Planning a wedding, as we’re quickly learning, cannot be done without the help of many, many, many people (amirite?) Along with getting plenty of help from friends and family, it’s crucial to team up with some fantastic vendors, who are passionate about what they do and are focused on giving you the best (and seamless) day possible. Make sure you work with like-minded people (not just ‘the best’ or ‘the cheapest’ as I fear some couples just do). Spend time getting to know vendors so everyone has the same vision in mind.
So I thought, why not give some love back to those people helping us create our weddings as the lovely days I know they will be? Kicking things off is Les and Kath of the Dorothea Mitchell Hall, where we’ll be having our English wedding. We’re so glad that they’re helping us with our wedding, especially since we’re planning it from the other side of the planet! They’ve been nothing but warm, friendly, enthusiastic and totally accomodating.
Thank you Les and Kath!
Tell me a little bit about yourselves and how you both came to look after the DM Hall?
We moved to the village in 1988 and found out that the village hall had been closed for some time and quite a few villagers thought it should be demolished. It was built in 1912 and donated to the village by the late Dorothea Mitchell and we thought it would be better to get the hall renovated. So we helped to raise funds to get it reopened in the early 90’s. Kath took over caretaking duties (with help from Les) when the previous caretakers emigrated to New Zealand in 2012. (They’ve now settled in Australia with their daughter’s family.)
Do you only coordinate the bookings?
We do everything to promote the use of the hall including: designing and producing marketing literature/floorplans/website/adverts/hirer forms/terms, answering the telephone, web and email enquiries, showing people the hall and facilities, explaining options, overseeing charges and payments, arranging for fuel deliveries, cleaning, checking before and after events and liaising with the DM Hall Management committee on maintenance and refurbishment needs/projects.
What’s your favourite thing about Claverdon?
Claverdon is a lovely Warwickshire village with beautiful walking routes but our favourite thing since coming here is getting involved in village activities and events. As mentioned, we’ve supported the DM Hall for 25 years but Kath also used to be on Claverdon’s Parish Council and Les played for the football team. Now Kath is president of the local Womens Institute and Les is Chairman of the Neighbourhood Watch Beat and Vice Chairman of the Gardening Group.
What’s your favourite thing about weddings?
It’s wonderful seeing the hall transformed for a couple’s most important occasion and great to get their feedback that all went well.
What’s something you’ve seen at a wedding that’s really impressed you?
We’ve heard great music and seen high tech projectors, lighting and props but simpler more economical things can be just as impressive such as an old fashioned pick and mix sweet trolley, a tree stencil that guests dab with their thumb prints to look like leaves and empty photo frames to surround faces of guest photographs.
What do you like most about DM Hall?
Its lovely beams above the main hall and memories of great events.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Kath enjoys gardening while Les prefers to listen to music, especially jazz, folk and rock.
If there would be one song that best describes you what would it be?
Les is I’m Alive because, after a lifetime of near misses, I’m just happy to still be here, Kath is Wild Thing because she’s always busy and makes everything groovy!