September 07, 2011
At Sternberg Clarke we are lucky enough to work at some of the most prestigious venues in and around London. We get to see some of the most beautiful venues in the UK, but more importantly - we see the hard work and detail that goes into making a venue special for anyone who gets married there.
Choosing a venue is almost always on the top of a couple’s ‘to do’ list. This is the place that you will remember forever, it is the place where you will kiss your new husband/wife for the first time, it is the place where you will take your children and your grand-children back to, all to show them where you had the happiest day of your life.
So a wedding venue needs to be characterful with its own qualities that make it desirable for a couple, but it must also to be enough of a blank canvas that a couple can put their own stamp on it.
Kew Gardens has to be one of my favourite venues for this reason. There are a number of beautiful and completely different areas within the venue of Kew Gardens, that offer endless possibilities for the big day.
There is the cosy Cambridge Cottage that can hold up to 80 guests for both ceremony and wedding reception. The Cottage is a former royal residence and has a clean and fresh décor, which allows the Bride and Groom to choose any particular colour to use throughout the wedding, happily knowing that it will not clash with anything will always look perfect. The cottage is steeped in traditional horticulture with floral pictures on the walls, which some couples do like to combine with their own ideas; using very bright and expressive flowers to decorate the venue, or use flower names as table names.
With entertainment, the light and elegant tone of Cambridge Cottage lends itself perfectly to string instruments, particular the harp or string quartet for a ceremony or reception. The cottage backs on to the gardens and the sound of a string quartet drifting through the air could not be more perfect for a warm, summer wedding.
For the evening, the intimacy of Cambridge Cottage means that either a 4 piece band or a DJ works really well and creates a flawless party atmosphere.
Within the Grounds of the Gardens there are also the 3 beautiful Conservatories – The Nash Conservatory is a nineteenth century glasshouse that has started being used for Civil Ceremonies this year and can hold up to 200 guests. The Nash Conservatory is used in conjunction with The Orangery, which is available for evening hire for up to 400 guests for a cocktail reception.
Our act, Organic Jam, which is a combination of DJ and live musician fits with the light and contemporary style of these bright, airy spaces. At a recent wedding, we provided a DJ to play alongside a percussionist during the wedding background, to create cool and relaxed background music and then a saxophonist and violinist later joined the DJ for dancing.
The Princess of Wales Conservatory can either be used by itself as a cocktail reception venue for up to 250 guests or in combination with The Orangery or Cambridge Cottage, as a venue for pre or post dinner drinks. The Conservatory itself was commissioned in 1982 and was named after Princess Augusta, the founder of Kew. Opened in 1987 by Diana, Princess of Wales, the Princess of Wales Conservatory is the most complex glasshouse at Kew, containing ten computer-controlled climatic zones, which only adds to this completely unique and interesting venue.
So with more than a few options for Weddings and Civil Ceremonies, it's a great place to suggest wedding entertainment for - so many different acts work in the different spaces that the possibilities are endless!