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!”
With six fully customisable event spaces, a talented team of chefs and the capable hands of our Wedding Planner, Milena Gorska, we’d love to make your wedding day the best day of your life at The Brewery. If you’d like us to host your special day, simply get in contact with us here.