Afternoon Teas, First Dances and Marrying Daniel Craig...we talk to Ali, Boringdon's Events Manager, about all things wedding...
How did you get involved in the wedding and event industry?
I am actually a qualified dance teacher and I used to be self-employed and run my own dance company for which I organised a variety of performance events all over the South West. I also taught first dances to couples through Wedding Dances UK. I realised by love of organising events through my dance background but also through working in hospitality over many year and working as a waitress and barmaid for many weddings and events in the UK and abroad. I studied a Business Management Qualification at Plymouth College and trained as an Events Assistant at a neighbouring hotel to Boringdon but my dream was to become an Events Manager. Having sent my CV on numerous occasions to Boringdon Hall I was given the opportunity to become Events Manager and organise all events and weddings in the hotel and have been here for nearly 3 years.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love how varied and busy the job role is. I arrange everything from small birthday parties and large weddings to even larger festivals for over 500 guests on the Boringdon Lawn. It is so wonderfully rewarding when an event/wedding I have planned all comes together!
What weddings have been the most memorable?
I organised a wedding for a lovely couple in 2014 that was just beautiful and a lot of their photography (by Fiona Walsh) features in our wedding brochure and on our website. Their ceremony took place in The Parker Suite, their wedding breakfast in The Elizabethan Suite and their reception in The Grenville Suite and Remy Bar. They had a huge amount of beautiful flowers by Lemon Blossom and fairy light backdrops in every room by Add a Little Sparkle making the wedding really sparkle. I also taught them first dance lessons.
How do you make each wedding special?
We try to encourage brides and grooms to make unique choices and give them the opportunity to give us their ideas about what they would like that is a little bit different. We had one wedding that chose a medieval theme where the bride was dressed in a huge red princess wedding dress, the thrones were used by the bride and groom, autumnal fruit, veg, nuts and candles were strewn through the centre of the tables as centrepieces and the food was served like a medieval banquet.
What has been the most memorable event or special occasion?
My first Jazz and Ale Festival in 2013, this was the launch of our yearly August Bank Holiday festival which all came together very well with all staff working as a huge team to ensure this event was a success.
What style of wedding do you offer at Boringdon?
All our weddings are very different and the function rooms are versatile towards any theme, but vintage style weddings with pretty china used for Wedding Afternoon Teas, beautiful lace vintage wedding dresses, vintage cars and classic floral displays.
In terms of trends what are you noticing in the wedding industry?
Outdoor weddings are becoming more and more popular (depending on our British weather!!) and we offer wedding bbqs, afternoon teas and hog roasts outside in our gazebo gardens or on the Boringdon Lawn in front of the manor house. We also offer traditional pole marquees and tipis which are becoming popular too on the Boringdon Lawn.
Can you accommodate for small weddings and weddings of two?
Yes we have a wedding booked this summer just for a couple who are eloping! I am even going to be a witness for their wedding which is a first! We can host non-exclusive weddings for up to 40 guests for more intimate weddings to large exclusive weddings with up to 200 guests. We will also have Gaia Spa opening at Boringdon Hall which offers spa breaks and day spa packages as well as bridal make up which means brides and guests of Boringdon will be able to book relaxing spa treatments before their wedding or book treatments in the beauty salon which features a champagne bar for a truly luxurious experience.
If a bride and groom wish to hire Boringdon exclusively what can they expect on their day?
We close our doors to the public so the bride, groom and all the wedding guests have the Elizabethan Manor and grounds entirely to themselves for the day! All our talented staff will be focussed solely on serving the bride and groom and wedding guests throughout the day and the couple can choose exactly how they would like to use all our suites and ballrooms for their wedding ceremony and celebration. The best part of having an exclusive wedding at Boringdon Hall is having the evening reception in The Great Hall, the most impressive part of Boringdon Hall!
If you could plan a celebration for someone famous who would it be for and what occasion?
I would plan Daniel Craig’s wedding (to marry me of course) when he divorces his current wife and finds me, his true love!!!