Event Planning Tips from Our Talented Team

How to Make Event Planning Easier with RedWater Planning a wedding and seeking out the perfect place to say, “I do”? In charge of finding a stunning spot to host a corporate event or retirement party? Want to surprise a loved one with a beautiful milestone birthday bash? RedWater Events is the premier choice for…

How to Make Event Planning Easier with RedWater

Planning a wedding and seeking out the perfect place to say, “I do”? In charge of finding a stunning spot to host a corporate event or retirement party? Want to surprise a loved one with a beautiful milestone birthday bash?

RedWater Events is the premier choice for event planning in West Michigan. Our entire RedWater team is committed to making event planning more simple for guests. To get the planning started, our talented team has compiled venue-specific tips to help you determine which venue(s) may be ideal for your big day.

RedWater offers a variety of venues to accommodate groups of all sizes, large and small. Each one of our elegant event spaces comes with its own unique charms and amenities. We can ensure you’ll find a space that fits all your criteria and more, impressing your guests and making your shindig the most memorable celebration yet.


Watermark pavilion

Watermark is located in Cascade and offers many different rooms of varying sizes (with a maximum capacity of 450 attendees), as well as a stunning outdoor ceremony and reception location. At Watermark, you’ll find green, rolling hill views and elegance all around—our North Lakeshore Ballroom has an outdoor patio, bar, and lofted ceilings to create an open, luxurious feel.

Event Planning Tips from the Watermark Team

Event Food

Always review the menu ahead of time to see what your estimated cost will be, instead of looking at the contracted food and beverage minimum requirement. This way, you’ll have a much better idea of where you’re at in your budget, where you can splurge, and what is less important to the overall day.

Event Rentals

No matter what space you’re interested in renting, make sure to check what comes included with your room rental. You may be able to save some money with inclusive venues that offer tables, chairs, linen, decor, and an onsite coordination team in their rental packages.

Event Decor

If you are looking for simple decor, votive candles and square mirrors are available for rent, free of charge, to increase the ambiance of your event and save you money.

Event Amenities

Enjoy the ambiance and elegance of our built-in bar in the ballroom or our outdoor patio with unbeatable golf course and waterfall views.

Event Vendors

Always ask your venue for their recommended vendor list—a well-established venue will have a list of vendors that they work with often and trust. We’ve spent an extensive amount of time creating ours to save you time and help you experience top notch service as extensions of our RedWater team.

Our Staff

Ask your coordinator how much time is available on the day of for room setup and tear down to keep your day running smoothly. It may need to be contracted depending on your timeline.

Don’t Forget!

Always think ahead to understand and anticipate your guests’ needs. Ask your venue if they have accessible parking, indoor and outdoor spaces, menus that accommodate dietary restrictions, and the relative location to lodging, airports, and highways for out-of-town guests.

Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks ballroom

Thousand Oaks is located in northern Grand Rapids and can accommodate 450 guests. Find a range of rooms and an outdoor ceremony and reception location. For larger parties, our Grand Oaks Ballroom is a hit, with three full bars, a separate coat room, and a private deck with a view of the rolling golf course.

Event Planning Tips from the Thousand Oaks Team

Event Food

There is plenty to consider when it comes picking the perfect menu for your event:

  • While some are set on a plated meal, we often recommend selecting a buffet, which gives your guests more flexibility to build their plate how they would like without the hassle of you having to gather everyone’s food preferences.
  • Don’t forget the sweets! We offer a variety of desserts to enhance your meal and leave your guests happily full.
  • Our mimosa bar is a fun addition to your shower or brunch event. This includes a variety of juices and fruit garnishes to top off your sparkling wine.

Event Decor

Make your event personal to you by adding a pop of color. Incorporating a colored napkin is a simple but thoughtful touch. We have a variety of colors available to rent.

Event Amenities

The Oak Leaf Lounge at Thousand Oaks Golf Club is an elegant second-floor event space that comes with a full bar, private deck, and cozy fireplace—talk about relaxing!

Don’t Forget!

Having a coordinator helps with the smaller details of the day. We encourage you to think about any extra tables you might need for registration/sign in, gifts, memorabilia, favors, etc. We will work with you to design your floor plan so you have everything you need when you walk in your event space.


StoneWater event room

StoneWater is located in Caledonia and offers a few cozy yet spacious venues (and an outdoor ceremony site) for all kinds of events, offering a maximum capacity of 320. However, for smaller gatherings, the FireRock Room is an incredibly stylish space with a stone-adorned fireplace that creates a relaxing atmosphere for any occasion.

Event Planning Tips from the StoneWater Team

Event Rentals

The small details make all the difference. Want to add a pop of color to your room? Ask your sales manager about our colored napkins. We have a multitude of colors to rent for only $0.35 each.

Event Decor

Whether you’re creating a specialized birthday bash or want minimal but classy decorations for a corporate event, we’re here to help. Make sure to communicate with your sales manager about what decorations we offer. Did you know we can provide mirrors, votives, and table numbers for free with your RedWater reservation?

Event Amenities

For our corporate event clients, we offer audio visual rentals to allow you to make presentations a breeze. Ask our sales manager what equipment we can provide. Save time and money by using our brand-new built-in AV technology instead of hiring an outside company.

Our Staff

Are you sticking to a strict budget? Ask for a quote with all your requests before signing your contract. We want to make sure the venue can accommodate your needs and stay within your budget, whatever it may be.

Don’t Forget!

A key tip in event planning: Don’t wait until the last minute! Make sure you’re sending invites and getting your RSVPs in time to give final counts to your sales manager. This will greatly alleviate stress right before your event and save you money by not paying for guests who aren’t attending your event.


Sunnybrook event room

Bright, beautiful rooms are found at Sunnybrook, located in Grandville. Here, the maximum capacity is 350. We recommend our Ballroom AB for larger parties—the stunning floor to ceiling windows overlook the golf course, and with access to a private patio and a built in bar, your guests will be incredibly impressed.

Event Planning Tips from the Sunnybrook Team

Event Food

We know how important great food is in making a memorable event. Review our menus prior to booking to ensure we have food and beverage options you know you’ll love.

Event Amenities

For a large, newly remodeled venue space, check out Banquet Room B which has beautiful rolling hill views and a private patio.

Our Staff

Planning an event comes with a lot of choices. For anyone who is new to hosting an event or wedding, our sales team is happy to assist you with meal selection and portions, your timeline, and the room layout.

Don’t Forget!

Here are a few more tips and tricks from the Sunnybrook staff:

  • Always check to make sure the space is big enough to accommodate your guests but not too big for the type of event you’re hosting. Think about needs dependent on your event—will you need a dance floor, space for a buffet, bar, photo booth, or corporate training stations?
  • Although many of our event venues at RedWater are also country clubs or golf courses, our event spaces are open to the public—you do not need to be a member to host an event.
  • We book up quickly! If you wait too long, there’s a good chance your preferred date is already taken. We recommend you plan your event in advance (by at least more than two weeks).


Boatwerks event room

The charming Boatwerks, located in downtown Holland on Lake Macatawa, is home to bright and airy rooms for all sorts of occasions. The maximum capacity is 400 guests. The Black River Ballroom is great for those seeking a room with a reveal—a large retractable wall opens to a sprawling court yard with spectacular lake views.

Event Planning Tips from the Boatwerks Team

Event Amenities

For those interested in a beautiful lake view, we highly recommend the West Room. Lake Macatawa is one of the best backdrops for a big bash, and there is also an attached courtyard that can be added to this rental to maximize space.

Event Vendors

Our sales managers will provide you with a list of recommended vendors that we’ve worked with, who know our spaces well, and we know are fabulous at their job. Once your vendors have been booked, we will need a full contact list to ensure that those vendors arrive at their scheduled time, keeping your day running smoothly.

For those planning a wedding, your own contracted wedding planner will assist you with the finer details for all aspects on the day of. Please see our recommended vendor list if you are still requiring someone to assist you.

Our Staff

Our sales managers are the venue planners for Boatwerks. They are responsible for everything that specifically deals with the venue, including table and chair setups, linens, food, beverages, and floor plans.

The sales team will make sure all of the details of your event including the timeline, food, beverages, bar service, and rental items are relayed to the event managers, serving staff, and chefs.

Don’t Forget!

Here are a few more tips and tricks from the staff at Boatwerks:

  • All rental items that involve the layout of the room or courtyard must be coordinated through Boatwerks—chairs, tables, linens, and lighting. Please ask our sales managers before contracting any rental item. While we do allow you to order your own items, we have an extensive list of vendors that we recommend.
  • If you are planning your wedding ceremony at Boatwerks, if requested, we will be able to assist you with your rehearsal walk through. However, you will need to assign your own coordinator for the day of coordination.
  • Your sales managers are here to help. Over communicate with us—we like to note all the little details that you would like to have happen at your event and never want to miss anything that is important to you.
  •  If you are trying to stay within a budget but your guest list is making that hard, make a couple of lists to stagger your invitations. For example, if you are hoping to stay around 150 guests but you have a list of 190, make an “A” list of 150 people you know you want to come. Send invites to those individuals a couple weeks early and once the declines start coming in for that group, send only that many invites from your “B” list out. This way, you will never have more than 150 invites out at a time, and you have more control over your guest count, and therefore, budget.
  • Get a jump on your menu and event details. Once you have an idea of any of your decisions, let your sales manager know. The more time our team has to plan, the better. We don’t need your final guest count to be able to plan your menu items or timeline.


Macatawa event room

Macatawa is located in Holland and has a maximum capacity of 400 guests. The spacious, bright Macatawa Ballroom is great for larger parties, supplying an elegant, welcoming charm that you and your guests will love.

Event Planning Tips from the Macatawa Team

Event Food

Offer passed champagne at your event or ceremony entrance for a classy touch your guests will remember.

Event Decor

Spend less on decor when you book a venue with a view. As long as you have beautiful views, which Macatawa supplies, there is no need to spend too much on extra decorations.

For wedding events, use RedWater cutting cakes for your table centerpieces. You can pretty them up with flowers or cake toppers and your guests can enjoy their dessert right at the table.

Event Amenities

Take advantage of our beautiful Michigan summers by booking an event on our ballroom deck. For a corporate holiday party or birthday bash, you can also book an interactive event. Our Live Golf Lounge is a fun alternative to a sit down dinner.

Thornapple Pointe

Thornapple Point event room

Thornapple Pointe is located in southern Grand Rapids and offers a maximum capacity of 250 guests at our Pavilion and outdoor ceremony site.

Event Planning Tips from the Thornapple Pointe Team

Event Decor

Keep things simple and let us do the decorating. Our Pavilion, which provides an upscale, outdoorsy aesthetic, is already ready for your next event, with bistro lighting, paper lanterns, complimentary centerpieces and your choice of colored napkins included.

Event Amenities

Before or after your event starts, encourage your guests to stay and play a round of golf. Our course is open to the public.

Don’t Forget!

Check out these tips from the staff at Thornapple Pointe:

  • Take advantage of our property for your wedding photos—there are many beautiful photo opportunities overlooking the Thornapple River.
  • Another benefit to having your wedding at Thornapple Pointe? There is no need to leave to get everything you want and more. Our ceremony site is right outside the door of the reception venue, making it incredibly easy for your guests.
  • We are happy to host events of all sizes. Our pavilion can accommodate as little as 30 or as many as 250 guests.

Muskegon & Ravines

Muskegon event room

Our Muskegon & Ravines locations are located in Muskegon and Saugatuck and each fit 175 guests. The Muskegon Country Club offers a stunning view of Lake Muskegon—the Lakeshore Ballroom offers an attached deck for maximum viewing. Ravines is surrounded by a lush green golf course—The Cottage at Ravines is incredibly cozy, ideal for small to midsize groups.

Ravines event room

Event Planning Tips from the Muskegon & Ravines Teams

Event Decor

To minimize decor costs, consider venues with lots of natural beauty, which is plentiful at Muskegon & Ravines.

For wedding planners, repurpose your flowers and decor. Ceremony arbor florals can be repurposed to serve as a runner on the head table. Your bridesmaids bouquets can be set in water and used as accent florals on your buffet, cake, or gift tables.

Event Vendors

The right vendors make all the difference in your event quality. This goes for everything from photographers, florists, decorators, etc. Having experienced vendors in place decreases stress levels leading up to the day.

Don’t Forget!

Here are a few final tips from the staff at Muskegon & Ravines:

  • Keep your guests in mind during your wedding ceremony. If it is expected to be warm, offer water and small handheld fans. If it will be chilly, think about offering blankets or heaters.
  • Have a day of decision maker who you trust. Small things will pop up throughout the day, and the last thing you want to do is worry about small details that someone else can assist with. Be sure to go through your vision with this person ahead of time so they know how to confidently answer for you.
  • Trust your gut! It is easy to get caught up in thinking about what others want your day to be. But remember: it is about you and your partner. Come up with a plan ahead of time and focus on that rather than traditions that may be less important to you.
  • Stay organized to minimize stress. Have all your details wrapped up 2 weeks prior to the big day. This will allow you to spend the remaining time focusing on things that pop up without added stress.
  • Always read reviews before booking. These are a great way of finding out about your potential venue through other people’s experiences.
  • Venues with the ability to offer both a ceremony and reception site are hugely helpful. Your guests will appreciate not having to navigate to two locations—especially those traveling out of town.

Get Easy Event Planning with RedWater

Life’s most memorable moments can be celebrated at a RedWater event venue. Send us a message today with some information on your event to get planning started or set up a tour of our event spaces today.

Ready to Book?

Reach out for more information on any of our venues!