Q&A: Middleton Lodge

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We caught up with the wedding team at Middleton Lodge who scooped the title of Best Wedding Events Team at the Wedding Industry Awards 2017

What makes a successful wedding events team?
It’s important you love who you work with and that you enjoy your job. This definitely reflects on the service provided to our brides and grooms. We want to make sure our clients have the most wonderful experience, and this starts with the whole team being friendly, approachable and super organised. 
 
What top tips do you have for a bride and groom picking their wedding venue?
Every bride and groom is different and it’s your special day, so make sure you find the venue that suits you both. Our golden rules would be:
1. Be flexible with your timings. Sometimes the date you had in mind won’t be available, but don’t be put off by this, work with the event teams to find another suitable date. When you are too strict on certain dates and times it can cause unnecessary pressure that can easily be avoided.
2. Find out if the venue has a coordinator that will be with you on your wedding day. You will need support from someone that you fully trust has everything under control. It’s this person that will be able to put your mind at ease and will ensure all those little things you are worrying about get sorted.
3. See if the venue has an assortment of social areas available for the guests. You really don’t want to all be cramped into one room for the duration of the wedding day. It’s nice for the guests to be able to explore and relax if they want to take five minutes to themselves in a quiet corner, so check the venue can offer full exclusivity. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to be sharing it with another bride.
 
What’s the one thing couples planning a wedding tend to forget?
We often find that couples forget how important it is to spend time with one another on the day. So often brides and grooms are busy worrying about guests enjoying themselves and forget what’s most important: each other. Remember it’s your wedding day and you want to spend it together, not having two different experiences.
 
What’s the biggest wedding you’ve catered for?
Our biggest wedding was for 220 guests. We held the most beautiful outside wedding where the couple hired the whole estate, which allowed them to have the freedom they desired. They hired a stretch tent marquee with no sides – a risk – but the English weather was amazing and everyone from the guests to the team had the most magical day.
 
What’s your best advice for a stress-free wedding?
For the bride: avoid surrounding yourself with too many people when you are getting ready. Just select a few people and create a private space. This is essential for when you need a breather.
 
For the groom: if you are nervous about the speeches, bring them forward to before the meal so you can enjoy your meal without worrying about speaking in front of everyone.
 
What top tips have you got for making the day run smoothly?
1. Always allow for breathing space. It is nice to have a comfort break scheduled so that if things run over it won’t affect the day. There is a fine line for this – you don’t want to give your guests too much free time. Naps are not allowed.
2. Delegate an usher to manage rounding up the troops for your photographs. This needs to be a slick operation.
3. Create a brief itinerary for your guests so that they have a general idea of how the day will go. It stops everyone asking and allows your guests to feel more relaxed and get fully immersed in the wedding, rather than worrying about when they get fed.
 
What makes a Middleton Lodge wedding special? 
We have such a stunning venue, right in the heart of rural North Yorkshire. The Georgian country mansion is still very much the Allison’s family home (the current owners), and we feel this gives the estate a more homely, intimate feel. Our wedding team plays a massive part of the wedding day to create that special feeling, offering a support network from the day you book right up to your departure. 

Middleton Lodge
Kneeton Lane, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 6NJ
01325 377977 www.middletonlodge.co.uk 

Published in: April 2017

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