Listen to the Podcast About Glen Erin Golf Club

Podcast for Glen Erin Golf Club

Podcast Summary

In a recent edition of Eventful Endeavors, Michael Sherman sat down with notable event planner, Katy Cook. Katy currently occupies the roles of venue manager and marketing manager at the prestigious Glen Erin Golf Club, a place she’s called home for the past five years.

Beginning her journey at the Glen Erin Golf Club since the inception of the Celtic House event space in 2019, Katy played an instrumental role in shaping the space into what it is today. Her rich educational background, with a double major in business administration and communication studies from Augustana College, further equips her in handling various events at the golf club.

Not limiting her experiences to the Glen Erin Golf Club alone, Cook has also worked at Zilli Hospitality Group as an event designer and at Geneva National as an event manager. With an impressive portfolio spanning from international conferences to weddings, it is clear Katy loves every aspect of her job. In 2021, she broadened her horizons in the wedding industry by attending the David Tatera Experience in Orlando.

Her exceptional commitment to her calling has seen her gain acknowledgement from The Knot and WeddingWire Awards. Adding more laurels, she’s been a finalist for the best country club golf course venue in Wisconsin at Glen Erin Golf Club for the past four years. Her passion is evident, making every event she manages a spectacular experience for her clients.

Katy’s journey started when she was only 15, showcasing her love for the industry early on. She’s navigated this path with a balance of purpose and passion which has led her to find her true love in wedding planning. As the journey continues, Katy Cook’s commitment to exceptional service is driving her success at the Glen Erin Golf Club.

Learn more about Glen Erin Golf Club

This interview was provided by Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos

Podcast Transcript

Mike Sherman (00:24)
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another exciting edition of Eventful Endeavors. I’m Mike Sherman with Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos. Today, meeting with the lovely and talented Katy Cook. Katy is currently the venue manager and the marketing manager at Glen Erin Golf Club. She’s been with the club for five years.

ever since they opened the Celtic House event space in 2019. She was there from the ground up, helped make the space what it is today. She went to Augustana College, where she double majored in business administration and communication studies. After college, she moved to Milwaukee to begin her career in events. She’s worked for Zilli Hospitality Group as an event designer. She’s worked at Geneva National as an event manager and now the Glen Erin Golf Club. She’s planned events from international conferences to weddings, loves every part of it. And in 2021,

Katy actually attended the David Tatera, I already have my name, Tatera Experience in Orlando, Florida, where she spent three days with celebrity wedding planner David Tatera, learning more about the wedding industry. That’s so awesome. She’s been a part of the Knot and WeddingWire Awards, as well as been a finalist for the best country club golf course venue in Wisconsin for the last four years at Glen Erin Golf Club as part of the Best of Wisconsin Bride event. She’s ultra passionate and makes every event spectacular for each customer.

Katy Cook (01:17)

Mike Sherman (01:40)
Love all of that, Katy. Thank you so much. How did I do? Did I get that bio at least 99% accurate? Oh my gosh, great. Well, I’m so happy to see you. We’ve obviously worked together before. So great to see you. I know Michelle Grasser. We both know her and we both work with her. I did an interview with her a couple of weeks ago too, and she was like, you have to talk to Katy. So I’m so glad that you were available and willing to chat with me.

Katy Cook (01:46)
Perfect. Yup, it was perfect. Thank you so much.

Yeah. Yup.

Mike Sherman (02:04)
So talk to me, it sounds like you’ve quite a journey that’s kind of taking you through this. How did you get started in the industry? What kind of made you fall in love with it? And talk me a little bit through your journey through kind of Zilli and Geneva National and then now where you are at Glen Erin.

Katy Cook (02:20)
Yeah, of course. So I’ve been in the hospitality industry since I was 15. I started working in my hometown at it’s called the House of Events, which was just an event banquet hall. And I kind of fell in love with it there. We had a lot of weddings that came through. And I remember when I was getting ready to go to college, I’m sitting there with my mom. And I’m like, man, I don’t know what I want to do like with the rest of my life. And she’s just like,

Well, you’re really good at customer service and you seem to like parties and I’m like, yeah, you’re right there. So, right. So I’m like event planning, I guess I’ll try it out. So I went to college and, um, major communication and business and there I took a lot of internships, um, with events at a botanical center. I did international conferences with Augustana and I just fell in love. Um,

Mike Sherman (02:55)
What are you trying to say, Mom? Come on.


Katy Cook (03:20)
I fell in love with more of the wedding side of things. I do do corporate as well, but weddings are my passion. And so after college, I moved to Milwaukee. I got a job with Zilli Hospitality Group and I worked at the Milwaukee Public Museum for a while for them as an event designer. So we were, they were an exclusive at that venue at the time. And so I helped plan a lot of those events and then seven other venues in the Milwaukee area.

Mike Sherman (03:35)
Oh yeah.


Katy Cook (03:46)
And then after that, I went to Geneva national, which is where I met Michelle grasser and um, we, I did event managing there. So I coordinated all the weddings and member events. And then after that, Glen Erin was building this brand new banquet facility. And I was like, that would be really fun. I’ve never been with a company that started, you know, from the ground up. So.

Mike Sherman (04:12)

Katy Cook (04:14)
It was funny, my GM at the time was like, so I basically don’t really know what I’m doing with this wedding venue, but I’m building it and I just need people to run it. And I’m like, sweet. He’s like, you can make it your own. And I’m like, great, making it my own on someone else’s dollar. Cool with that. So I’ve been there ever since we opened that was five years ago, 2019.

Mike Sherman (04:27)


Katy Cook (04:37)
And it’s a big banquet hall sits right in the middle of a golf course. So we are 18 hole golf course. We have a small restaurant, pub and grill there. And then the banquet hall. Now we used to have this tent in the back, which is where the banquet hall sits now. And it was getting pretty run down. And so our jam was like, well, we could either replace the tent that only holds like 60 people, or we can build a four season banquet facility where we can do events all year round.

Mike Sherman (05:07)

Katy Cook (05:07)
That’s what he did. And we’ve been busy ever since. Obviously opening in 19 right before COVID was kind of a punch in the gut. But we got through it and things are, you know, pretty much back to normal now. But we do weddings, we do corporate events, we do social events. And our capacity is, I say 420 for a wedding with no tables on the dance floor, and then up to 500 for any other event.

Mike Sherman (05:16)

Oh my gosh, yeah, that’s amazing. Yeah.

Katy Cook (05:35)
Yeah, so, lots of events.

Mike Sherman (05:39)
I’m shocked at how many people I’ve talked to just not even just in this podcast, but just in over the course of time that that started their business and like like fall of 2019 or something. I’m just like, oh my.

Katy Cook (05:48)
Well, seriously, it’s like, I’ve talked to a lot of people like that too. And it’s like, we started at the worst times, but we got through it. And here we are.

Mike Sherman (05:56)
Yep. I mean, it’s the right and everybody that survived is stronger than they could have imagined. So very good. No, that’s great. Well, and so at the club, I mean, what you know, if someone’s walking in and what makes it so cool, like what what, you know, why should somebody have their wedding or their event or something at Glen Erin and you know, what’s what’s awesome about it?

Katy Cook (06:00)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah. Well, other than the scenery, I mean, golf course venue that speaks for itself, you have endless photo opportunities. I always say we’re like the hidden gem of Janesville. So people

Mike Sherman (06:22)

Katy Cook (06:25)
I mean, a lot of people still don’t know where they’re for the Celtic house. And you drive in we’re right by the airport there in Janesville. So it’s like you drive in right off the highway, there’s not really much around. And then all of a sudden, it’s these rolling green hills. And you’re like, Oh, this is beautiful. But I would also say to we have an all inclusive venue in which

It’s not plus plus plus for everything we include in house catering. We have a venue coordinator myself that helps you from the moment you book through the day of your wedding. I stay and help with all the vendors. You get a banquet manager the night of you have a whole team of servers and bartenders as well as our executive chef. So I mean, it really is kind of a one stop shop. We help with your timeline. Basically all your coordination and

all questions and we don’t limit the number of emails or the number of meetings that you have with us like you know some planners will do. So it’s truly meant to be a one -stop shop and just you know can have everything there including your ceremony and reception.

Mike Sherman (07:31)
Yeah, that’s awesome. I mean, it’s so great that you’ve kind of been there since the beginning. Like, you know, you, I definitely have to imagine you have a little bit more pride to kind of in what you do just because you were kind of part of it, building it up and, and yeah. And that’s what I would say. It’s like, you know, when you’re any sort of business, it’s like, if you have the money and you put in behind it, like great hire people to know what they’re doing. You know, it’s like, that’s like, don’t make that beyond you. It’s like, be smart, you know, get hire brilliant people and they have them do their thing. So that’s awesome. They’ve been there since then. And so five years later, you’re still rocking it out there.

Katy Cook (07:35)

Oh for sure.


Yeah, and I always say too, that’s, I mean, a big selling point as well is I’ve been there from the beginning. I’ve been literally at every single event that we’ve had. So I pretty much know the ins and outs of the place.

Mike Sherman (08:10)
Awesome. Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. Well, so now tell me of the shows that you do there, or then not the shows, I’m a musician, I talk about shows, of the weddings, events that you do there. Yes. What kind of is the, like how much, what percentage of weddings do you do versus like other types of events? I mean, is it mostly kind of weddings on the weekends or do you do a lot of like kind of corporate stuff then too, or is that more weekday stuff?

Katy Cook (08:18)
We show ya!

So corporate is more weekday, we try to keep our weekends for weddings. We’re I would say when we first opened, we were super slammed with weddings, and it’s kind of you know, fizzled out just a little bit. So we’re this year, we’ve noticed it’s just a little bit slower with weddings. I think that has some you know, thing to do with the COVID and the engagements and all of that. But ideally, we like to be more weddings. But realistically, right now, we’re more corporate and social.

Mike Sherman (09:01)
Okay, cool.

Katy Cook (09:01)
And we’re working back to getting to where we want to be with weddings, hopefully every weekend, but

Mike Sherman (09:07)
Right? Nice, nice, nice. That’s amazing. Great, great, great. I mean, yeah, it’s like we at Felix and Fingers obviously do a ton of weddings, but like, yeah, we the corporate stuff too. I personally am an advocate of liking to do a little bit of everything, you know, because you don’t, you know, it’s like I love weddings. But if you know, if I have a month and it’s two weddings a weekend for the whole month, the end of the month, I’m like, I’m a little wedding down for the for the moment. Yeah.

Katy Cook (09:09)

Oh, yeah, if you have him back to back then it’s like, okay

Mike Sherman (09:29)
Yeah, oh boy keeping them all straight and everything so Yeah, well talk to me a little bit about just like I mean I guess more weddings specifically But it feel free to branch out from there But I’m like what you know, what are you kind of seeing as somebody who just sees a lot of these weddings? I always like to ask you know, What what’s kind of in what are some trends that are coming through? What’s kind of on the way out? Everyone was just different answers to this. I’m always you know, I was just learned something new about that

Katy Cook (09:32)
Oh yes, yep.


Yeah, well, and it’s kind of funny too, because I know you do shows in New York and Chicago and wherever. When you have those bigger cities, Janesville is not a big city where I’m located. So it’s like the trends start there. And then it seems like a year or two later than they get to me. So I’m sure you see kind of all different kinds of things. But I would say, oh, yeah, you start in LA and then 10 years, five years later, it’s like, oh, it’s in Janesville now. That’s cool.

Mike Sherman (10:07)
Yeah, right.

Right. And you can even further away and it’s like five years later.

Right. Right, right, right.

Katy Cook (10:19)
But I would say one of the big ones lately that I’ve seen is mocktails at weddings. So it seems I don’t know if it’s a trend or whatever that people are wanting more cocktails that don’t have alcohol for those that maybe are sober or don’t drink. That’s big with corporate and

Mike Sherman (10:24)
Oh, okay.

True. Yeah.

Katy Cook (10:39)
weddings. So there’s always like that signature drink at weddings it seems like and lately it seems like there’s an alcoholic version and then a non alcoholic version which is pretty cool. I would say a few other ones, wedding cakes seem to be going out just like the small cake for cutting and then some type of dessert station. That’s been for a couple years now.

Mike Sherman (10:49)
Oh cool.


Katy Cook (11:04)
The audio guestbook is a big one lately that I’ve seen where you have the telephone and you leave a voicemail, which is really cool. I actually really like that. I think that’s a great idea. Especially for like if you have grandma at the wedding, you know, and then grandma can leave voicemail and you have her voice then forever. I just think that’s so fun.

Mike Sherman (11:07)
Yeah, telephone. Yeah, I like that.

Yeah, me too.

Right. Oh, yeah. No, that’s really cool. Yeah, no, I love seeing the phone. I’ve seen that pop up a few times recently. Yeah, just started seeing this cool thing. It just came to me. It was I mean, there’s something like photo sharing apps and all that stuff. But there’s this like thing where it’s like, I don’t know if you see it like kind of turns your your phone into like a digital camera in a way like it basically is not like an app. It’s like it’s called POV, I think. And then it’s like you have 25 total pictures to take. And that’s all you get. And you like take a minute and uploads it. And I thought that was really kind of cool. Yeah. Yeah.

Katy Cook (11:27)

Yep. And then it’s like an album for them to go through, right? Yeah, I just saw that I think on TikTok or something.

Mike Sherman (11:54)
Yeah, like you didn’t have to download an app. It just like your I don’t know if it’s just an iPhone thing, but it just like your phone just like scans it and just like kind of transforms that you have to download. I was like, I don’t know how they do these things, but I thought it was. Yeah.

Katy Cook (12:01)

That’s a awesome idea, I think. Because then you have photos from your guests that your photographer wouldn’t normally take, you know?

Mike Sherman (12:10)
Right, totally. And it’s like, I think people love the idea of the disposable cameras, which of course used to be a big thing at weddings, like putting one on every, like no one actually wants to deal with them and the photos are all going to turn out bad. So it’s kind of that nostalgic, you know, kind of disposable camera thing, but you don’t actually have to deal with any of the bad stuff that goes along with it.

Katy Cook (12:15)

Yup, I was gonna say my sister did the disposable camera thing like what was it? 10 years ago now and none of them turned out we went in

Mike Sherman (12:31)
Yeah. Yeah, it was me. We had, I got married 14 years ago and we, yeah, we used disposable cameras. I don’t think we got a single good photo out of those 15 cameras.

Katy Cook (12:40)
Yeah, I don’t think she did either. I was like, well, that was a waste. Cool idea, but no.

Mike Sherman (12:43)
Oh yeah, I get that.

Katy Cook (12:47)
instant photos. That’s a big thing right now for guest books too. You know, I mean, it’s been around for a little bit, but it’s like a Polaroid.

Mike Sherman (12:50)

Yep, something. Yeah, I don’t know. There might be a few different versions of it. But yeah, I just I’ve seen that. I think one of my wedding this weekend might have it too. And I’ve seen it like twice this month. So very cool. So if so, say someone gets engaged like yesterday, what I mean, in your opinion, like what what should they do? You know, like they’re overwhelmed. They’re not sure what to do. You know, I have my thoughts on it. But like, what do you recommend is kind of the first couple of steps someone should take?

Katy Cook (12:56)
That’s cool.

Yep. Yeah, that’s pretty popular.

The first step I always say is enjoy it. Don’t jump into planning right away.

enjoy take a few weeks and just be together and enjoy the engagement because once planning starts, then I feel like you start to get a little overwhelmed, you know, I always say pop the bubbly and enjoy a little bit of time. And then I would say your next step is obviously your guest list. That’s, I think the most important because you don’t want to start looking at venues that you fall in love with that’s way too big or way too small. And now your guest count doesn’t fit and you have to start cutting back.

Mike Sherman (13:39)


Katy Cook (13:54)
So guest list number two and then venue number three, just because then your vendors are gonna say, well, what’s your date and where are you getting married? If you say, I don’t know, I don’t know, then it’s like, okay, well, we can’t book you until you have that. So venues, I mean, like one of the first steps other than enjoying and doing your guest list.

Mike Sherman (14:02)


Yes, oh, absolutely. Now we get a lot of that too, where people reach out to us and they’re like, we definitely want the dueling pianos at the wedding. We don’t know where it is. We don’t know when it is. I’m like, all right, I can get you some general pricing. I can give you as much info as you’d like. I can’t obviously lock anything in until we have a date and a location.

Katy Cook (14:28)
Right? Yep. Because then you have travel fees and stuff like that. So yeah, that’s important.

Mike Sherman (14:32)
Right. Well, I see a lot of people choose a date. They’re like, this is our date, but we don’t know where we’re getting married. And I’m always just I was just feeling so nervous because I’m like, I mean, just I hope you don’t find that place you love and they’re not available on that date. So it’s like, it’s good to have a little Yeah.

Katy Cook (14:43)
And that does happen. That does happen more than you think. And I get that a lot. And I’m like, Okay, well, we don’t have that available. Is it flexible? And they’ll say like, yes or no. And then they realize no place available that day. So then they have to kind of reconsider.

Mike Sherman (14:55)
Nothing. It’s like, yeah, I mean, some of those October Saturdays, we fill up two years in advance. I mean, it gets crazy. So, oh, my God. Well, yeah, just a little topic of like the trends and everything. I mean, is there anything I mean, Is there anything you highly advise against not doing? Is there anything that people maybe say they want to do and you sometimes have to talk them out of it? Kind of like anything, I don’t know, like cringe worthy or, you know, I don’t know, you know.

Katy Cook (15:01)

I feel like there’s a lot of things but I don’t know one of the things that comes to mind is

The sparkler thing is a big trend, you know, like you do the sparkler send off. But one thing that I, it’s not that I talk them out of it. It’s just, okay, well at some point and the DJ hates it. And I know the DJ doesn’t like it. Cause everyone has to leave the dance floor and then trying to get them back on the dance floor after. But as a coordinator, I don’t love it only because you have, it’s like herding cats.

Mike Sherman (15:32)


Oh yeah.

Yeah. Yeah.

Katy Cook (15:55)
you have people it’s usually by the end of the night and it’s not always like at the very end that would be more helpful but a lot of times it’s like what photographer leaves it like eight or nine and so it’s like all right everyone prime dance time needs to go outside some people are a little incoherent that time and you’re giving them fire and then you know i don’t know there’s just a lot of like moving parts with that that

Mike Sherman (16:01)
Well, sometimes it’s before the photographer leaves, you know, it’s like he’s not staying the night, maybe.

I’m going to go ahead and close the video.

Katy Cook (16:23)
Yes, the photos are awesome from it. But I hate doing it.

Mike Sherman (16:28)
I know. I mean, with me, it’s always like sometimes we’re on the phone and like, are we going to do a sparkler send off? And I was like, OK, you know, that’s fine. Like how like I’m like, how is it going to work? And they’re like, I don’t know. And I’m like, OK. I was like, I should like people are just going to wander around like it like it’d be great if I say this is where you get the sparkler. This is who’s going to light it. This is where you drop it afterwards. Like a lot of times they just have a bunch of sparklers and maybe the maid of honor is like, oh, yeah, I’ll take care of it. But like no one knows what’s going on. And I was like, people are drunk.

They’re tired. I need to give them very clear instructions.

Katy Cook (17:00)
Yes, and I’ve actually had two different times where there was a legit fire from it and I’m like, this is fun. I’m actually putting out fires. Yeah, so I don’t love that one, but.

Mike Sherman (17:08)
Right No, literally literally No, that’s a great answer. Yep. No, that would be something I would By the time they get to me, it’s like it’s already done so I can never talk anybody out of that. But yes, that’s

Katy Cook (17:21)
Yeah. Well, and a lot of times a couple will be like, Oh, no, I got it. Like, we’ll figure it out. And I’m just like, that’s not gonna work. That’s not gonna work. I’ll just I’ll handle it.

Mike Sherman (17:29)
Oh, my God.

You might you might be drunk too at that point. OK, so. Oh my gosh, no, that’s a great answer and absolutely something I would say is something that might possibly come up.

Katy Cook (17:34)
Yeah, correct.

Yep. That seems to be kind of going out though. I will say that it was really big like two years ago and now you get it every now and again but.

Mike Sherman (17:46)

Yes, no, I would agree with that. I don’t see that. I do. I do have one May 4th. I think I do have a sparkler send off. I was going to ask them like, do you have any sort of like send off the end of the night like sparklers or anything? And no one ever says yes. And they’re like, no, we’re doing sparklers. And I was like, oh, so that’s my first one all year, I think. But but you get, you know, you can get some good photos. I understand it. Yeah. So then as far as Glen Erin goes, I mean, what is it like?

Katy Cook (18:07)

Yeah, it is true. Yeah.

Mike Sherman (18:18)
booking with you, you know, how far in advance do you recommend people reach out? I mean, obviously ASAP, I’m sure is kind of the general sense, but I mean, what, you know, do you still have dates available this year? Are you looking more 2025 right now? Like, you know.

Katy Cook (18:30)
So we do still have dates available this year. The likelihood of booking those dates is small, I would say. Most people book a year out for us anyway. The sooner the better. However, I mean, I know you and Michelle talked about on your pot, the last podcast or whatever that you can book a wedding in a month and we will do it and we will make it great. Those are rare, but we do get some of those a few months out. I personally love those.

But then a lot of ours are a year out. So mostly we’re booking for 2025 right now. But we do still have dates if people are interested this year. And then one thing that I wanted to mention too is if you do book from this podcast, or you hear us on this podcast, and then you reach out, you would get $500 off your room rental this year or next year, and then 5% off food and beverage. So reach out.

Mike Sherman (19:22)
Great. Yes, awesome. Yeah, so definitely mentioned that you heard her here and definitely take advantage of that. So that’s awesome. I will add up for sure. Well, great. I mean, I think that’s kind of all the questions I have for you today. Was there anything else you wanted to say? Anything else we didn’t really cover that you might want to put out there? Any other advice or info about the club or anything? I mean, I think we covered quite a bit here.

Katy Cook (19:29)
Yeah, for sure.

Yeah, just want to reiterate that we do have dates. Open houses at our venue we do once a month starting in May. So follow our Facebook, follow our Instagram, and keep up with all of our, we have public events coming up. We have open houses. Come out and tour and reach out to me and get the discounts. And we still have dates available this year and next year. So.

Mike Sherman (20:11)
Great, amazing. Well, everyone, thank you so much for tuning in today. It’s been such a joy. Again, this has been Katy Cook with Glen Erin Golf Club. And you said you’re in Janesville, right? Is where you look at it. Great. So definitely reach out to her. We’ll have all of her socials and everything shared, you know, right here where you’re checking out this podcast. So definitely reach out if you’re looking for an awesome place to have an event. But Katy, once again, thanks so much for chatting with me this morning. It’s been a real pleasure.

Katy Cook (20:20)
Yep, Jamesville, Wisconsin.

Mike Sherman (20:35)
And everyone have a great day. This is Mike Sherman with Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos wrapping up another exciting episode of Eventful Endeavors. Until we see you next time, bye.

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