River Cottage as a venue, but more importantly the team who plan and execute the weddings exceeded my expectations and their service in every possible way for our wedding in July 2015.
My husband and I have both, and in fact Paul still does, work in hospitality and events, and we both felt that the running of the day, as well as the food, was absolutely impeccable and some of the best we have ever encountered. The front of house staff were brilliant – there any time we needed them and looked after everyone really well, but unobtrusive and left us and our guests to it when necessary also.
From serving the welcome drinks before the ceremony, to the last pour of the night, the team were friendly and relaxed, but so efficient at the same time – that’s a fine balance and they were spot on.
Michelle and Tara, the front of house management team, were excellent, they did a brilliant job setting up and making sure everything ran super smoothly right up until the end of the night and again, they were there if we needed them but we hardly knew they were there otherwise, they were just making sure things kept running along perfectly. So many people remarked that you didn’t notice any staff until you needed something then they were suddenly there or had already done it. Which is perfect.
As for the food, well, as an ex-chef myself and my husband working with the restaurant industry, this was so important to us and really pivotal to us enjoying the day – and the team just knocked it out of the park. We had so many people coming up to us saying it was the best wedding food they’d ever had, and the introduction to the meal was fab, everyone really enjoyed hearing about the provenance of the food and what they were about to eat. From building the menu with the chef in January, to executing an impeccable meal on the day in July, we loved every part of it.
And last, but by no means least, our wedding planner Lydia was beyond fabulous. From my random questions in the lead up (which she always answered super quickly and with plenty of patience!) to fighting fires such as my florist forgetting to provide flowers to decorate the cake, and sorting out sweet peas to be used instead, she was absolutely brilliant. On the Friday night before the wedding my husband Paul was hugely delayed in getting to River Cottage to drop off a load of stuff, and Lydia stayed late until he got there, and unloaded it all to her car in the car park (in the pouring rain no less) so that Paul could be on his way to the pub asap, and she then took it all down to the farm herself to unload. She also arranged a table for us to sign the register outside during the ceremony at the very last minute, when the registrar only told us we could do this just half an hour before the ceremony - these are just a couple of examples of how amazing she was. I also really can’t speak highly enough of how easy Lydia was to communicate with – easygoing and relaxed but super efficient and made sure everything ran like clockwork.