I Do…I Do….
After decades of decline, weddings in the UK are back on the rise according to The Office of National Statistics. The overall wedding market is worth £10 billion according to hitched.co.uk, with the average couple predicted to spend £2,210 on food and drink this year.
Whether you’re a small or large venue, a restaurant or a pub, you can take a slice of the lucrative wedding market.
Year of the ‘Romantic Luxe’
A-list celebrity weddings are a big inspiration this year, and ‘Romantic Luxe’ is set to be a key trend. Luxury is paramount with opulent flowers, champagne fountains and elegant dining. The Wedding Community has said that jam jars, soft pastels, birdcages and bunting are out, in favour of The Great Gatsby and Downton Abbeyinspired art deco decadence.
Colour and flower trends
Pantone’s top colour picks for 2015 weddings are ‘En Plein Air’, which in English means ‘in the open air.’ Soft and muted hues are set to be big with Aquamarine dominating together with Lucite green and toasted almond. Pantone also predicts that Glacier Grey will be massive – a colour they say works for the bride and groom and is unobtrusive, contrasting with and enhancing the other key wedding colours for 2015. In keeping with the ‘Romantic Luxe’ theme, flowers are set to take centre stage and be very grand. An abundance of hydrangeas, hyacinths and orchids in creamy pastels are expected to be popular.
Couples are looking for elegant dining. Every dish should be beautifully presented and ready to eat, and service discreet, attentive and efficient (just like Carson in Downton Abbey!). The Wedding Community predicts classics like quail egg royale canapes will return, replacing trendy fusion or quirky options. The wedding breakfast will feature classic English dishes – with starters such as Gravadlax, mains of duck breasts with blackcurrants and gooseberry fool for dessert. The Wedding Community predicts classic English ingredients will dominate each season with rhubarb, asparagus and jersey royals in spring and rabbit, venison and pheasant in winter.
Engagements abroad have risen sharply according to the Office for National Statistic and some couples are inspired by a foreign influence to shape their wedding theme. Italian weddings, for instance, feature up to 15 courses, so if you have the resources, why not offer it as an option? Or, instead of the traditional wedding cake why not go French and offer a pièce montée?
Small reaps big profits
Pubs are a cost effective option for many couples. The Great Country Pubs association supports them as a great venue because it allows for atmospheric surroundings in the beautiful English countryside, with great food and a friendly atmosphere, at the fraction of the cost of an extravagant country hotel. If you’re a pub contemplating hosting weddings, you could also apply for a license to hold civil ceremonies. In many ways weddings are not only profitable but easier to organise than you might think, as Tom Martin of the White Swan in London explains. “It’s actually easier to host a wedding than a normal night at the pub. You know exactly how many people are coming, what they’ll be eating and what wine they’ll be drinking. I’d definitely recommend it to other landlords. You’re guaranteed a specific income on that day, and it’s likely to be above what you’d usually make. People are happy at weddings so they tend to spend more on drinks.”
Covering all bases
According to confetti.com, 19% of weddings are held in hotels. Mitton Hall is a country hotel in Lancashire that caters for all types of weddings – from small and intimate receptions to grand affairs! For large weddings, the hotel can accommodate 200 guests for the wedding reception and 400 guests for the evening reception. They’ve recently added a stunning conservatory for ceremonies and provide accommodation with 18 bedrooms. To cater for smaller weddings, they have a number of dedicated, private rooms, allowing for most intimate gatherings.