What does a wedding planner do and why is it that you do it?
A wedding planner organises one of life’s most special days. Their job is to co-ordinate all the wishes of a couple and deliver this on the day. They must liase with all hotel departments to ensure a smooth operation on the day – everything from drinks reception & wines with the bar, food with the chef, room requirements with reception. At Cahernane, we love to see the house transformed for exclusive weddings. We want couples to feel like they are having their wedding in their own home – but on a grander scale!
Walk through a typical wedding day (if there is such a thing!)?
There is no such thing as a typical wedding day as all couples are so different and have different priorities for their day. It’s important we know what these are before the wedding too, so we can really personalise the day for them. But there are some common themes. We make sure all the public areas are set for the arrival drinks or ceremony. Then dinner tables should be as per the table plan. If one of the wedding party are staying with us the night before the wedding, we check if they had a good breakfast and or lunch to set them up for the day. They often forget to eat ! Really, the important part is that we are one step ahead of where the wedding is at checking on everything. Timing is crucial as you want everything to run according to plan – if we have agreed with a couple to sit for dinner at 6pm, this should be the time. Otherwise, the rest of the evening can be out of sync.
Walk through the series of events at a typical wedding at Cahernane?
Usually, the ceremony takes place in the Drawing Room or Gardens at 2.30/3pm. This is followed by a drinks reception in the lobby and Library or Gardens with photography. Dinner is generally served at 5.30pm/6pm with dancing starting at 9/9.30pm. The Cellar Bar is a super cozy location for the late late sing song !
What is the best part of your day?
I love the ceremonies and speeches and often shed a tear – you get to know couples so well, that it feels like you are part of the wedding day !
How many weddings have you planned?
Hundreds, maybe a thousand ! At Cahernane we take up to 80 guests but in my previous job, I looked after weddings for 10 years.
Do you work with a team? Will they be on-site at the wedding?
Everyone at Cahernane has some part to play when a wedding is here, particularly with our exclusive use weddings as the staff become an integral part of the smooth running of the day.
What is unique at Cahernane?
The fact that you are taking over a 19th century manor house for your own wedding day is so special ! The history of the house is amazing and we love couples to be a part of this. With the indepth level of refurbishment over the past 4 years, the house is looking amazing and so in keeping with its Victorian beginnings but with modern touches.
How many times do you typically meet with clients during the planning process?
There is normally a combination of phone calls, emails, video calls and personal meetings at the hotel to plan the wedding.
What is your secret for staying calm under pressure?
Have everything on paper that’s going to happen on the wedding day on the function sheet. Also, I always do a run through the wedding in my head a few days before the big day to make sure I have missed nothing. Everything is possible you just have to find a way!
Do you have a story of a crisis you averted or when your quick-thinking saved the day?
There are many stories from over the years. A few memorable ones are:
– I have sewn the dress of a bride’s mother after it tore
– A wedding couple sent in a table plan once but forgot to include a whole table of people ! (luckily it was spotted early in the afternoon and we had time to set up).
– Wedding cakes collapsing if they are too soft. One time, a cake arrived on a very hot day. When the groom opened the boot, the cake was all broken up . I ran to the shop for some icing and our lovely pastry chef repaired the cake before it went on display.
My advice to couples is if something happens unexpectedly on the day, do not panic. Talk to your wedding co-ordinator and they will sort it out. We have seen it all!
What in your view is the most important factor when choosing a venue?
Meet the team at the hotel and if you have a good relationship with them, they will take care of everything for you. Also, you must love the venue and don’t want to change too much about it!
Do you cater for small/intimate weddings?
Yes, of course. We can take up to 24 guests for smaller intimate celebrations.
Have you found the perfect venue for your big day? Browse our carefully tailored menus or visit our weddings section to learn more about the types of ceremonies and dining options available to you. We would be delighted to hear all about your wedding ideas and preferences. Get in touch with our team today. It’s never to late or early to start planning!