Strength in Gender Diversity

Strength in Gender Diversity


Do you know that women make up about 51% of the U.S. population? There is a good chance that you do.

Less well-known is the percentage of businesses owned by women: 40%.

The percentage of management positions held by women: 38%.

Or the percentage of woman CEOs at Fortune 500 companies: 7.4%.

Although the numbers of women that own businesses and are in leadership positions are improving, they still fall well short of reaching and accurate reflection of the population.

As a woman-owned business, Trademark Venues is acutely aware of the challenges faced in increasing the number of woman entrepreneurs and leaders as well as the advantages of diversity in leadership and the workforce in general.

The Challenge

According to Forbes, just less than 35 years ago, a woman could not obtain a business loan without a male relative as a co-signer. Although 35 years sounds like a long time, it is within lifetime of many of us and the fact is it gave men decades upon decades of a head start into entrepreneurship. It was only with the introduction of the 1988 Women’s Business Ownership Act that this changed.

Despite the strides made with that Act and the positive impact it has had on woman-led entrepreneurship, recent surveys show that men are still twice as likely to raise $100,000 or more in outside funding for a start-up and loan approval rates for women remain 15% to 20% below the approval rate for men.

While any sort of start-up business or business loan can be difficult to execute successfully, there is a clear disparity that remains. Above we wrote that 40% of businesses are owned by women and while this is true, the U.S. Department of Commerce finds that those businesses are generally smaller and produce far less revenue and sales than male-owned counterparts largely due to the more restrictive access to capital.

Additionally, many of us are familiar with the kind of harassment that is far too common in businesses across the nation. A 2018 study by McKinsey found that 35% of women have experienced sexual harassment in their careers. With women in leadership roles, that harassment is even worse with perhaps as many as double the number of woman leaders experiencing sexual harassment depending on what study in examined. The point being that sexual harassment is terribly prolific for women in leadership.

The above are only two of the challenges briefly summarized. Even a cursory search for the challenges women face in breaking into leadership or starting and running their own businesses will reveal many more serious challenges.

Not to appear to be a braggadocio, but Trademark Venues is proud of the success we have had in cultivating positive financial relationships with both local and national institutions and business partners. It is some of those relationships that have led from our beginnings with one intimate wedding venue to our current portfolio of six beautiful event venues, a stylish restaurant, and a stunning corporate campus.

We stand equally proud of our leadership team that boasts a membership composed of at least 50% woman leaders. That diversity is important and we’ll talk more about it soon.

The Edge

Near the conclusion of the 1988 Women’s Business Ownership Act, there is a statement that reads: “Women-owned businesses may well provide the cutting edge—and the American advantage—in the worldwide economic competitiveness fast upon us.” That statement has proven to be somewhat prescient. Although there remain obvious challenges for women in business, there are amazing achievements being made. According to a recent report from American Express, the number of woman-owned businesses has grown by 58% since 2007 compared to an overall rate of growth of only 12%. Further, women are now more likely than men to start a new business. Although those numbers tell only a part of the story, they are encouraging.

In addition to the rapid growth of woman-led businesses, some polls show that nearly half of all Americans prefer to work for a female leader over a male leader due to the perception that a female led business is more likely to be purpose-driven, more likely to offer equal pay, and is more inspiring in making people believe they can also achieve an executive or leadership position.

Finally, studies done across tens of thousands of employees find that there is more positive engagement with organizations’ strategy and mission in women-led companies and women-led companies inspire more employee belief in the product or service. Research also continually shows that gender diverse companies have increased productivity, greater innovation, better decision-making and higher employee retention than organizations that are significantly homogenous or lack diversity.

As a leader in gender diversity, Trademark Venues can attest to the edge that comes from such diversity. We innovate because we are different and bring unique views and culture; avoidance of groupthink is key. We care because we experience the exposure to others and their challenges and triumphs; building our empathy at every step. We are successful not despite our diversity, but because of it.

The Future

There are now more women-led businesses in the United States than there have ever been and more are being created every day. Those businesses in turn create more opportunities for both women and men to find their paths to success as employees and leaders within those organizations. Even more significant is that the rate of women-led businesses continues to grow and with positive results for workers and the economy. Don’t underestimate the value of diversity and success it can bring to you and your communities.

Selected Sources:


Dial in Your Style

Dial in Your Style

As you plan your wedding, you may find that selecting the style for your big day is both fun and engaging. There are dozens upon dozens of designs, styles, and themes to choose from and a number of places to implement your unique visions including your wardrobe, décor, furniture, and choice of venue.

Finding your personalized design style

You’ll find a lot of advice on how to choose your design theme and when to reserve your venue. Some will say that you should select your dress and let that guide your style choices for décor or venue; others may tell you to determine your style and then base the selection of your dress, décor, and venue around that vision. There are other ways and other opinions, and we’ll give you ours as well.

Our advice is to choose your wedding venue first and we’ll give you a few good reasons. First, date scarcity is a very real thing. Due to the adversity of 2020 and the first parts of 2021 caused by the COVID-19 crises, many couples chose to move their dates into 2021, 2022, and even 2023. Combine those transfers with the push we expect to see generated by the renewed sense of hope for 2021 and beyond and you may need to make a speedy decision for venue selection if you want your favorite dates or any date at all.

Second, the wedding venue you select is going to be one of the most visible and present parts of your big day and a huge part of your memories captured by photography and videography. Pairing your aesthetic motif to your wedding venue will ease your burden and ensure a cohesive experience for you and your loved ones on your wedding day. Fortunately, with a boutique collection of venues that accommodate a wide variety of creativity and self-expression, there is a great deal of flexibility available.

Be flexible and follow your heart. As you discover the venue that’s perfect for both of you, a sense of alliance will begin to form, marrying your design motif to your wedding venue. You may have a pleasantly surprising and unexpected reaction while strolling through the gardens. You may be drawn to some element, be it architectural or organic, that inspires your vision or even creates a vision for your wedding.

Sought-after styles

Choosing from a plethora of design styles can be overwhelming. Here we will outline the most up-and-coming 2021 & 2022 design trends. These choices are in no order of preference or suitability or popularity or any other order.

Rustic Influence

“Relaxed”, “open-air”, “effortless”, “natural”, and “organic” are only a few words that have been used to describe rustic weddings. If those words or the images they conjure capture your imagination and vision then you may lean towards a more rustic-inspired wedding.

Typically, rustic weddings can be characterized with natural colors as the palette with shapes and textures mimicking those found naturally or borrowed directly from nature. You will often see bare wood tables, muted colors, and barn-type ceremony sites to reinforce the themes. Of course, greenery is also the order of the day, with the natural beauty and verdancy of your location as the driver of your rustic-styled wedding day.

Bohemian Essence

Unconventional and artistic are the orders of the day for the bohemian or “boho” wedding. That leaves you a lot of room to conceptualize and a great deal of flexibility in the decisions that you’ll make. Natural, rustic, vintage, and other styles can be built into the Boho style for your day with your imagination and your free-spirited nature being the only restrictions to your design.

Compared to a rustic wedding, a Boho wedding is more likely to have a greater variety of color and perhaps a more eccentric vibe and feel to the dress and décor. You may find that vibe in an unstructured wedding dress or mismatched dinner and glassware, or in one of many other places your imagination can take you.

Vintage Vibe

This is another wedding style that leaves a lot to your imagination and your inspiration. Celebrate and pay homage to your favorite time period with “vintage” typically covering any time between the late 1700s to the 1940s.

Choosing a certain period or decade, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t throw in some found and reclaimed design elements for a striking look to the venue, your décor, and your day. Vintage is classically enduring and stands the test of time. It not only pulls the quintessential romanticism of times past but creates a sentiment that evokes nostalgia.

Typically, you will see this romantic, timeless style incorporating tablescapes with a mixture of greenery, candelabras and tea lights. Another great touch is to incorporate personal heirlooms and antique treasures to your head table, sign-in table or cake table. Whatever you choose, you’ll want a venue that allows for versatility and can accommodate your vintage feel with modern amenities or touches without missing a beat.

Eclectic Blend

Eclectic is not only a style, but also an outlook. Unencumbered by traditional ideals, mixing handmade details and mismatched decor for a wedding that is uniquely your own. There are really no rules in an eclectic style wedding. For example, don’t be afraid to mix antique with bohemian, bright colors and muted tones, and farm tables with modern style chairs.

Maybe you connected with the natural feel of rustic, the free-spirited vibe of bohemian and the timeless romance of vintage. With eclectic blend, you can mix all of these styles together for a personal and thoughtful wedding all your own. Let your imagination lead the way in this all-encompassing, all-embracing design style.


The Last Bit of Advice

You got our advice regarding building your style around the venue and now we have one more important bit of advice regarding making your venue selection: see your venue! Many venues have gorgeous pictures of their spaces. Of course they do and we do too. What you may not see in a photo is the flow of one piece of décor or landscaping feature into another, the feel or history of the environment, or the way the natural light captures a breathtaking vista or area at that magical hour around dusk. Take the time to take in the totality of the venue or find that one special feature that is important to you or really captures your imagination.

Thank you for reading and for visiting us today. We hope you discovered more about your dream style, for more inspiration explore our venues below:


Ethereal Gardens

Green Gables

Pine Hill Retreat


Twin Oaks

Or check out our latest COVID updates here.

Best wishes selecting your venue and planning your big day!


Deconstructed Maximalism

Deconstructed Maximalism

After a tumultuous, frightening, and sad 2020, 2021 is rolling in with a lot of hope on the horizon. We think many are starting to see the coming months in a more positive light and plunging forward with wedding reservations and planning. Part of that planning process may be reorganizing your wedding to accommodate your family members and loved ones or to encompass a revised vision for the big day.

Looking across the landscape of expert opinion and trends moving over from Europe and here in the U.S., there is an identifiable theme coming.


Go Big on the Small Details

If you want to impress your friends and family call it Deconstructed Maximalism. Call it whatever best fits your needs because it really is an opportunity to let your creativity shine. What it really means is that you make your event more intimate and more personally meaningful for yourself and those in attendance. Again, you may be looking at a wedding that has fewer guest than originally intended but with your full budget still intact. If you are fortunate enough to be in that boat, one thing projected to trend big 2021 is an investment that maximizes experiences for you and for those in attendance at your big day.


You may be asking yourself what kind of details and experiences you can invest in. Here are a few suggestions for finding what works for you:

Make meaningful connections. Not only do your guests represent the people you love most, but some have also likely travelled a long way to be with you on your special day. Set the tone for your celebration by making them feel welcome and valued. Perhaps you would like to offer your guests luxury or personalized welcome kits based on the theme of your wedding. Or perhaps you would like to plan an experience where you can help a high level of personal interaction with each person at your wedding. However you choose to make a personal and deeply meaningful connection with your guests, showing your care will go a long way creating a lasting memory for all.

Flowers everywhere. This is a place where investing big gets big returns with stunning and creative floral arrangements enhancing the wedding experience for you and your guests. A previous blog that you can read here details a few things to consider when selecting your florals. Whether you select a florist to design your day and execute your vision or make a personal investment of time, you can leave a lasting impression on your guests and for yourself. If you read our previous about floral, you understand the powerful connection between memories and emotions and fragrance.


Live or recorded entertainment. A chamber music trio or quartet? A magician either serious or comedic? If you can dream it, you can probably find a vendor or performer that can do it. We’ve seen the aforementioned magicians, we’ve seen animal attractions such as a llamas and sloths, we’ve seen dance teams perform, and much, much more.

If live entertainment isn’t your thing, consider a recorded video tribute to your relationship with your new husband or wife. You can include historically and emotionally significant pictures and videos of yourselves as well as some of the family and friends right there with you.

It’s pretty likely that regardless of what other entertainment you may choose for your wedding, you will hire a DJ to be the MC of your event. Of course, selection of a DJ can be difficult and the impact they have can be huge. Choose carefully. We’ll soon publish an article with some helpful tips – be on the lookout.

Unique décor. There are endless possibilities here. Create warm and inviting lounge areas for your guests to enjoy using luxurious couches, one-of-a-kind vintage side tables, and textured throw rugs. You can also add touches such as lanterns, wagons, easels, and other fun items to match your theme and create a visually stunning environment for your day.

Another up-and-coming trend is the “tablescape”. Make the dining tables a part of the décor and experience with beautiful and creative centerpieces, enchanting linens and napkins, fresh or amazingly life-like greenery, creatively designed lanterns, or dazzling dinnerware. Or go all out and use all of it! As always, make it yours.



Gourmet dining and drinking experiences. The food today at most weddings is pretty darn good. If you are looking going big on small details though, you may want one those details to be the food. Take a look at the more elegant experience of a plated choice and/or bumping the food up a notch by selecting a premium cut of beef or even seafood as a choice of entrée. You can even have fun with the appetizers with many choices to consider.

Don’t forget about the drinks. Once again, you have an amazing array of options from offering premium spirits, beer, or wine to creating your own limited selection of signature craft cocktails. Try one of the 28 or more different types of caipirinha or 20 plus different types of mules or take a little time to experiment and create something unique and consistent with the theme of your wedding.

Photography and Videography. As with floral, you have a real opportunity to create amazing memories. Take a moment to think about having a video chronicle of your day, professionally filmed and edited for maximum impact. Think about how a second photographer may benefit your day with a focus not only on you and your wedding party, but on your guests as well – what a way to remember the happiness you provided to your loved ones during one of the happiest moments of your life. A professional here can go a long to enhancing the way you remember the day the way it is remembered by others. Be on the lookout for some soon-to-come tips about selecting the perfect photographer for your wedding.

Wherever your imagination takes you. The goal with deconstructed maximalism is to make it intimate and meaningful for every attendee and, most importantly, for you. Ask questions, have fun, and maximize your vision!



The Last Word

Although the idea expressed above are fun to write about, fun to talk about, and fun to implement, it doesn’t mean that they’re a good fit for you. Maybe you want to maximize the number of guests and loved ones at your wedding, or you want to just have a really big party. Those ideas are just as fun and engaging.

Do what you want. Follow your heart. See your vision become a reality. Regardless of if that vision includes deconstructed maximalism, modern minimalism, or any of a hundred buzzwords, be sure that you do you.

We hope your day is joyful, beautiful, enjoyed in the company of your loved ones, and yours.



What About Wedding Flowers?

What About Wedding Flowers?

When you walk into a wedding reception or ceremony what is the first thing you notice? It could be beautiful décor like vintage couches or interesting tables. It could be interesting architecture that is rustic, modern, or mid-century. It could be the bride if you can catch a glimpse of her in her gown. It could be many things but chances are flowers and floral arrangements are high on everyone’s list. You’ll notice the floral centerpieces or the garlands running across the table or the extraordinary floral décor at the altar – whether drawing the eye or the nose, there are so many opportunities to creatively use floral arrangements to make your event memorable that we couldn’t possibly describe them all here in a short blog post.

We think you’ll find little argument that florals are one of the most important elements of a wedding celebration. As such, you’ll want to put some effort and careful consideration into the selection of your floral arrangements regardless of the season or your budget or preference for live or life-like flowers.


The Case for Live Florals

Live or real flowers are the height of authenticity.

Of course, live flowers look and feel like live flowers. Your guests can revel in the beauty of the flowers and in the feel of real petals and greenery under their fingers – and they will touch the flowers.

Touching flowers leads us to one of the few drawbacks for real florals and that is their fragility. Real flowers can be easily damaged by touching whether it is by guests or children of guests or even by wayward elbows, hands, and feet depending on the placement of your arrangements. Additionally, live florals can be damaged at multiple points along the supply chain from shipping to the florist to transport to the ceremony and reception site to set-up. Last and most unfortunately, real flowers can wilt with too much heat or cold or humidity or dryness and that can have a negative impact on your special day if the live florals are not planned with exacting precision.

That seems like a lot of negative there, but don’t let that frighten you; an excellent florist can help overcome that drawback. That said, real flowers and the means to handle them appropriately and professionally can be expensive. The best price isn’t always the best value so shop around and make sure you get referrals to the florist that is the right fit for your vision and your budget.

Let’s close out this section with a positive and the real reason to take on live flowers.
Many believe the biggest advantage for real flowers is in the fragrance and they have a point. Our sense of smell is very much entwined with our memory and with our centers for processing emotions.

Scientifically speaking, no other sense takes as direct a path to the centers for processing emotions and memory as scent. Scent goes starting from the olfactory centers (in the nose) to the amygdala (emotion processing center) to the hippocampus (learning and memory center) without the stopover at the thalamus (a kind of switchboard) that all the other senses take. That pathway can create deep-rooted emotional response to that scent for years to come. That’s a really complex way to something simple: the scent of a real flower can create a lasting and intimate memory for you and your guests on your special day.

An Alternative Solution

Before making the leap for real florals and flowers, take a moment to consider life-like alternatives. There are many options with a lot of flexibility to fit your needs.

I think that many of us probably recall the fake and plasticky flowers that sit sadly in urns or lonely vases in business parks and more industrial settings and offices. That is not what I am talking about here. Today, there are amazingly life-like replicas of real flowers made with silk, latex, and other materials that many would be hard pressed to differentiate from the real thing without close inspection.

Recall how fragrance can have a powerful impact on memory and emotion? The scent of many flowers can be faithfully duplicated with essential oils and other means to give your life-like looking flowers a life-like scent as well. You can even reapply any scent as needed to keep you memories live for years to come.

Another potential advantage to life-like flowers is sustainability and environmental friendliness. We say “potential” because they can be depending on a few different factors.

Life-like flowers can be shipped more efficiently and in a manner that is more environmentally friendly due to their durability. They do not require air transport or refrigerated transport; both of which can be fairly harmful to the environment.

Life-like flowers are also re-usable many times over meaning that there is one-time manufacturing process for a set of flowers and then they can serve the same purpose over and over again during their useful life where live flowers are one-time use and require constant planting that can damage the soil and since many are grown overseas, may use harmful pesticides.

Last, life-like flowers are typically far less costly than their live counterparts. They may be rented and re-used rather than purchased, costs are typically much lower in the production process and this is reflected in their rental or purchase price, and if you want flowers out of season, you do not have to worry about an up-charge due to limited supply or difficulty in obtaining the out of season flower.

What Flowers When?

We spoke just above about the seasonality of some flowers and that can be an important part of your decision making from both a monetary and aesthetic perspective.
If you have chosen live florals, ordering in-season flowers ensures you’ll get the freshest and most vibrant product available while at the same time saving you the expense of sourcing and importing out of season and hard to find floral products.

If you have chosen life-like flowers, you may still want to stay in season depending on the theme and look you want for your wedding. Of course, staying in-season is a very personal choice and one where you should be afraid to break with the season or with tradition if your vision calls for it. Regardless, here are some tips for flowers through the seasons:


· Pale flowers are more dominant, so think of softer colors, such as the pinks, yellows, and whites found in calla lilies, peonies, and hyacinths. However, if you love brighter colors, yellow is also available during this season, so consider daffodils and tulips.




· The warmer the weather, the brighter the colors! If you’re looking to bring some color to your big day, sunflowers and hydrangeas can help with that. However, summer also yields a variety of shapes of flowers, which lends itself to beautiful wildflower-like bouquets.




· Transitioning from warmer weather to cooler weather brings out the best of the floral world. This season combines the energetic colors of summer with the warmer tones of the cooler seasons, offering many combinations of colors and sizes of flowers. Consider mixing the dainty baby’s breath with the solid characteristics of roses and chrysanthemum.




· This season is characterized by deep and warm colors of floral, found in plants such as eucalyptus, holly and jasmine.


And that is just a taste of the many, many options available! We encourage you to engage a florist that is professional and specializes in weddings and events. That professional can help you decide between live and life-like, seasonality, and getting the best bang for your buck.

Best wishes for what is sure to be one of the best and most beautiful days of your life!



Who We Are

Who We Are

Our history and behaviors in action

For more than 20 years, Trademark Venues and its employees have provided the best in premier weddings in Southern California. Starting with one venue in 2001, Trademark Venues has grown to six wedding venues, a beautiful client services hub, and a gorgeous garden retail center. We are pleased to have the ability to offer these venues and services to our wonderful clients for their special events. Just as importantly, we are pleased that our growth enabled us to employ more than 200 area people at the start of 2020 and contribute to programs supporting our communities and other communities less fortunate. These facts are out there for anyone to find and although we are understandably proud of our history and growth, it does not completely define us.

What the facts do not show is who we are today and what we believe in. Although a focus on values should be and is a part of how we assess our business, the onset and continuance of the COVID-19 crisis has presented us with a unique test of those values. Our values will be judged by our clients, customers, and employees as well as history. We work hard to assure the judgement will be favorable and it is with that in mind that, some time ago, we created our Trademark Venues Core Behaviors:

Passion for Exceeding Expectations

Take individual responsibility by “going the extra mile”
Take the initiative to drive improvement and root out shortfalls in service and efficiency
Focus on the details, no matter how large or small


Exceptional Collaboration with Clients and Colleagues

Communicate professionally, respectfully, and directly with your colleagues
Actively listen to clients and colleagues
Embrace opportunities to positively impact others


Ethics without Compromise

Act with integrity and honesty
Commit to doing the right thing at all times
Act with compassion and respect for all

You’ll note that we refer to the above not as values, although they are, but as behaviors. Part of that is because of the cynical and somewhat negative connotation that can be associated with “corporate values”. How many times have any of use groaned inwardly and maybe even rolled our eyes when we hear an executive or leaders say they want to talk about corporate or core values? I would wager it is many. These are not nebulous or aspirational or minimal. These are the behaviors that we display every day and seek to weave into everything we do. Each one requires action and acting and doing are what make values real.

Making them real is what we hope we are doing right now.

We hope our passion for exceeding expectations comes through our response to your feedback and our continuation of your planning process or the design of our programs for those directly impacted by the current crisis.

We hope you hear and see exceptional collaboration through our efforts to keep you informed with our COVID-19 updates and the programs for employee and community support we have implemented.

We hope our commitment to ethics without compromise is demonstrated in our communication plan for clients and employees that places integrity and compassion at the forefront.

We say “we hope” because we understand that living by the behaviors, we have listed in not only about what we do but also about how it is perceived and felt by others. It is our sincere hope that we are living up to expectations placed on us by our stated behaviors and that you see it and feel it.

We also understand that failure is a part of the human condition and we must be prepared to fail and to hear the painful truth when we do. If you feel that we have failed our Core Behaviors, please reach out to us and let us know. We strive to improve.

That is a long way of saying that who we are is not only about a history of which we are proud but is equally about what we believe and do today and especially what we do through adversity. We want our actions to show that we care, that we take our responsibilities to our clients and employees seriously, and that we are focused beyond ourselves.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

You can find our most recent articles specific to COVID-19 here. You can find the link to our venues on our home page here.