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Welcome to the Party sign
07 Sep 2022
Special Occasions
Posted by
Memory Maker

The Complete Guide to Planning the Perfect Gala Dinner


Let's face it — planning an event can be exhausting. Between choosing your location, booking your venue, finding entertainment, and coordinating food, it's difficult to figure out where to start. That's why our Memory Makers are here to inspire you and take care of all the creative little details so you can rest assured that your gala dinner will run smoothly. 


If you're planning an event that you want to be both elegant and memorable, there's no doubt that our hotels are the perfect venue choices thanks to our five-star service, impeccable banquet facilities, and luxurious accommodation. This Autumn we've put together a complete guide to planning the perfect gala or awards dinner. 


Make a lasting impression 


As guests arrive, welcome them with a selection of drinks and canapés in the foyer. The lovely thing about canapés is that your guests are going to get a variety of different flavors, and they can also be a little more adventurous and experience a taste of what's to come. 


Create a space for guests to mix and mingle before heading into the main event. Consider having a band or music to set the tone for the evening. Top tip: provide name tags for all attendees so guests can write their name on it and set up cocktail tables near the bar so that guests have plenty of food and drink options available to them.  


For the ultimate ending to the perfect party, send your guests off with something to remember the event by! You can gift a favor that is inspired by your location. This is perfect if you're throwing a destination Gala Dinner, think mini bottles of local Salcombe Gin for a coastal event or fresh local cheese from Leicestershire.  


Innovative Dining 


Get creative with our chefs and customise a menu to your liking, whether you want something simple or extravagant, we are here help create the ultimate party feast you've always imagined.  

For inspiration, start by whetting your guests' appetite with our Canapé Selection - the perfect way to start off your evening. Follow this with either our three course Classic Menu or the Extra Special Menu. Both feature delicious, handcrafted food, delectably designed to create a culinary experience your guests won't forget. 




Don't let your gala end with an empty dancefloor. Your options don't end with a DJ or band. Wow your guests with a live saxophonist to play wandering amongst your guests.  


Or, if you're looking for something a little different, why not book an incredible street performer. Whether you'd like your guests in awe of some acrobats, gasping at a magician, or seeing into the future with a tarot reader, there is something for everyone. You could even go all out with a finale of fireworks. 


We've rounded up a few of our top UK Marriott venues below that make the perfect option to host your big event. Whether you're looking for an intimate setting or a grand ballroom, we have just the place for you. 



Europe's largest pillarless event space, London


The London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square is the home of Europe's largest, pillarless event space which allows for its beautiful Westminster Ballroom to be transformed into your ideal layout. The Westminster Ballroom can accommodate up to 1000 guests and features an incredible lighting system that allows you to customise and also weave a colour scheme throughout your entire event. Make use of the foyer's incredible LED screen and personalize it with a montage of photos, or use it as a brilliant, branded backdrop to create a stunning entrance for your gala.  


A picturesque woodland setting, Birmingham


The Delta Hotels Forest of Arden set within 10,000 acres of ancient woodland offers the perfect entrance to your gala with a maximum capacity of 350 guests. There are four large event spaces to choose from, each with their own private bar. The Arden Suite and the Marquee have their own entrances which give an exclusive feel to your event. Offering views out over the golf course and space for an outdoor drinks' reception, the Arden Suite gives you the option to tailor your gala and give your guests the wow factor in a stunning setting. 


A ballroom for a more formal affair, Cardiff


The Cardiff Suite at the Cardiff Marriott Hotel can accommodate up to 400 guests. With natural daylight, its own dedicated bar area and pillarless views, you can transform the space into your ideal layout. Fitted with plasma TV screens and inter colour changing lights, the ballroom can be suited to your theme and style.  


A stylish suite, Leicester


The state-of-the-art, self-contained Grove Suite at the Leicester Marriott Hotel, situated on the ground floor, boasts floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking patio space with a private bar and the capacity to hold up to 400 guests. The intuitively designed space includes areas for your welcome drinks' reception, seated dinner and dance floor for the evening celebrations.  


A modern backdrop, Glasgow


The newly renovated Clyde Suite at Glasgow Marriott Hotel provides the perfect backdrop for dinners, award ceremonies and celebrations. Featuring a modern, stylish interior, state-of-the-art AV technology and an in-built stage, this space overs everything you need for a professional and memorable event. Guests love the Clyde Suite's private entrance and generous foyer area, which can be completely tailored to you with a maximum capacity of 550 guests is ideal for drinks receptions, exhibition space or eye-catching backgrounds for those all-important photo opportunities.