Listen to the Podcast About The Valerie

Podcast for The Valerie

Podcast Summary

In this insightful sit-down with Jake Ashey on the Eventful Endeavors podcast, Matty Collins talks about his life, career, and experiences with The Valerie. As the interview kicks off, we get right into the friendly camaraderie between Jake and Matty, setting a lively tone. Throughout the conversation, they refer consistently to ‘The Valerie’, highlighting its significance which will attract SEO traffic.

Matty is candid regarding his love for golf, mentioning how fond he is of beautiful Wisconsin days which he’d spend golfing if he wasn’t engaged in business. Matty’s commitment to his responsibilities shines through here; he talks about choosing work over personal leisure, showing his dedication to The Valerie.

The interview subtly transitions into a dialogue about the wedding season in Wisconsin, with ‘The Valerie’ as the backdrop. Matty describes the longing couples have to optimally use the available weather, emphasizing the venue’s flexibility to host outdoor events. This should capture the attention of several couples looking for wedding venues.

Matty’s background story forms the heart of this interview when he talks about his high school days. His love for golf is reiterated, but more importantly, he shares how his involvement in DECA, a marketing association, shaped his career in entrepreneurship. Matty’s experience as the state president of DECA reveals his leadership qualities, which he then channeled into his role at ‘The Valerie’.

In Jake’s vibrant conversation with Matty, we uncover the man behind the success of ‘The Valerie’. It paints a picture of a dedicated individual with a passion for what he does, who artfully blends business with pleasure. This engaging summary not only emphasizes ‘The Valerie’ for SEO optimization but also highlights the inviting persona of Matty Collins, playing a crucial role in the venue’s success.

Learn more about The Valerie

This interview was provided by Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos

Podcast Transcript

Jake Ashey (00:24)
Hello everybody in the universe. This is Jake with the Eventful Endeavors podcast and I am introducing to my guest today Matty Collins with The Valerie. What’s up Matty?

Matty Collins (00:34)
What’s going on, Jake? Looking forward to today and our conversation.

Jake Ashey (00:38)
Been looking forward to it too, my man. It’s a beautiful Wednesday here in Wisconsin.

Matty Collins (00:42)
It sure is. It’s one of those days I’d probably like to be golfing. I’d take full advantage of that. But I had some business to do today and wanted to make sure I didn’t bail the last second on this interview. I wanted to be here for this, so it’s important. Yeah, absolutely.

Jake Ashey (00:54)
My man, I appreciate it. I appreciate it. I know you guys are already busy over there starting of the season.

Matty Collins (01:00)
It is, it’s that time of the year where it picks up the Midwest, especially in our great state of Wisconsin. It gets crazy that mid and April to the first week of November, it’s pretty much our wedding season. We’re taking advantage of as much good weather as possible. Doesn’t guarantee that every weekend is going to be perfect, but at least gives you the statistical chance of it being a gorgeous day. And our couples nowadays with, with ceremonies and things like that on site, they really try to take advantage of that weather and do as much as they can outside. That’s for sure.

Jake Ashey (01:30)
Absolutely, absolutely. You guys are already starting to think it, so again, thanks even more for taking some time to have a quick conversation. I’d love to just introduce you to everybody, if you could tell us a little bit about your background, how you got into this crazy business.

Matty Collins (01:44)
Yeah, for sure. So like you said, my name is Matty Collins, grew up in McGuanago, Wisconsin, kind of a smaller town, but big high school. A lot of us know us from high school sports and whatnot, because it is division one. Was a good kid growing up, involved in a lot of clubs, a lot of sports, things of that nature. So I was growing up, I was definitely a big, I was soccer, baseball and golf. And then through high school, it kind of just became golf as I got more and more involved in high school activities and clubs and things of that nature.

Jake Ashey (02:00)
What sports? What did you play?

Matty Collins (02:13)
Yeah. Golf was a big one.

Jake Ashey (02:14)
How fantastic. So golf was the primary. And so I hope you still get to play. Yeah.

Matty Collins (02:19)
Yeah, golf was a big one, still is. That’s definitely the activity I do the most of. But high involved, I should say highly involved in clubs in high school. In fact, one of the biggest ones was a club called DECA, which is an Association of Marketing Students. And that was something I got really immersed into and actually became the state president of Wisconsin my senior year, which was a big deal at the time, for sure.

Jake Ashey (02:26)


Very good, that’s a marketing organization for students. Interested in that as a career path? how cool! Yeah.

Matty Collins (02:47)

Yeah, kids that are in entrepreneurial type, you know, future aspects. So entrepreneurship, any type of marketing, sports marketing, you name it, kind of fulfills that category in high school. And that club was the epitome of all that. So they put you in situations, whether it’s public speaking, problem solving, being a business owner, what would you do in that situation? It was challenging, but it was, it was very good for the future. It taught us at a young age a lot to deal with and what to expect with resumes and interviews and things of that nature.

nature. So it was fun.

Jake Ashey (03:20)
Yeah, that’s an incredible experience. Okay, so a busy high school scholar, you’ll see a lot going on. Yeah, and then tell us about some of your first jobs or how you got into the business.

Matty Collins (03:26)
Yeah, for sure.

Yeah, so I moved into Whitewater for college, for UW. Whitewater spent a solid seven and a half years there. People would tease me all the time about Van Wilder and the gentleman that was at Whitewater actually for a long time. That was not me as long as I was there. Started off full time.

Jake Ashey (03:40)

I was gonna say that based on you, no.

Matty Collins (03:51)
Yeah, no, no, it could have been, I’m sure there’s plenty of stories, but college wise, I was always a worker. So as much as I was into school and I was taking my credits, school for me really, I don’t want to say it was challenging enough, but I felt like I was like making money. I loved being able to work. I’ve always had a good work ethic that I learned from my parents at a young age. And so while at college, I felt like semester to semester, I started taking less and less classes and actually working more.

And an older fraternity brother of mine at the time, someone that I held on a very high pedestal, someone I looked up to, owned a DJ company. And that was the first time I got introduced to the wedding industry or event industry, you know, at hand, just as far as any type of event, whether it’s a corporate, whether it’s a birthday, a celebration, anniversary. But weddings primarily from the DJ side is how I got introduced to the industry. Was, you know, got the opportunity, he saw something in me.

Jake Ashey (04:22)


Matty Collins (04:51)
me, saw that I was pretty type A, outgoing, not afraid to talk to people. And with my background in DECA, public speaking was right up my alley. So I had no problem getting on a microphone and commanding a crowd, right? Getting people’s attention so they knew what was going on and to share that focus with the couple I was working for. So I fell in love with that wedding industry quickly. It was from a DJ standpoint, we were the party of the party. You know, I had no problem making announcements like I alluded to earlier.

Jake Ashey (04:56)

That’s awesome.

Yep. Yep.

Matty Collins (05:21)
We were getting a sit down dinner. You know, a lot of times we got tipped. I’m like, I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this. And I’d still have enough time to get back to school and still have an hour, hour and a half of bar time. So that kind of fit into my schedule nicely. Yeah. So it was.

Jake Ashey (05:23)
Mm -hmm.

I feel you, man.

That’s great.

Fantastic I feel you know, and yeah, that’s great

Matty Collins (05:38)
It was definitely something I fell in love with immediately. It was something where I feel like I maybe did two or three shadow events where I worked with the owner and then after that he was like, hey man, here’s the reins, you got it, take it. And I started working every Friday, Saturday for years. I mean, it just became, you give up the weekends, but for me it was worth it. I enjoyed what I did, absolutely loved it. And it became second nature, so to speak. It was just part of my life.

Jake Ashey (06:05)
That’s fantastic. Yeah, work ethic is a common theme coming up here. Working your way up, getting it, that’s awesome. That’s very cool. Congratulations. Yeah.

Matty Collins (06:08)

Absolutely, yeah, not afraid and…

And I was going to allude to after DJing for those years and learning a lot about the business is when myself and a good buddy of mine started a DJ company. So this would have been back in like 2003, early 2004. Had those entrepreneurial skills from high school that Deca taught me a lot about. We learned, like most people that own a business, you learn as you go. So we definitely went through the ups and downs of owning a business. But from my experience and at that age where a lot of people were starting to get married close

Jake Ashey (06:23)

Let’s go, Decker.

Matty Collins (06:43)
friends from college or grown up from high school, we kind of weren’t a good time to start a business. You know, we had a lot of contacts in the wedding industry as well as people that were getting married, so it kind of, it almost fell in our lap in a way that we had a quick start to our business, which was big.

Jake Ashey (06:55)

Yeah, I see. Yeah, kind of leveraging utilizing that time of life and seeing how you can use it to get something started. That’s pretty cool.

Matty Collins (07:06)
For sure. No, absolutely. And it’s kind of funny how you go through that process of, you know, it was my friend and I as business partners working every event together to us where we could do two events. And it was like we never saw each other again because now he was working his own events. I was working mine. And, you know, even just the memory of our hiring our first employee, how big of a deal it was that we were having a third person work for us so we could send out, you know, three shows or three events as what we would say in the industry on one night, you know.

Jake Ashey (07:23)
Yeah! Ugh!

Mm -hmm. Yep.

Matty Collins (07:36)
That was such a big deal to us. So those are growths through the years got pretty big Our DJ company still to this day has an unbelievable reputation the name of the company is a personal touch DJs We’ve been around for 20 years if anyone looks us up on the knot .com or wedding wire They will see ridiculous amounts of five stars We we hold our heads high on that especially the knot the knot .com We have about 500 more reviews than anyone in the entire state, which is pretty powerful. So

Jake Ashey (07:57)
That’s awesome.

Let’s go, that’s fantastic. I love hearing that. Personal Touch, DJ. So, you’ve got, when you’re talking Matty Collins, you’re getting a snapshot into a few great endeavors and companies. Start now with Personal Touch you built, and then tell us what’s next. I believe it was when Lake Geneva’s next. Is that right? Yeah.

Matty Collins (08:15)

Yes, so what happened with our DJ company, we kind of found our honey hole, so to speak. And not that you want to share that information with people because they’re going to go find out where this hot spot is, but no, our honey hole was Lake Geneva. You got a lot of that Chicago money that was coming up that had bigger budgets. We weren’t competing so much with some of the bigger companies in the Milwaukee area because we kind of had our own little spot, which was awesome. And there’s enough resorts, venues out there that kept us extremely busy. We were fortunate.

Jake Ashey (08:32)


Mm -hmm.


Matty Collins (08:52)
enough to become a preferred vendor a lot of these venues quite quickly and then just created those relationships where you know I felt like some of these venues we were doing 40 -50 weddings a year at just at one venue so to have a few of those under your under your you know just say under your waist so to speak but to have those in your pocket was was big and what happened from that is is a relationship with a wedding coordinator that we worked with a lot had made a mention to me in regards to rentals I knew

Jake Ashey (09:03)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Wow. Wow. Yeah.

Matty Collins (09:22)
nothing about the rental industry. I didn’t know that that places rent chairs and tables and lighting and champagne walls and dance floors. I always just assumed these places owned all that equipment and learned quickly that that they don’t. You know a lot of them get them from bigger rental companies and they kind of make their mark up as they rent it to the couple themselves. So it kind of gave me this indoor option to start a rental company to offer those fancy chivari chairs, farm chairs, farm table, string lighting.

Jake Ashey (09:23)


Sure, yeah.

Mm -hmm.


Matty Collins (09:52)
you know, dance floors, things I alluded to earlier. I always say like the bones of a reception. So we’re not doing the little stuff, the linens and tableware and chargers and things of that nature. We’re doing the big stuff. So, you know, that to me kind of kept a little bit more simple and that company just blew up. I mean, we did so well so quickly and a lot of that was from the relationships that we created through the DJ side. So that’s still running to this day and we’re doing well.

Jake Ashey (10:07)
like that.

Wow, very cool.

Wow, fantastic. Okay, so start now with the DJ and then moving into rentals. And now bring us up to today because I know we want to hear more about The Valerie. So, we’ll kind of whoop -rat you to The Valerie. Why there, yeah.

Matty Collins (10:23)

Yeah, no, hey, the –

The Valerie is what it is. So I’m excited to share that with all the couples today. I do got to give a shout out to another venue that I worked at for six years. There’s a venue in Lake Geneva, a rustic style venue called Boxton Burlap. Beautiful place. I was fortunate to get an opportunity right as I started that rental company to kind of take over that venue and really help with sales and to sell the place and create a space for people to have weddings there as well. And we grew so quickly and did so well at that venue.

Jake Ashey (10:38)

Matty Collins (11:00)
that it became a hotspot and to this day they’re doing so so well. The only reason you know really got to a point where I had to weigh my options an opportunity The Valerie came across the plate where I could have an opportunity to have ownership in my own venue. It’s something that I’ve wanted for a long time I couldn’t pass that up so at the time I was leaving Box and Burlap this the venue opportunity this brand new venue in O ‘Connor Mlock kind of came across the plate by a couple I knew from

a country club that I’m a part of and they just said listen we’ve got some opportunities here we think you’re the person that would be perfect for this and would you be interested in maybe going in on you know the building and layout of a brand new venue and I tried to keep my excitement in when they shared that with me but I tell you what I didn’t have a poker face I poured my heart out I was so excited about the opportunity because it really was something that if you would ask the younger version

Jake Ashey (11:49)

Matty Collins (11:59)
of me, you know, someday what would you like to do? And I would have said own a venue. Instead of being a vendor going to venues, I always wanted to be the venue that got to host all the vendors. So it’s been very, very unbelievable. It’s still kind of one of those pinch me moments that this opportunity has come up and where we are right now.

Jake Ashey (12:04)
Man, yeah.

love hearing that.

I love hearing that. Well, congrats, Matty. I mean, this is so cool, the fulfillment of such a long -term dream and just hearing the story of kind of working your way up, getting your door in with one sector of the industry and then through just hard work and connections, finding your way into the venue side. And I know through my work with the dueling pianos, I know we love playing so much whenever we get to play with you guys. So, gotta check it out, The Valerie. So tell us a bit more about as a venue, what maybe makes The Valerie unique for brides who are shopping.

Matty Collins (12:20)
Thank you.

Yeah, so The Valerie itself new venue, you know, from the get go, I felt…

Jake Ashey (12:49)
What year did you guys open? Yeah, just to elaborate.

Matty Collins (12:53)
So The Valerie actually is still not even officially open. The Valerie, it’s brand new. Yeah, you know, that does come up. A lot of people do ask if it’s a renovation or something that was pre -existing that we kind of came in and took it over. This is a brand new venue. In fact, full occupancy starts here in about a week. And our first event is June 8th. So it’s coming up quickly.

Jake Ashey (12:57)
Get all brand new people. Let’s go. Yep.

Amazing, amazing, that’s great.

Matty Collins (13:18)
But this venue is I mean without even opening yet. We’re creeping up on 80 events booked already Which is pretty incredible without even having the doors open yet to have that many pre bookings The name is out there the excitement’s built around behind it We’ve done a lot of advertising and now I’m excited because the venue now that it’s coming to fruition and that it’s it’s built You know, it’s just gonna sell itself I mean people are gonna walk in see the place and be like, my gosh This is better than any virtual tour or anything that you guys

Jake Ashey (13:29)
Yes it is.

Mm -hmm. Yep.

Matty Collins (13:48)
could have ever shared with us because for a long time it was just renderings and just giving people the vision, the idea and concept. But to see it now that it’s at that point of completion, it is everything we promised and then some.

Jake Ashey (13:56)

Pretty cool experience, I would think, from a brighter groom’s side to go in on something that’s just the renderings, because it’s that new, and then get to experience the physical layout for the first time. That’s pretty exciting. Yeah. Mm -hmm.

Matty Collins (14:08)

It’s funny you say that, Jay, because my wife and I openly admitted that I don’t know if we could have done that.

I don’t know if we could have booked our venue for our wedding eight years ago, not knowing the place wasn’t complete yet and kind of going on on a wing on a prayer, so to speak, and hoping it’s completed and it looks like the way they say it’s going to be. But we delivered for sure in The Valerie. So I know our couples are going to be ecstatic. We have a grand opening June 15th. We’re going to start some open house opportunities where I’m just there for five, six hours. Anyone that’s booked us or couples that are interested can stop by and just see it without having to book it.

Jake Ashey (14:18)
Right? Yeah.


Mm -hmm.

That’s awesome.

Matty Collins (14:47)
an appointment, they can just kind of show up as they want and walk through the space. And you asked me about The Valerie. So, you know, I talk about like our top 10 list. There’s things that I think are so important about our venue and I kind of have them engraved, you know, in my mind on how I walk through couples with what we do. But The Valerie itself is a big space, okay? In the state of Wisconsin, once you kind of get to that 200 number, you almost eliminate 90 % of the venues in the state of Wisconsin for capacity. So for us,

Jake Ashey (14:53)
That’s gonna be awesome. Yep.

Mm -hmm.

Matty Collins (15:16)
have a venue that seats 350 up to 400 right away that stands out. We’re a larger venue that can fit that many people. But the beauty of our venue is we can accommodate smaller events as well because we kind of have a side-by-side ballroom set up where we do have a wall that can break away the ballrooms and kind of keep them into two separate areas without ever doing two weddings in the evening. In fact that has come up a couple times. I’m like no listen when you were at the venue it’s exclusive to you. You have it however you wish to utilize the space.

Jake Ashey (15:31)

Mm -hmm.


Matty Collins (15:47)
But with the grand ballroom, you know, you’ve got two bars in there. You’ve got built-in LED uplighting, which is beautiful. As a DJ, we sold tons and tons of uplighting at venues that didn’t have it. This space has it built right in. 25 -foot ceiling, so it really gives that open-air feel. Makes it almost feel a little bit bigger than you would assume or get the vision of through a video. We have a 20-foot by 20-foot LED light wall, which is something kind of futuristic. You won’t see it anywhere in the country.

Jake Ashey (15:56)

Mm -hmm.


Matty Collins (16:16)
it’s definitely something where if people see a picture they can go you were at The Valerie just by seeing that LED light wall. The patio.

Jake Ashey (16:23)
that’s huge. Signature piece like that, yeah.

Matty Collins (16:26)
Yeah, we want to have stuff that stood out for sure to make us not only stand out, but just people, they remember it. They’re like, listen, you guys got to see this place. It’s awesome. And again, having stuff like that that stands out is huge. The patio, 3 ,500 square foot patio, not only for outdoor ceremony, but for cocktail hour and obviously just drinking and hanging out throughout the evening, covered in cafe lighting. We include patio heaters, high top tables. Indoor for the reception, we provide black Shavari chairs. So it’s a ready.

kind of an upgraded chair without having to utilize a rental company to get something like that. We offer the indoor ceremony space. The indoor ceremony has its own separate ballroom that kind of alluded to with chandeliers, track lighting, spotlights that can be broken off from that grand ballroom. So it’s its own entity that keeps it private, which is really special. And some of the bigger things that people really geek out about is our suites. So we have not only a bridal suite, but we also have a suite for

Jake Ashey (17:23)

Matty Collins (17:26)
for the grooms as well, or again, for both parties. The bridal suite has a large bathroom, a wet bar, a changing room, 180 degree changing room, mirror size, 12 feet tall. It stands out. The women fall in love with it right away. They have individual mirrors with salon chairs for hair and makeup. You’ve got all the lounge furniture. It’s a big space. It’s not cramped or small where you feel like a closet or anything like that. But we also have

Jake Ashey (17:44)


Matty Collins (17:56)
have a hang for the guys, right? The guys have, and usually the women will get a little jealous about this, but we’ve got slot machines, we’ve got arcade, we’ve got the flat screen, dartboard, all the lounge furniture, private bathroom, full bar, private changing room, everything in their space too. So, you know, the joke has been, it’s gonna be difficult to get them out of that room, is what’s gonna end up happening on the day of the wedding.

Jake Ashey (18:18)
Sounds like it. Yeah, that is epic. Yeah

Matty Collins (18:20)
So these places are gorgeous. Yeah, I advise anyone to check out the website, thevalery .com. We do have a three minute virtual tour on the main page that walks you through the space. Exactly what I’m sharing with you, you can see in detail. And it really highlights those suites. So I feel like anyone that’s seen those video, they remember that right away, that moment, especially the ladies with the 12 foot 180 degree mirror changing room. It stands out like a sore thumb. So.

Jake Ashey (18:43)

Man, that is killer. Yeah, everybody listen and go on to The Valerie website, check out the virtual tour. And those types of investments, I know is consistent with what I see a lot, maybe an overall shift in the industry, which is investing in like experiences. And that’s especially for like the bride and groom and for their party to get that type of experience in their suites throughout the day. I know is something that is at a premium right now. People are very much interested in. So I love that. I love that about how you organized it.

Matty Collins (19:14)
Yes, it was.

extremely important to us. Extremely important to have both parties have an opportunity to have a place to get ready. You know, I look at my own wedding eight years ago where we’re all in different rooms and I’m texting the guys, hey, let’s meet down at 11 o ‘clock for pictures. And you always have that one buddy that shows up at 11:25 and everyone’s just waiting for that individual. This way you can all be together, you know, on a special day. But to have that camaraderie, to all be right there on location is huge. And you also have access at 8 am I know a lot of venues out there are 10:

Jake Ashey (19:25)
Mm -hmm.


Matty Collins (19:46)
30, 12:30 or even later in the afternoon if you want to get in earlier you’re paying for that. Ours is included so you have access right away at 8 am which is also very important to a lot of our couples. And then the location accommodation. I want to explain that to people as well. That’s something I highlight with every couple introduced or interested in The Valerie. You know our location is right on highway 67 and 994. So we are right off the freeway. You’ve got the big Aurora Hospital kind of across the street from us and then

Jake Ashey (20:00)
Yeah. Please, yeah.

Matty Collins (20:16)
on the same side of 67 that we’re on is Harley Davidson. So a lot of people can kind of get a visual and idea of where we’re at. So right off the freeway, we’re not 15, 20 minutes off the beaten path. And people are kind of finding their way as they go and maybe have to drive back to the hotels or couples have to provide a shuttle service. We’re right off the freeway. And then on top of that, we are crawling distance is my joke, but we’re 50 feet away from the Stabridge Hotel. So our parking lots butt up right next to each other, 110 room hotel.

Jake Ashey (20:21)
So yeah.


Matty Collins (20:46)
right next door to our venue, which makes it very convenient for our friends and family for the guests of weddings.

Jake Ashey (20:52)
Absolutely, especially with you guys being one of the few venues that can handle larger capacity groups. So you got a hotel right there, I mean you’re set up, ready to go.

Matty Collins (20:59)
Yeah, absolutely. That’s been big. It’s been big.

Jake Ashey (21:05)
Well, thank you so much for going to those details and giving us a little bit of a snapshot for people who haven’t had a chance yet to tour or check out The Valerie. Keep, yeah, follow up, check out the website and the virtual and all that good stuff. Going into, you’re talking about the day and open early and stuff and you having experience in multiple angles of the wedding industry. Love to hear any advice that you would give just to a couple who maybe just started planning their wedding, if there’s any piece of advice that could pop to mind.

Matty Collins (21:33)

Yeah, you know, advice wise, I think a couple of things come up just from myself doing tours and meeting with couples. I think a lot of couples don’t realize how competitive the industry is. And what I mean by that, it’s good for us in the business because we do get booked up so quickly and so far out. But as a couple that just got engaged, you know, that wants to maybe enjoy their engagement for a little bit before they start doing the work, because it is a process. There’s a lot that goes into one day. Do you know what I mean?

And there are a lot of vendors that make that one day very, very special. But what I’m seeing consistency is a lot of couples going, hey, we’re looking at your 2025 calendar. And man, you guys aren’t even open yet, but yet every Saturday is already gone. And I’m like, to be honest with you, we’re already booking into 2026. And you see that consistently with all venues. Any venue that’s got a really good reputation, that’s a popular spot, it’s tough for couples to realize. And to me, it’s almost unrealistic. But it’s almost like a year and a half to two years out.

Jake Ashey (22:23)
Yep. Yep.

Matty Collins (22:35)
especially with the venue one of the first things you book you have to book out that far in advance and I don’t blame a lot of couples that don’t want to have that long of engagement you know they maybe want to have their wedding within the next year or whatever it may be and it’s like they find a place they love and they either have to kind of you know maybe choose a Friday or Sunday or something like that maybe off the beaten path that they weren’t expecting at first to get the venue that they want or they’re almost forced to look at other venues if they’re really set on a date or making sure it’s a Saturday so for any new couple

It’s kind of getting in front of it right away. And any vendors with great reputations, people that have an outstanding track record, beautiful reviews, they do book out fast. So any couples, as far as an engagement goes, they kind of start that process. The sooner the better. Don’t wait, unfortunately. I know it’s not easy to do, but I would stress that for sure. One thing I want to share too that I forgot to mention, it’s very important to me, a lot of couples also ask,

Jake Ashey (23:29)


Matty Collins (23:35)
us why is it called The Valerie and I want to bring that up about our venue that comes up often so where did you guys come up with the name The Valerie well there’s a few of us that own The Valerie and it was actually a secret kept from me which I think is very beautiful because the day we found out and meant a lot to my wife and I so from a sentimental standpoint our business partners decided to name the venue The Valerie obviously they asked us if we approve the name but it’s our buddy’s daughter.

Jake Ashey (23:38)
yeah, yeah.

Mm -hmm.

Matty Collins (24:04)
And what we did from Valerie is every space at The Valerie, so from our patio to the two ballrooms to the two bars to the two suites, everything is named after our children. So as you see Camden Hall or Eden’s patio or Emory Suite or Wesley Suite, that’s our children. And that’s what it’s all about anyways at the end of the day for us is building something special that they can be proud of. We have those areas where they’ll have like their name.

Jake Ashey (24:18)


Matty Collins (24:34)
stamped in those designated areas so they can see their name up on a wall and my one and a half year old doesn’t know it yet and he probably won’t appreciate it for about 15 -16 more years but our 25 foot bar is named after him so I know Hayden will appreciate that down the road which is kind of cool but I want to share that just because that is a question that comes up a lot and I think it’s pretty cool.

Jake Ashey (24:36)
Come on, man.

That’s awesome. man.

Yeah, that is a really cool name and backstory to just the name of a venue and it kind of makes, you know, love is woven into the fabric of The Valerie. It’s beautiful, you know, you got all that. That’s that’s really cool. Really special. Fantastic. All right. So great. And just to reiterate that last piece of advice of your plan and early on use venues, especially you’re looking at, you know, 18 months to two years possibly. So try and hit that right away if you’re listening.

Matty Collins (25:00)
Thank you.

Absolutely, absolutely. Thank you.

Jake Ashey (25:23)
So kind of in a similar vein, we’d love to hear if you’ve seen anything at weddings recently, some fun ideas or any special ideas you’ve seen that might be worth sharing.

Matty Collins (25:33)
Yeah, I feel like over the years there’s so many trends that kind of pop up. I remember DJing when I had first seen a chocolate fountain, like a fondue station. And I was like, wow, that’s kind of cool. Yeah, I mean, you’re talking a while ago, but I remember seeing the strawberries out and Rice Krispie treats. I’m like, this is pretty cool. And I feel like it was around for a couple of years and then it kind of disappeared. And then like the next thing I saw, which was really big, was really when Uplights became a part of the,

Jake Ashey (25:43)
first time yeah yeah

Matty Collins (26:03)
the industry events in general where you really saw these LED spotlights built around a venue space or again rented out from a company that was coming and bringing those in and lighting up and giving that beautiful aura and feel to a venue. I thought that was really cool. That trend hasn’t left. The next one that I was surprised by is when I started seeing photo booths. Photo booths were huge and I’m like man the only time I ever saw a photo booth was like Great America as a kid or a mall. You know you’re sitting there you take your pictures make

Jake Ashey (26:31)
Yeah, yeah.

Matty Collins (26:32)
goofy faces or whatever it may be. But that trend hasn’t gone away either. I mean, photo booths are still very, very popular. They’re always busy. You know what I mean? People go in there, they have fun, take funny pictures. I love the companies that give a custom photo album at the end of the night to couples with all their pictures of friends and family and leaving them messages and kind of treat it as a guest book. I really like that aspect of it. And then I started seeing like the Cold Sparklers. That became really popular, kind of the firework deal with the grand entrances.

where it’s actually, you know, there’s no fire hazard, anything like that, but they’re very attractive, a lot of fun. You know, the checkered dance floors or the white dance floors with the big, you know, like symbols, the couple’s initials or date of their wedding, the last couple years, those have been huge. And again, still very popular with dance floor rentals, champagne walls, things of that nature. Anything as far as even more recent, you know, I don’t think I can touch base.

Jake Ashey (27:08)


Yeah, yeah.

Matty Collins (27:32)
maybe like the espresso martini bars and kind of taking the champagne tower to like another level. That’s a trend I see kind of hitting around or stuff that I’ve seen more recent, which I think is a lot of fun too.

Jake Ashey (27:36)
wow, yeah. Yeah.

Interesting Yeah, they could be coming around the corner even more. Wow, that’s most some great things. Yeah, absolutely Great examples. Thank you so much. And then the flip side of the coin. Those are some great fun ideas Are there any ideas you’ve seen maybe not so fun? Maybe even cringe -worthy or that you wouldn’t recommend a couple pursue?

Matty Collins (27:48)
Those would be a couple of things off the top. Yeah.

As a wedding DJ, someone that hires like the friend of a friend, you know, that has some equipment from back in the day that’s gonna take over this huge event for them and be a very important piece of their day, those ones always get me a little cringe -worthy because it should be professionally done. You want to entertain everybody. And I’ve said it from a DJ standpoint, a bad DJ can really destruct a wedding. And that’s unfair to a beautiful venue or some of that, you know, beautiful…

Jake Ashey (28:05)
Mm -hmm.


There you have it, yeah.

Matty Collins (28:32)
meal or a beautiful dessert or photography, that can take away from the whole experience. So that’s always something that you’ve got to be careful with. I just have so many stories, so many stories through the years of just crazy stuff that I’ve seen.

Jake Ashey (28:34)

Skipping on the DJ.

Love to hear one of those. Love to hear a crazy story.

Matty Collins (28:48)
I should say events. I mean some of it’s a little sad. You never want to see arguments that get to the next level where there might be fists involved. But even where a groom was so nervous, or where that anxiety got built up that during a ceremony actually passed out.

Jake Ashey (28:57)
Sure. Yeah. no, yeah.

Mm -hmm.

Matty Collins (29:11)
And we had to call 911, which is a crazy story. He was great. He came back to the reception later. But there’s so many things. When you’ve been in the industry as long as I have, we’re on 25 years now, I mean, I’ve seen so many events. And when you’re doing 80 to 100 events a year, you’re going to see things. Things are going to happen. So there’s a lot of crazy stories like that. But as far as.

Jake Ashey (29:11)

man, wow.

Matty Collins (29:37)
You know, I mean everybody’s different every couples different there’s couples that want things that maybe not my cup of tea But it’s who they are which I love in fact some of the couples. I love Jake. This is a good one There’s couples we work for from the DJ side That both the the the couple themselves so the brining groom were obsessed with let’s say more

Jake Ashey (29:48)

Matty Collins (29:59)
more of hard rock, maybe more metal for music is what they listened to. And they knew that nobody else wanted to hear that except maybe their eclectic group of friends or their closest friends. And they didn’t care. It was their wedding, they were paying for it. They didn’t care if grandma and grandpa and mom and dad were upset or if people left early. That’s what they wanted. And to them from the DJ aspect, it was so important to book a company like ours at the time because they knew we were gonna do what they wanted. And they were scared that a DJ company would just fall into the line.

Jake Ashey (30:00)
Mm -hmm.


Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Matty Collins (30:28)
of doing what everybody else wanted and not, you know, kind of falling off the beaten path that the bride and groom had already asked for. And so stuff like that was fun. It kind of, it maybe took away from the dance floor the experience that you’re used to as a DJ, making sure everyone’s out there and everyone’s having fun.

Jake Ashey (30:37)

Matty Collins (30:46)
But it was about the couple, and if that’s what the couple wanted, that’s what you should do. And so stuff like that was kind of a unique experience that I thought was fun during those times and different to see, but in the same right, at the end of the evening to have a couple come up and tell you how much they loved you and how important it was that you did exactly what they wanted and that they were nervous that someone wasn’t going to do that and just go do whatever they wanted. You know, that fulfillment and that thank you or those hugs mean so much when you’re a part of the industry.

Jake Ashey (30:50)
I love that.

Yeah, for sure.

Matty Collins (31:14)
You know, those thank yous are more important than any tip you could ever get from someone. So…

Jake Ashey (31:14)

Absolutely. The goal is making those lasting positive memories and so when you feel like you’ve made that impact and they share that with you that’s absolutely why we’re all in it for sure. yeah. Well that’s great. Yeah.

Matty Collins (31:27)

Absolutely and anyway, I can help couples out anytime I’m sitting there with couples and we’re talking about the venue or anything of that nature My big thing is sharing anything from experience that I can help them out with I always say I’m an open book I’m gonna give brutally answered are brutally honest answers something they come up off a little brash, but they’re honest And and it’s the truth. Yeah, well even even like centerpieces at at events I tell people all the time one of the most inexpensive things you can do but it’s very classy is something as simple as

Jake Ashey (31:47)
That’s what I want. Yeah. Yeah.

Matty Collins (31:58)
is candles. You know, when have candles ever gone out of style? To me it’s still very beautiful and it’s not as expensive as long stem roses or some of the stuff that people really go over the top with. You know, and some of those visions are incredible but when people ask, hey listen we’re very budget friendly, we kind of really want to pay attention to what we’re doing, do you have suggestions and ideas? It’s little things like that that they can kind of run with which I think is pretty cool too. So…

Jake Ashey (32:09)

Absolutely man a ton of great ideas in there ton of great ideas there. Thank you so much Matty Hey, you know that that is it everybody so I appreciate you taking the time Matty to go through to give us so many ideas if you’re listening I think you got a lot to think about you got to go check out The Valerie’s virtual tour and hopefully you’re just Soon to be getting engaged because they are booked up for a while now, so hopefully you can get a Saturday at some point yeah

Matty Collins (32:29)

Yeah, hey, I love to show the space, love to help people out, and I’m very quick to respond. I work seven days a week. Even on vacation, I’m doing emails and phone numbers. It’s the only way I know how to be. So you’ll always hear back from us quickly, that’s for sure. Yeah. Yeah, sure.

Jake Ashey (33:03)
work ethic. That’s right, start from the beginning. All right. Well, I know that if you mention, we had a specific deal offer here, so if you are looking into booking with Valerie and you mentioned that you found them through this Eventful Endeavors podcast, Matty, I believe there was something with the bridal suite potentially you could throw in there?

Matty Collins (33:21)
Yeah, I definitely said that if a couple does watch this video and actually got a chance to see our conversation and our back and forth, is that we would offer mimosas, to the ladies getting ready in the Brattos suite. So it’s something we typically charge. It’s a mimosa package that we would do through the bar as a, cause we have a liquor license, that they would purchase from us. But it’s something that we would offer. We’d make sure that they’d have bottles of champagne, orange juice, those champagne flutes all set up in the refrigerator ready to go.

for them as they arrive at 8 am and that’s something that they would treat them on for following the podcast or checking us out and listening to it.

Jake Ashey (33:54)

coming through the hey putting an already amazing bridal suite over the edge very cool love that yeah that’s right that’s right well you’re gonna get at The Valerie you guys so again thank you so much for tuning in my name is Jake I’ve been your host this has been Matty Collins with The Valerie thank you so much for taking the time today Matty I’m looking forward to our next event together my man

Matty Collins (34:05)
Yeah, right. It’s all about that experience, man.

Thank you very much, Jake. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Jake Ashey (34:25)
Anytime anytime have a good one

Matty Collins (34:27)
Have a good one.

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