Welcome to this week’s Supplier Story! ‘Supplier Stories’ is an original Bridebook Business article series, where we go behind-the-scenes and into the wedding world through those that know it best – the experienced and talented venues and suppliers across the UK.
So whether this is your first story or 10th, enjoy as we look into the industry as a whole, and celebrate a true story in itself! Who says couples have all the fun?
This week we’re talking to the wonderful Clare Potten from East Quay Venue. After transforming the original home of the Oyster Fishery into a unique venue, East Quay maintains its coastal heritage by providing scenic beachside weddings backed by a stunning sunset. The staff at East Quay go above and beyond to help couples create a history of their own on their special day.
So without further ado, Clare it’s over to you!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your team?
Our team consists of three Event Managers, Clare, Kirsty and Shelly, all who have worked for the company for a minimum of 8 years. All of us have worked in different aspects of the company, including the Hotel Continental, Lobster Shack Restaurant and our very own Oyster Production. We have a strong team of dedicated event-only staff, including bar, waiting and chefs. All who know the history of the building, our lovely surrounding areas and backstory of our Oyster Production, offering guests an insight into our culture-rich venue.
2. Share the story of East Quay Venue so far?
The East Quay Venue was originally the grading warehouse for the Seasalter and Ham Oyster Fishery Company. The building was designed to face the shingle shoreline so the fisherman could keep a watchful eye over their precious oyster beds.
Fast forwarding some 200 years, the venue retains the majority of its structural features and boasts its cultural heritage on walls and ceilings.
3. What drew you to the wedding world?
I was drawn to the venue itself for its relaxed feel and atmosphere. The general wedding community are warm, friendly and supportive. It is very satisfying seeing couples so happy on the big day after all of the planning.
4. What’s your favourite aspect/room/part of East Quay Venue?
The view! Whitstable sunsets are rich in colour and make a perfect photo opportunity for couples sat in one of our colourful deckchairs.
5. What do you see as the biggest challenge in the wedding industry currently?
Traditions – the wedding industry has modernised over the years, with more couples wanting a relaxed feel to the day. A wedding reflects you as a couple and the love you share together and sometimes input from those around you enforcing traditions can make the planning process challenging.
6. What wedding venue trends are you seeing in the industry?
Wedding trends change so often, and the venue sets the scene for the rest of the planning and décor. Most couples are looking for venue’s with quirks, charm and atmosphere, meaning the rest of the décor planning flows easily and efficiently.
7. What is the biggest challenge you face on the wedding day itself?
Guests being late – attempting to organise a bride or groom and their main wedding party, whilst keeping them hidden from the late arrivals can be challenging.
8. How do you feel technology is changing the industry?
Technology is changing the way couples plan their wedding. The positive side of technology during the planning process include: apps, quick email, shared documents for on the go joint decision making, reviews and easy access information.
On the day technology has both positive and negative role in the wedding. Whilst having a wedding ‘hashtag’ is a great way to see all your wedding photos in one place, it also may be encouragement for an over-excited guest sharing photos before the ceremony is over.
9. What has been your biggest time saver this year?
The ability to schedule posts to social media platforms in advance.
10. How do reviews affect the industry?
Reviews play an important role to both couples planning their big day and suppliers growing their business. Positive reviews help the couple to relax knowing they have put their faith in the right supplier. For suppliers, a review with constructive criticism can help them to develop their business and build their portfolio.
11. How do you get to know your couples before the big day?
Couples are assigned a designated Event Manager as soon as they book, meaning they have one person to liaise with throughout the whole process. The Event Manager is on hand to assist with anything the couple may need, and is available for one-to-one meetings as often as needed.
12. What do you think makes Easy Quay Venue unique?
Not only is our building one of a kind, our staff are too. Our Event Managers are friendly, relatable and easy to get on with. Building a personal relationship with couples makes the planning process more efficient and helps everyone feel at ease on the day itself.
13. What do you think makes for the perfect wedding?
When each partner has an equal say in making the wedding personal to them. Little touches which reflect the couple’s personality always help the guests enjoy the day, making them smile and reminding them that they are at a loved one’s wedding.
14. What’s your favourite wedding memory?.
One of my first couples had a Bavarian themed wedding, with an Oompah Band and each guest had a personalised stein glass as their wedding favour. The couple were so sweet and gave me a personalised glass too.
15. What do you love about Bridebook?
It’s easy to access and to use. The website is self-explanatory, with loads of helpful hints and tips. The on-hand team are friendly, professional and approachable.
A huge thank you to Clare for sharing her Supplier Story. See the beautiful East Quay Venue in their Bridebook profile.
Want to feature in your own Supplier Story? Get in touch with Beth at [email protected].