When it comes to planning a wedding, it’s the unique details that leave a lasting impression. Everyone wants to create a magical day that doesn’t feel like a carbon copy of every other wedding they’ve been to, so with that in mind, we’ve rounded up some ways you can get creative and think outside the box…
14 wedding ideas for your special day
1. DIY confetti station
Set up a DIY confetti station where your guests can create their own unique pack of confetti to shower you with.
2. Polaroid wall
Create a station where your guests can get together and take polaroid photographs of the day and add them to a photo wall for everyone to see. You’ll then have a stack of instant, physical photos to take away with you and reminisce on in years to come.
3. Hangover kits
There’s no doubt that a few of your guests will be feeling a little worse for wear the next morning. Hand out some fun hangover kits that your guests will certainly thank you for in their time of need!
4. Playlist of song requests
When sending out your invites, ask your guests to each give you a song request that you can pass onto your DJ who can play them on the night. That way everyone is sure to enjoy a dance to their favourite song throughout the evening.
5. Create a custom stationery stamp
Using your initials as a couple, create a custom monogram stamp to add a personal touch to your wedding stationery. It could be used on everything from your invites and menus to signage and party favours. These will come in handy for thank you cards too.
6. Neon lights
Marquee lights and wooden signs are beautiful, but they often appear at wedding celebrations. If you want to be unique and a little quirky with your signage, why not opt for neon?
7. Dessert table
Who said you can only have one wedding cake? Create a table of desserts filled with your family favourites. Ask everyone to chip in and bring a recipe that you’ve loved growing up. This way you and your guests can quite literally have their cake and eat it!
8. Personalised wine
Create custom labels for the wine bottles on each table. You could create unique names for different wines and add your personalised stamp.
9. Themed cocktails
See if your wedding venue can work with you to create some unique cocktails with personalised names to go with your day.
10. Live wedding painter
Hire an artist to document your day or create fun caricature keepsakes of your guests.
11. Creative guest books
There are so many ways you can get creative with your guest book. You could ask your guests to fill in cards with your favourite memories, leave date ideas or a piece of advice for marriage.
12. Dancing shoes
After a long day of standing in heels, your guests will thank you for a chic and comfy pair of flip flops they can dance in, making sure they can enjoy the wedding day entertainment you’ve planned.
13. Photograph table numbers
Instead of giving your tables names, add a photo of you and your partner at the age of the table number. It’s a fun talking point and something quirky to make each table unique.
14. Handwritten notes
This might take some time if you have a large wedding party, but it’s a lovely idea to show each guest what they mean to you by placing a handwritten note next to their menu cards.
Find out more today
Have any of our ideas got your thinking? We hope so! And, if you’re still looking for your perfect wedding venue, we’d love for you to take a look around our virtual tour of The Brewery. Contact us today to find out how we can make your wedding day a celebration to remember.
Meetings are important for effective communication and the functioning of many businesses. However, if poorly organised, they can impact your company negatively and reduce productivity.
Too many meetings lack management and preparation, leading to unproductive meetings that don’t really achieve anything. As well as reducing productivity, a badly managed meeting can also harm employee morale and teamwork.
If your business requires you to have regular meetings with clients, colleagues and stakeholders, we’ve put together some best practices and tips to help improve performance and engagement.
Tips to run an effective business meeting
1. Assess the reason for the meeting
Before you arrange a meeting, ask yourself what the purpose of it is. If the information you need to share doesn’t require a detailed conversation and can be effectively communicated via email, don’t bother. Reduce unnecessary meetings; you don’t want your employees to feel like they’re wasting their time.
2. Invite the right people
Don’t invite people to a meeting if they don’t need to be a part of the conversation or make decisions. You can always offer to send the meeting minutes for people to scan over if needed. And if important decision-makers can’t attend, consider rescheduling the time or date.
3. Send an agenda with the meeting invitation
Be clear about what the purpose of the meeting is and provide attendees with an agenda, so they know what to prepare for. People usually prefer structured meetings rather than surprise conversations that can go off on a tangent.
4. Be prepared
Consider everything you need to bring with you to the meeting, including presentations, documents, plans and reports. You should also ensure you have all of the correct equipment available to you. If you need certain equipment such as a computer, screen and cables, you need to check the venue has this before scheduling the date.
5. Create a positive company culture
Meetings should be respected and valued within your business and that should be reflected in the actions of attendees. Everyone should arrive at meetings on time and prepared. Don’t allow for latecomers or people to sit on their phones throughout the meeting. Lead with example and make sure everyone is engaged.
6. Meeting virtually? Choose the right tool
We’re all well versed in virtual meetings after lockdowns and the pandemic, but it’s important to choose the right tools for maximum engagement. You should also stick to one platform consistently, so attendees are familiar with the platform and know exactly how to use it.
7. Encourage contribution
Keep the atmosphere positive and encourage everyone to contribute. It can be beneficial to establish a leader who ensures everyone gets a chance to share their thoughts and opinions.
8. Choose the right location
When choosing your meeting venue, make sure it’s easily accessible for attendees and is appropriate for your meeting. If you want to leave a lasting impression on clients, you need to look for somewhere that is functional and comfortable with a stylish aesthetic.
9. Ask for feedback
After a meeting, ask attendees for feedback and put their recommendations into action for the next meeting. Identifying your weaknesses or critiquing something you have organised can be difficult, so feedback is a great way of understanding how the meeting went from an attendee’s perspective.
Choosing your meeting venue
Here at The Brewery, we have a range of meeting rooms in Central London with state-of-the-art facilities. With its central location in Shoreditch, London, our venue has excellent transport links for attendees, as well as a range of nearby hotels if the meeting or networking events are taking place over several days.
Our flexible meeting venue is available for small intimate gatherings, as well as larger corporate discussions with over 1,000 attendees. We can also link different rooms so you can have breakout areas around the main meeting if required.
Large meeting rooms in London at The Brewery
The King George III room at The Brewery is ideal for large meetings and can comfortably hold up to 1,200 guests. With exposed brickwork and a barrel-vaulted ceiling, this beautiful meeting space provides:
An integrated PA System
AMBX intelligent LED lighting in thousands of potential colours that can interact with sound and images
Small meeting rooms in London at The Brewery
If you’re looking to host a more intimate meeting, the Smeaton Vaults can cater for up to 100 people. Styled with copper pipes around the walls and an original iron walkway to showcase the brewing past of this venue, this meeting space provides:
Built-in DB audio PA system
Large built-in projection area and screen
AMBX intelligent LED lighting in thousands of potential colours that can interact with sound and images
Fixed hanging points for additional lighting if needed.
Most businesses traditionally host an annual company-wide Christmas party. However, over the years, corporate summer parties have been growing in popularity and when you consider the benefits, it’s easy to see why.
Here at The Brewery, we host summer parties each year throughout June, July and August. We welcome a variety of businesses and groups, who all come to host clients, reward the hard work of their employees and enjoy some time away from the office for a night.
Everyone has a great story to tell from a Christmas party, but with these social events only coming around once a year, the bonds and camaraderie that getting together outside of work creates are very few and far between. Nestled beneath the glass roof of our airy courtyard is the perfect spot to host a summer party to get your staff bonding and mixing between departments.
Encourage staff retention
Employee expectations have changed, and people want to work for a company that offers great benefits. Many businesses are pushing the boat out to provide these unique benefits, and in turn, they get to encourage employee loyalty which is essential in a competitive job market. Providing an all-expenses-paid party is a great way to show your appreciation and recognise the hard work your employees put in every day.
Busy periods in the office are great for business owners as it means more revenue, but for employees, it can lead to stress and pressure that may impact morale. Hosting a summer party provides your employees with something extra to look forward to in the year, while also showing them that you’re grateful for their hard work.
Meet new colleagues
The last year has been challenging to say the least, and for many businesses, new employees haven’t even met their team in person. Recruitment has been carried out virtually for a year now, so a summer party is a perfect opportunity for new employees to meet everyone.
Award your staff
Have a point in the evening where you host an awards ceremony, recognising your top employees for their achievements throughout the year so far. You could get creative with the prizes, offering vouchers for summer events, themed gift baskets, or even an extra day of holiday if you’re feeling particularly generous!
Happy employees are productive employees
The happier your employees are, the more productive they will be. By hosting a summer party, you’re not only boosting staff morale and bonding, but you’re giving your employees the chance to make happy memories with their colleagues. The better the relationships between your staff and the happier they are in their job will increase productivity and employee satisfaction.
While everything mentioned here sounds great, the money to pay for the party has to come from somewhere. The great news is that some of the expenses are tax-deductible. Here at The Brewery, we also offer an affordable pricing scheme for summer parties, charging a ‘per person’ rate. This means that as soon as you know the numbers, we can provide you with the final price and you won’t be stung with any hidden costs.
From party sizes of 80 up to 800 people, we can cater to a range of occasions and requirements.
You can promote it across Social Media
Showing your business out and about having fun together is great PR, and our summer parties are an Instadream! As you walk into the venue, you’ll be greeted by a quintessential English summer garden, perfect for team photos which can be shared throughout the night. This will showcase what a great employer you are, as well as the benefits you can offer employees.
London is a vibrant, exciting and fast-paced city that is known around the world for its iconic attractions, famous landmarks, and rich history.
Home to eclectic landscapes and impressive skylines, London offers countless inspiring filming locations that provide the ultimate backdrop for films of all genres.
Over the years, a myriad of famous films have been shot against London’s incredible skyline, including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Mission: Impossible, Sherlock Holmes, The Bourne Ultimatum, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and so many more.
However, if you’re considering filming in London, you will need to obtain the relevant permissions and insurance, as well as ensuring that your filming won’t disrupt local communities or put the public’s health and safety at risk.
Here’s our guide to everything you need to know for filming in London. After all, the last thing you want is to waste resources because you haven’t informed relevant authorities.
Filming in a public location in London
There are so many different sides to London. With 33 boroughs, you won’t have a hard time finding an interesting place to film. However, you will need permission to film in the vast majority of locations.
Each borough has its own Borough Film Service (BFS), which is responsible for handling all film requests. Whether you’re filming in a school setting, a shopping centre, housing estate, or even the streets in and around the borough, you’ll need to contact the relevant BFS.
When planning your shoot, start by identifying which borough your location is in. That way you can make contact and gain further guidance.
If you’re going to be filming with guns or any other weapons, you need to make sure that the appropriate authorities are aware! Authorities such as the Metropolitan Police Service Film Unit will also need to know if your filming is to include nudity, the use of fake police / military uniforms or vehicles, or the recreation of crimes or crime scenes.
Street filming in London
Under common law, you can film any public highway in London, providing you aren’t obstructing traffic. If your filming will obstruct traffic in any way, you’ll need to get in touch with the relevant BFS to secure permission.
There isn’t any cost to film on public streets. However, it’s worth noting that if, for example, your activity blocks the street in front of a shop, you may have to pay the shop owner. The BFS may also charge an admin fee to cover cleanup and any related services.
Filming in private locations in London
It’s important to note that certain areas and attractions in London that might appear to be public areas are actually privately owned. This includes:
The Royal Parks
The South Bank
Canal and River pathways
Train and Tube stations
All of these locations need filming permission. And remember, if you are filming in a flat or on a housing estate owned by a Housing Association or council, you will also need to contact all relevant parties and authorities before you start filming.
Filming in a private space
When choosing a film location, you should be aware that not all spaces are free for public use. There’s lots of private land in and around London which is strictly of bounds to the public. With this in mind, you will need to obtain permission if you do wish to film on private land and this often comes at a price.
If you want to film in a privately owned space, you must contact the owner.
There are plenty of iconic buildings dotted in and around the Capital. Consequently, it’s not unusual for London buildings to enforce strict copyright registrations. Many will also require permission for any filming conducted on the inside or outside of the property.
Even if you can only see the building in the background, you must ask the owner for permission.
Ensure you’re insured
Finally, don’t forget that if you’re filming in London, you’ll need the appropriate insurance. This is extremely important, and you’ll need to make sure that your insurance details are always to hand during filming.
Why choose The Brewery?
Situated in the heart of the capital, The Brewery is a premier event and fine dining venue that is open for hire as a filming location in London.
Bringing together a special team of talented experts in the fields of venue management, event production, fine dining and customer service, we are proud to offer a unique and flexible environment for filming in the heart of the capital.
If you want your team to be successful, productive, and happy in their work, a strong bond and positive team relationship is key.
However, all too often, team building activities are dull, repetitive and uncomfortable. The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are plenty of team building activities, both real-world and virtual, that will bring your team together while giving everyone a great time in the process.
Why team building activities?
Team building activities are not only fun, but they also offer a host of other benefits, including:
Improving confidence levels
Boosting mental health
Improving physical health
Looking for inspiration? Here’s our favourite unusual team building activities.
Battle of the Airbands
This is a fun activity that can be done without too many props. Split your team into ‘bands’ of 3-4 people.
Each band will decide who is taking on each role in the band and what song they will perform a lip-synced, air-guitar style version of the song. Give them time to practice and then bring everyone back for the performance and vote on a winner.
You can also add costumes and props if time allows.
Show and tell
This is a super simple activity that can be done virtually or in person. Get each team member to bring in their most prized possession and tell everyone else about it. It worked in primary school, so why can’t adults do it too?
Office trading cards
Many of us will remember collecting Pokémon cards when we were younger. Well now your team can be the stars of the show.
Simply give out blank cards to each team member and ask them to get creative and make their own trading card. They will need to include their name, a self-portrait, nickname, and a fact about themselves.
Then collect the cards back in and hand them all out at random. Once everyone has a card, they can read the fact, keep it and approach the team member to find out more if they find it interesting, or trade it to find out more about someone new.
Remember MTV Cribs or Through the Keyhole? If you’re looking for a virtual team building activity, why not recreate the concept with your employees?
Ask each employee to record a fun tour of their house or work area – they can be as creative as they want. This is a great way for team members to show their personality and allows everyone to get to know each other a bit more.
The beauty of this one is that it can be done in real life or virtually, depending on how your team is working right now. There are several real and virtual escape rooms available, with different themes and difficulty levels, so you’re sure to find one that your team will love.
Jigsaws with a twist
Put your team’s bartering skills to the test. Divide the workforce up into smaller teams and give each one a jigsaw puzzle to work on together.
But, before you dish out the jigsaws, remove a few pieces from each one and give them to one of the opposing teams. The teams will then have to negotiate to get the missing pieces they need – this usually ends in the trading of pieces and even team members.
A classic quiz with a twist, this is a quick and easy team building activity that can be done in the office or virtually. Put together a set of questions about the company and the workplace that will test the team’s observational skills – questions like how many windows there are in a certain room, the colour of the carpet in the hallway, how many people sit in a certain area etc.
Food brings people together, so take your team off to a cooking class at a local restaurant or cooking school or plan a virtual one where everyone cooks along at home.
All you’ll need for this is pens and paper. Get each team member to draw a self-portrait. Then, collect in all the portraits and display them on the wall. The team then has to guess which portrait belongs to which team member. Once the correct person has been found, get them to describe why they drew themselves the way they did.
This not only encourages your team to unleash their creativity, but it will also help team members understand how others on the team see themselves.
If you’ve ever been to a conference, you’ll probably be familiar with the industry staple swag bag, filled with free stuff that’s often branded or themed. If done right, a free goody bag can make a strong first impression on attendees, however, if the bag is filled with useless items, the money you’ve invested into them may end up straight in the bin.
To help you give conference gifts that your attendees will find memorable, useful and fun, we’ve put together our top swag bag ideas to give you some inspiration.
Conference swag bag ideas
From pens and notepads to leather diaries and sticky notes, stationery is easy to add your branding to and always comes in handy. If you give away 500 branded notebooks, that’s 500 advertisements of your business out there for people to see which will raise brand awareness.
Food and beverages
Snack food and beverages are great for giving your attendees an energy boost in-between mealtimes. Most people will appreciate something small to enjoy when they’re on the move and attending a busy conference. If you can offer amazing conference food your guests will rave about it.
The days of picking up a single-use plastic water bottle are behind us; everyone wants to help do their bit for the environment by owning reusable bottles they can use time and time again. This is another item that can increase your brand visibility while helping in the fight against plastic.
If you have an e-commerce or retail business, offering a gift card in your goody bags will allow your attendees to choose what they want. You may feel like this idea lacks thought or creativity, but one item will never please everyone. A gift card takes out the guesswork puts the power in your attendees’ hands.
Sustainability is at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now. From branded packets of seeds to grow-your-own kits for vegetables and plants, an eco-friendly gift is a unique way to encourage your attendees to think about the environment and take home a memento that keeps on giving. You can also focus on sustainability by swapping out plastic bags for canvas totes.
Whether you opt for compact wireless headphones or a portable speaker, your attendees will appreciate the free tech or – or at least know someone who will. Depending on your budget and conference, you could even put your branding on them for some free exposure.
Giving your attendees a branded scratch card within their swag bag which offers a range of special prizes will build up anticipation and excitement at your event without having to pay for each attendee to receive a premium gift.
Virtual gifts are still a fairly new concept for conferences but can be a great way of giving something back to your attendees while saving them from carrying a goody bag around all day. From eBooks, gift codes and exclusive access to an app or website, virtual gifts are a great opportunity to promote both your brand and any sponsors you may have.
USB sticks are widely used and great for increasing brand awareness, whether you print your logo on it or pre-load the stick with digital brochures about the conference and exhibitors for your attendees to review in their own time.
A great way to spread your brand name is by providing your attendees with some free clothing. From t-shirts and hoodies to caps and tote bags, you’ve got yourself a walking advertisement.
Everyday toiletries are especially good if you know you have attendees travelling to your conference. Anything from lip balm and hand sanitiser to shampoo and conditioner can be great for a swag bag.
Phone chargers/power banks
Everyone appreciates an extra phone charger. You’ll always find someone searching for a plug socket to top up their phone at a conference. A pre-charged portable charger will be gold dust for your attendees.
Something relevant to the conference
It’s always a good idea to put something industry-specific into the goody bag. For example, if your conference is about a food product, you’ll want to include that product in the goody bag.
If you’re planning a conference and looking for a leading corporate venue in London, here at The Brewery we offer a unique and versatile environment to accommodate all your requirements.
With state-of-the-art facilities and a fantastic location, our venue is perfect for events with up to 1200 guests. If you would like to discuss hosting your conference at The Brewery, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The Brewery is currently restricted by law from hosting events, so we have opened our doors to an exciting evaluation trial, for a potentially game changing new Covid-19 testing technology, Virolens.
The goal of the evaluation trial is to achieve MHRA approval for the Virolens™ system. This will be achieved by identifying 150 validated positive and 250 validated negative Covid-19 test results. The trial will compare results generated by the Virolens™ device against two different PCR tests processed by independent laboratories.
Developed by UK-based Company, i-Abra, the Virolens™ system uses microscopic holographic imaging and artificial intelligence (AI) software to detect Covid-19 at the exact time of testing. When a mouth swab is placed in the Virolens™ testing device, a holographic microscope examines the saliva sample and runs it through a computer trained to identify SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19). This process takes just 20 seconds.
This is how the testing process works:
You take your own saliva sample with the mouth swab provided and place it into a testing cartridge.
A Virolens™ operator seals the cartridge and puts it into the Virolens™ device.
Your sample is examined by a holographic microscope, which looks at the light diffracted off the surface of each saliva component.
This holographic imaging is then run through an artificially-intelligent computer trained to detect SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19).
The device then returns a positive/negative result for Covid within just 20 seconds.
Instant point of care testing for Covid-19 has the potential to open up large scale events, sports, festivals and theatres by creating a safer environment for attendees. A solution that offers rapid and accurate testing would present the opportunity for large crowds to access a site with minimal queues or fuss. There are however, limitations to the current testing technologies, which prevent them from doing this effectively. Virolens offers a potential solution to bridge this gap.
The trial at The Brewery is being conducted by i-Abra and is authorised by the MHRA. It is running from the 3rd February for an initial 7 day period, and is open from 7am-7pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-4pm on Saturday (closed on Sunday).
If you would like to help get society moving again by participating in the trial, you can find out more information and book online by clicking here.
If you’re looking for 2021 wedding inspiration, look no further.
As we all know, 2020 was an unprecedented year that caused numerous wedding cancellations and forced many couples to reschedule – multiple times! So, whether you’re newly engaged and just starting your planning journey, or a couple looking at their options due to cancellations, we’ve got you covered.
Of course, the most notable trend is micro weddings. The pandemic caused plans to be turned upside down, but many couples decided to reduce their numbers and go micro to avoid waiting. We still don’t have an exact date for when large-scale weddings will resume, so for now the micro trend is here to stay.
Smaller ceremonies have been on the rise over the past few years, and Covid-19 aside, they are a perfect option if you want a beautifully intimate day with your nearest and dearest. They’re also great if you don’t want to spend a load of cash or want a more laid-back celebration.
Sustainability and ethical practices
Sustainability has been a big consideration for many couples in recent years, and this is set to continue throughout 2021. Examples of how couples are choosing to reduce their eco-footprint include using foam-free flower installations, cutting back on waste, using bio-degradable confetti, finding wedding dresses made using ethical practices, and sourcing their wedding cakes from local companies that use seasonal, local ingredients.
With micro weddings on the increase, so are virtual ceremonies. For some, micro weddings mean having to compromise on who can attend the celebration in person. That’s where virtual ceremonies come in. Thanks to the world of technology, you can now live stream your wedding ceremony, so everyone you love can be together digitally to celebrate your big day.
Remote wedding planning
Currently, wedding planning is completely remote and will continue to be this way for some time. With wedding fayres cancelled and wedding planners working from home, couples will need to take care of arrangements over the phone or online.
Here at the Brewery, we offer remote wedding planning to assist you with your online wedding preparation and help make sure everything is in order. Whether you want us to take charge, or you just need support with some of the more demanding tasks of planning a wedding, we can help online or over the phone. We can assist you with everything from the menu and flowers, through to the décor and evening entertainment.
Virtual venue tours
Choosing the perfect wedding venue is important, and under normal circumstances you could visit the venue to look around before booking. Following 2020, the trend is to explore venues virtually. Whether that’s a tour that has been created by a venue, or perhaps a facetime call with your wedding planner, navigating your way round will be slightly different this year.
Here at The Brewery, we have a virtual tour online that takes you around all of our stunning rooms with clickable interactive buttons, providing interesting facts and highlighting key features and areas.
With smaller wedding receptions, you may have more time during the day as you don’t have as many guests to socialise with. It’s a great idea to open up the speeches and instead of just hearing from the father of the bride and the groom, pass the microphone around to anyone else who would like to say a few words.
Future planning celebrations is another trend that goes hand-in-hand with micro weddings. Due to the shake up the pandemic has caused; many couples are now choosing to say ‘I do’ now and planning to throw a big party once restrictions allow us to again. Of course, the restrictions won’t be around forever, but if you want to declare your love as soon as possible, there’s nothing stopping you having double celebrations!
Guest dress codes
Most couples have a vision of the aesthetic of their wedding before they start planning. With the shift towards micro weddings, it’s easier to have control over the aesthetic and have a dress code with limited guest numbers. Rather than gowns and formal suits, many couples are choosing a more casual style of formal wear and providing guests with preferred colour schemes.
From fairy lights and candles to marquee letters and signs, ambient lighting can completely change the feel of your wedding and set the tone for the day. Whether you change the lighting at different stages of the day, change the colour or have fun concept lights, you can add a new depth and dimension to any venue.
Going ‘au naturel’
Another trend continuing on from last year is for brides to opt for a more natural look. Think luminous dewy skin, soft shades of eyeshadow and nude lips. It’s all about looking like yourself and letting the dress do the talking.
Classic and traditional
We predict 2021 to be the year tradition returns, with classic and timeless dresses, traditional speeches and sentimental moments that are personal to the bride and groom.
With many 2020 weddings postponed or cancelled, there will be an influx of weekday weddings as they move to 2021. Not only that, more couples are opting for weekday weddings as both venues and suppliers are often cheaper.
Pastel shades are popular year after year for weddings, especially during spring/summer. However, this year, it’s thought colours such as sage green, lilac and pastel pinks will overtake the classic blush and ivory themes.
Go big, or go home
If large wedding celebrations resume in 2021, it’s thought couples who have had to postpone and reschedule will adjust their plans to go even bigger. From adding extra people to the guest list and arranging more entertainment, couples want to celebrate bigger and better than ever before.
Milena, our wedding manager, will help you to create a celebration as unique and individual as you and your partner. With six event spaces, a delicious selection of food and drinks, we will help you create a celebration that you and your guests will never forget.
Congratulations on your engagement. We look forward to hearing from you.
From a happy-crying Mother of the Bride to cheese tower wedding cakes, our Wedding Planner, Milena Gorska has seen everything. Here’s the first part of our interview with her to find out all the behind the scenes tips and secrets about weddings at The Brewery.
Being a wedding planner is no easy job, but it’s one our Wedding Planner, Milena Gorska, loves. Whether it’s making sure the day flows smoothly, organising a drone to act as a ring-bearer, or bringing the Mother of the Bride to tears with the wedding venue decoration (or all three), Milena is on hand to make sure your wedding day is perfect.
Let’s go behind the scenes with her to find out more about her role in your big day.
Inspired by rom coms from a very early age, Milena decided that she wanted to find a way to create magic and romance for brides and grooms in real life. After planning her first wedding in a Central London hotel, she realised the satisfaction she felt was far greater than that for a corporate event, which set her on her career path to where she is today at The Brewery.
Q. Why did you choose to work at The Brewery as a Wedding Planner?
A. “My initial thoughts about The Brewery were – it’s so unique, has so much history and from my first look at the venue, I knew you could do so much, it had so much versatility to it. I love how there are so many venue spaces which are all different and can be used for weddings of a smaller, intimate scale or for huge, grand celebrations. I can really use my creativity to work wonders in the spaces.
“Planning a wedding at The Brewery is assisted greatly by the fantastic teams we have working here. The team of chefs is led by our Food Director, Tom Gore, who puts together mouth-watering seasonal menus which always please wedding parties. I always have guests at weddings approaching me to speak to the chef, they say it is the best wedding food they’ve tasted! On the wedding day, everything runs so smoothly with an efficient logistics and operational team led by an event manager, who just gets it and know how important the day is.”
Q. What do you enjoy most about your role?
A. “My favourite part of the role is seeing months of planning, emails, phone calls and meetings put together into one special day – teams of production and lighting, florists, the band, menu and wines, and decor all coming together, and the room being set up so beautifully. The best bit is seeing the couple’s reaction when they see the room set up for the first time and they are simply overjoyed.”
Q. What’s the most touching wedding moment you’ve witnessed?
A. “Each wedding has its own touching moments, whether it’s when the Father sees the Bride, or the Groom sees the Bride walking down the aisle, or a beautiful speech by the Groom, but one significant touching moment I experienced was with a Mother of the Bride. She arrived at the venue to see the room set up for the ceremony, and as soon as I opened the doors she burst into tears. She was taken aback by the beauty of the room, also bearing in mind the last time she had seen the room it was empty. She was stunned and so overwhelmed saying “It’s so beautiful, I can’t believe it.”
“During the run up to the wedding, all my concentration is on the bridal couple, but it is moments like that I realise how special this day is not only for the couple, but for Mum who will see her daughter get wed! I even shed a tear myself.”
Q. Are there any trends you love or any that you want to leave behind?
A. “I absolutely love to see colours – dusty rose, berry pink or coral are all great colours which work. Colour blocking is a trend that is gaining momentum and I have seen it used for ceremonies, bridal bouquets and stationery which is a nice and vibrant touch to a wedding.
“What I think will always work fantastically at The Brewery is unique and statement lighting. Lighting is essential to creating an atmosphere and using uplighters, lanterns, festoon lighting or fairy light walls completely transforms our venue – you can feel the romance and dreaminess.
“Other trends I love seeing are cheese towers – yum! They never get old. Balloon walls and helium balloons with tassels or greenery have really taken over this year. Couples have ditched overdoing it with flowers and are now decorating their ceremony aisles and dinner centrepieces with balloons or creating huge balloon walls as photo backdrops.
“A new(ish) aspect I am seeing for weddings is women making speeches. More and more I see the bride doing a welcome speech or the bridesmaids getting in on the action which is lovely to see!”
“A complete no-no is chair covers, ditch these and use our lovely limewash Chiavari chairs.”
Q. What tips can you give couples in the midst of planning?
“I would definitely say not to rush any of your planning! I know the excitement can take over and I am sure everyone is asking you, “Have you booked your venue, have you chosen a caterer, have you got your dress, am I a bridesmaid!?” It can all seem very overwhelming; however, I recommend taking the planning slow, own it and split your tasks within a workable timeframe to ensure you have control over everything.”
“Enjoy every aspect of wedding planning and don’t just see it as ticking off a ‘To Do list!’ Remember, this is the most important day of your life and months of planning will turn into one magical day. And when it does seem like a lot to handle, call me, I am there for a reason!”
Here’s the second part of our look behind the scenes with Milena Gorska, Wedding Planner at The Brewery. Discover the top wedding trends for 2020, what Milena brings to every wedding, and the most unusual request she’s ever had from a couple.
Q. What order of priority would you give the different aspects of the wedding day?
A. “This is totally dependent on the couple and what is most important to them. From the initial stages of planning all the way through to the final meeting before the big day, I get an understanding from our conversations of what are the most important aspects for them. It is different every time.
“Most couples want the day to be effortless and to flow well, making sure their guests have a great time – this is managed by our efficient staff making sure that we keep to their schedule of the day, the service smooth and the glasses topped up!”
Q. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve been asked to organise?
A. “I had a couple who were into science, or more specifically planets. They wanted to create a solar system theme in one of the venue spaces, with planets hanging from the ceiling. That was a cool idea! For the ceremony, they wanted a drone as the ring bearer.”
Q. What’s the biggest lesson or piece of advice you’ve received?
A. “This year I met with Kelly Mortimer, who is a wedding venue expert. With a background in luxury London hotels and destination weddings, Kelly has two decades of experience in the industry and she shared with me all her tips on wedding days and how to make them a success.
“One of the training sessions was on time management – and trust me with Kelly’s tips on how to structure my day, I have discovered how to have so much more time!”
Q. How do you find out what a couple wants for their wedding?
A. “From the first viewing, some couples already have a clear picture in mind of what they want and what is most important to them. I will have many planning meetings along the way – a good opportunity is at the menu tasting when the couple bring their parents or the Maid of Honour or Best Man and a lot of executive decisions can be made.
“During the planning stages, I also share a wedding checklist with the couple, which is a lengthy document covering all aspects of the wedding day, and all the information we need to make sure we make their day perfect.”
Q. What do you make sure to have with you on the big day?
A. “A coffee, a clipboard with the wedding function sheet and lots of positivity. I always start the mornings listening to an upbeat track and having a dance to gear me up for the day ahead. Wedding days are long days, but when you love what you’re doing it doesn’t seem like work. And it’s great to see how it all comes together after a year of planning.
“As the day goes on, I like to stand to the side and watch all the special moments – speeches, cutting of the cake, the first dance and then seeing all the guests having a boogie on the dancefloor.”
Q. What are the big trends that are coming up for the 2020 wedding season?
A. “I am sure there will be more popping up towards the end of the year, but now the big one is sustainable weddings. With environmental impact and climate change being one of our everyday topics, it’s no surprise the modern Bride and Groom want to incorporate this in their special day. Many couples use recyclable wedding stationery and ensure their venue plays a role in sustainability by limiting food waste and moving away from single use plastic – something The Brewery has done!
“Another trend I see coming into play in 2020 is the use of more greenery, living plants and foliage for centrepieces, ceremony arches and bouquets. We seem to be drifting away from colourful, bold tall centrepieces. Green is a classic shade that goes with everything!”
It’s cold outside this we know, but what we also know is that summer is just round the corner and we have it on good authority it is going to be a scorcher.
So what better way to get through the cold winter nights than to host a summer party for you and your colleagues.
From June through August our courtyard will be transformed into a fantastic secret garden and we are taking bookings now.
Next summer is something we can all look forward to!
It’s spring… time to think about summer!
Grab your grass skirt and your tropical shirt because it’s time to start getting ready for your summer party.
At The Brewery, we are currently taking bookings for our summer parties ‘Aloha!’, an outdoor Polynesian paradise-themed night out.
We run summer parties each year with different themes, to allow companies to come, bring guests and let their hair down.
What you’ll find at the Brewery Summer Party events
Our party nights run from June to August and begin at 6pm. As you enter you’ll find two huge marquees transformed to whisk you off to a tiki paradise, featuring a range of bright summery plants, and furnished with a vibrant collection of comfortable and stylish furniture. We know that the great British summer isn’t always as perfect as we could hope for, so we’ll be putting a clear roof over the top to let the sun in but keep the showers out.
On arrival, you’ll get a complimentary summer cocktail or a refreshing glass of Pimms. After that, you can enjoy unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks until the main portion of the party ends at 9pm (you can increase this, see the details below). Our amazing chefs will be cooking up a great Polynesian BBQ throughout the night.
After the sun goes down, at 9pm we move indoors to begin the after-party, and as the temperature drops our DJ will help to keep the party going.
Who’s the summer party is ideal for?
We offer all-inclusive packages for 80-800 guests so it’s ideal if you want to host your company or stakeholders for a summer spectacular. We have a talented group of event planners who will help you to organise your event and make the process as simple as possible for you.
What Makes a Summer Party?
There’s nothing like summer in the city. London comes alive in the summer months, not only through the sunshine that makes such a welcome return, but through the large variety of fantastic events that take place to celebrate the summertime, including Wimbledon, Royal Ascot, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and The Brewery’s fantastic Summer Parties.
But what makes up these summer events? Just what goes into creating a summer party on a truly epic scale?
Book your summer party for 2021 with The Brewery today and enjoy a fantastic event beneath a gorgeous glass roof, surrounded by the quintessential summer blooms of an English country garden, sipping on cocktails and champagne, and fed with the finest BBQ menu, all in the heart of London.
Why choose The Brewery for your summer party?
The Brewery is located near the Moorgate, Liverpool Street and Barbican train stations, making it easy to travel to your summer party venue. Our venue can also easily reached by ten bus routes. You can also drive. While we don’t have parking on site – there’s a public car park at the Barbican nearby.
We’ve got a beautiful and imposing venue which is sure to wow your guests, treating them to a memorable party to make their summer a great one.