Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Mike Hernandez, CEO of The Wedding Establishment, explains how this image represents his business.
I grew up in the wedding industry. I would watch brides and grooms come meet my father to potentially book his wedding band. The couples would talk about how they had to meet a million different vendors all over the state. Fast forward 20 something years later, the way couples shop has never changed. This is why I created The Wedding Establishment, a beautiful 4,000-square foot one-stop shop to save couples time, money and stress.
The biggest challenge we face as we rapidly grow is hiring just the right people. From day one, my philosophy has always been to not just acquire top talent, but instead bring in talent that is exceeded by the person's character. The business side of wedding industry is all about connections and comfort. To have not only talented staff but incredible people with undeniable passion on my team is everything.
On top of opening several different wedding businesses under one roof the dream is to open a Brooklyn-inspired event space – a place where potential clients can use a blank slate to have their engagement parties, bridal showers, baby showers or even their wedding. The wedding prices in New Jersey have blown up to $63,000. When you boil that down it results to nearly $200 per minute. My hope is to one day open a turnkey facility that would house everything a client would need, to help those who do not have the time and or funds to afford the huge elaborate wedding or life event.
Couples are incredibly busy and already stressed with work and everything that life throws at them. For most, planning a wedding has turned into a job they don't get paid for. I look to be the spark in an industry that needs a desperate change. Opening more Wedding Establishment locations and/or franchising is something I believe is very much needed in the wedding market today, and I'm pressing hard to make that happen.
Edited for brevity and clarity by Nicole Fallon.