Describe the best wedding that happened at your venue?
I am proud of every wedding at Friern Manor. We always aim to uphold our ethos of quality and service regardless of budget; the team go above and beyond to ensure it is the day of your dreams. The success of any wedding is as important to us as it would be to the bridal party, where you are made to feel at ease like guests, rather than hosts and we never forget your invited guests. Ultimately, good quality does not have to be expensive, but executed with a passion.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Wedding planning can seem daunting at the beginning with so many choices to make. Just make one decision at a time and it will all fall into place and be perfect. If you are unsure or need any assistance, we are always available and would be delighted to help.
What’s your favourite personal touch you’ve seen at a wedding?
There are many, but personally I like discreet personalised touches.
One example was a couple that ordered the luxury Friern Manor ice cream cart but provided their own personalised paper napkins and ice cream tubs for their guests. I thought that this was a nice subtle touch.
Describe your venue in 5 adjectives.
Luxury, Professional, Personal, Beautiful & Memorable.
Where’s the best photo spot at your venue?
As one would expect from an exquisite historic building within a four-acre established estate, photo opportunities are endless, but for me it is the stylish fusion of the historical manor house along with its ruins like the Potting Shed through to the inspiring folly’s with their modern influence that make the perfect backdrop for wedding photographs.
However, my personal favourite time of day for photographs is as dusk falls as I feel it creates some of the best opportunities for professional photographers and those Instagram moments for us amateurs alike.
The lush open-air oasis of the lake and its fountains, water features and significant gardens are all lit dramatically by lighting themes that are exceptional. The design emphasises the reflecting lake, substantial trees and the surrounding grounds, thus allowing guests to drink and relax in an informal atmosphere and to capture unique photo opportunities that are as exceptional as Friern Manor itself.
Have you had any celebrity guest or wedding at your venue?
Yes many, primarily due to the venue’s private and safe environment.
What’s your favourite canapé?
Although our Chefs create delicious canapés, my favourite is the Light Bites selection in the evening. A couple of my favourites are the miniature Fish and Chips that include cod in beer batter and French cut chips served in a miniature cone and wrapped in Financial Times newspaper and a miniature beef burger with accompaniments served on a petite brioche bun in a stylish copper sauté pan.
What’s your favourite midnight treat?
It must be the Bacon Butties that are tastefully presented to the guests and a welcome surprise for those still partying. They are made of the finest smoked back and streaky bacon, grilled and served in a rustic roll with individual tomato ketchup or houses of parliament sauce.
What is your venue's most unique feature?
There are far too many to list but a brief Google search demonstrates the passion and style of this exceptional venue. When I was approached to take the position of senior wedding co-ordinator I was apprehensive as I considered I had achieved my goal at an alternative venue. However, when I visited I soon realised that Friern Manor was understated, it did not bellow its presence, from the historic building with its chic modern interpretations that are tastefully accomplished without being influenced by trends to the impeccable grounds, it truly is select.
But for me, I think the most outstanding impression from behind the scenes was the passion for service and attention to detail, the internal training of staff with the emphases on attentive but not imposing service, quality uniforms and a devotion to the quality of food was a refreshing change in our industry, as our motto says, “Distinctly Different” and Friern Manor unquestionably delivers on that.
What part of your business are you most proud of?
I think that there are two that come to mind.
Firstly, the ground-breaking change by the act of parliament of the marriages Act 1949, Friern Manor was the first historic building to be sanctioned according to the new law to permit the solmisation of marriage on the estate. Friern Manor hosted the first ever marriage in England & Wales in May 1995. Friern Manor had previously played a historic role and was proud for it to have played this significant role in the unprecedented change of law.
More current must be the reduction in our carbon footprint. By engaging with our staff, we passionately believe that they will become ‘catalysts for change’ in this incredibly emotive subject of global warming. With their help and interaction, it is enabling us to develop a conscientious and proactive approach to the environmental and sustainability issues we face, not only as a business, but as a community too. The team at Friern Manor have always taken a consistent and long-term approach, knowing that ultimately, we are custodians who must safeguard the heritage of the estate for future generations so it can be as an important part of the county’s future as it has been of the past.