Firebird Events at Cowdray House
We spent some time with Rachael, one of the Event Managers at Firebird Events to ask her opinion about wedding ‘must haves’ at Cowdray House. Rachael works with many of our brides and grooms in the lead up to their big day, to ensure they have everything they need from a decoration and entertainment point of view.
- What do you enjoy most about working on a wedding and other events at Cowdray House?
What we love about Cowdray House, is that the house and grounds are so versatile. The venue lends itself to a whole host of event types from beautiful, intimate weddings, to huge family fun days! For the weddings in particular, the exclusivity of the venue and surrounding space makes the venue even more appealing! We also LOVE working with the Cowdray House events and operations team, they’re such a cheerful, helpful team which makes our job so much easier!
- Colour, who doesn’t love colour?! Are there any particular colours and lights that work well?
As the event spaces are already so stunning, subtle neutral lighting can really enhance the space, particularly in the Buck Hall. However, our personal favourite in the Dining Room has to be magenta – it really adds a pop of colour!
- Lighting, we know that Festoon lighting is quite popular, why do you think this is?
Festoon lighting really does add that special something and is hugely popular for weddings at the moment as people are opting for a more ‘rustic’ wedding feel. Unlike fairy lights, festoon lights add a slightly more modern feel and work really well in spaces like Buck Hall which has a beautiful high ceiling.
- Let’s talk dance floors, in your experience what works best for a wedding at Cowdray House?
We have a range of dance floors that work well at Cowdray House, black or white LED, plain black or white, black and white chequered or wooden! The dance floor choice really depends on the look and feel of the wedding and what the couple are hoping to achieve. We have some couples concerned that the LED option doesn’t suit the look of Cowdray House, but we think the added bit of sparkle looks beautiful in the Dining Room!
- Music and entertainment, what gets wedding guests really excited?
Bands and musicians are a great addition to a wedding day. String quartets and harpists will always be popular for weddings because they create such a lovely ambience and give that sense of tradition. We also have a huge selection of evening function bands ranging in genre and budget, live music will certainly get guests in the mood for dancing! If budgets can’t quite stretch to a function band then a discotheque is also an excellent option. A personal favourite of mine at the moment, is to have a live saxophonist alongside a DJ – something for the more modern wedding! It’s important to book a DJ who not only listens to the music you love but also takes note of the music you don’t want to hear! A poor DJ really can ruin the vibe and the evening! Needless to say, all of our DJ’s have a minimal talking policy and focus on the music!
- Serious stuff, how do you encourage people to prioritise what is best for their weddings?
It’s important for couples to prioritise the ‘must haves’ for their day, such as a dance floor which is a must at Cowdray House to protect the floors. A PA system for the wedding breakfast speeches and a DJ for the evening are the other additions we would recommend as a minimum. Additional lighting, décor and entertainment is of course lovely to have, however we do understand that there are often budget restrictions! We are more than happy to chat through the options so couples can decide what’s most important to them.
- Weddings with a twist, are there any unusual wedding decorations you think work well?
Balloons are making a BIG comeback at weddings and events! Lots of people still have visions of the old style clusters of 3 and single balloon arches, however a wave of new giant bubble style balloon arrangements and backdrops have started to appear in the last few years are we’re loving them! A white and rose gold archway or photo opportunity draped in faux ivy looks very elegant.
- What’s the most unusual request you’ve had for a party or wedding?
We have a few stories to tell, but we’ll keep it short… We’ve had owls flying into the ceremony to deliver the rings to the best man, one couple had a butterfly release at the ceremony, one event organiser asked us to recreate the floating candle scene from Harry Potter and at one wedding we provided a Gordon Ramsey look alike as the bride wanted the guests to think he had prepared their meal!
- Getting creative, if you could transform Cowdray House for the ultimate wedding, what would you do?
That’s a hard one, there is so much potential in all of the spaces at Cowdray House! I personally would keep colours very natural to whites, ivory and maybe a touch of rose gold. Large cherry blossom arrangements, spread across long rustic looking banqueting tables would be my choice for the wedding breakfast in Buck Hall with the addition of uplighters in a soft pink colour and festoon lighting in the ceiling from the balconies. I would always recommend having a PA system for the speeches, accompanied by one of our lovely sound engineers to ensure the volume and sound levels are perfect. A string quartet can double up for the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, so I would probably choose to have some live music for the day. In the Dining Room, I would choose our largest white LED dance floor, a crisp white stage, a few moving heads (intelligent lights which can move around the room whilst changing colours), a coloured stage wash and Fully Funktional one of our amazing function bands! Alongside the band I would have a DJ to play in between the bands sets to ensure everyone’s music tastes are catered for!
To find out more about the services Firebird Events can offer for your wedding or celebration, get in touch with them at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a bespoke proposal.
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