Life as we knew it changed for everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic. Life was put on hold and people were unable to celebrate their birthdays, proms and of course one of the biggest days of their lives – getting married.
Now that restrictions have lifted, our expert team of Memory Makers are thrilled to be back and able to help you celebrate one of the biggest days of your lives.
Read on to hear from one of our Memory Makers, Rachael, who is based at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel:
Why did you want to work in the events/hospitality industry?
I love organising and planning and working closely with customers so events is the best industry for this!
What is your favourite thing about your role?
My favourite thing about this role is working so closely with people to make their events a reality, especially with weddings as it's one of the biggest days of their lives so knowing you're a part of that and can help make it perfect is really rewarding.
How does it feel that you're now able to host weddings again?
It's incredible to be able to host weddings again, it was such a hard year for couples not knowing what was happening with their special day. As a venue and a wedding planner we can reassure them with most things but the last year was so full of unknown we weren't able to do this which was hard. So seeing all the weddings come back and people who had to postpone several times actually get to have their dream wedding was amazing!
What have you missed most about hosting weddings?
I missed the atmosphere of a wedding, seeing close family and friends get together to celebrate someone's big day and seeing how happy the couple are. You build up such a close relationship with the couple as you can be planning their wedding for several years, so I also missed that personal connection having to do things online and not seeing people in person on the build-up.
Why should someone book a wedding at your hotel?
We have such a beautiful venue on the coast, and our wedding area overlooks the sea which is just stunning! As well as having such a beautiful spot to get married there is an incredible events team that work extremely hard to make sure every wedding and event is run to perfection and delivered exactly how the couple wants it. We all have a real passion for the industry and love making people happy, so you are definitely in great hands if you decide to book your wedding at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel!
What has been your wedding career highlight?
In 2020 we had a wedding couple that were due to get married in November. It was really important to them that they got married in 2020 as they had a poorly relative and had already postponed once from early in the year. We then had the announcement that restrictions were being put back in place and this would affect their wedding. They called me up and asked if there was any way we could pull the wedding forward before the restrictions started which gave us 3 days to plan everything…I ran round and discussed with the rest of the hotel, and we decided we would go for it! We really did pull it off and it was the most incredible day and I felt so proud of the team and myself for making it happen for the couple. It was a massive highlight in my career! I would also say all the feedback I get from weddings is always a highlight, knowing that you've made such an impact on their big day is just so rewarding.
What's your favourite trend for 2022?
I would say flower walls and balloon arches are my favourite trend! They are such a simple decoration that can really enhance the style of the wedding and they look great for photos as well.
What's your number 1 advice to couples when starting to plan their wedding?
Remember it is YOUR day, with weddings it's so easy to take on advice from everyone and try to please all your guests. But you are the most important people and you need to make sure it's exactly how you want it.
What's your top tip when putting together their guest list?
Workout your budget first! Once you have your budget in place you can work out how many people you can invite to stay within your budget. Then I would create a priority list and a second list, just in case anyone from the priority list can't make it you have a second list of guests you could invite instead or you could use the second list for the evening guests only.
What's the most eccentric request you've ever been asked for a wedding?
The most eccentric request was asking if we could have a helicopter land in the car park! Unfortunately it wasn't something we could make possible, but I really admired their creativity with how the bride would arrive.
What's your favourite thing about planning weddings?
I love how creative you can get with planning weddings, and how no wedding is ever the same which means no day at work is ever the same for me either which keeps it really interesting.
If you've been to a wedding as a guest, did anything about the day make you go "wow"? If so, what?
Prosecco walls always make me go WOW! I am a big fan of a flower wall, but a wall of prosecco is even better.