Well, another amazing year passes by in a flash – we have so many great memories to remember. A year that can be seen as ‘beyond covid’, with no postponements to deliver, felt very special. We have learnt so much over the last 3 years – both about our small business, but also the wider wedding industry. We’re super proud to come out as a stable business, but also of how each of our team have committed to improving literally everything possible, to ensure we stand out.
On team, our amazing full-time team, now 6, have been outstanding – both in the office and the field.
Being a relatively small team, means we all have to turn our hand to a variety of tasks – which keeps life interesting, but also can add to the daily challenges.
In January we welcomed Carla to the team. Working closely with Eleanor, Carla manages our bookings with all suppliers, and our clients in the run up to their events – this has transformed OM, increased our efficiency, removed all grey areas, and improved the experience, both for OM and our clients. Eleanor has consistently been in the driving seat, managing both new and existing business, keeping the ops team up to date and just generally 5 Star.
Operationally, 2023 saw us deliver considerably less events vs 2022 – and this was a conscious decision – giving us more time on each event, a smaller seasonal workforce, and less vehicles required. We will do less again in 2024, determined to get the balance right, and ensure we continue to exceed the expectations on every job.
Alistair & Dave led the small army of seasonal workers throughout the season, ensuring everyone kept moving, in the same direction – with a smile on their faces.
Original Marquees provided an incredible marquee and stretch tent for our wedding. They came highly recommended and we were thrilled with the service all the way through – from initial consultation and site visit, through to set up and clear down. Harry and the team were also able to provide lots of useful advice and ideas on layout/ set up.
80 percent of our work is ‘Weddings’ – which we love. We still (500+ events later) feel honoured to work with our clients on their special event.
The feeling never changes, offering us so much satisfaction – long may it last! This helped by working so closely with our brides, grooms and planners to be different (original), not being afraid to ask and not stopping until everything is absolutely perfect.
Aside from weddings, we delivered several private parties – 18th, 40th and 60th Birthdays – wedding anniversaries – all very special occasions with the same attention to the details and desire to impress.
We also delivered a variety of corporate events. This saw our first visit to Ditchley Park for the annual lecture for 500 guests – we were at Henley Regatta at the Leander Club, the most historic, prestigious and successful rowing club in the world! Our final event for our Southern team was Cornbury House Horse Trials – a modern take on eventing, where they hosted 900+ entries for showjumping and cross-country formats. We supplied marquees for the public bar, the owners, The Pelican hospitality, and primarily shade – in what was an incredibly hot week!
It is always an absolute pleasure working with The Original Marquee team, who consistently ensure that the planning process and the build itself is precise, efficient & enjoyable. They always go above and beyond for our couples, offering customer service that is the perfect combination of professional and fun.
On which, the weather!! A massive part of our job, and sadly one that we cannot control. 2023 was certainly an interesting one! Early April was torrential, but was followed by 14 weeks of sunshine, with very little rain. Then, as soon as the kids broke up for the summer, the rain made an appearance almost every week, until the end of August. Whilst it did make planning (outdoor ceremonies & drinks receptions) a little complicated – we managed to keep everyone covered throughout. The feedback we received, was that wet weddings make for the best parties!
Throughout the season, we have had the pleasure of working with some of, if not the best suppliers on the circuit – which keeps us progressing, and ensuring we never get complacent! This includes wedding planners: Tebbey & Co, Attabara, ByChenai, Planned for Perfection, Pocket Full of Dreams & Kerry Poulter
Also regularly working with a range of caterers , we understand ‘needs’, enhancing the experience for both the suppliers, and clients. These include Karen Rhodes Catering, Doggart & Squash, Ross & Ross, Foray, Quince and Clover, Yorkshire Party Company and Sojo Kitchen. All of whom can be seen on our suppliers pages for the north and the south.
Around 40% of our work takes place at ‘wedding venues’ – for which we are also very lucky. Be it in the north, or the south, we (along with many others) think these are some of the very best venues in not only the UK, but also the world!
Going into the new year – we have lots to look forward to. Many great events to plan and deliver up and down the country, linking up with great suppliers, at amazing places for our amazing clients. We can’t wait to get started!
We have recently moved into a new premises in Oxfordshire, which has a very swanky office, in which we’re hoping to host guests for coffee and cakes in the new year – so, if you’d like to come and say hi, let us know we’d love to see you!
Whilst we’re not adding or making big changes to our stock for 2024, we will be offering the new Wills Portico – an amazing focal point for your entrance, or to bridge the gap between marquees. Wills are also in the final stages of developing an amazing new structure – 18m wide, and up to 50m long – this really will be the best structure available for large events.
Finally, this being the first, we will be publishing a series of journals, real events, and suppliers interviews throughout the year, so keep an eye on your inbox throughout the year.
We wish everyone the very best wishes for the year ahead