A dream day at the Conservatory!

My name is Amanda and I am the Senior Wedding & Event Planner for the Horniman Museum & Gardens, here at Suzanne James.  This has been my role for over 10 years now, in fact, I have just celebrated my 12th anniversary here, gosh time does fly by! In a typical year, I arrange about 50 events at the venue, mostly weddings and I can honestly say no two are ever the same.

Saturday, 23rd March 2019 may not have been my own wedding day, but it almost felt like it as I set the Conservatory up for our Wedding Showcase. Having chosen my favourite linen colours, layout and styling for the day I wanted everything to be perfect, and as I awaited our first guests I was as nervous as any bride!

Whilst our showcase couldn’t possibly capture every couples’ dream day it did offer a great opportunity to see the Conservatory set up for both a ceremony & reception (we set half the room up for each option).  Once the furniture was in place, approved local florist Fran from The Fresh Flower Company swept in with a range of stunning flower arrangments to adorn the porch entrance, tables and aisle; the finishing touch to ensure the venue looked breathtakingly beautiful.

As guests arrived for each of the four, 1-hour sessions they were welcomed by harp music courtesy of Iona Duncan. After a short introduction when I explained a little bit about the history of the venue, and our role as Event Managers & Caterers I introduced the team, and encouraged guests to circulate to ask questions freely.  Background music was provided by John Hinds of DJ for Me as guests enjoyed a selection of drinks including Campo Viejo Cava, Mimosas, Brockley Brewery Beer, Myatt’s Fields Cocktails and Luscombes Organic Juices, served alongside 9 different canapes, and samples of Marnie Searchwells fantastic, gluten-free wedding cake.

Our in house team of myself, Senior Event Managers James and Claire, Suzanne James and fellow Horniman planner Sharon were joined by some of the venues approved suppliers;

John Hinds from DJ for Me

Iona Duncan Harpist

Graham Le Gall Public Speaking Coach

Clemency & Sirus from Myatt’s Fields Cocktails

Marnie Searchwell Cakes

Jamie Clark Photographer

Our full list of canapes served;

  • Crostini with Vegan Cream Cheese, Fava Beans, Mint & Lemon (Cold)
  • Satay Tofu with Peanut Sauce & Coriander & Lemongrass Sambal (Hot)
  • Pecorino Sables with Creamed Goats Cheese, Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato & Basil Pesto (Cold)
  • Brockley Soft Cheese, grilled Baby Leeks, Samphire & Chilli on toasted Brick House Sour Dough (Cold)
  • Spoons of Ceviche Shrimp with Jalapeno, Plum tomatoes & Avocado (Cold)
  • Coriander, Chilli & Lime Buckwheat Blinis with Creme Fraiche, London Cured Smoked Scottish Salmon (Cold)
  • Potato Nests with Ginger Crab (Cold)
  • Steak with Bernaise Sauce (Hot)
  • Pork Belly with Vietnamese Spices (Hot)

In my opinion, no wedding is complete without a sweetie stall, and as this was my dream day I was able to indulge this pleasure too!  An entrance table was adorned with jars of sweets, clear bags and pretty Suzanne James ribbons to tie them up – it was a definite hit for our guests and so nice to be able to send them away with a little gift to remember the day by.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet so many couples in one day, and to talk about one of my favourite subjects, the magical Horniman Conservatory – I always feel as if I have been magically transported to the inside of an iced wedding cake when I stand and look up at the beautiful structure above me.

Sadly you can’t get married every week, but helping other couples to plan their dream day is definitely the next best thing.  I hope you enjoy the photos.