Welcome to our new wedding planning blog series! This week we are featuring The Millhouse wedding co-ordinators Amanda, Aidan & Shauna. This is what happened when I caught up with them...
FEATURING WEDDING CO-ORDINATORS:
Amanda, Shauna & Aidan!
The Millhouse, Slane, Co.Meath.
'"The Millhouse is an elegant Georgian heritage manor and mill in the heart of Irelands Ancient East. Here Georgian architecture and historic textile buildings stand beside the meandering River Boyne and a mature orchard. A perfect setting for your big day”
Upon my arrival at The Millhouse, I was warmly greeted by the three coordinators. Amanda runs the Millhouse office with meticulous efficiency, ensuring all of your wedding details are maintained and updated right up to the big day. Supporting her is Shauna, who is also responsible for wedding day co-ordination. Aidan is the main wedding day co-ordinator, bringing both Amanda & Shauna’s planning details to life with equal diligence and plenty of theatre! We began our visit at The Old Mill Ceremony Room. The style of the mill remains industrial, providing a perfect blank canvas to style with high ceilings and show stopping chandeliers.
How long is The Millhouse hosting wedding receptions?
Approximately 11 years now.
How do most of your couples find you?
Mainly word of mouth actually, through friends of friends who got married here.
The location is fantastic with the banks of the Boyne on your door step, it would be cool for guests to arrive via river boat, has that ever happened?
Yes, there is one wedding in the planning where groomsmen will arrive by a canoe.
Can you get married onsite?
Yes we host ceremonies in the Mill.
Do you have many same sex couples?
2018 will be our biggest year for same sex couples.
How popular are ceremonies held in the Mill itself?
About 70% are now getting married onsite.
The Old mill is fabulous, it looks like it has been recently renovated?
It was built in 1766, making it over 250 years old, it was a working mill employing up to 800 people in its day. We had it renovated in 2006 which transformed it into a wedding venue full of character.
Weather permitting, can you host outdoor ceremonies? Where would they take place?
Yes, weather permitting you can have your ceremony in the orchard, overlooking the River Boyne.
What is the best spot in the venue for photos?
There are quite a few…Most popular would be the Museum of transport, the chimney (aka the largest chimney in Ireland) and the river bridge.
You are an exclusive venue, do you think this is important to couples & why?
Privacy, couples can experience that real family home from home feel, which is particularly important to our international couples.
Do you find weekends are still the most popular time to get married?
Yes, but Thursdays and Sundays are a close second-who doesn't mind taking a Monday off for a wedding!
Can a bride or groom get ready here the morning of?
Yes, we have recently created “The Coach House” a private salon tucked away, for bridal parties wanting to get ready onsite.
How many bedrooms are there?
15 in the Main House along with 1 converted railway carriage in our camping area.
All of the bedrooms are quirky and different from one another, which is your favourite one?
It's a tough one! There are 4 main bridal suites (Snowdrift, River Suite, Silvermoon & Soft Winter)
(They ask me to choose and they were right it is too hard with each room having it's own unique features be they gargantuan mirrors, original fireplaces or freestanding baths. I fell in love with the decadent wallpaper in River Suite so I favoured that suite.)
Have you ever slept overnight at The Millhouse?
”Yes, many a night!”...we have to sample the customer experience of course to give constructive feedback on the guests’ experience.
As they chime "yes" in unison, I get the impression, there are a few good stories to go with those nights!
The Manor House interior is so quirky, you can tell somebody has hand selected each piece of décor, do you have an interior designer that you use?
No the estate owner takes care of that, she has curated a beautiful collection of treasures throughout the years!
Where do you host the drinks arrival?
We welcome all guests in our lounge area for Prosecco or perhaps a beer (from our beer bath). From there they head to or our new Orangery with awesome views of the river!.
The pavilion is beautiful and provides a great blank canvas for styling which is so important. How many guests can you hold in here?
Max 150, however with a marquee extension we can take up to 240.
What is unique about your menu?
We offer an all year-round BBQ on our package called the Riversuite.
Oh do you have to queue for this outside?
No! The BBQ is served via silver service, you have two mains with a selection of lovely sides for your table.
I love the Pavillion bar design, so often their designs have no consideration of space put into them but this one really complements the space. From the pavilion, we head back to the cosy lounge space, where we chat about what it's really like to be a co-ordinator at The Millhouse...
What makes The Millhouse wedding different from other venues?
Friendly staff and atmosphere, we all live locally-we’re practically family!
How do you divide the responsibilities between the three of you?
Myself and Shauna run the office and Aidan coordinates on the wedding day itself
Who has the last say?
With so many weddings to plan, how do you organise yourselves?
Amanda & Shauna: our office is ran with diligent precision, we use an online booking system called BRITEBIZ which holds all the notes for each wedding - everyone from chef to our couples can access this information at anytime.
What do you think couples find the hardest thing about planning their big day?
Unison: Table plan nightmares!!!
Amanda: this is where our expertise comes in, with offering different layout options for them.
What is the one piece of advise you give the couple planning their wedding?
Aidan: Don't let your family micromanage the details.
Shauna: It’s impossible to please everyone.
Amanda: Your wedding is once in a lifetime, just trust us to do our job and enjoy your day.
Being part of someone’s big day is rewarding but can also be hectic, how do you keep yourself calm on the morning of a wedding?
Aidan: Ensuring all my notes are up to date and ready to roll for the morning of!
Shauna: A good team brief!
What is the hardest thing about your job?
Amanda: Saying goodbye to our couples!
Aidan: I usually get 5 minutes alone time with the bride & groom just before the first dance, that’s my opportunity to find out how their day is going…then I say hugs & kisses because you probably wont see me again now L we get to know each other so well during the planning process that they become like friends. So it is sad to say goodbye!
Fun fact about one of you.
Aidan: I am the ideas man! The bigger the better - this year we are hosting or first funfair onsite for a fun loving couple!
In your opinion how have weddings changed over the last couple of years?
All 3: Men are more involved & taking a more active role on the planning these days.
Amanda: Renewing the vows is becoming popular with anyone celebrating 20 years plus.
What do you think are 3 must haves for a great wedding day?
Aidan: Great food, great band, great staff. They’re always the 3 things that I always hear being talked about over breakfast, the morning after the wedding.
What is your most memorable wedding moment?
Amanda: There has been quite a few! We had the Delorean car here and a prize racehorse!
Shauna: A groom gifted the bride with a pug puppy!
Aidan: Oh remember the couple that announced their pregnancy during speeches! It was beautiful!
In your opinion what are the biggest wedding trends for 2017?
Shauna: Floral crowns & pastel colours
And lastly, sum up the Millhouse wedding in 3 words.
We’ll have to go for 4 words - A day to remember!
The Millhouse is undoubtedly an elegant and unique venue. With every corner turned, a new delightful feature awaits, from the new Coach house dressing rooms to the railway cottage in the camping area. However, after meeting with these lovely co-ordinators, it was clear that the popularity of the Millhouse owes as much to the charm of the venue as it does the charm of the wedding team. From the moment I arrived, they threw their doors open to me, welcoming me and even surprising me with a mock wedding ceremony at The Mill! This visit felt more like keeping up with old friends than co-ordinators, sharing their hilarious and heart-warming stories from their wedding world with me. I really didn’t want to leave them or their Boyne side sanctuary, in fact when they lined up the Prosecco, I was sorry I was driving.
Thanks to everyone at The Millhouse for taking part in our new blog series, KEEPING UP WITH THE CO-ORDINATORS.
Are you considering a restaurant style venue for your wedding? Featuring next is wedding co-ordinator Noeleen Doyle of Wrights Angler's Rest, D20!
For information on how you or your venue can be featured please email email@example.com.