The blog from West Park - all our latest news and views — articles for July 2014

Planning the perfect wedding – first steps for newly engaged couples

Engagement ring Congratulations! You’re engaged. You’ve drunk the champagne, shown everyone the sparkling rock on your finger and have finally come back down to Earth …. now what?

It’s time to crack on with the planning of course! We know it can seem a bit overwhelming with so much to think about and do, so check out our guide for where to start when planning the biggest day of your life:

The legal bits

One of the first things to think about is whether you want a religious or civil ceremony.

A church wedding can be very special and dramatic, not to mention a long aisle to show off the train on that beautiful dress! You don’t have to be a member of the Church of Scotland to get married in church, and many ministers will be happy to marry you somewhere else. So you could have a stunning outside ceremony wherever you want if you don’t mind taking a risk on that Scottish weather!

A civil marriage can take place at a registration office or an approved place, and can give you access to a really good range of lovely places, like hotels, listed buildings, pubs and conference centres. At West Park we have several beautiful rooms where you can hold your civil ceremony.

Whichever you choose, you’ll need to submit some marriage notice forms to the local registrar and make sure you have two people to witness your marriage. Check out the Scotland Register Office website for more details.

Where to do it?

Once that’s ticked off, the next big thing on your list should be choosing your venue. Where to start?

Whichever type of ceremony you choose, it’s a great idea to have a look at different venues and check out any wedding exhibitions and fairs they might be holding. You can get some fab ideas and you’ll often get some free stuff!

Our wedding exhibition at West Park is set for Sunday 14 September 2014 and will have lots of things for you to look at, giving you the opportunity to have a look around our stunning rooms and grounds and speak to our friendly team. Keep an eye on our website for details. Even if you’re not free then we’re always happy to have a chat, just get in contact with us.

Very important – make sure you speak to the person who will be solemnising your marriage, whether minister or registrar, before you book your venue. The last thing you want to do is lose a hefty venue deposit if there’s no one available!

Yum yum

And on to one of the most important parts of the day – your food! There’s so much to choose from, an informal buffet, a sit down meal or a barbeque, which way do you go? Most venues will charge per head so work out what your budget is and that can be your starting point. Have a chat with your venue and see what they can offer.

We’ve just uploaded a blog all about wedding breakfasts and other food you might want on the day, so check it out for some great ideas.

THE dress

Here it is, the bit you’ve been dreaming about your entire life, and now you’re planning your wedding it finally becomes reality!

Have a look around to get an idea of what dress styles you like, creating a board on Pinterest is a good way of getting all your thoughts in one place. Another tip is to step outside your comfort zone when trying dresses on, lots of brides find they end up choosing something they never thought they would!

This is just the tip of the iceberg in the world of wedding planning, but when you get these things ticked off you’ve made a great start. Here at West Park we can help you make your day exactly what you want, so check out the wedding info on our website and get in contact if you’d like any further info.

Read Planning the perfect wedding – first steps for newly engaged couples…

Six ways to make an impact with your wedding breakfast

 

Making your wedding breakfast memorable is an easy feat with West ParkThey say that the things people most remember about a wedding are the food and the entertainment, so you’ll want to make sure you get your wedding breakfast just right! It’s one of the most important parts of your big day, so check out our guide to make sure your guests’ taste buds are still tingling long after the toasts have finished:

1. Food for thought

It sounds obvious, but you need to make sure there’s going to be something that everyone will be able to eat, whether vegetarian, vegan or dairy free.  You definitely won’t want the stress of any of your guests saying on the day that there’s nothing they like! At West Park we can offer you the option of pre-ordering specialised dishes and any dietary requirements from our menu.

A great tip is to write your guests’ meal choices on the back of their place names, so on the day there won’t be any confusion as to who ordered what!

2. Timing is the key

Picture this – you’ve just sat down to your amazing meal, and the next thing you know your evening guests have started arriving and the DJ is ‘discreetly’ setting up in the corner! Not an ideal scenario for your wedding day. It can take longer than you think, so make sure you leave enough time to enjoy your wedding breakfast, you really don’t want to feel like you need to rush. Remember, it’s traditional to have the speeches following the meal, so include enough time for that too.

3. Drink up!

No matter what food you order, you’re going to want delicious drinks to go with it. We can offer you the whole works at West Park, including reception drinks, wine with your wedding breakfast and a bit of sparkle for the toasts. Check out our drinks packages which start at just £13.95 per person. If you prefer, we can offer something tailored just for you, get in contact with us to have a chat.

4. Type of service

Buffet or sit down meal – which way do you go? Lots of couples are opting for an informal buffet for their wedding breakfast these days, often it can keep the costs down and is a great way for your guests to mingle. On the other hand, a sit down meal being brought to you at the table can make your day even more special and sometimes you can get a bigger choice of food this way.

Whatever you choose, we can cater for it at West Park.

5. Food for the kids

We’ve all been there. Those weddings where the little ones don’t fancy the food that’s being served to them, and run around screaming during the meal! Speak to your venue before the big day to make sure they can offer your youngest guests food they’ll enjoy. At West Park we offer a kid-friendly menu, as we want all your guests to feel looked after no matter what their age!

6. Those little extras

That time between the ceremony and wedding breakfast can be when guests’ stomachs start rumbling, so why not think about providing some canapés? It doesn’t have to be huge, just some tasty little nibbles to tide everyone over until the main meal.

Another hungry time for your guests can be during the reception, when the wedding breakfast has gone down and everyone is getting on with having a good time. An evening buffet can be just the thing to keep your guests happy.

We can offer you both of these options at West Park with our special evening buffet and canapé menus. 

Read Six ways to make an impact with your wedding breakfast…

Five reasons to take your meeting away from the office

The large and spacious conference room at West Park.Looking for a bigger and better venue for your team meetings? Why not organise an away day with your colleagues? Away days are great for sharing ideas, brainstorming, fostering team work or communicating key messages. Being away from the hustle and bustle of the office is a bonus and can help get those creative juices flowing.

Do you need some help with planning your away day? Our checklist will point you in the right direction:

1. Location

The location is always important for a group meeting, you don’t want your delegates having to travel too far or hopping from train to train. West Park is located just outside of Dundee city centre, so if you’re on the hunt for a meeting venue in and around Dundee, come and pay us a visit!

2. Facilities

Being away from the office you want to be sure you’ve got the facilities and equipment you need for the day. We provide projectors, screens, laptops and flipcharts upon request. We also offer free Wi-Fi.

3. Refreshments

Providing the catering for a number of delegates can be a real headache. Not all venues provide catering, so it’s important to find this out. We offer a number of lunch packages including delicious delicatessen nibbles and freshly-made sandwiches.

4. Flexibility

Our dedicated team at West Park will be on board from the word go, we can help- you create a successful away day for you and your colleagues. Our team can assist with seating and layouts of your choice, setting up equipment on the day and most importantly, providing your refreshments.

5. Motivation

There are many truths to working away from the office; some have claimed speed and quality are compromised when employees work away. We believe it’s good to mix up your working environment, taking colleagues away from the office at least once a month is a great way to crank up those brains!

If you’re interested in booking an away day at West Park we've got some fantastic packages. Get in touch with our team or fill out our conference and meeting enquiry form.

Read Five reasons to take your meeting away from the office…

Classroom training or virtual training? Choosing the best way for your employees to develop

West Park offers facilities for staff training and meetingsTraditional classroom training can offer greater benefits than virtual training, if you choose an inspiring location, a motivating trainer and the right equipment. Check out the advantages of offering training in a classroom environment:

Staying focused  

An inspiring environment means there are fewer distractions and interruptions, so trainees are more likely to concentrate and stay focused. You can take advantage of useful tools, from audio visual equipment and projector screens to flipcharts. West Park, located in the quiet suburbs of Dundee, offers spacious training rooms and all the equipment you’ll need. Providing refreshments and a brain-stimulating lunch will also help your team to stay focused throughout the day. Our menus offer delicious healthy food made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Interact with your trainer

The more interaction your staff have with the trainer, the more likely they are to learn. A good instructor will adapt the training content and the pace to meet your staff’s needs. Face-to-face learning also offers the chance for staff to pick the trainer’s brain.

Share experiences

The downtimes during breaks and over lunch provide ideal opportunities for staff to interact informally with each other. This is of particular value for staff from different teams, as it can help build relationships and break down silos. While online discussion forums provide an opportunity to interact, they don’t match the experience of sharing opinions face to face. West Park provides relaxing spaces both indoors and outdoors for trainees to network.

Removing the desk shackles

Offering some time out from the office environment can be the perfect way to motivate staff. The fresh air and the captivating scenery of West Park should help to build team spirit and get the creative juices flowing again. Opportunities like this can be rare, so your staff should be more likely to seize it with open arms.

If you’re planning a training session, our team at West Park can help you to deliver a successful event. Please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Read Classroom training or virtual training? Choosing the best way for your employees to develop…