An Interview With The Wedding Report

Earlier in June, the Mercantile Hall Team of Calyn, Stephanie, Wendy, and Andrew were interviewed on The Wedding Report, which is a site dedicated to helping couples decide how much they will likely spend on their wedding through wedding statistics and unbiased data. On their most recent podcast episode, which is featured on their YouTube channel, CEO Shane McMurray asks the team a number of questions about the venue itself, the booking process for couples, and more.

No time to watch? Here’s a quick overview of the question-and-answer moments:

  • “Tell me a little bit about the venue and location!”

    “We’re in Burlington, WI which is Southeastern Wisconsin just a hop, skip, and a jump from the resort community Lake Geneva, and we are an industrial venue with a capacity of around 220. It was originally a historic indoor mall, which is where the name Mercantile comes from. After a huge fire came through in 2014 and essentially ruined the store, we decided to restore the building, have our bridal boutique upstairs, and turn the rest into a gorgeous wedding venue – the rest is history!”

  • “Tell me about the process that couples need to go through when booking a venue.”

    “Our websites generate most of our leads, along with our social media channels, so our bread and butter mostly comes from there. Then it’s handed over to the venue experts, Stephanie and Wendy! We have a whole inquiry process where we welcome them to the family, send them the extensive pricing guide to make sure that there are no hidden costs anywhere, and then we work on figuring out a date for them to come in.”

  • “So what’s next after you get them in for a tour?”

    “During the tours, we will give them a mock proposal to see all the pricing upfront, which is extremely helpful. From there we will adjust to fit their needs whether that’s increasing or decreasing the bar package, or adding on other rentals! We strongly believe that the more information they can get early on the better.  A lot of times couples book within the first week or so, and some take longer; either way we are sure to check in on them and let them know that we’re still here and ready to be there for you on your big day, as well as sending them content to keep updated on things like events, Suesanna, the Urb Garden, and more.”

  • “What about rentals and planners?”

    “We have incredible relationships with all of our vendors and while they are typically outside of the package, we work really hard to make sure everything fits for that couple. As for planners, we do a lot of in-house coordination, we obviously welcome outside planners but we do have our own packages as well. We help plan along the way, which can lead to being the on-site coordinator for their big day – our coordinators know the space in-and-out and can just do everything so effectively which is extremely comforting for our couples.”

  • “What is there to do around Mercantile Hall post-event?”

    “We make sure to remind couples about what is outside in the community, too, because the experience really isn’t only about what is in those four venue walls. There are late-night places to go out after our venue, free parking, hotels nearby, and more. For example, Burlington has lots of townie bars, we’re kind of known for that. Lots of local bars and taverns with a Wisconsin-vibe, but also other classy bars around whether it’s in Burlington or Milwaukee. We are sure to have couples know about the whole experience for their wedding.”

  • “Are events usually all day?”

    “Absolutely, they get the space all day long, which is great for our couples because they are not having to share the space and can make their own memories. We also have an incredible outdoor area known as the Urb Garden which is uncommon for Wisconsin venues, especially in the Winter, but we have had some gorgeous January weddings there. This is their space, in-and-out.”

  • “If you had to give couples some advice about looking for venues and what they should be thinking about, what would it be?”

    “Essentially: vibe, price, capacity, value, and location. Right when the couples get to Merc, we always ask things like, “what is most important to you?”, “have you seen anything elsewhere that you like or don’t like?”, “do you have any questions on the pricing guide?”. We try to learn what’s going to work best for them. One of our key things that we want people to connect with here is the overall vibe; we’re going to be working with them a lot so to build that relationship and connection with the space and us right from the moment when they walk in the door is so important.”