Shout-Out Saturday with Oak Hills Reception and Event Center

Shout-Out Saturday with Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue

July 26, 2019

We are so excited about the new wedding venue that opened last September in Layton, which is right in our neck of the woods! Ever since the first time we visited with Shirelle and Aleesha we’ve been so impressed. The team at Oak Hills Reception and Event Center has not only put in their own time and effort to update and renovate the venue, but they also go above and beyond in serving their brides and grooms! They are the type of team that makes sure all of your needs are taken care of leading up to and on the day of your wedding, even down to bringing brides and grooms bottled water as they stand in a receiving line for hours. We cannot recommend them enough, and we are so excited to continue to work alongside them for future weddings!

To answer some of the most asked questions about Oak Hills, and to allow you to get to know the team a bit better, we interviewed Aleesha Merrill who is the Director of Events. Here’s what she had to say about working at Oak Hills.

Oak Hills Team | Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography

1. What’s the story behind Oak Hills Reception and Event Center? How did it come to be?

Oak Hills has a long history. It was built in the late 70’s as a reception center/home. The owners lived here while they ran the reception center. After their time with it, it has seen several different owners and has been called many different things. For the most part it has been used as a reception center, but it has also spent some time as a Montessori School as well. Shirelle Benard is the current owner, and has been updating, renovating and making amazing changes since last September.

 

2. Who is apart of the team at Oak Hills? Tell us a little about the team.

Our Oak Hills family is the best! We strive to create a fun yet professional culture and  atmosphere. We are a hardworking crew that loves to work and joke around together.

Our team consists of:

  • Shirelle Benard – CEO/Owner: she’s no-nonsense, organized, and cares immensely about her employees & clients.
  • Adam Benard – Facility Manager/Jack of all Trades: he’s hard working, a jokester and he is willing to tackle anything we put in front of him.
  • Aleesha Merrill – Director of Events: she’s patient, kind hearted and loves a good challenge.
  • Shawnee Ruiz – Executive Chef: She’s understanding, professional and brings a five-star restaurant vibe to Oak Hills.
  • Alicia Washington and Jessica Richards – Event Managers: They are hard-working, super sweet, and a ton of fun.
  • Sharon Wyatt- Event Assistant/Housekeeping: She’s so loyal and the veteran of our group.
  • We also have a team of about 15 Event Staff members that assist in any and all of our event needs. Serving, busing, dish-washing, set up, landscaping, etc. We are beyond lucky to have this hard working crew on our team!!

 

Main sign at Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography Ceremony Site | Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin PhotographyCeremony Site | Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography

3. After a bride and groom book Oak Hills as their wedding venue, what’s the process like from there?

When a bride and groom book with us, I (Aleesha) reach out to them immediately with a welcome email packet.  In the first welcome email, they are asked to fill out a questionnaire about themselves. Once that is filled out and returned, they are then matched up with a Wedding Manager that we feel would be a great fit for them.  

Their Wedding Manager then takes it from there.  3-6 months prior to their wedding, they’ll meet with their Wedding Manger for their 1st consultation. Everything from design to catering will be discussed at that meeting. After that, myself and the Wedding Manager work hand in hand coordinating their wedding and all the fun details that go into it. The Wedding Manager is then  their main point of contact, and they manage the wedding from beginning to end. They basically become their new BFF! To make sure all the “t’s get crossed and the i’s get dotted,” I always check in with the wedding managers throughout the process.

 

Front of main building at Oak Hills | Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography Ceremony Site | Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography Ceremony Site | Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography

4. If you were to tell a bride and groom what sets your venue apart, what would you tell them? 

We have several things that set us apart. We are a Utah wedding venue located at the base of Adam’s Canyon in Layton, Utah and therefore have the most amazing view of the Wasatch Mountains. Those beautiful mountains make for an amazing backdrop to our Garden area where many ceremonies and receptions are held. Everyone that steps foot on our grounds immediately falls in love with the view that we have.  

Another thing that sets us apart is the fact that we have two completely different buildings that couples can choose from. We have a fun and chic rustic barn with an open floor layout.  We also have our Main Building that’s elegant and has several vintage furniture pieces (our bar is one of a kind!)

Lastly, we set ourselves apart by the standards that we hold. Our number one goal for all our brides and grooms is to create an amazing experience from beginning to end.  From the first moment you tour with us to the last moment we say our goodbyes as you leave through a tunnel of sparklers, we strive to make sure our clients are taken care of in every way possible. We stay up to date on the latest wedding trends, and we listen to customer feedback and make changes if necessary. As a team we are organized, professional, and we love to give that TLC that’s needed during the fun, yet sometimes stressful planning of your wedding. You will be well taken care of here at Oak Hills!

 

Gazebo and hanging lights on pergolas | Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin PhotographyCeremony Site bridge | Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin PhotographyTrees at Oak Hills | Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography

5. What are the biggest advantages to booking a venue for your wedding?

We have had so many clients that have booked with us that have said something along these lines, “We did our other daughters wedding in our back yard last year and it was beyond stressful. We are so excited to book a venue where we can just sit back, relax and let somebody else do all the work for us.”  

Weddings are a huge deal! There is so much planning that goes into a wedding, including a bucket-full of things that you’d never even begin to think of. Hiring a venue, such as ours, that offers an event manager to oversee and manage the entire event and that already has tables, linens, centerpieces, and other decor is priceless. Instead of stressing over the details of your wedding, you get to enjoy the process while somebody else takes care of it all for you.

 

The barn venue at Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin PhotographyThe barn venue at Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography The barn venue at Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography

6. Is it common for people to rent out the whole venue for their wedding? What’s the typical setup for that?

Most of the weddings that we do here at Oak Hills Reception and Event Center consist of all three: a ceremony, luncheon and reception. Holding all of your events in one location alleviates even more stress. Instead of traveling from place to place on the day of your wedding, you get to conveniently stay at the same venue and truly get to enjoy your day.  

When we host full day weddings, typically we will have the ceremony in our Garden, the luncheon in our Main Building and then the reception in the Barn. It flows really well this way and also leaves time in between for cocktail hours, lawn games, and more personal time with your guests. 

 

7. Is there anything that you wish brides and grooms would know about choosing a venue for their wedding day?

When choosing a venue you need to make sure that it is a good fit for you. So many factors play a role into what that means, but to name a few, you need to consider if the venue fits into your budget, if it can accommodate all of your guests, and if their policies fit into your idea of your dream wedding. I actually wrote a blog post about this very subject. I go into a lot more depth on the subject, so you should check it out! You can find that blog post here.

 

To find more of our favorite Utah wedding vendors, click here!

The barn venue at Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography Main building at Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin PhotographyMain building at Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography Main building at Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography Main Building | Oak Hills Reception and Event Center | Utah Wedding Venue | Jessie and Dallin Photography

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