Walters Wedding Estates offers beautiful wedding venues in Texas
Walters Wedding Estates owns and operates multiple wedding venues in Texas. They’re a family-owned business that believes happy employees contribute to happy weddings.
Rachel Johnson, Walters Wedding Estates’ Marketing Director, spoke to us about the company’s history and how they hire the right people to join their close-knit team.
Can you provide an overview of Walters Wedding Estates?
Walters Wedding Estates is located in Texas. Our corporate office is in the Dallas, Fort Worth metroplex and we also have locations and staff in the Austin and San Antonio area. We mainly host weddings however we love to host life events and milestones such as anniversary parties, corporate banquets, etc.
We service over 1200 weddings a year and have different venues all over Texas. We have a wide range of different style venues including beautiful chapels and reception halls, outdoor spaces, southern style mansions, historical venues and boutique hotels. We even have a venue with waterfalls in the Texas Hill Country.
What’s the history of Walters Wedding Estates?
Walters Wedding Estates is a family-owned business that started in 2006. It’s owned by the husband and wife team of Keith and Sarah Walters.
Their first venue was a boutique hotel called the Wildwood Inn and everything took off from there. They were passionate about growing their business and creating more venues around Texas. They went on to purchase the Northeast Wedding Chapel in Hurst and built or renovated other venues around the area. We’ve been around for 11 years but our growth has really been in full force the last four to five years.
What do your employees enjoy about their jobs?
The owners Keith and Sarah are very relatable people. We are an open company and try to include our employees as much as we can as we grow. We try to always ask for their feedback and suggestions. We have open-table discussions with all of our managers where we talk through their different ideas.
We have a culture where people have a great time at work and love what they do. We’re part of such a happy time in people’s lives so our employees need to have a happy place to come work at.
We also do a lot of team building and bonding activities in and outside work. We take trips together and do events like happy hours and picnics. The company still feels close-knit, even though we are rapidly growing.
Can you describe your hiring process?
When the resumes come in, we take a look at each one. Our screening process consists of trying to figure out the best fits based on the job descriptions and location.
We try to narrow down during the resume screening process to about eight to ten candidates to interview on the phone. We ask them some general questions and talk about the job and what it entails. We go through exactly what we’re looking for and make sure the salary, hours and everything else fits the candidate’s needs. If it does and we have a good connection on the phone then we move onto the face-to-face interview.
We usually bring in about five or six candidates for face-to-face interviews. The interviews usually run by the Area Director, who oversees the area the new hire will work in. For example, in Dallas/Fort Worth we have two Area Directors who oversee the venues we have in that region. If the position is specific to a venue, then the Venue Director or Assistant Venue Director will also participate in the interview.
We usually will host a second interview with someone like our Operations Director or Training and Development Director. We can provide a second weigh into the Area Director or Venue Director to take into consideration when making the final decision.
Beyond relevant skills and experience, what do you value when hiring?
We definitely look for people who are highly motivated, have great integrity and have an overall great attitude. Our core values are integrity, teamwork, excellence and making a difference so we always look for those qualities. We also look for a strong connection personality-wise. It’s really important to us that our team members get along and work well together. Even though we’re one large team, each venue is made up of smaller teams with anywhere from three to six people. We want to make sure those teams work well together and everyone’s personalities match up nicely.
Does your team have any favorite questions to ask in interviews?
Our Directors like to ask if the candidate is a relationship or results-driven person. We also about stressful situations and how they handle them and about a time they have at a past job and what they learn from it.
My favorite question to ask is about strengths and opportunities. I feel like it brings out honesty as far as self-identifying what they’re good at and what they can improve upon. The candidate’s answer tells you a lot about them.
What does the future hold for Walters Wedding Estate?
Our long-term goal is to become the leading event provider in the Industry. We’re hoping to grow into other markets and host weddings in areas outside Texas but in the meantime we’re happy to continue providing couples with beautiful, reasonably-priced wedding venues.