There's no doubt that your Wedding Coordinator will play a huge part in your plans for your perfect day, so working with someone who is as excited by your big day as you are, but who has all of the experience and knowledge to help you to fully enjoy your day and the planning that goes into it is invaluable.

Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa is one of the most popular wedding venues in Surrey. From the moment prospective wedding couples lay eyes on the magnificent floor to ceiling stained glass windows, delicate period features and striking views out over the Surrey Downs they fall head over heels for the venue and Senior Wedding Coordinator Alex Iceton is ready and waiting to catch them and start to make their dreams a reality. 

Since the 3rd July 2017 Alex has been helping wedding couples to make their big day go without a hitch at Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa and has been coordinating weddings since August 2012. Alex gives us a ten minute glance into her seven years of experience...

 

 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

When I was growing up I always wanted to have a job where I was genuinely making a difference to people’s lives – my first thought would be a Doctor or a Scientist but I don’t think that would be quite the right path for me. Looking back to me aged 3 when I was a bridesmaid, that’s when I fell in love with weddings – every week wearing my bridesmaid dress and pretending to get married. As I got older I still loved watching every (literally every) wedding related film and at age 14 I knew the job for me would to be a Wedding Coordinator. I know I don’t save lives, however I do get to be responsible for helping couples plan the most important and special day of their lives.  

How do you like to work with your wedding couples?

I very much leave this to the couple. Some couples like a lot of input from me on ideas and decisions, others prefer to make their own plans and I just bring it all together on paper. Ultimately I want the couples to know they can ask me anything and I will always give my honest and informed answer. 

How often are you in contact with a wedding couple?

I make contact with couples at the following stages:
1. Upon initial enquiry to run through wedding ideas and arrange and appointment 
2. Initial show round to discuss their plans further and show them how the day would flow
3. Discussing the booking contract either by email, phone or in person 
4. Sending them their wedding welcome pack in the post 
5. Sending deposit reminders by email 
6. Seeing them at wedding showcases where they collate ideas 
7. Booking their menu tasting and coordinator appointment usually via email
8. Meeting with them at their menu tasting and coordination appointment
9. Liaising by email or phone with any finer details 
10. Meeting them and assisting with the handover appointment with their Banqueting Manager
11. Seeing them on the day of their wedding
12. Contacting them after the event for feedback 

What is the best process in your opinion?

This very much depends on the lead time of the wedding – if short lead then following the above structure works, however if a longer time scale the couple may benefit from one or two extra catch up appointments during the planning process. 

What is the biggest concern you find you need to reassure couples on?

That they are doing everything correctly and that they are not missing anything. I always like to encourage my couples to write lists and tick things off (I actually have even put a check list in the wedding welcome booklet). I have coordinated over 300 weddings over the last seven years and I still follow a check list to ensure that my couples aren’t missing anything. 

What is your role on the day?

I try to be at every wedding I have planned, although I am not needed at all. I often get requests for me to run a wedding day but firstly it wouldn’t be fair to my couples for me to do this, if I was running a wedding I would also be trying to plan the next one, meaning that I wouldn’t be giving my couple’s 100% of my attention on their special day. Secondly, planning and implementing involve two very different skill sets. We have a fantastic Banqueting Team who run the weddings at the hotel and on the wedding day the couple have a dedicated Banqueting Manager whose only job for that day is to ensure the couple’s wedding day is absolutely perfect. 

What is your most memorable wedding request?

The very first wedding I planned the groom arrived by helicopter, then went for a horse and carriage ride, was then carried on a ‘flying’ carpet by his groomsmen and then entered the ceremony room surrounded by ballerinas!

What is the biggest challenge you have faced and had to overcome on a wedding day?

Probably a bridesmaid's dress splitting moments before walking down the aisle and frantically sewing it up! 

What advice would you give wedding couples?

Only two people can ruin a wedding day and that’s the wedding couple. How couples react to situations is what can make or break their day. I have had two brides trip up – the first sobbed and ran off and the second laughed and skipped down the aisle. The one that laughed will have a much better memory of the day. 

In your experience, which part of the day do you find couples enjoy the most?

This totally depends on the couple… my first thought would be the ceremony as it’s the most meaningful but it can also be the most nerve-racking. Others enjoy the beautiful meal that they have with family and friends but some just enjoy the celebrations at the evening reception. Every couple is different, as is every wedding.