An Interview with Our Wedding Coordinator

Nicola Winslade is the dedicated Wedding Coordinator here at our wonderful wedding venue in Wiltshire and we thought it was about time you got to know her a little better…

How did you get into this career? Have you always loved weddings?

Before Bishopstrow, I worked front of house for a large corporate events company. It was working there that made me realise I enjoyed being a part of the planning process behind such important events even though it was really hard work. I love weddings and remember I was always really excited to attend weddings when I was younger even though I only attended a handful growing up. Now I get attend two a month and can witness first hand my planning being turned into the start of a couple’s future.

How do you remain up-to-date with the event industry?

I attend at least one wedding fair every three months in various locations where I have the chance to work alongside other wedding industry suppliers. Here I can keep up to date with the latest trends and themes for planning a wedding as well as talking to various couples about what ideas they have. I also follow a lot of suppliers through their social media pages and regularly scroll through images from weddings around the world.

Are there any obvious trends in weddings at the moment?

A recent trend I have noticed at weddings is personalisation.  I have seen fewer weddings spending money on a company to print their table plan, name cards and order of service. Instead I’ve seen couples making these for themselves or with the help from loved ones making it more of a personal touch to their wedding.

What elements must be considered before you start planning a wedding?

The most important element is time! I need to consider whether the couple have given me enough time to plan their day.  There are a number of stages involved in the process so it is important to make sure there is enough time to get all the stages planned properly. From booking the civil ceremony, allocating the bedrooms and tasting the food, the most important thing is that it’s not rushed so everything will run smoothly.

What do you like most about your job? How do you stay motivated when things don’t go as planned?

What I love most about my job is to witness the couples getting married! I enjoy planning the couple’s day, but then after the months of planning to see the couple tie the knot I truly feel my job is done. I have faced many challenges where things haven’t quite gone to plan but I stay motivated because I work with such a strong team who I can always approach for assistance. Whether I need help from chef as more dietary requirements crop up on the day or if I need housekeeping to get bedrooms ready earlier than planned, nothing ever seems to be too much trouble as we all play a part in what will be a day that stays a happy memory for the couple for many years to come.

How would you manage stress as the date of the wedding draws near?

I don’t think that I do get stressed but some weddings are certainly harder than others. I’m quite a perfectionist when it comes to the planning so my aim is to have all details for the wedding finalised by the month before, so I do give my couples deadlines to work towards. This then allows the last four weeks to tie up any loose ends, but also for the couple to wind down from work and start to enjoy such a special time.  It’s inevitable the couple themselves can get very stressed and nervous especially the day before their wedding, so what good will I be if I am stressed too?

What’s the most unusual wedding theme you’ve had to try and pull off?

I’ve seen a number of different themes from the weddings here at Bishopstrow, but I have to say the hardest theme I had to work with was a rustic woodland theme. Now we have the best setting for this theme as we 27 acres of beautiful grounds and the ability for an outdoor ceremony. However, it was unusual to not only be decorating the hotel, but also to be decorating all the way from the hotel to the Doric temple, which is roughly a five-minute walk.

The outdoor decorations consisted of one hundred jam jars with tea lights. I was familiar with these as I had taken them home the night before to decorate each jar with different ribbon as the bride had run out of time. For every three tea light jars, there was one jar with flowers and all sat on a chopped piece of wood. It looked great when all set in place, but post ceremony it all had to be moved back to the hotel as these were then the decorations that became the table centre pieces!

What do you think will be the wedding theme for 2017?   

I think the 2017 wedding theme will a fairy tale theme which is every girl’s dream wedding. This particular theme will consist of rose petals down the aisle, large silver table candelabra, and an extravagant floral display for both the ceremony and table flowers with a fairy light back drop in the reception. The wedding cake will be a traditional three tiered iced cake with a harpist for the bride’s entrance and drinks reception music.

So that’s how things get done at out Wiltshire wedding venue! If you’d like anymore help from Nicola and the weddings team, you can give them a call on 01985 212 312 or drop an email to info@bishopstrow.co.uk.

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