Your wedding day is one of the most special days in your life and the venue plays a crucial role in its success. When it comes to your venue, you want to know that you’re in safe, capable and passionate hands. To give you a better idea of the effort we put into every couple’s big day, we had a chat with Lauren Worsley, Sales Manager at Hallmark Hotel Warrington.
How did you get into wedding planning?
I did Events Management at the University of Leeds. Straight out of university, I landed a job with one of the biggest Asian caterers in the country, planning weddings up and down the UK. From there, I planned weddings for an English caterer in venues across the North West. I have now been at Hallmark Hotel Warrington for over a year, and feel very lucky to be working at such a great wedding venue.
Can you describe the types of wedding packages available to couples at Hallmark Hotels?
We have two types of wedding: a full day wedding, consisting of a ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening party, or a Twilight wedding, consisting of a late afternoon ceremony followed by an evening reception.
For our full day weddings, we have the 'Adore', 'Love' and 'Cherish' packages. Each of these packages varies in terms of the amount done for you by the hotel; from chair covers and a DJ for your evening entertainment to the amount of food and drink prepared, we can find a package to suit your needs. For Twilight weddings, we have the 'Happiness' and the 'Honour' packages, which are relaxed, informal and particularly suited to couples that are celebrating with friends after getting married abroad.
What advice can you give couples who are about to start organising their wedding?
Personally, I think finding the venue is the most important step. You need to enter a room and visualise yourself walking down the aisle, sitting down at the top table and stepping onto the dance floor for your first dance. Once you can see all this happening and have found the perfect venue, you can envision what type of dress you’ll wear, what you think the decorations will look like in the room and where you want the photographers to capture your special day.
Is there a rough process you use for planning a couple’s wedding?
There are a couple of main things to find out first. Where the ceremony is taking place and at what time (church ceremony or civil ceremony, we are licensed throughout, including the beautiful outdoor courtyard); is it going to be an early afternoon marriage followed by a wedding breakfast, or is it going to be a later ceremony followed by an evening reception?
Once these details are decided, we have the day’s main framework and can fill in all the little details and those added extras that make the day special for the couple.
From a planning perspective, how do you add a couple’s personality to a wedding?
A lot of it will come through in the little details I’ve mentioned and the décor. Some couples use a theme that has meaning to them. From there, you can use everything from stationery – table names, style of place cards – and favours given to the guests to underpin the theme.
What is the most unique wedding request that you have fulfilled?
We’ve had a couple of unusual ring bearers at the hotel. Minky and Moo (the bride’s bunnies) hopped the rings down the aisle to one lovely couple in the courtyard. And as a dog-friendly hotel, we’ve also had a couple of puppies in a tux strolling down the aisle.
What are the hottest wedding trends currently developing?
A lot of brides and grooms enjoy surprising guests with a great first dance. We have an amazing way to wow your guests with a big reveal of the dancefloor. Then, when a bride and groom have put the time and effort into learning a routine, it really shows to the guests.
What is your favourite part of the wedding day?
Getting the bride from the room to meet her dad at the bottom of the stairs and linking arms ready to walk down the aisle.
I also love standing at the end of the aisle with a glass of fizz and being the first person to congratulate the couple as Mr and Mrs! The hard part is over (well maybe not for the groom, he still has a speech!), and the couple are now man and wife and excited to celebrate with their family and friends.
Is there a wedding you’ve organised that particularly sticks in your mind?
To one couple, the Hallmark Hotel Warrington was special to them, and it was lovely to see them celebrate their nuptials with us. Their parents/grandparents had been married here previously, they had their daughter’s christening with us and the groom also popped the question at the hotel. The hotel has been here for decades and is special to a lot of people locally.
What has been the most challenging item/wedding to arrange?
The most challenging part of any wedding is usually the guests. I know that sounds awful to say but a bride and groom have a million and one things they are thinking about, trying to arrange, and sometimes getting an RSVP seems like the hardest task. Being a hotel brings more problems, like trying to help guests arrange their accommodation. I always recommend couples tell their guests to speak to us about booking a room, then we can arrange everything. The less the bride and groom have on their mind, the better.
How is a Hallmark Hotel wedding different – why should couples choose you?
Our team make this hotel great. Between us, we have years of experience on thousands of weddings. Each wedding is unique but the foundations of planning, organising and running a couple's day remain the same, and our team do it all with a smile. Our chef, Davey, has been preparing delicious wedding breakfasts at the hotel for over a decade, and we have lots of long-serving members of staff that love working on someone's big day. The friendly team and professional staff really make it.
Join us for our wedding showcase at Hallmark Hotel Warrington on Sunday 25th February 2018. See our amazing function suites set up ready for a wedding and speak to our staff about how we can achieve your day, your way. For more information or to make a booking, please contact our wedding angels on 0330 028 3423 or firstname.lastname@example.org.