Imperial Venues Launches New Wedding Brochure

Imperial Venues has launched a new wedding brochure for its ceremony and reception venues in South Kensington.

With two historic townhouses, which are both licensed for civil wedding ceremonies, along with large and modern event spaces, Imperial is the perfect choice for couples looking to get married in central London.

The brochure’s stylish design benefits from beautiful venue photography, updated reception packages and additional venue information, helping couples to choose the right space for their big day.

Ceremony and reception packages are available at 170 Queen’s Gate and 58 Prince’s Gate, Imperial’s historic townhouses, both of which benefit from private outdoor spaces. Reception only packages are available in the Queen’s Tower Rooms, ideal for larger parties.

For more information about weddings at Imperial or to download the brochure, please visit the Imperial Venues website or contact a wedding expert on 020 7594 9494.

British Academy’s new Library launches for event bookings

{10-11} Carlton House Terrace, home of the British Academy, is delighted with the addition of the Lee Library to its room collection. Situated on the ground floor, in the South West Corner of the venue overlooking The Mall, this impressive event space has high ceilings and large windows allowing an abundance of natural daylight to flood in. With book-lined walls filled with academic literature dating back to 1902, this inspiring space is designed to allow your creativity to flourish.

The new event space can accommodate up to 60 people theatre style, 100 people for a stand-up reception and up to 60 people for a sit-down dinner. The room has the added advantage of adjoining the Reading Room giving the spaces much more flexibility and capacity. Delegates can enjoy the use of complimentary wifi and audio visual services are available on request.

The new Library is licensed for civil marriage ceremonies and civil partnerships, with full wheelchair accessibility and guide dogs allowed.

Explore The Library here and for further information email [email protected] or call 020 7969 5224.

{10-11} Carlton House Terrace was built during the late 1820s and early 1830s on land previously occupied by Carlton House, the residence of the Prince Regent, who became George IV. The neoclassical terrace was conceived by architect John Nash with two aims in mind: to provide good views of St James’s Park for residents and to provide an impressive backdrop to both the Royal Park and the Mall.

As soon as it was finished, Carlton House Terrace became one of the most fashionable addresses in London. {10-11} was home to the Ridley and Guinness families, and also William Gladstone, Prime Minister, who occasionally held Cabinet meetings there. Although it was damaged during World War II, much of the interior of Number 10 has survived from the early years of the 20th century. Both 10 and 11 have benefited from recent refurbishment.

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RSVP now to secure your attendance at London’s finest event venue showcase, The Westminster Collection’s ‘Destination Westminster 2014’, this year being held at the iconic BAFTA 195 Piccadilly. Famously the home of British film, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly is looking forward to opening its doors to event planners from all across London and beyond for a productive morning of networking, event planning and conversation with 43 of the city’s most celebrated venues, available for corporate or private hire.

Exclusively promoting venues within central London’s City of Westminster – which encompasses Pimlico in the south, to Regent’s Park in the north and from the borders of Kensington in the west, to Covent Garden in the east – guests of this enjoyable breakfast networking event can look forward to discovering luxury hotels, world-renowned conference centres, training facilities, historic institutes and societies, celebrated attractions, galleries, museums and private members clubs.

It’s free to attend. All you need to do is click here to register!

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For updates follow @Venues_Wminster #DestinationWestminster

116 Pall Mall to host wedding showcase this Sunday

116 Pall Mall will open its doors to brides and grooms to be as it showcases its pristine wedding services in a special event taking place this coming Sunday 3rd November 2013.

Meet more than 40 of the most respected wedding suppliers in London, participate in interactive wedding workshops and have fun watching a couture bridal fashion show while you taste wine and enjoy complimentary food. Explore the facilities of this stunning central London venue before taking advantage of a personal consultation with a member of 116 Pall Mall’s wedding and events team.

All guests can participate in prize draws and a competition to win 50% off the hire cost of 116 Pall Mall for a wedding, as well as taking advantage of special offers exclusively available on the day. With guaranteed exclusive use at weekends, 116 Pall Mall provides a unique and memorable setting for civil ceremonies and receptions.

116 Pall Mall features eight magnificent and individually designed function rooms with capacity for up to 400 people. Its grand and ornate staircase and adjoining gardens are the perfect backdrop for photos in the heart of St James. The stunning architecture and beautifully decorated rooms all receive natural daylight and are fully air conditioned.

To register your attendance click here.

Royal College of Surgeons to host High Tea venue showcase

Event professionals can experience the charm and impressive room portfolio of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) on 30 July, at an exclusive open day at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields meeting, events and wedding venue.

The RCS venue team will welcome event professionals to tour its magnificent 18th century spaces for hire, while catering partner Ampersand delights with delicious homemade lemonade, a Holborn high tea and a selection of other sample dishes. The venue and AV teams will also be available throughout the afternoon to chat with attendees.

‘When you think of The Royal College of Surgeons, you automatically think surgeons and dentists, with “event venue” rarely coming to mind. We are looking forward to opening our doors to new and existing bookers and showing them the huge variety of versatile space we have available for all types of events,’ says Emma Hayes, business development coordinator at RCS.

RCS has played host to both corporate and private events for 20 years and has three rooms licensed for wedding ceremonies. Centrally located on Lincoln’s Inn Fields, within short walking distance of Covent Garden and Holborn, RCS has a great variety of space, whether it’s the unique Hunterian Museum of Anatomy, with its fascinating display of surgical history, to the impressive Edward Lumley Hall for up to 300 guests, with dance floor and stage.

Places are limited, so register your attendance by contacting Emma Hayes on 020 786 96745 or by email at [email protected].

Royal Warrant of Appointment for weddings at RIBA

A Royal Warrant of Appointment to The Queen has this month been awarded to The RIBA’s caterer Ampersand, part of CH&Co, to recognise its outstanding services as a caterer.

The RIBA has just launched its new 2013 wedding packages with Silver, Gold and Platinum options which are just the ticket for brides wanting to be treated like royalty.

Speaking of the Royal Warrant, Maria Langshaw, venue marketing manager for The RIBA, said: “Our service and catering at the RIBA have always received lots of compliments and this is an amazing tribute to Ampersand and CH&Co’s dedication to quality.”

The RIBA is the perfect venue for a London wedding with its richly decorated interiors and craftsmanship, vast floor to ceiling windows and a sunny terrace, ideal for champagne receptions. It is licensed for civil ceremonies.

Call 020 7307 3888 or email [email protected] for availability for your own elegant London wedding.

Catering: Make it memorable for the right reasons

By Jonathan Morris, Commercial Director, No.11 Cavendish Square

Food is a talking point of events, whether it’s a reception with canapés, a gala dinner with three courses, a party with bowl food, or an all-day conference with breakfast and lunch. Catering can really make or break an event; poor catering performance is a significant reason for dissatisfaction with an event.

If the catering isn’t delivered well, it not only reflects badly on the services of the caterer, but the venue too.  Guests will often associate the ‘bad food’ food experience they had at an event, with the venue and are likely to share their experience with others, which can be very damaging for the venue’s reputation.

As a venue that specialises in weddings at the weekends, we look at offering a diverse selection of menus at No.11 Cavendish Square.  Working closely with our in-house caterers Ampersand, we produce innovative and tantalising menus that are an extension of the No.11 brand. The objective is to continually raise the stakes and offer our clients refreshing alternatives to customary solutions. It is important to be contemporary without alienating clients. There needs to be a balance of fun, creative flair and palatable options suitable for the majority.

This year the emphasis is on affordable luxury at No.11 Cavendish Square. With the economy still unstable, organisers are budget conscious and want value for money. We have collaborated with our in-house caterers to produce menus that feature the latest food trends found at top restaurants. These include themed tasting dishes and shared plates which can be served as an alternative to starters, mains and desserts.

Live food bars are another option; they add a sense of theatre to events as guests can watch dishes being prepared with flare in front of them. Ask chefs to flambé, carve meat off the bone, fillet fish and shuck oysters.  Guests get delicious contemporary dishes served beautifully, without the hefty price tag.

To make an event memorable for all the right reasons, venues need to have a solid working partnership with caterers. Regularly review the latest restaurant trends, look at different serving options and host regular tasting and menu brainstorming sessions. This ensures that both parties are working to the same goal and keeping menus fresh for organisers.

Choosing the perfect wedding venue

By Erika Unbehaun, Flutterfly Events

The most exciting and rewarding part of planning an event is seeing everything come together on the day. One of the most challenging parts of planning a wedding is finding the right venue. You should decide what type of venue you want before drawing up a shortlist. Some popular types of venues in the UK are historic building, hotels, museums and marquees – each bringing different experiences, rules, and regulations.

Before embarking on your venue hunt create a checklist with the following questions and take them along with you:

Questions for the venue:

  • What’s the hire period? Can we get a late license?
  • Do we have exclusive use of the venue?
  • Can I bring my own suppliers or do you have a preferred supplier list?
  • Are there any restrictions on food and beverage?
  • Any noise restrictions?
  • Do I need to hire a dance floor?
  • Are tables, chairs, linen and tableware included in the fee?
  • Can we bring our own alcohol?
  • Is there onsite parking?
  • Are you handicap accessible?
  • Can you accommodate children?
  • Are candles allowed?
  • Do we have a private events entrance?
  • Is there a cloakroom?  Is it staffed?
  • Is there a room for the bride to get ready in if required?
  • Do you have overnight accommodation?
  • Is a food tasting included?
  • Can I store supplies at the venue the day before and after the event?
  • Is VAT included in the price?
  • Is staff gratuity included?
  • What time can I arrive on site to set up?

Top Tips: Historic Wedding Venue

  • Make sure you’re aware of any restrictions. Many historic venues don’t allow open flames, chocolate fountains, ice luges, confetti or certain entertainment, due to risk of damage.
  • While the hire fee may be more for a historic venue, the decoration costs tend to be lower because the interior is grand and ornate.
  • Many historic venues have elaborate colour schemes so plan your colour theme around the venue to avoid any clashes.
  • Ask the venue manager which rooms you’ll have access to on the wedding day. While you might have exclusive hire of the venue, one or two rooms might be off-limits.

Top Tips: Hotel Wedding Venue

  • Hotels make for great events but they don’t offer exclusive hire and you may bump into hotel guests. Ask the venue manager where you’re allowed to take photographers both indoors and outdoors. When looking outdoors, does this provide a nice backdrop?
  • Will you and your guests have a private entrance and exit so you don’t see hotel guests?
  • Ask the hotel if they have ever scheduled two weddings on the same day.

Top Tips: Museum Wedding Venue

  • Ask the event manager about any limitations such as open flames, music, entertainment, alcohol and flowers. Museums carry heavy restrictions as risk of damage can be high.
  • Find out when you have access to the venue. Most museums are open to the public until 6pm which means you cannot access the building until 6-6.30pm.
  • Due to short turnaround times from closing the museum to the public to opening the doors to a private event, museums have a strict policy on which vendors can work there. Book your museum venue first before hiring any vendors

Top Tips: Marquee Wedding Venue

  • Is there a cark park nearby and a walkway for guests to access to the marquee?
  • Seriously consider hiring a generator to help power the caterering equipment, band equipment and toilets.
  • Hire security to keep an eye on the marquee the evening before the event. The fees for the security staff are miniscule in comparison to the damage that can be done.

Once you’re ready to book a venue you need to be confident and happy with the staff, hire period, access times and catering services.  If possible, try to have a food tasting before signing the contract so you’re not tied in to a caterer you’re not satisfied with.  The worst that will happen is you pay for the food tasting. Get everything in writing and enjoy your day!

Exceeding Expectations…

By Melissa Morris, Chandos House

From the moment she gets engaged, every bride’s childhood fantasy becomes a reality and all the possibilities of her dream wedding are within her grasp. Her thoughts become occupied with what dress she’ll wear, where the wedding will take place and what song she’ll choose for her first dance as a married woman.

As a wedding or event planner, it’s important to deliver every detail that the bride wants, but in this modern world where we want everything just so and right now, and where brides expect their day to be truly magical, how can wedding planners exceed their expectations?

Most brides who enlist the help of a wedding planner do so to relieve the stress and anxiety of the huge task of researching, organising and implementing their big day. One of the most important factors to a bride is to have a wedding planner who listens to her desires to make them a reality. As a wedding planner it is essential to thoroughly research any requirements the bride has and provide her with a selection of options so that she can see a range of what’s available. Providing too many choices is just as inadequate as providing too few; the bride could feel overwhelmed or not have the time to consider a multitude of options. If a bride wants to get married in a stately home for example, choose three or four that are within her budget and comprise any other requirements that she would like and present these to her with images, prices, menu possibilities and available dates.

It’s also imperative to provide the bride with everything she wants within the limits of her budget. Although every bride wants her day to be special, it’s no good suggesting dresses and venues that are way out of her budget and that will potentially make her feel like she can’t afford the best. Researching as many options as possible and choosing a select few that you think the bride will love is certain to make her feel special and as though you have considered her needs and personality, rather than choosing the same options you would present to any bride.

When trying to exceed a bride’s expectation of the service you’re providing, another crucial factor to consider is communication. Every bride wants to feel like her wedding planner understands her needs and is doing everything she can to make them a reality. If a bride knows what’s happening with every aspect of her wedding then her anxiety is reduced, which is one of the main roles of a wedding planner in the first place. Wedding planners can go a step further and ensure that they have a connection with a member of the bridal party, typically a bridesmaid, meaning that should a minor issue arise or if they have key information to pass onto the bride, they can let the bridesmaid know first. The bride doesn’t need to know every little detail of what’s been said to who or any concerns that may crop up on the day; she only needs to know where you are with each key aspect and in complete control.

Finally, when planning a wedding, remember to always keep your cool and remain as enthusiastic about each bride’s big day as you would your own. To most women, this is the biggest day of their life, and as long as you are showing each bride that you understand this, she’ll feel like you are exceeding her expectations.

The events team at Chandos House is very used to working closely with Wedding Planners  and together we will ensure the success of  your Wedding Day.