Describe the best wedding that happened at your venue?
There isn't one in particular that stands out as the best, but what I will say, is that the ones where the couple and the guests seem most happy & relaxed are when everything happens in one place; i.e. the ceremony and the reception. It means the couple and the guests arrive at the venue and can relax and enjoy themselves, rather than having to worry about finding transport and getting to each place on time.
Other than that, weddings that have a bouncy castle for the children, a photo booth for the adults and bring their pets along are always a big hit!
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
One thing I would recommend the most is to view venues, meet with wedding coordinators & suppliers as its important that you trust and get on with the people that will be helping you to organise your wedding day. A venue may look nice on the outside, but if they do not have the experience and service to go with it, then it is likely that it will cause you more stress whilst planning your wedding! You need the best team around you for the task ahead and the peace of mind that your wedding day will be the most enjoyable day.
What’s your favourite personal touch you’ve seen at a wedding?
The groom arranged a surprise for the bride on the wedding day - He knew his future wife would have loved to have their dog walk her down the aisle on the day. He secretly arranged for their dog to be bought to the hotel and was handed to her just before she walked down the aisle - the complete surprise on her face and tears of pure love and joy were so heart warming. It made me cry too! I love animals!
Describe your venue in 5 adjectives.
Flexible. Personal. Experienced. Reasonably-priced!
Where’s the best photo spot at your venue?
Definitely our Lily Pond! It's the perfect tranquil place for couples to sneak off to to have a few moments to themselves to take the day in and have the perfect photo taken in-front of a gorgeous backdrop.
Have you had any celebrity guest or wedding at your venue?
No, we haven't. But that's honestly not important to us. We make everyone feel like they're royalty!
What’s your favourite canapé?
Mini bacon and Aberdeen Angus cheeseburger!
What’s your favourite midnight treat?
Pulled pork slider platter, spiced apple sauce
What is your venue's most unique feature?
The hotel was built around the original Georgian Dower House of Pembury - so the venue boasts original Georgian features, but when it was converted to a hotel, the main entrance was built in the style of an Oast House to fit in with the Kent countryside - so there is a grand entrance followed by a warm, welcoming from the Dower House.
What part of your business are you most proud of?
The team. Over the past few years, the team here at the hotel have won awards for 'Food & Beverage Team of the Year' and 'Front of House Team of the Year' plus we were Finalists at the recent Kent Wedding Awards for 'Wedding Venue of the Year' in 2020. Every single member of the team here is passionate about what they do and work so well together. The average staff turnover rate in hotels in the UK is 73.8% but at Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel it is 5%! We truly are a 'work family' and certainly go above and beyond to make a couple's wedding day dreams come true.