We met wedding planner Ayshea Donaldson, founder of My London Wedding Planner to chat about planning your special day at Swan at the Globe.
Ayshea set up and has been running her business My London Wedding Planner with over 12 years’ experience in hospitality and events and has worked for prestigious companies such as Harvey Nichols, Gaucho & Rocco Forte Hotels.
We caught up with Ayshea in our Bar to talk all things weddings, and she gave us some great tips on planning the perfect London wedding at Swan at the Globe.
Ayshea, what are your top tips for planning a London wedding?
Embrace the theme. If you have chosen to hold your wedding in London bring the city into your special day and make it really ‘Londony’.
If you have guests coming from abroad consider organising a day out prior to the wedding to see all the sights. Make sure there are lots of opportunities to take pictures and don’t forget the Globe! Transport your guests around the city on a traditional red London bus. Depending on your budget, you could hire a private one or give everyone a pre-loaded Oyster card and a map.
You can continue the theme on the day itself in your choice of décor. Serve traditional British dishes on your menu like beef wellington or sticky toffee pudding, or name your tables after key locations or your favourite tube stations.
What makes Swan at the Globe such a special place to hold your wedding?
There are many reasons to recommend holding your wedding at the Swan, not least the fantastic and quintessentially London location, imbued with local history. It’s one of my favourite venues & places in London!
For literature fans like me there is lots of potential to incorporate aspects of Shakespeare into your wedding. Why not get your guests tickets to see a play the day before the wedding, or ask one of your nearest & dearest to read a sonnet during your ceremony? You could even name the tables after your favourite Shakespeare plays!
For those looking for a little more entertainment on the day you could hire the Fitzrovia acting troupe who regularly perform Shakespearean skits at the Swan – from the ordinary to the hilarious. Or, arrange for a group guided tour of the theatre in between your wedding ceremony and reception.
Beautiful by day and night, there are few venues like Swan that offer unbeatable views and such a central location. Often overlooked, the transport links are really good and of course the venue’s proximity to the river invites dramatic entrances by boat!
The venue itself offers a variety of spaces from the light and airy Balcony Room to the theatrical Underglobe. Many venues charge extra for the use of linen, chairs and table centres but at the Swan, these are all included in the price. The wedding packages are simple and include all you could ever need, which I’ve found helps ensure the planning stages are much simpler and stress free, leaving more time for the fun stuff!
What are your general top wedding tips?
Whatever your budget always make sure to prioritise the food, photography and entertainment. These are the things you and your guests will remember, and treasure the most.
Stamp your personality on everything. Whether it’s using Shakespeare quotes or having actors read sonnets throughout the dinner include things that will make yours guests turn to each and say ‘that’s so them!’
Start your day early. Time flies when you are having fun so make sure you pace things. This is especially important if guests are coming from afar. I often suggest organising several activities over a couple of days to give guests a real London wedding ‘experience’.
Let’s talk about the important stuff- food! Do you have any words of advice on what to serve?
A lot of people worry about what food to serve. With a potential for guests to have a multitude of food preferences and intolerances it can be stressful choosing what to serve. My advice is to decide what you would like to eat. This can then be adapted as appropriate for other people.
Tell your wedding planners what your favourite food is and don’t be afraid to add your own personal touches; when you work with the chef you get great results!
Also, always get the person who made the cake to deliver it to the venue. If there are any mishaps along the way they will be able to fix or replace things.
What are the best and worst aspects of running your own wedding planning business?
I am very lucky to have the best job ever – I love working with a couple to create their perfect day and to help them realise their dreams. It’s truly rewarding when I am there on the day and seeing their faces and happiness shine through- it’s very long hours but totally worth it!
From intercepting ‘discussions’ with future family in law and sweet talking builders to stop work for a day whilst a wedding party takes place Ayshea is like a dream Maid of Honour with the negotiating skills of a top lawyer.
Find out more about My London Wedding Planner at http://www.mylondonweddingplanner.com
And plan your wedding event at the Swan – http://www.swanlondon.co.uk/weddings/