that. I don’t hate, I don’t think it’s that bad, but I do understand where you’re coming from. Like I’ve seen some that are really bad. And then I’ve seen one or two that I’m like, okay, that was okay. Like there was one couple I had, it was like an actual, like they were dancers. So they like crushed it. They did like swing dance and it was awesome. But like I’ve seen the other ones where it’s like, clearly both of them took a few dance classes and just, yeah, I love how you said they were counting. I’m like, I’ve seen that with like,

Liz Garcia (10:17.301)

Liz Garcia (10:24.75)
Okay, yes, yes. Oh my gosh.

Shawn Grindle (10:38.745)
It’s like, this isn’t sweet. Haha. Yeah.

Liz Garcia (10:41.114)
No, it’s not and like maybe that has a time in a place a little bit later on but I’m also not a hundred percent on board I’ve been seeing lately like father sorry the Mother son dances being choreographed and like fun and like hip and cool and they’re doing like fun songs and I’m like you’re like if you have that relationship with your mom like that is so fun, and I’m like

me personally, I’d be like, that’s a very special moment that you should cherish. But if they’re the kind that like want to have a whole ton of fun with it, by all means, I guess I just wouldn’t choose it. That’s okay. But that’s also what makes it their wedding that like it’s not my wedding. There’s

Shawn Grindle (11:20.077)
Yeah, yeah. Right. Yeah. Mother-son dances can be creepy just in general. Like those ones I don’t, I don’t, they always make, like I did mine and I was like, do we wanna do this? My mom was like, we have to, it’s tradition. I was like, do we? Do we really have to? She’s like, yeah. So we literally did it because like you’re supposed to. And neither one of us had a great time. It’s not like it’s a crazy memory. We just talked about how awkward it was the whole time we were dancing, you know.

Liz Garcia (11:27.448)
I’m sorry.

Liz Garcia (11:44.168)

Liz Garcia (11:48.991)
Mm-hmm. I actually skipped the, I skipped the garter toss at my wedding. I was like, we’re not doing this. Where there’s no way we’re doing this in front of Grandma, in front of my pastor. Like, we’re not doing this. No.

Shawn Grindle (11:50.145)
So yeah, that’s funny.

Shawn Grindle (11:56.597)
Yeah. No.

I don’t see them too much anymore. I don’t see a lot of the garters. I’ll see bouquet tosses, but I’ll just do, it’ll be like a simple like one, two, three, catch it. And then they usually stop. Like I won’t do a lot of garters. Or if they do, it’s just like throw it. Like none of the like go and get it kind of thing. You know what I mean? That seems to have died a little bit.

Liz Garcia (12:13.174)

Liz Garcia (12:17.19)
No, yeah. I, yeah, when I was more coordinating and more planning, I would like ask couples, are you doing the garter toss? And they’re like, I don’t know. So I’d be like, maybe let’s suggest something else where it’s like, you can toss the garter, but it was never actually on your wife’s leg. Like to where you’re throwing it to a single man. Like that’s kind of weird. Put it on a football if your venue allows it. But it’s like, have some fun with it, but don’t.

Shawn Grindle (12:36.646)
Right, yeah.


Sure. Yeah.

Liz Garcia (12:45.026)
Don’t take something off your wife’s leg and throw it at a single gentleman. Don’t do it. It’s a little bit.

Shawn Grindle (12:49.705)
No, it’s a weird thing. And then it used to be, and I don’t, I haven’t seen this in forever, but it used to be that whoever catches it puts it on the girl who catches the bouquet. Have you seen that before? You’ve never seen this? Yes, but maybe it’s an East Coast thing, which is where I’m originally from, but it used to be whoever catches the garter then has to put the garter on the girl who caught the bouquet. Total strangers! Like, up their leg. I’m like…

Liz Garcia (13:02.443)
No, I’m horrified.

Shawn Grindle (13:17.825)
That’s what people have done in the past. I’m like, I don’t know how that tradition ever was a thing. Yeah.

Liz Garcia (13:22.566)
No, that, oh my, that’s, that would be cringy. That would be it for me. If I saw that, I’d be like, that’s it. That’s the cringiest moment. That’s terrible.

Shawn Grindle (13:26.526)
I’ve seen that, I’ve seen that.

Shawn Grindle (13:31.689)
Yeah, I mean, I lived in the Midwest where they do all kinds of weird shit like that. So I don’t even know if we can swear on this podcast, but I just did it. You know, so I don’t. Yeah, I’m like, oh, I don’t I don’t want to do that. Speaking of weird things. And you were talking about like some of the stuff you’ve seen with like, you know, footballs and that kind of stuff. What’s the most unique thing you’ve seen? Is there anything you’ve seen that sticks out in your mind as like a wow, that was one of the cooler things I’ve seen at venues. I hadn’t really seen that before.

Liz Garcia (13:40.218)
It’s your podcast.

Liz Garcia (13:45.628)

Liz Garcia (14:00.582)
Oh, like I said, we have a lot of like classic couples. I mean, we’re smack dab, like in the middle of Orange County. So like I would say a lot of the creative couples end up choosing like an LA venue. So we don’t, we see a lot of like classic options. So the things that we’re suggesting to our couples are more like upping like the classic part of it. So, but I am.

Shawn Grindle (14:08.503)

Liz Garcia (14:27.554)
really loving lately doing more with the seating chart. I think that is fantastic. Or when guests are like coming in, I think first impressions are such a big deal. So I am like loving any kind of specialty like champagne when your guests arrive, whether that’s a champagne wall or staff walking up to them with champagne, even personalizing it with something whether that’s in the champagne or a ring around the glass.

Shawn Grindle (14:45.208)

Liz Garcia (14:56.146)
I think that’s like a really special touch that our couples are doing. One I also saw was for the seating chart, the couple was Asian and they did fortune cookies where you broke open your fortune cookie and found and saw what table you were at. I have no idea how they did that because they had to have known they had to have ordered those like a month in advance. They had to have gotten their RCP done quick. But I definitely appreciated that. It was.

Shawn Grindle (15:13.46)
That’s awesome!

Shawn Grindle (15:19.787)


Liz Garcia (15:25.538)
Just something like interactive and fun. Cause I think that that’s like guest experience is like at an all time high. I don’t think it was that guest experience was really that big of a deal maybe 10, 20 years ago. But now it’s like, what’s the more fun things? What can we involve them with? What can they have fun doing?

Shawn Grindle (15:38.389)

Shawn Grindle (15:43.789)
How can they remember our wedding more than everybody else’s wedding? Yeah, that’s really cool. I like the fortune cookies. Yeah. That’s the first thing I would have thought too, is like, how long ago did you get these RSVPs? I didn’t know who was coming to my wedding until like at least a week prior. People were snow coming off and dropping in and we were like, Oh, let’s invite some more of the V-List, you know? So, um, yeah. Uh, anyway. Good.

Liz Garcia (15:47.318)

Liz Garcia (15:55.213)

Liz Garcia (16:03.486)
Mm-hmm. That’s why I think when I, oh, was that when I attend weddings, it’s really funny because a lot of times, like, the brighter groom or one of the parents or something like that will go, Liz, how did we do? Because, like, I’m attending it. So they think that I’m, like, overanalyzing everything. And I’m like, I’m just here to enjoy. It’s totally fine. But it’s funny in those circumstances because, like, I, when I am at a wedding,

Shawn Grindle (16:19.672)

Shawn Grindle (16:24.757)

Liz Garcia (16:33.57)
And enjoying my friends getting married. I I’m not thinking about the things that they should have done better Usually I’m at the wedding and enjoying it but seeing how much work actually went into it like all pointed a backdrop and like show my husband and be like You know that would have taken like three hours for them to like bill and it’s amazing and he’s like, yeah, it’s cool and I’m like, no, it’s like really cool or when they do something special with like the seating chart and I’m like

Shawn Grindle (16:48.825)


Liz Garcia (17:00.494)
wow, this is like an incredible, they had to have hired like the best like vendor to take care of this. And my husband or something is like, yeah, it’s great. And like, you don’t even know. You don’t even know I’m appreciating it.

Shawn Grindle (17:11.257)
appreciate this more.

Liz Garcia (17:14.526)
Exactly. So I feel like I’m a good wedding guest.

Shawn Grindle (17:14.969)
Yeah. This took time. This is a smart idea. Yeah. Let me ask you this. Say what would your number one piece of advice be for anybody who’s just starting to plan a wedding? Like just got engaged, first piece of advice, right out the gate, do this.

Liz Garcia (17:32.906)
Okay, so we see a lot of couples that come in and I’m asking them what kind of venues they’re taking a look at. Like I said, we’re in Orange County. There’s a ton of types of venues in our area. We have couples that are looking at country clubs, hotels, industrial spaces, I mean, all different kinds, whether inclusive, non-inclusive. And also, I think it’s pretty insane that the first decision that they’re needing to make for the wedding is the biggest…

Shawn Grindle (17:39.865)
Thank you.

Liz Garcia (18:02.314)
and the foundation for the entire thing. I think it’s the way it has to be, but making a venue decision means that you’re picking a date, you’re picking a location and leaning into what that location is providing. So I think that’s pretty wild that our couples are expected to do that right off the bat. But something that I always suggest to couples is figure out what your maybe top three most important things are.

So what’s important to you guys? Maybe base that off of your families, base it off of previous weddings you’ve attended. But it’s like, okay, so guest experience is a huge thing. We want our guests to be comfortable. We want them having fun. We want them partying. We want to celebrate. Okay, so that’s a great bullet point. We want it to be really convenient in location because everyone’s gonna be coming from different places. We need it to be by a hotel.

Just kind of come up with things that work for you, and then don’t vary from that. Don’t settle. There’s way too many options. You don’t have to settle. Just find, specifically find a venue, but also just in wedding planning in itself, just know what you’re looking for and stick with that. So if later on in planning, let’s just say you want your guests to be able to have so much fun and celebrate, and you want to party the night away.

Shawn Grindle (19:03.554)

Liz Garcia (19:26.138)
then when it comes down to you’re looking at the budget and you’re saying we can either add an hour to the reception, pay the DJ, pay the venue to do that, go later, or we can have the photographer come early because budgets, like the numbers are there. You can’t make up more money. So, right? So when you’re trying to choose an investment and you decided from the beginning that partying the night away was…

Shawn Grindle (19:48.33)
Right. Yeah.

Liz Garcia (19:54.742)
something that was really important to you, then choose that. Another piece of advice is let whoever is more… Oh gosh, how do I word this? Whoever finds it to be more important, let them decide. If the groom could go between the couple, definitely between the two of them.

Shawn Grindle (20:16.217)
Between the couple you mean? Yeah, between the two of them. Yeah, sure, yeah.

Liz Garcia (20:22.112)
If mom or dad has to get involved, that’s a whole other thing. Bye.

Shawn Grindle (20:25.877)
Leave them out of it.

Liz Garcia (20:28.258)
But if the groom could go either way on the photographer, but the bride feels more comfortable with one over the other, then obviously choose that one. If you guys are debating between what kind of part, what favor you guys wanna do, or if you wanna do a photo booth or not, whoever has like, whoever’s more leaning towards an opinion towards it, just let them have that one. Like it’s your wedding day together. It’s not, I did see a wedding sign that said, it would be like,

Welcome to Chantel’s wedding featuring Trevor. I thought it was so funny.

Shawn Grindle (21:05.849)
That’s pretty funny. I would get a laugh out of that. I like that.

Liz Garcia (21:09.27)
I thought it was hilarious, but make sure your wedding planning isn’t actually that. Unless that works for you guys.

Shawn Grindle (21:13.897)
Right. Yeah, yeah. Unless you’re just like, yeah, it’s fine. You can have that, fine. I think that’s very funny. I actually had one wedding planner friend that mine once told me something. When I was getting married, we were planning our wedding. My wife would be like, you know, whoa, did you like this? Did you like that? And I would say, I don’t care. And the wedding planner heard me once and she’s like, stop saying I don’t care. Say, I have no preference. I was like, oh, I like that better.

Liz Garcia (21:18.327)

Liz Garcia (21:39.967)

Shawn Grindle (21:42.517)
like, because then I don’t look like I just don’t care. You know, no preference. I don’t care about this, but I did care about the music. I was like, I need the music to be. Yeah. Especially since that’s what I do. You know, anyway, so let’s start a little bit about the venue. I’ve got a bunch of stuff I’d like to know about the venue. I’m sure other people would like to know about the venue. But first things first, you guys recently did like a big remodel, right? I haven’t been there since this, I don’t think, but

Liz Garcia (21:47.662)
Mm-hmm. Oh, I’m sure. Mm-hmm.

Shawn Grindle (22:10.97)
Talk to me about what you guys did. What’s the new vibe of the States?

Liz Garcia (22:16.342)
Yeah, so our last renovation was in 2007 and they did like a whole structural renovation. They touched the offices, they added a secondary event space, they moved some spaces around. I mean, it was like down to the bones. It was a mess. I obviously wasn’t around for that one. But this year, 2023, in January, we renovated the whole clubhouse, but we did it all cosmetically. We had five weeks.

in between weddings from Christmas Day to I think it was like February 1st or something like that.

Shawn Grindle (22:56.105)
Was that intentional or you just happened to not have anything booked? You were like, let’s make this happen.

Liz Garcia (23:00.994)
No, we did. We did plan it that way to not have anything in the ballroom during those weeks. And then we had to move some tournaments around to make it happen. But I mean, we had like a very strict timeline. And it was like, on Saturday at 5pm. There’s no and I I’m like a stickler. There is no world where I call any client of mine and say, we are not where we need to be.

Shawn Grindle (23:04.054)

Liz Garcia (23:28.126)
it’s not happening. So I was like, that’s just not going to happen. So I believe that they told us four weeks. I’m like, there’s no way I’m doing five. They obviously needed five. But, um, I mean every light fixture in the clubhouse was swapped out and everything was needed, which is pretty, like nothing had been touched in 2007 and it looked like it and everything had to paint it over and over and over. So we, um, obviously did.

Paint for everything, new carpet for everything, light fixtures, really new furniture. We really brought it back to life, which is fantastic. So I think that we were pretty capped out what we were currently doing. There was nothing no bigger or better that we could go. We were capping ourselves on that. So we are actually privately owned and managed by the Chapman and Kramer families of Orange County. They own quite a few things in our area.

And they are absolutely fantastic. They 100% jumped in and supported this huge request of ours to do a big renovation. And, um, we just, we made it happen. And our couples that booked prior to that got to take advantage of a new space. And everyone was really excited. And we wanted to make sure that we stuck with the integrity of the country club. We didn’t want to obviously go off the rails, but it was a really exciting, uh,

intimidating but exciting project to take on and to make happen. And we had a great designer on our team to manage the whole thing too. Yeah. Absolutely. We brought it to this decade.

Shawn Grindle (25:04.441)
Great. Yeah, I want to come down and see it at some point and I bet it looks fantastic. So yeah, that’s awesome. So I’ve got a few things here, just kind of more like rapid fiery kind of stuff that people might be curious about. So how far out are you guys booked? Is your availability kind of done for next year? Do you have a lot of open availabilities? Mostly weekends, obviously, or like how far out are you guys booked?

Liz Garcia (25:32.03)
Yeah, so we are seeing a little change on that one, and that couples are booking really late right now. So just to make us, I think.

Shawn Grindle (25:39.829)
Like last minute late, or they’re booking far in the future.

Liz Garcia (25:42.934)
Sorry, they’re booking last minute. So we actually, I think, I just had two couples book four months out. And they are, I mean, I’m talking like they’re not even faced by it. They’re like, we have four months. And I’m like, you have four months. Two years?

Shawn Grindle (26:00.613)
I had two years and I was like, stressed. Yeah, well, we pushed because of COVID, but that was stressful. I was like, yeah, but still. Yeah. So you still have open dates.

Liz Garcia (26:05.666)
Oh, COVID, yeah, that would do it. Yeah, so a lot of last minute bookings. Yeah, we do, like fall 2023, or sorry, fall 2024, obviously. Give me a call because we can make it happen. Mm-hmm.

Shawn Grindle (26:16.392)

Shawn Grindle (26:21.261)
Cool, love that. What’s your guest count? What was your capacity?

Liz Garcia (26:25.65)
We can go up to 250. I say that’s very comfortable. We’re actually allowed to go more than that. But we don’t let our couples do that because we want it to be comfortable.

Shawn Grindle (26:32.569)
Thanks for watching!

Shawn Grindle (26:36.061)
And you guys have in-house catering, yeah?

Liz Garcia (26:39.562)
We do, yeah. So our executive chef has been here 17 years. Everything that comes out of the kitchen is delicious, but we also allow couples to do outside catering if it’s for any like cultural reasons.

Shawn Grindle (26:52.562)
Oh, okay. So is there anything else that’s in house? I’m guessing bar service is also in house as well? Or is that something they have to bring from outside?

Liz Garcia (27:00.37)
Nope, we have a huge bar here with all the alcohol. We definitely make sure they have all the options the rest available to that.

Shawn Grindle (27:05.367)

Shawn Grindle (27:09.726)
Cool, I love it. Do you guys have like a lot of vendors that you use, like a preferred vendors list that you give all your couples for like DJs and photo and all that fun stuff?

Liz Garcia (27:18.314)
We do. So two of three of our reception packages already includes some of the florals and also the wedding cake that we work with some vendors around the area. We have a photo booth vendor that we work with. And then everyone else, we just did some of our favorite people on the list. But couples are more than welcome to bring in someone else if they’d like, of course.

Shawn Grindle (27:38.673)
Oh, great. Do you guys have a bridal suite or anything or anywhere where they can change on site?

Liz Garcia (27:45.95)
Yeah, so we have a bridal suite, which is fantastic. That’s actually truly a bridal suite. It’s not like a room that we’ve switched into a bridal suite. And then something that we’re able to offer that I’m excited for is that we actually have a groom’s room as well, which I feel is important. A spot for the grooms. I feel like we have couples come in all the time that are like, you have somewhere where I can go? I’m like, yeah, of course. What? Of course.

Shawn Grindle (28:00.295)
Ah no.

Shawn Grindle (28:09.905)
I was in a trailer, so I appreciate that.

Liz Garcia (28:14.246)
Yeah, like it’s your day too. Like you need a space and you need to be able to hide from gas and it can’t, and you need somewhere to put your jacket. Like, what are you, what are you going to do with your jacket?

Shawn Grindle (28:22.465)

Love it. And then this one I always ask because just, I’m always just curious because I’ve been to venues like downtown LA where it’s mayhem. Do you guys have like free parking, valet parking? What’s the situation there?

Liz Garcia (28:37.17)
That’s a really good question. We have all open parking right in front of the clubhouse. Couldn’t be easier for your guests and couldn’t be plenty more, more plenty. Like we have a ton of parking. I’m very favorable to that. Yeah.

Shawn Grindle (28:45.259)

Shawn Grindle (28:52.269)
Cool. I love it. Well, that’s basically all I can think of that I really wanted to talk about. Is there anything else you wanna like mention, say before we head out, anything about the venue that maybe is unique that we didn’t cover, that you wanna give a shout out to, something you’re happy about, excited about?

Liz Garcia (29:09.182)
Oh, I would say if there was one thing that I think makes us stand out over some other venues is that when I said earlier that I love the wedding industry, I chose the wedding industry. I chose this industry. I love it. I think that there’s a lot of maybe venue managers that kind of just ended up here somehow, whether that being because of sales, that their background in sales or…

Shawn Grindle (29:21.081)
Thanks for watching!

Liz Garcia (29:37.246)
Maybe it was weddings, but they kind of just lost interest at one point. I’m really proud of the stuff that we have that we all truly want it to be the best day for you. We, we invest a lot of time into making that. And I think I know that shows to our couples and our efforts and our, the way we communicate, we’re always staying on top with our clients. Um, our communication I would say is, is top notch. Um, I think that’s just like really important. And.

I tell this to my husband all the time. I’m like, I don’t understand because I feel like I’m doing the bare minimum of my job and I have couples that are telling me that this is above and beyond. Like, no, we should all be stepping up and helping them in any way that we can. We’re the ones with the experience, so why would we not help them along the way? And I think that’s really important. So all of our staff, we love what we do. And although, yes, it is just Saturday to us and it’s just Friday to us.

because we had an event yesterday, we have one tomorrow. It’s another event, but it’s not. It’s your day and we want it to make sure that you know that we care to make this the best day for you and your family, because these are the memories that you’re gonna build. So I think that’s just like really important. And I think that’s very not being thought of with venues right now. And I wanna…

If there’s something I could communicate to all the venues, it’s kind of step it up. Like make sure that you’re being kind and you’re being hospitable. We chose the hospitality industry as well. So we need to make sure that we’re doing that. And I love that our staff is, it’s really important to them to make sure that clients are taken care of.

Shawn Grindle (31:07.404)

Shawn Grindle (31:23.681)
you said that because as a vendor, I can tell you I’ve worked many a venue where that is not the vibe I get from the venue managers. So, uh, and you can tell when you’re with people that like, like what they’re doing, it creates a better overall vibe for everybody who works the wedding and everybody who attends it. So, uh, I’m glad you said that. I think that’s great. I think that’s the most important thing. So anyway, uh, Liz, thank you. Thank you for doing this. Uh, I hope, uh, you know, we’ll, we’ll shout out and link to all of your stuff, uh, here in the podcast so people can find you.

Liz Garcia (31:27.531)

Liz Garcia (31:37.358)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, absolutely. Hmm.

Shawn Grindle (31:54.35)
Check out the Country Club, go see it. If you’re planning a wedding, get in touch with Liz. We’ll link to all your contact as well. And yeah, you have a great rest of your day, all right?

Liz Garcia (32:05.194)
Thank you, Shana, it was great chatting with you. All right, bye.

Shawn Grindle (32:07.821)
Thank you.

Listen to the Podcast About Alta Vista Country Club

This interview was made possible by Felix & Fingers Dueling Pianos

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