I must say, its been one of my highlights this year getting to know, work and spend time with the Corinthia Hotel team.
I love the hotel for its classy and contemporary interior and feel. For its modern take on tradition. For its eclectic mix of guests. For the way you are welcomed. For its sublime spa. It’s chic central London location. For its lounges and my personal favourite, the very trendy bassoon bar, where you can spend the night away sipping cocktails and enjoying the dulcet tones of some delicious live jazz singers and musicians.
The Corinthia are a pure joy to deal with, spend time with and be hosted by and I can see why couples choose to marry there, visit the hotel time and time again.
For Corinthia London’s final Ambassador post for 2016 and after recently being awarded ‘Best Luxury Wedding Destination‘, it gives me pleasure to interview Hannah (Senior Wedding and Social Events Planner) to talk us through why stylish couples from across the UK and internationally continuously choose to marry at Corinthia, her favourite couples and her thoughts on the wedding industry.
You’ve planned some pretty great weddings this year. What’s been your favourite wedding and why?
I definitely couldn’t pick just one favourite wedding. (Nu Bride: You totally chickened out Hannah!) but the common theme of my most loved weddings this year is most definitely the guests.
I am very much a people person in the sense that I believe that good company makes the best experience in any area of life, and a wedding is no different. The weddings that have had a warm, enthusiastic and fun crowd have, without a doubt, been the best.
In addition to the people, I love the aesthetics and details of weddings, these are very important to me. Whether it be the fabulous flower displays, the intricate cake creations or the thoughtful favours, the continued novelty of ideas and sources of inspiration are a big part of it, but ultimately it’s the people behind the wedding that make it special.
What makes a Corinthia wedding?
A Corinthia wedding is just everything.
It is that five-star service from the moment that you come to view the spaces for the first time, to the months of planning, to the on-the-day support, and to the lasting relationship after your wedding.
We have such a vast network of wonderful contacts and suppliers so that we are always certain to deliver exactly what every bride and groom require, and can easily recommend someone for any job needed.
During the months leading up to the wedding, we really offer a much more supportive service than many venues as we try our best to give our couples the assistance and expertise that help put them at ease with the wedding planning.
On the day, we have a very experienced team on hand to ensure that no details, however small, are overlooked. The day runs like clockwork, just as the couple has planned, therefore the stress is alleviated and our brides and grooms can have a wonderful time with their guests.
I’ve seen with my own eyes how you and the wedding team work so hard during busy wedding seasons. How do you ensure you (and your team) keep that same level, quality, attention to detail and energy to each wedding couple?
You are definitely right in saying that it has been a very busy wedding season which brings its challenges to be faced. It can be tough when you are tired or have had multiple events back-to-back, however the nature of the standard of our hotel is that we cannot fail in providing exceptional service. For me, my brain goes straight to the couple that we are working for and how this one day in their lives is absolutely everything. This drives me and gives me the energy boost that I need to make sure I am on top of my game and can provide the best service that I can.
For our teams, they really understand the care and attention needed to be able to provide such excellent overall service to our couples and their wedding guests. We are fortunate to have wonderfully competent team leaders who are able to energise and motivate the staff in order to get the best out of them and in turn ensure that the high level of standards is being reached at all times.
It’s tough sometimes, but we love what we do and we do our best to give our couples the most stress-free and memorable day possible.
London is bursting with dazzling and pretty special five star hotels, how do you stand out from a very busy crowd?
You are most definitely right: we are in an incredible city with some of the most amazing hotels in the world and we are so proud to stand tall within such a prestigious crowd. It is indeed a challenge to stand out from the crowd, however we rely on our drive for perfection in delivering the most unique and memorable experience for our guests. At Corinthia, we have a ‘Craftsmanship of Care’ that we apply to all areas of our hotel: from the doormen who welcome our guests, to the servers in the restaurant, to our wedding and events team, we really pride ourselves on the care with which we provide our guests.
What do you do to reenergise and reboot?
It is very hard to switch off from weddings completely, however I try to work-out when I can. Recently I have been attempting to regularly fit in spinning classes, pilates and ballet – (Nu Bride: Yey for ballet!) they can be strenuous and tough activities but manage to completely clear my mind and allow me to focus on very little.
Family and friends also always provide me with a new lease of life and fill me with energy. They often get so neglected due to weddings therefore I do my best to travel to see them when I am free.
Mondays in general are just my day to unwind and relax after a busy weekend of weddings and before more planning during the week. My partner and I always take this day off work and explore somewhere new, cook together or just do something fun like ten pin bowling or going to the cinema. He is very good at making me switch off, leave my phone alone and just enjoy being young and fun!
If you could improve the wedding industry in one way, what would that be?
A reduction in dog-eat-dog animal instinct and more support and care.
In my eyes, there is room for everyone in this ever-expanding industry and we should be using the successes of others to drive our own achievements and not to feel threatened and respond negatively. It would be nice to see more positive relationships and collaboration between industry professional and far less of the negativity towards others in the same field.
You’ve said before the Corinthia London is more than just a wedding venue – tell us why?
Corinthia is definitely more than just a wedding venue and I could talk endlessly about the services that we can provide our couples.
We are fortunate to have state-of-the-art facilities in all areas of the hotel which benefit our couples enormously. Prior to the wedding, we offer nutrition and personal training programmes so that our brides and grooms go into their wedding looking and feeling their best. The teams at our ESPA Life spa play such an important part into the lead up of a wedding: their hard work with the couples on Wellness really are integral to how they feel by the time they reach their special day.
One thing that I am always delighted to see is how much our couples visit us both before and after their wedding. They come for stays at the hotel to relax and, in turn, get to know our staff who always make them feel so calm and welcome.
Its great to see the emotional connection that develops with both the hotel and with individual team members. I find it really special when a couple feel at ease with me and my team as it shows that they have arrived at a place where they trust us to carry out all tasks for the most important day of their lives. Sometimes brides and grooms arrive and the hotel and their nerves are palpable, so being able to see them visibly calmer and relaxed by the end of a meeting, is just lovely.
Also, when a couple get married here we don’t just assist solely for their wedding day – anything that they may need before and after the wedding we make sure that we are on hand to help with. Sometimes this may be organising an afternoon tea for a Christmas present, or even preparing flowers and a Harrods hamper for that last minute gift that they need. They become part of the Corinthia family and no details are too small. We also spoil our couples with a beautiful and personalised gift on their wedding night, but that is a secret unless you get married here! (Nu Bride: You just let the cat out of the bag Hannah. LOL!)
Thank you so much Hannah, its been an absolute pleasure having you.
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