The word of the year for us in events has undoubtedly been ‘personalisation’ and when it comes to wedding receptions, this is absolutely fundamental. After all, just like the couples getting married, no two weddings are ever the same. It’s often the small touches which can really set the day off.
With many brides now opting for blank canvas venues, there is a huge focus on adding personal touches and injecting some much needed added value into receptions.
Unlike corporate events where you may already have some familiarity with a client, (their ethos, logos, themes etc.) weddings provide you with little guidance. The key is to listen to what it is your couple has envisioned and work with them to realise their wishes. Asking them for specifics is all well and good, but be sure to delve deeper into the history, preferences and personality of your clients. Ask them where they met, what’s important to them as a couple, where they’re going on honeymoon, and you’ll have a much better idea of what it is they’re looking for.
The key is to ensure the couple feel that the venue has made a particular effort just for them. For example at LSO St Luke’s we are able to light our iconic spire to match the colour scheme of the wedding or bridesmaid dresses, and can incorporate social media feeds into our projector screens so that guests are able to share their memories of the day. You can even ask guests to offer a short anecdote or quote for the happy couple and project them on screens throughout the reception to add a deeper dimension to the event. Another great way to add some personal fun to the day is serving a signature cocktail, designed by the bride and groom. Give it a funky name and watch as guests enjoy a tipple or two with the happy couple.
Flexibility is also crucial when styling the venue. Make sure your team is working closely with the wedding party’s chosen suppliers and that the venue is able to provide what is needed; whether that be a DJ, band or entertainer, they will often be an essential part of the day. It’s also important to offer a range of your own accredited suppliers so that the client is not restricted and has several different styles to choose from.
It’s all about recreating the story of your couple with the little touches that make their relationship special. Stylings should accentuate the reception rather than overshadow it and remember, if it can be personalised, it should be!
- Chris Cashman, Sales and Events Manager, LSO St Luke’s
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