The blog from West Park - all our latest news and views

How to plan a sports team celebration event

A sports dinner setup in the West Park venue. One way to round off the end of your sporting season or to motivate your sports team is to organise a celebration event or awards ceremony.

Whether it’s a black tie night to celebrate winning the local rugby league, a social gathering for your orienteering team or an awards ceremony to recognise your Tae Kwon Do team’s efforts, West Park has the perfect space available.

Advance planning is the key to creating a successful sporting celebration event, so we’ve put together a checklist to make your event a success:

Choose the right venue.

Make sure the venue is suitable for the size of your party and is within your budget. It should be within easy reach for your guests, ideally with parking facilities, or has accommodation on-site or nearby for overnight stays. West Park has a wide variety of venues, suitable for a small intimate dinner or a gala banquet with a DJ or band, on-site parking and disabled facilities. We also offer comfortable accommodation in the summer months.

Check the venue’s facilities.

It’s important that the venue supplies everything you need to make your event run smoothly, including electrical and audio-visual equipment. West Park’s event experts can arrange tailored events with all the equipment and facilities, so you can enjoy your event without any hitches.

Set a date.

Make sure the date you pick doesn’t conflict with any other events in your guests’ calendars.

Price everything up and decide your budget.

You need to know how much you have to spend on the venue, food, transport, entertainment and gifts.

Select the menu.

An exciting menu that offers lots of choice and caters for special diets if necessary will keep your guests happy. At West Park we offer delicious menus sourced from the finest local ingredients and we cater for special dietary requirements.

Send out your invitations.

This could be a simple email, a text, a poster on your clubhouse’s noticeboard or you could even create a Facebook event to remind your guests to save the date.

Organise your seating plan.

This will help everyone know where they should go when they arrive and it tends to make guests feel more comfortable.

Add some fun.

You’ll want the event to be enjoyable, so arrange to have some images on a large screen or a video playing of your sports team’s highlights or achievements. Holding a raffle with donated gifts from local businesses or friends and family is also a popular choice.

You can find out more about holding your next event at West Park on our Sport events page or contact us to discuss your needs.

Read How to plan a sports team celebration event …

Nine questions to ask your wedding venue

A wedding layout in the Balbeggie Suite at West Park. Possibly the most expensive item in your wedding budget is booking the wedding venue. It’s really important to ask the right questions to get exactly what you want from your dream venue and to help your big day to run smoothly.

Here’s a list of questions to ask your potential venue:

1. Is it big enough for all my guests?

Only visit venues that are suitable for your numbers. West Park offers intimate wedding suites to suit small gatherings and can comfortably accommodate bigger celebrations too.

2. Is my preferred date available?

Wedding experts advise you to book as early as you can to get your preferred date. If your dates are flexible, you can get some great last-minute deals. Check out West Park’s late-availability packages.

3. Is there an in-house wedding co-ordinator?

A good wedding co-ordinator will take the organising out of your hands so you can concentrate on the rest of your planning. West Park provides a friendly, personal service from the moment you book right through to your wedding day.

4. Can the venue accommodate my theme?

Check if they can make your ideas a reality and if there are any restrictions with decor. Find out where the photographs will be taken to make sure the backdrop fits in with your theme.

5. Is there in-house catering?

If the venue provides food, ask to see all the menu options and if they’re flexible on menu choices; ask if they cater for children and special diets too. Find out more about West Park’s wedding menus.

6. Is all the equipment included?

Check if the room hire includes tables, chairs, linen, glassware and extras such as; chair covers, personalised menus and a cake stand and a knife. These small things can add up, so if you need to hire them, make sure you include them in your budget.   

7. Is entertainment allowed?

If the answer is ‘yes’, check there is sufficient power supply for any entertainment and sound systems that you may need. Also, find out how late the bar will be open and what time you and your guests will need to leave the venue.

8. Is there sufficient parking for guests?

It may not be a deal breaker but if there isn’t enough parking available, ask the venue for details on alternative parking nearby and let your guests know the location.

9. When does the deposit need to be paid?

To secure a venue you will often need to pay a deposit, so ask how much it is, when it needs to be paid and when the rest is due. It’s worth attending the wedding exhibitions at potential venues, so you can often take advantage of generous discounts. West Park offers a reduced deposit and the previous year’s price, if you attend their free wedding exhibitions.

West Park offers the finest traditional Scottish hospitality, first-class cuisine and a choice of suites. If you would like to arrange a viewing West Park, please get in touch.

Read Nine questions to ask your wedding venue…

Planning your big day? West Park’s Wedding Exhibitions have all the inspiration you need

A bride and groom on their wedding day. If you’ve just started planning your wedding or you’re looking for those all-important finishing touches, a wedding exhibition is a great place to start. At West Park, our wedding exhibitions provide an excellent opportunity to meet with Dundee’s finest wedding suppliers and discuss your specific needs, and to see a wide variety of wedding products and services, all under one roof.

Here are some useful things to consider when going to a wedding exhibition:

Which wedding exhibition?

Small wedding exhibitions are often less crowded and more intimate than the bigger events, so they’re definitely worth a visit. They’re great for finding local suppliers that can provide everything you need for your special day. At our next exhibition, you’ll have a chance to explore our variety of wedding suites and talk to our friendly wedding co-ordinators about your special day.

Who should you take with you?

Take people that you trust and are keen to be involved in the planning of your big day, such as your groom-to-be, your mum or your chief bridesmaid.

Meet local wedding suppliers face-to-face.

You’ll find the best wedding products and services that Dundee has to offer at our wedding exhibitions. By talking to local suppliers directly; whether it’s a florist, a photographer or a venue planner, you can decide if they’re right for you and your wedding. You’ll have a chance to see their products and services, and get some inspiring ideas.

Keep your budget in mind.

It’s a good idea to let suppliers know your budget so they can show you their products and services within your price range. Don’t be afraid to ask how much things cost or get quotes. Suppliers will usually have something to suit most budgets and tend to offer generous discounts and incentives at wedding exhibitions.

Take advantage of offers and discounts.

Exhibitions are ideal if you’re looking for late-availability wedding venue packages and fabulous discounts on everything; from bespoke wedding cakes to entertainment. Any brides-to-be attending one of our wedding exhibitions will be offered the previous year’s prices, if they confirm their booking at the event.

So brides save the date! West Park is hosting a free wedding exhibition on Sunday 26 January 2014. We look forward to seeing you and helping you to plan your perfect wedding day!

If you can’t make our exhibition, you’re welcome to come along another time, just give us a call on 01382 647171 or email

Read Planning your big day? West Park’s Wedding Exhibitions have all the inspiration you need…

Six tips to survive Dundee’s festive party season

A group of friends celebrate with champagne. The party season is here and it’s time to start getting into the festive spirit. Check out our tips for surviving all those Christmas and Hogmanay parties.

1. Choose the right party night.

If you’re not responsible for your Christmas work’s do, you can always organise a night out for friends in Dundee. West Park still has some limited availability on Christmas party nights and if you’re looking to celebrate a traditional Hogmanay with a Ceilidh and a few drams of whisky, we can offer that too.

2. Go easy.

It’s easy to over-indulge on alcohol at this time of year but stick to the same drinks and drink water in between. This way you’ll pace yourself and be more likely to go the distance, and avoid a pounding headache the next day.

3. Fuel up.

Eat plenty on the day of the party to prevent a hangover. Our Hogmanay Party starts with an indulgent three-course dinner, to give you the staying power to see the New Year in.

4. Charge your phone.

Make sure your mobile is fully charged, so you can send those ‘Happy New Year’ texts or let the babysitter know if you need an extra hour’s partying. 

5. Home bound.

Pre-book your taxi before you head out, no one wants to get caught short once the night has finished. See if you can share a cab with colleagues or friends and then you can split the cost.

6. Hangover SOS.

Hair of the dog and a greasy fry-up are traditional ‘day after’ cures but health experts suggest an Alka-Seltzer, sleep and re-hydrating with water is more effective. Squeeze in some shut-eye and avoid making any commitments to family and friends, so you have plenty of time to recover… for the next party! 

If you’ve left your office Christmas party, friends or family get-together until the last minute, don’t panic; you can still get some great last-minute deals. At West Park, we have some late availability for Christmas and New Year’s parties and we can still squeeze you in for our infamous Hogmanay Party and Hoolie - just get in touch.

Read Six tips to survive Dundee’s festive party season …

Five steps to choosing the perfect engagement ring

A man slips a wedding ring onto a woman's finger whilst she holds a bouquet. Are you planning on popping the big question, but clueless about engagement rings? Or perhaps you’re hoping your Mr Right will get down on one knee? Check out our five tips to help you buy the perfect ring or share this article with the man of your dreams!

  1.  Fix your budget

The tradition is to spend at least a month’s salary on an engagement ring but you should only spend what you can afford. Be determined to only look at rings within your price range to avoid falling in love with one you can’t afford.

  2.  Tune into her taste

Find out your partner’s tastes; what she likes will help you to narrow down the engagement rings on offer. Pay close attention to the jewellery that she normally wears; is it classic or vintage? Which metals does she prefer? Also, ask family and friends for ideas - if you can trust them to keep the proposal a secret!  

  3.  Know the basics

A ring is made up of a band, a gemstone and a setting. The band is the circular part of the ring that sits around the finger and is usually made from gold, silver or platinum. The gemstone is the feature of the ring and is traditionally a diamond for engagement rings. The setting refers to the piece that holds the gemstone in place.

  4.  Diamond jargon busting

You may have heard of the ‘4Cs’ of diamonds. The ‘4Cs’ refer to the cut, carat, colour and clarity of a diamond. The way a diamond is cut gives it its shape. Cut styles include emerald, oval and princess. The weight of a diamond is measured in carats and the average weight of a diamond engagement ring is between half a carat and one carat. Diamonds appear colourless but actually contain subtle shades of colour; the closer it is to having no colour the more valuable it is. Clarity refers to the natural imperfections in a diamond; the fewer imperfections or flaws the greater the clarity and the sparkle (and cost)!

  5.  Pick a jeweller

Choose a jeweller you feel comfortable with; let them know your budget and your partner’s tastes and spend time talking to them about what you want. Sometimes the particular style you like may need to be made, which can take up to four weeks, so factor that into your proposal planning. And don’t forget the boring bits; ask for a diamond certificate, keep your receipt as proof of purchase and consider adding the ring to your content insurance.

Now you’re ready to pop the question!  If you’re looking for a venue in Dundee to celebrate your engagement, West Park has a wide range of affordable options available. Or, if you’re thinking of getting married in 2014, check out our late availability wedding packages. Our Wedding Exhibition, on Sunday 26 January 2014, is the perfect opportunity to start exploring the style of wedding you want.

Good luck with your proposal!

Read Five steps to choosing the perfect engagement ring…
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