15th May 2013

How we help you plan your Wedding Reception

Your Wedding and how we go about helping you plan your great day

It all starts with you phoning us or sending an email. You will have given us a brief outline of what you would like for your wedding reception; number of guests, the venue , whether you want a plated meal or a buffet. At this stage you may not have booked the church and therefore don't know your service time. Don’t worry, we can work on an estimated average time for staffing. We will send you our menus along with a price guide for what you have asked for. We do this because very few people know what it is going to cost and when we ask, quite often have not thought about a budget. So once you know the ball park figure and you are happy with that, then we can meet up and get more detail from you and put together a personal proposal for your day.

Things we will go through with you are;

  • Time of your service and what time to you will arrive back at the venue.
  • How long do you want for reception drinks, during which time you will have photographs. We advise on about one and a half hours for this, as we have found anything longer then guests start to get tired legs and ask us when dinner will be served! Also, don’t under-estimate how long it takes 100+ guests to sit down! From announcing and our staff circulating amongst your guests to ask them to be seated, you need to allow half an hour.
  • Most people like to serve some canapés during the reception stage, and they are always well received! This helps take the edge off the Champagne, especially if your guests have not had chance to have lunch before the service. If you are sitting down to a 3 course meal, then 4 canapés per person is enough, however, if the canapés are to act as the starter then we recommend 8 per person.
  • The most popular style of wedding breakfast is a plated meal, with waitress service. Another nice option is to have some anti-pasta /mezze style sharing starters, but do bear in mind there is not a lot of spare room on the tables, once you have flowers, wine and water to dodge around.
  • After dinner, would you like us to run an evening bar for you, or are you happy to continue with the wine you have been drinking with your meal? If we leave you to it after dinner, yes this will save you some money, but do not under-estimate that 100+ people in a marquee or venue do need some looking after and I would always advise you have a least a couple of bar staff to stay and run an evening bar for you. They will keep the party area tidy and make sure over-indulgent guests are offered a glass of water or a coffee, if the need arises, and best of all, tidy up at the end of the evening and assist with calling taxis etc.

Depending on what time your wedding breakfast takes place, you may feel it necessary to have some additional food to nibble on later on in the evening. If you have additional evening guests coming after the meal, then you must lay on something for them and allow for a percentage of the main guests to eat again. Sometimes, something simple like some delicious cheeses, especially from the range of wonderful cheese we have available here in Hampshire, with crusty baguettes with chutney and fruit is just the ticket. Some people will also add on bacon butties which we offer around 11.30 and these are always very popular.

Setting up the interior of your marquee or venue

  • Regarding the setting up of your marquee or venue tables, we like to do this the day before your wedding. (Based on your marquee going up mid-week) This then gives you time to meet with your Event manager and go over any final points before the day, also you can then personalise the tables to suit your style. This also allows your florist to come in on the morning of your wedding and place your table flowers.
  • We provide an easel on which you can display your table plan layout.
  • We will have taken delivery of all your drinks earlier in the week and have these chilling ready to be transported to your venue in a refrigerated van, where they remain for the duration of your wedding. Afterwards we can arrange collection of these by one of your ushers.

On the day:

  • With your tables all set and everything in place, the Champagne chilled and the cutlery polished, we are all ready to go. Your Event Manager and team of waiting staff will be ready for the arrival of your wedding party, on hand to collect coats and wedding gifts and serve the all important glass of chilled fizz. They can make a cup of tea if anyone wants one and deal with children asking for endless juice!
  • Your event manager will have a copy of your time plan for the day and at the appropriate time will liaise with your best man to announce the wedding breakfast, she will also circulate amongst your guests assisting them to find their seats.
  • Dinner is served and if your speeches are held after pudding, your Champagne glasses will be filled ready for your speeches and to toast the cutting of the wedding cake. After which we shall whisk it away to be cut and wrapped in napkins to appear with coffee.

Once your speeches are over, your bar will have been set up and ready for action, along with the DJ or band primed for your first dance!

The dining tables will be tidied after dinner and wine left with guests who are enjoying sitting and talking at the tables, or if the wine is not required, we move it across to the bar.

After dinner your bar staff will look after guests with drinks and generally keep the area tidy of dirty glasses etc.

At the end of the evening our staff will tidy up, leaving you to climb into a taxi and kick off your dancing shoes !