Sarah Bolitho has helped plan a variety of beautiful weddings at Prince Deck. We asked her what the key ingredients are to a special wedding.

What do you love most about planning weddings?

The people – the ideas, stories, passions are different for every single event – I love the opportunity to share this journey with each couple and get to help them express what’s important to them in front of their favourite people. 

What are the key ingredients to making a wedding special?

I think it’s crucial for our couples to stick to what’s important to them from the outset – it’s easy to get caught up in so many things that actually aren’t true to their initial wants and needs.. Identify these together at the start and always refer back to them when making decisions. If you can look back on your wedding day and know that these base ideas were honoured then I feel like you will look back for years to come and feel truly satisfied. 

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What’s the biggest trend in weddings you’ve noticed in the last 12 months (pre covid, and any because of covid?) eg particular styles, clothing, mix up of traditional roles etc 

I think people are feeling like they can break ‘tradition’ when they want to and that’s exciting – they don’t have to have a cake or bonbonniere or do a first dance – they can choose to if they want to…And that makes it a more authentic experience for them and the guests. 

We are seeing more Grooms take control of the booking and planning experience which is awesome to see. 

Same sex weddings have been an amazing and long overdue addition to the wedding scene – so many couples have been waiting WAY too long to be able to legally celebrate with all their family and friends – we have LOVED helping bring these weddings to life.. They have truly been a new level of emotion, a new wave of pure and celebrated love. It’s been a joy to share these weddings in particular over the last 18 months. 

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What should couples look for when choosing a wedding venue? 

Again, I think it goes back to honoring what’s true to the couple from the outset – if they want sit down or stand up, if they want formal or relaxed, if they want large or small, if they have a vibe or location they want to connect to, if they have a budget they need to stick to.

These are all factors in selecting the right venue – location, size, vibe, budget – discuss the important things from the outset and find something that connects these dots. 

What’s the funniest/weirdest/most unusual request you’ve had from a wedding couple?

Once you have worked in the industry for a while you think you have heard them all but occasionally you still get a curveball – I once worked for a venue that the client asked for all the black swans to be white on the day of their wedding..

What makes a wedding at The Prince so unique/better than other weddings? 

I think the Prince is unique because of the one-stop-shop nature of the venue – there are so many layers to the experience – having the accommodation on site creates the opportunity to have a destination wedding in the heart of Melbourne/St Kilda – this speaks volumes to me.. Massage at Aurora, dinner the night before at Prince Public Bar, Little Prince Wine Cellar or Prince Dining Room. Plus getting ready in a beautiful hotel room on site. Guests can also enjoy pre-ceremony drinks in the Atrium and the ceremony and reception at Prince Deck and recovery brunch/lunch the next day.. So many options all under one roof. 

 

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Sit down or cocktail? 

I have always liked to split the difference on this one – The Prince Deck is perfect for either option but I love roving/cocktail style entree + sit down main + cocktail/roving style dessert.. The best of both worlds. It combines relaxed party vibes with sitting down for speeches and an individual meal – it keeps everyone happy. 

Band or DJ? 

Again I’m a middle man on this one – I love DJ with sax, vocal and percussion – it creates such a great vibe as the night goes on. I am a big fan of live acoustic music for the ceremony though… Nothing beats this!

 

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Registry or Wishing Well? 

Whatever works for the couple – so many couples have lived together for a long time so I can see why registries or presents have fallen out of fashion.. Last thing you need is a new toaster! I love the idea of contributing to a couple’s honeymoon – this may be because travel is my favorite thing in the world!

Cake or Cheese tower? 

I’m a sweet tooth and my partner is a cheese guy so I say have both! 

I definitely don’t think you must have either anymore – it’s up to the couple. It can be skipped completely without affecting the flow of celebrations at all. 

Speeches or no speeches?

Don’t underestimate the importance of speeches – they are the glue that connects all the important and personal pieces on the day. It’s definitely a fine line working through how many speeches-(not too many and not too long is my tip) but also prioritising enough time for both families is such a nice way to share the union of two people. 

For further information regarding weddings at The Prince Hotel click here.