So the Royal Wedding fever has finally passed and all is calming down, I am now going to share with you the challenge we set ourselves that came about all because of the Royal Engagement….
As we are a busy hotel, people tend to book rooms, conferences and weddings quite a way in advance, and on the 28th & 29th April 2011 we had a large conference booked in….until the Royal Household announced that Prince William and Catherine Middleton were to be married on the 29th April 2011 and this would be a public holiday! Unsuprisingly the phone rang and the conference got pushed back to a later date so the companies staff could make the most of it and we were left with an empty function room and some empty bedrooms.
Not wanting to have an empty hotel and being far enough away to think up a plan, we decided to take a chance and auction our own Royal Wedding Reception on Ebay. We got a package together, all singing all dancing with arrival drinks, a three course dinner and wine for 50 people, a drink to toast during the speeches, an evening buffet and disco and accommodation for the bride and groom for the evening. The auction would run from Friday to Sunday and the lucky bidders would get to have their wedding on the same day as Great Britains modern royal couple.
We opened the auction four weeks before the date and by the 4th day we had 27 people watching the item, with couples ringing in asking questions and popping in to have a look around and get a feel for the venue and the fantastic day that could soon be theirs.
As the auction came to a close, the bidding started and the wedding (worth over £4000) went for the bargain price of £1999.
We were over the moon, the wedding had sold, the idea had worked and a wonderful couple, Selina & Tim had just booked themselves a wedding! When we asked them, what had made them bid on the wedding, we discovered they had met online themselves several years ago. They had discussed marriage but nothing had ever really materialised and so when they heard about the auction via the local papers it seemed to make sense. “A new kitchen or get married….??” asked Tim. “Lets get married!” said Selina, and the rest as they say, is history.
After a few meetings and adding the personnal touches that the happy couple required to make the day their own we were ready to go.
The day itself was a beautiful dry day, the bride looked stunning and the groom had a grin like the cat who got the cream. The venue sparkled and the party went on into the small hours of the morning. Safe to say a lovely day was had by all and just goes to show, sometimes you really can grab a 5 star bargain on Ebay, so keep your eyes open, you never know what you might find!
By Janice Whatton