Wedding tips & suggestions from wedding co-ordinator, Jackie Moe
With an historic Tithe Barn said to have been built from timbers taken from the defeated galleons of the Spanish Armada, there can be no more impressive venue for a wedding celebration. The Tithe Barn is by far the most popular venue at the Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel – set to re-open 1st September – for those seeking the “wow factor” for a big wedding celebration of around 80 guests. With its own private entrance, the River Room offers a bay window with boxed seating overlooking the River Mole – making for the perfect bridal pose. The Burford Room is normally laid out for the gifts and for buffets.
For those for whom a smaller venue is required, an alternative suggestion is the Garden Room with views looking out over the landscaped grounds, the hotel’s trees and Box Hill itself, part of the Surrey Hills – an area of outstanding beauty. This pretty room has a private terrace area, hidden away from the rest of the hotel and ideal for guests of 60 or less.
If seeking a discreet, intimate venue for a wedding breakfast, then of course the Lady Emma room is ideal – named in honour of Emma, Lady Hamilton the love of Admiral Lord Nelson. The couple stayed at the Burford Bridge Hotel in 1792 for what would be their last assignation before Nelson was tragically killed in the Battle of Trafalgar.
For couples who have just starting planning their big day, why not attend the Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel wedding fair on the 28th September; or book an appointment to meet Jackie at the dedicated marketing suite and have a private tour. For more information click here.
Winter Wonderful Wedding Package*: For selected dates throughout November 2014 – February 2015, there’s even better news for bridal couples wishing to celebrate on Box Hill. The Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel is offering a special wedding breakfast offer from £2,750 for a congregation of 50 adults. This package will include the following:
- Complimentary menu tasting for the Bride and Groom
- Red carpet on arrival
- Room hire for the wedding breakfast and evening reception (minimum numbers apply)
- Three-course seasonal wedding breakfast menu with coffee and petit fours, served on crisp white table linen
- Cake stand and knife
- Complimentary fairy lights to decorate the room
- Deluxe room and breakfast for the Bride and Groom
- Preferential accommodation rates for wedding guests
The Drinks Package includes:
- Glass of Champagne for the Bride and Groom on arrival
- Glass of mulled wine for your guests on arrival
- Half a bottle of wine per person
- Glass of fizz for the toasts
* Terms and conditions apply. These prices are based on weddings booked in the Garden Room.
Jackie Moe, Event Sales Co-ordinator for Weddings at the hotel, shares some of her wedding tips and secrets.
How to choose the perfect wedding breakfast
- Firstly, involve both sets of in-laws in your menu tasting. Parents love to be included within the decision making process so be flexible but ensure that you choose dishes that you, the couple, likes as it’s your day.
- Don’t give too much choice with the menu – don’t overcomplicate the choices – less is more.
- Seafood and lamb are the most difficult choices for a menu to suit every taste bud. It’s near on impossible to serve the lamb as everyone would like it!
- The Mercure chef will ensure the wedding choices look great on the plate. Half of the pleasure of eating a meal comes from the anticipation of seeing a beautifully plated dish of food.
- Think seasonal and choose warming, hearty dishes for the winter and lighter, more delicate choices for the summer months.
- Let the wedding cake form the dessert section of the menu. Many guests just don’t have the space to enjoy the wedding cake after a three-course meal.
- Don’t worry about guests with dietary requirements – if notified in advance, any dietary requirement can be taken into consideration with custom dishes prepared. Any couple should not let restrictions cramp their gastronomic choices and they shouldn’t feel they have to compromise.
What is the favourite choice of Box Hill brides for their wedding cake?
- The number one choice of wedding cake is by far and away the Red Velvet cake. This deeply gorgeous chocolate cake is covered in cream frosting so has the look of a more traditional wedding cake.
- Many brides now tends to either go for three small cakes – a fruit (for traditionalists), a chocolate cake usually for the bride herself (!) and a Victoria sponge for Granny.
- Fruit cakes and Victoria Sponges come neck and neck in second place after the Red Velvet in terms of wedding choices.
- Individual cup cakes are still a very popular choice. Jackie advocates buying in a take away box for any guest wishing to take their cake home.
- A popular choice in the USA is to have a Candy or Sweet Bar at a wedding. The bride and groom choose their favourite childhood sweets which are then made into small, gift bags for guest enjoyment. Jackie advises that this table is normally the most visited one and by the end of the evening, is completely emptied!
- If a bride wishes to have a five storey cake, then Jackie suggests using two fake layers. This cost-saving measure is also a wise choice for those brides who want to make an impact. Once a cake is cut into, the hotel normally has to dispose of the residue so this is a greener option.
What decorations should you use for your cake?
- Real flowers are surprisingly not the most popular choice of cake decoration with traditional designs winning out in the Box Hill style stakes.
- Jackie does report however that custom-made figurines are highly popular and make the cake a more personalised statement. For example, if the groom is a taxi-driver, then he can be portrayed driving in his cab – if the bride is a doctor, then she might be portrayed with a stethoscope.
Tips to live by:
- For the bride and groom – this is the couple’s day so they should choose the menus, the set up and the accessories that they really want.
- The bridesmaid’s bouquets are usually left to one side after the big ceremony. Why not re-use these bouquets as floral decorations on the cake table? It’s cost effective and a very green choice.
- Choose your suppliers with care (we work with the best in Surrey) and take their advice as they are the experts and will bend over backwards to give you the wedding you desire.
- Don’t choose a venue that is too large for your group of guests. Even in the most beautiful of settings, the venue will swamp a small congregation.
- Receiving lines are becoming ever more popular. They were once the preserve of church weddings but the Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel has seen an increase in receiving lines just after the wedding itself but before the reception. Jackie says it is important to have the receiving line immediately after the ceremony to ensure the wedding breakfast is served to perfection.
- Jackie adds that receiving lines mean that couple get to meet ALL of their guests during their important day. She can guarantee that despite best efforts, if you do not have a formal meet and greet arranged, the couple will definitely miss seeing some of their relatives and friends.
About the hotel: The Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel is set within three acres of landscaped gardens at the foot of Box Hill within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With a history dating back some 760 years, the property has long been a haven for those inspired by nature with noted visitors including Admiral Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton, John Keats and Jane Austen amongst others. With 57 guest rooms, a two AA Rosette restaurant The Emlyn, a bar, heated outside pool, and eight meetings & banqueting rooms, the property’s pièce de resistance is undoubtedly the seventeenth century, vaulted-ceiling Tithe Barn which is extremely popular for celebrations and weddings. For bookings and reservations, please call the hotel on 01306 884561.
A full press kit is available on request. Renderings will soon be available with a full photo-shoot of the property released mid-September 2014.