10 unique ways to entertain your wedding guests

 

If you are planning a wedding, you’ll be all too familiar with the must-haves that you need to book ahead of the big day. Although your wedding day is all about you as a couple, it goes without saying that you want your guests to have a good time and keep those dreaded lulls between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast to a minimum.

Securing an excellent caterer and an impressive band or DJ is a given, but what about those extra touches that will really imprint on the minds of your guests?

Here are 10 of our favourite (and unique) ideas to keep your wedding guests entertained throughout the day.

1.      Hire food stations

When it comes to wedding food, there are some truly innovative concepts around these days, which means you no longer need to settle for a three course, sit down meal. From sushi to tacos, pizzas to churros, organising a live food station at your wedding won’t only get your guests off their seats and mingling, but it will impress them too!

2.      Encourage some friendly competition

Wedding games have been increasingly popular over the last few years, but the fun doesn’t need to stop at traditional lawn games. Incorporate word searches and quizzes into your table settings to keep the introverted types amused, or get some friendly rivalry going with some table vs table trivia. And for the extroverts? A dance-off should keep them entertained!

3.      Think beyond a photo booth

Photo booths have become a wedding staple, but if you want to impress your guests, why not opt for something a little out of the ordinary? Some of the latest innovations in photo booths include selfie- stands (or iPad booths), GIF booths and ‘glam’ booths (you may have seen the Kardashians use these at their events!).

To create something really spectacular, install a show-stopping backdrop for photo opportunities. There are so many options that can be adapted to fit with your wedding theme, from stunning flower walls to sparkling cascades of fairy lights.

4.      Consider your venue

Picking an interesting wedding venue is key to keeping your guests engaged and entertained. Rather than a bland and uninspiring reception venue, pick somewhere full of character- it will act as a talking point and keep your guests entertained for hours, whether it be with photo opportunities or areas to explore.

5.      Mix it up!

Cocktails go down well in any situation, but how better to impress your guests than with a mixologist at hand to mix up a storm? Select a venue or caterer with an expert mixologist or look at hiring one for the day to not only serve delicious bespoke cocktails, but to give your guests a masterclass that they won’t forget, too.

6.      Encourage some DIY

Almost your entire wedding will have been planned down to the finest details, so why not hand over some creativity to your guests? Whether it be a desserts table, a DIY confetti station or a customised prosecco bar, your guests will love the opportunity to get involved and add their stamp to your special day.

7.      Go all out with the favours

Don’t underestimate the power of your wedding favours! Choose wisely, and you could keep your guests entertained for hours. Some of our favourite wedding favours have included temporary tattoos, personalised name badges (these make great conversation starters) and mini board games. If you’re having children at your wedding, keep them busy with treasure hunts and colouring in books.

8.      Start conversations

It’s not unusual to have a room full of guests who don’t know each other at your wedding, so starting conversations will encourage them to mingle and get acquainted. Table games will certainly help spark discussions, so prompt them when you can by providing tables with table topic cards, couple trivia, mad libs or cards for a game of wedding speech bingo!

9.      ‘Wow’ with performers

You don’t have to stick to a string quartet as your entertainment between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast- think outside the box to get your guests talking. There are so many more obscure acts that can be hired for your wedding day, from live painters to palm readers and comedians. For traditional weddings, opt for an opera singer or a harpist, or for the more eccentric couples, consider circus acts or singing waiters.

10. Remember – not everyone dances!

Once your DJ or band has taken to the stage, don’t forget any guests who don’t like to dance! Board game tables, lounging areas and casino areas are all great ideas for those who prefer to stay off the dancefloor.

 

If you’re looking for a wedding and reception venue in the heart of London that will get your guests talking, look no further than The Brewery on Chiswell Street. A unique venue with a fascinating history, The Brewery offers a fairy-tale setting for your special day. To find out more information, contact us today.

How to engage millennials at your next event

Born between the mid 1980’s and the year 2000, Millennials are becoming more and prominent in the business world, and in turn, more present at corporate events. For many industries, Millennials now make up a massive chunk of the demographic, so how do you appeal to this generation when you’re planning a corporate event?

Not only do event organisers need to tailor their events to attract Millennials, but they need to engage them when they get there, too. To meet expectations of this new attendee base, you’ll need to cater for their specific needs. Need some inspiration? Here are our tips:

Make your event worth sharing

This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned the importance of social media at your event, and it’s even more so relevant when talking about Millennials. Creating photo opportunities is a sure-fire way to encourage your attendees to take out their phone and get snapping, so don’t forget to create an event hashtag and push it wherever and whenever you can.

When it comes to ‘Instagrammable’ opportunities, don’t stop at selfie walls and props – Millennials are known to enjoy sharing photos of their food on social media, so opt for a venue that can wow your guests with their food presentation.

taking a photo at an event

Use gamification

Some may say that it’s the Millennial’s love of video gaming that has led to their enthusiasm at even the hint of a challenge, but whatever the reason, incorporating gamification into your event is a great way of delivering interaction and innovation. Whether you include a gaming corner to encourage networking, carry out real-time polls or organise QR code treasure hunt, Millennials are sure to enjoy the interaction and engagement of playing whilst learning and networking at your event.

Incorporate technology

As we know, Millennials are extremely comfortable when it comes to tech, constantly on their devices, texting, tweeting and sharing photos to their online audience. To avoid total disengagement at your event, remember to consider tech-friendly offerings such as free high-speed wi-fi, charging stations and mobile event apps. Save on printing costs by eradicating old-fashioned paper marketing materials and give your guests everything they need on a USB device – it’s the greener option, too!

Get them involved

Millennials are notoriously unafraid to speak up, and they want to feel involved. Remember this at your next event and give your attendees the opportunity to participate where they can. Whether it be through social media, open-mic discussions or breakout sessions, encourage your attendees to collaborate and contribute, and shape their own experience in doing so.

millenials collaborating on bean bags

Focus on education rather than sales

No one likes a sales pitch, and Millennials have little patience for old-fashioned marketing methods. Rather than offering traditional presentations, provide your audience an opportunity to learn something new – think about the online classes and YouTube tutorials that this generation is used to and give them something that they perceive as being insightful and valuable.

 

A unique venue boasting high-end facilities, The Brewery is the ideal location for your next event. Situated next to cool and vibrant Shoreditch, we can provide everything you need to attract and engage Millennial attendees, from an outstanding in-house AV specialist, to award-winning chefs in a unique setting. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you with your next event, get in touch today.

The Brewery Opens New Venue – The Grubstreet Author

A new events venue is coming to London, The Grubstreet Author on Milton Street in the heart of Moorgate, is a collection of three luxuriously designed spaces, operated by the team behind The Brewery.

Occupying a previously forgotten and derelict part of the original Whitbread Brewery, the venue will fulfil the need for smaller numbers and intimate events in the City. Comprising three striking rooms, each with their own history and story to tell, The Grubstreet Author is the modern events venue to spark imagination for up to 70 guests, and perfectly suited for meetings, private dinners or product launches.

With a private entrance on Milton Street, previously known as Grub Street, the venue takes its name from the bohemian area best known for publishing houses, poets and ‘hack writers’ during the 18th Century. The venue has been given new purpose with a contemporary design approach, featuring:

– The Cutting Room; a fully functioning cinema auditorium for 48 people. Restored to its former glory and enhanced with the latest AV, signature lighting and tiered red velvet cinema seating creates a quirky and elegant setting.

– The Sample Room; the former beer sampling area of the original brewery is a contemporary reception area for up to 70 to get the creative juices flowing. A metallic bar with glowing neon quill, bold herringbone floor and luxurious furnishings will become a feature for cocktail receptions and networking.

– The Pasteur Room; named after the original room in The Brewery for beer fermenting, the stunning tiled roof and commanding burnt iron chandelier is designed for private dining for up to 70. The Pasteur Room can be used in conjunction with The Sample Room to create a separate reception space to host larger standing events.

Simon Lockwood, creative director at The Brewery commented, “We are always looking for ways to develop our offering and with the launch of The Grubstreet Author, we are adding a whole new dimension to what we can provide to event organisers and guests. We’ve seen strong demand for more intimate events with a higher personalisation and exclusivity and have endeavoured to give clients the opportunity to combine luxurious dinning and furnishings with the functionality for corporate presentations. This is a new era for the whole team and we can’t wait for our clients to see the new space and be part of the exciting future for The Brewery and its venues.”

No matter the event, if it’s a high-profile presentation, awards dinner, conference, Christmas party or wedding receptions, The Grubstreet Author is an inspiring and luxurious venue to cater for a variety of occasions.

For more information and to book, please contact the team on 020 745 678, email info@grubstreet.co.uk or visit: www.grubstreetauthor.co.uk

A Gin-glish Country Garden Party…

As the sun finally makes an appearance in London, it feels as though summer is just around the corner. Here at The Brewery, there’s nothing we love more than celebrating the warmer months with annual summer parties in our courtyard, and this summer we’re pulling out all the stops and organising an English garden party like no other.

This summer’s party will see the courtyard transformed into a traditional, lush English garden in the heart of the city. Complete with planters, wisteria covered ceilings and an abundance of blooms, the marquees will make for an idyllic summer oasis for city dwellers in the height of summer.

To get you in the spirit of an English garden party, we’ve taken a look at the perfect summer drink renowned for its botanicals – gin. One of the most diverse liquors around, due to the fact that gin distillers are free to choose whichever botanicals they wish in the production process, they tend to distinguish their gin by varying the levels of botanicals they use. Although the plants and herbs that are added to gin are often dependent on where the gin has originated from, there are a few botanicals that nearly every gin producer adds:

Juniper berries

Described as being to gin what hops are to IPAs, gin is simply not gin without the addition of juniper –      the word gin itself is even derived from the it (from the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever). Dominantly pine-flavoured, and with varieties from all over the world, juniper berries tend to be fragrant and spicy, with a bittersweet taste.

Coriander seeds

Second in the list of the most important flavourings in gin is coriander seeds. With a complex taste, they provide a citrus top note to gin which is sometimes replaced with citrus peel as a less expensive option.

Angelica root

A key ingredient in the gin production process, angelica root holds the flavours of other botanicals together. With a nutty, sweet flavour, some say it tastes earthy and medicinal. Angelica seeds are also sometimes used in gin and add a slightly floral note instead.

Citrus peel

Both lemon peel and orange peels are used to flavour gin instead of the flesh, as the skin contains the majority of the fragrant and flavoursome oils. Both lemon and orange peel add a fresh citrusy flavour, depending on the type of lemon and orange, where they were grown, and whether they were dried or not!

Orris root

Mainly sourced from Italy, and with a taste that is likened to parma violets, distillers use orris root to ‘fix’ other botanical flavours and add perfumed notes to their gin. The root looks similar to ginger, and adds a woody, earthy flavour.

Aside from these typical botanicals that you can find in a classic London dry gin, there are so many more options to discover such as lemongrass, lavender and Douglas fir to name just a few. There really is a gin to suit everyone!

How to make the perfect gin and tonic

We couldn’t possibly write about gin without sharing our favourite way to serve it. Here are a few steps to the perfect G&T:

• Don’t just stick to lemons and limes when serving your G&T. Highlight the botanicals in your choice of gin by switching up the garnish. Grapefruit, citrus peel and cucumber work will with floral gins, whilst rhubarb and olive are great with dry gin.
• Drink your gin from a big, bowl shaped glass. This will help open up the flavours, as well as give you lots of room to fill the glass with large ice cubes which will melt slowly as to not dilute the taste.
• Whilst choosing the perfect gin is important, your choice of tonic is equally so. Using a below par tonic will only overwhelm the gin, so choose wisely!

If visions of cold gin and tonics paired with fresh botanicals have got you dreaming of an English garden party in the height of summer, why not enquire about our summer parties at The Brewery? As you enter into the luxuriously furnished marquee which has been transformed into a traditional English garden, you will be greeted with a cocktail on arrival before enjoying a delicious BBQ menu and unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks until 9pm. When the sun sets, head inside The Brewery where you can carry on the party into the night.

Ideal for companies of any size, all-inclusive packages are available for parties from 80-100. If you’d like to find out more about our 2018 summer parties, get in touch with us today!

11 important questions to ask your wedding venue before you book

Booking your dream wedding venue is not only one of the first priorities when planning a wedding, but it’s also the most significant decision you’ll make. With so much to consider, and with most venues requiring a deposit when booking, you’ll need to know you’re making the right decision for your big day.

It’s so easy to get carried away with excitement when looking at wedding venues, which is why it’s important to be prepared with a list of questions to ask when you visit. Here are some essential questions to ask your wedding venue before signing the dotted line. Happy venue hunting!

Wedding Venue Booking Basics

Is the venue available on the date?

If you have a particular date in mind for your wedding, make this your first question! It may seem a little obvious, but sometimes the date is just as important as the venue itself. Weekend dates in the warmer months get booked up early, so enquire with the venue before you even visit to avoid disappointment.

What’s included in the price?

Finding out exactly what’s included in the price is essential for your wedding budget and means you won’t get stung with any unexpected costs further down the line. Ask about the usual suspects; VAT, tables and chairs, staffing costs and the fee for the civil ceremony.

What’s the capacity?

Before sending out your ‘save the dates’, it’s important to know how many your venue can seat. Your guest list will be hugely dependant on the size of the venue, so get this information as soon as possible.

The services

Which rooms are licensed to hold the ceremony?

Having your ceremony and reception at the same location is convenient for both the couple and your guests and can save some money too. When you visit the venue, consider whether this is an option, and make sure you ask exactly which rooms you can get married in, so you can envisage the all-important ceremony.

Are there any restrictions?

From areas off-limits for photography, to sound limiters for DJs and bands, ask what restrictions your venue has in place. This could mean that you’re unable to decorate the venue just how you imagined, or party until the hour you want, so it’s an important question to ask from the outset.

Can the venue provide equipment?

If you’re planning on getting your guests on the dancefloor in the evening, make sure you enquire about the equipment that’s available at the venue. Consider the audio-visual equipment, electrical outputs and the lighting.

Does the venue have a dedicated wedding team and/ or coordinator?

Choosing a venue with a wedding coordinator means that the planning process is as stress-free as possible. An in-house member of staff will not only know the venue inside out, but what works well too. Enlisting their help will undoubtedly be priceless!

The food

Does the venue use an in-house caterer?

Some venues may charge an extra fee to use your own caterers, so make sure you have an idea of what catering you’re after before booking the venue. Many venues offer their own excellent in-house caterers, which are certainly worth looking at. If not, ask if they have a preferred list of suppliers.

How flexible is the menu?

Many couples choose to reflect their individuality through their menu choices, so it’s worth asking whether there is any flexibility with the food choices and if creating a bespoke menu is an option.

And everything in between…

Is there a plan for bad weather?

You can plan everything to the finest detail, but there’s just no predicting what the weather will do! Make sure your venue has a backup plan for rain and bad weather, and take a close look at this alternative space, too. You’ll need to love the backup plan just as much as you do the rest of the venue.

Is there nearby accommodation?

It’s always useful to find out if the venue has any nearby accommodation for both the couple and the guests. If the venue is in a remote area, you’ll need to do some research to ensure the closest accommodation is both convenient for your guests, and that it is available on your wedding date.

 

In the heart of London, The Brewery is a wedding venue like no other. Our wedding licence includes every one of our unique rooms within the venue and allows us to host your wedding ceremony and reception on-site for between 40 and 1,000 guests. Our dedicated wedding planner is on hand to guide you through the entire process, taking care of everything from the budget to the dietary requirements, meaning you can relax and enjoy the build up to your big day. Each room includes everything you need to create the wedding you envisage – from LED lighting, PA systems and wi-fi.

To find out more about having your wedding at The Brewery, get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have!

How to plan a successful charity event

The power and influence of a good fundraising event is undeniable. Done right, a successful event can attract new supporters, engage existing ones and create awareness as well as the all-important revenue. However, raising the most money possible isn’t your only goal – first you’ll need to get people through the door.

Here are 10 steps you should be taking to ensure a successful charity event.

1. Define your goals

It goes without saying that in order to start planning, you’ll first need to be clear on who you’re raising money for and why. Decide who you’d like to attend, what sort of event you’d like it to be, and what you want to achieve, including a fundraising total. Making these decisions will pave the way for all your decisions and help you create a plan of action.

2. Create a budget

Your main goal, of course, is to raise funds, so it’s important to keep your costs down where possible. Creating a budget will help you plan your costs to ensure you ultimately raise more than you spend on the event. Remember to factor in some extra budget for unpredictable costs and include every single detail so you don’t get any surprises further down the line.

The Just Giving charity awards event at The Brewery in 2018

3. Know your target audience

Establishing at an early stage who you want to attend your event will make it easier for you to both plan and market it successfully. Consider whether your charity appeals to a particular audience, and then think about what kind of event they’re likely to want to attend.

4. Find the right venue

When it comes to choosing a venue for your charity event, make sure you’re armed with all the right questions. Will it accommodate the number of people you’re hoping will attend? What’s included in the venue? Think outside the box and look into quirky spaces- choosing a unique and interesting venue is likely to encourage attendees to come along and create a real ‘buzz’ around your event.

The bespoke and unique event design

5. Establish a theme

Marketing your event solely as a ‘fundraiser’ isn’t going to encourage people to come. Inspire potential supporters by giving them a reason to check out your event, always keeping your target audience in mind.  Whether you opt for a silent disco or a tea party, offering your guests the opportunity to attend a fun day or evening out for a good cause will undoubtedly increase ticket sales.

6. Spread the word

When it comes to charity and fundraising events, marketing is particularly crucial. Utilise the power of social media as well as other digital channels, such as email marketing and content marketing to save on printing costs, and make full use of your online contacts and connections. Make a Facebook event, use advertising across Twitter and Instagram to target your audience geographically, and create a sense of urgency that the event tickets are in high demand to encourage people to grab a ticket while they can!

7. Make use of sponsors

When working to a budget, gaining the support of sponsors is vital. Luckily, many companies will already have some budget set aside for supporting events such as yours in return for branding, so don’t be afraid to get out there and ask the question. Start with local businesses and any that are relevant to the charity, and make sure that you thank them and maintain the relationship once the event has passed.

James Cordon high-fives on the event stage

8. Think about the details

Once your big decisions have been made, it’s time to consider the logistical details of the event. From layout and design to entry and exits, you’ll need to plan out everything in advance. Some venues for charity events will be able to take care of this for you, so make sure you ask what’s included at an early stage.

9. Choose your method of collecting donations

Try not to limit how you collect your donations, as you’ll want to make the donation process as easy as possible for your supporters. Choose an online ticketing platform for digital payments, and for those who can’t attend, or even for those that feel inspired whilst at your event, set up a ‘text to donate’ facility for easy and quick donations.

Johnny Vaughan comparing an event

10. Remember to say thank you

Whether you put together a thank you speech for the event, show appreciation on a website or send out a letter once the event is over, it’s important to express your gratitude for the generosity of your donors and sponsors. Recognition can even encourage future help and involvements, as well as solidifying relationships that can benefit both parties in the long-run.

 

The Brewery is a highly versatile event space which can a truly memorable backdrop for your charity event. We know that the goal of every event is different, and regardless of what you’re setting out to achieve, a dedicated member of our team will be at hand throughout the planning process, with your objectives as a priority. If you’re looking for a venue to hold your next charity fundraising event, get in touch with us today!