Looking Back: Vicky’s first year in Smiths Hotel’s wedding team…

May 14th, 2015

Happy work-versary to one of our very special wedding planners Vicky! We sat down with Vicky recently to chat about how her first year with us at Gretna Green has gone! ….

Highlights? All the weddings! I knew coming into the job that I would be dealing with weddings but I never anticipated what that really meant until I started. It is so lovely to be part of couples’ special days. I get to not only make the booking for them but be there throughout the day to ensure that things are set up correctly for them, and then see them out ahead of the ceremony. (Sometimes I even get to watch the wedding take place!)

Also, the team – our wedding team is a great place to work. It is certainly a highlight coming to work with such a fantastic bunch of women!

 I absolutely enjoy watching couples come and go – our lounge is a fantastic hub of activity throughout the day and into the evening and night! There is always a mix of couples and other guests and locals all making the most of our bar and lounge area that makes for an amazing atmosphere no matter the day.

What’s been the most surprising? In a wonderful way, I am most surprised how many weddings take place at Gretna Green. I am so happy to work for the company where it all started and just love to hear the stories of couples and why they have chosen to have their wedding with us.

What’s been your biggest learning curve? There is a lot that goes into booking a wedding, I did go in knowing this but there is a little more than I expected. The great thing about this is we keep records of everything we do and help to ensure the day runs smoothly.

We also took on another hotel which is very exciting and challenging all in the same breath. Greens at Gretna hotel is newly refurbished and looking stunning making this new challenge very manageable and inviting for guests and locals alike! (We can’t wait to see this new place develop and grow either Vicky….)

What are you most excited about (for next year)? The new hotel has just completed its facelift so very excited about the weddings taking place there in the year ahead. Our function facilities and reception area are stunning and our weddings are taking shape now and already starting to happen so very excited about the progress of this growing asset to the Gretna Green family!

Vicky’s here ready and waiting to help you plan your Gretna Green wedding…..give her a call today on 01461 336001! And do say hi when you’re here – Vicky loves seeing her couples back time and time again!

Smiths Hotel Wedding Myths: The Waiting List?

May 14th, 2015

We have many hats on here at Smiths Hotel – and helping couples plan their Big Day is one – meet some of our fantastic wedding team!

Wedding-Team-2015

These lovely ladies receive all sorts of queries – and a popular one is the waiting list for getting married at Gretna Green Famous Blacksmith Shop or Smiths Hotel!
Well….There isn’t one! Yay (cue happy dance now)! But do let us expand on what we mean just a wee bit…..

Popular dates (such as Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve) DO get booked out very very quickly here at Gretna Green Famous Blacksmith Shop and Smiths Hotel ……in fact, we’ve already had enquiries for dates like these arrive for 2017!

If your heart IS set on getting married on one of these iconic days, booking quite far in advance may be necessary….. and is definitely a good idea! Not to worry though…….often, there will be space especially if you’re willing to make a few compromises (for example, changing to earlier or later in the day, having a smaller reception). Don’t be put off – contact our wedding team here at Gretna Green even if you think you’ve left it too late!

Found the perfect package or venue but not attached to a specific date? Consider a weekday wedding! Especially in shoulder months (that’s usually up to about the beginning of June and after mid-September), these weekdays can be quite quiet……giving you heaps of choice over the time of day! Not to mention that mid-week weddings are occasionally on offer or free from weekend supplements! (And who doesn’t love a bargain!)

Whether you’re set on a particular date or are leaning more to getting married at Gretna Green, don’t hesitate to ask about your ‘wish list’ dates …. More times than not, you will be able to have your cake and eat it too……..or get both your dream wedding venue AND date.

Need more information? Please contact us on weddings@gretnagreen.com or ring us on 01461 336001!

Get Married on a Saturday this Summer

April 30th, 2015

We still have availability for a 20 Guest All Inclusive Package on the following Saturdays in 2015 within Smiths at Gretna Green hotel or our sister hotel Greens at Gretna – this availability is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis so why not call us now on 01461 336001 and book you summer wedding today with a small deposit.

We also have availability for smaller intimate weddings and our Stay, Marry and Memory.

Please call our Wedding Team on 01461 336001 or enquire now about our Summer Saturdays.

Dates Available (Gretna or Gretna Green Venue/s)
Saturday 13th June 2015  –  Greens at Gretna and Smiths at Gretna Green
Saturday 4th July 2015  –  Greens at Gretna and Smiths at Gretna Green
Saturday 11th July 2015  –  Smiths at Gretna Green
Saturday 18th July 2015  –  Smiths at Gretna Green
Saturday 1st August 2015  –  Greens at Gretna and Smiths at Gretna Green
Saturday 15th August 2015  –  Smiths at Gretna Green
Saturday 29th August 2015  –  Smiths at Gretna Green

Still to decide on a date? Let us look for the best date, time and package to suit your needs… call us now on 01461 336001.

It’s as easy as 3 steps to book, why not see our planning pages for more information.

Catering for allergies or restrictions in Gretna Green…

April 16th, 2015

Thinking of coming to Smiths at Gretna Green or perhaps trying to the new menu at the recently opened Greens at Gretna hotel? Dining with allergies or dietary restrictions can be very tricky…and often frustrating if faced with limited choice place after place!

We pride ourselves in being able to offer favourites that everyone can enjoy…and understand the concerns of those faced with the challenges posed by dietary choices or allergies! There’s no requirement too big or too small…from celiac disease to nut allergies to cucumber, gluten or lactose intolerance or even diabetes, delicious and unique meals have been created especially for our very important guests!

Worried about restricted choice? Don’t be! If you don’t see something which takes your fancy on the menu, our talented chefs are happy to work with you to create a safe and satisfying meal!

Watercress and Pea Risotto

Needing inspiration? Here are but a few of the options we can do…
Gluten intolerant? Cottage pie, Yorkshire puddings and sticky toffee pudding are all possible!
Vegan? Quinoa, stuffed roasted peppers, or risotto and rhubarb sorbet create a delicious meal!

Questions? Please get in touch on 01461 337007 for Smiths at Gretna Green or 01461 337621 for Greens at Gretna! Or send us a message on our Facebook pages!

Happy dining!

Smiths Hotel – Carnival Wedding Fun

March 3rd, 2015

We see all sorts of fabulous decorations, table settings, favours and themes come through the door here at Smiths Hotel with many of our Gretna Green weddings having their wedding breakfast with us! From traditional and romantic to bespoke, fun and festive, in any colour imaginable! Every once in a while, one appears that captures our imagination! So we decided we’d start a new theme….a Wedding Focus of the Month!

Starting us off is this fantastic and fun carnival theme from a February wedding! We all wanted to join the party….especially with the disco going and the raffle prizes to be won!

Head Table - Carnival Fun

The fun started even before one got through the door! The seating chart was made up of bags of ‘goldfish’each with the name of a guest….who were admitted entry only after picking up their fish!

Carnival Wedding Seating

Then one reached the tables! Guests were treated to table favours of tubs of popcorn and candy floss bringing back memories of the carnival! Remember trying to hook prizes floating in a barrel?? The tablecentres were bowls filled with bright rubber ducks….complete with rods to fish them out – just like at the fair!

Carnival Fun Tablecentre   Carinval Fun   Raffle time!
Who doesn’t love a raffle….winning tubs of sweets or adorable stuffed animals?? Guests of this wedding were in for a trip down memory lane, bringing back memories of happily heading out the fair gates with prizes clutched tightly!

Last, but certainly not least, the cake of course! The main two tier cake was topped with a Lego Bride and Groom surrounded with highly decorated cupcakes displayed on a Ferris wheel! How fun is that!

Carnival Fun - Cupcake Ferris Wheel   Carnival Fun - Cake time!

Planning Your Gretna Green wedding? The notice period’s changed!

March 2nd, 2015

Happy March! Hands up who’s planning their Gretna Green weddings? There’s been an important change to the requirements!

WHAT’S CHANGED?

As of 1st March 2015, your Marriage Notice form – known as your M10 form – now needs to be submitted a minimum of 28 days in advance….rather than the previous 14 working days. This new period of notice is also for civil partnerships and the issuing of a Certificate of No Impediment (for those looking to marry outwith Scotland, or those looking to enter into a civil partnership with someone living in England or Wales).

SO WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO?

As of now, you and your partner need to complete and submit your M10 form between 3 months and 28 days prior to the proposed wedding date. For weddings at Smiths Hotel, Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop or Greens at Gretna Hotel, this is submitted to the registrar in Gretna.

Alongside this form, you will be asked for your birth certificate and a valid passport or ID to prove your nationality. If you’ve been married or in a civil partnership before, you must provide proof of a divorce or dissolution when submitting a new notice. If your partner is deceased, you must provide a copy of their death certificate.

THEN WHAT?

Once you’ve submitted your Marriage Notice, the register office will prepare your Marriage Schedule. This is the document you, your partner, your celebrant and two witnesses sign to make your ceremony legally binding – so you can’t get married without one!

If you’re having a civil ceremony, your registrar will bring the Marriage Schedule but, if you’re having a religious or belief ceremony, you or your partner must collect the document from the register office the week of the big day.

After the wedding, you have three days to hand in the completed Marriage Schedule to the register office. (If you’re jetting off on your honeymoon straight after the wedding, ask a friend or family member to do it for you – you won’t get your marriage certificate otherwise!)

 NEED MORE HELP?

Our wedding team is here to help….give us a call on 01461 336001 and we’ll be more than happy to answer any and all questions you may have!

Smiths hotel springs into a NEW à la carte menu

February 19th, 2015

There’s been a hive of activity lately in the Smiths at Gretna Green kitchen! Our talented team of chefs have been busy putting the finishing touches on the new spring à la carte menu – and it’s all locally sourced with Dumfries and Galloway!

Hands up if you enjoy a night out of the kitchen? Yes, we thought so! Here’s the perfect excuse to come back to Smiths for tea very soon….made from locally sourced ingredients, this delicious menu features a mix of old favourites and new exciting dishes from hot smoked salmon starters to fun, unique takes on fish dishes such as our new John Dory and light-hearted takes on classic desserts  like the stunning Cherry Bakewell Tart!

We were lucky to be in the right place last week when this fabulous new menu was presented for tasting….we do love getting tasty tidbits. Better get those forks and spoons in quickly!

     Tomate and Mozzarella Salad  Tasting-Menu

But that’s not all! Our menus are getting a fresh new look too….watch this space for more!
For now, here’s a wee teaser!

Hot Smoked Salmon  John Dory  Peanut, Chocolate and Banana

Go on….treat yourself and try the new menu! Remember to share your favourites with us on facebook and twitter!

Planning Your Gretna Green Wedding?

January 30th, 2015

Planning your Gretna Green wedding? Our intrepid and wonderful wedding team are hitting the road and could be coming to a wedding fair near you very soon! We’ll be bringing a wee bit of our beloved Gretna Green with us ….so grab your wedding party and pop down!

Sunday 1st February – Enchanted Wedding Fair, Sands Centre, Carlisle

If you’re near to us but busy on the 8th Feb, why not come meet us at Enchanted? Our wedding planners are keen to chat about everything Gretna Green and planning your Gretna Green wedding……and we’d LOVE to meet some of our local brides and grooms-to-be!

http://www.thesandscentre.co.uk/events/Enchanted-Wedding-and-Prom-Event-207

Sunday 8th February – Smiths at Gretna Green wedding fayre

With over 30 local vendors, this is the perfect place to plan your special day in one stop! You’ll also have the opportunity to visit venues including Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop, Smiths hotel, and the soon-to-be Greens at Gretna (formerly Garden House Hotel). If you’re planning on get married in Gretna Green, this is a must-attend day!

https://www.facebook.com/events/602155899930550/?fref=ts

27th Feb-1 March – National Wedding Show – Birmingham NEC

We had such a lovely time at the National Wedding Show at the Birmingham NEC last year, we’ve decided to go again! We’ll have our Gretna Green wedding venues and packages on feature – come explore the living history of Gretna Green weddings!

https://www.facebook.com/nationalweddingshow?fref=ts

The North West Wedding and Venue Exhibition

Live in the south? Meet us halfway! Sunday 29th March we’re bringing a wee bit of Gretna Green to the North West Wedding and Venue Exhibition ready to answer any and all questions.

http://www.merseysideweddingfairs.co.uk/Fairs/25wm/the-northwest-wedding-and-venue-exhibition

Smiths’ Wedding Fayre 2015

January 23rd, 2015

Hands up if you got engaged over the festive period? Excited? Always dreamt of a romantic Gretna Green wedding? Perfect timing! We’ve got the well-known annual Smiths Wedding Fayre right around the corner….on Sunday 8th February!

wedding-fayre-leaflet-2015

This fabulous event is the perfect time to come visit the venues in Gretna Green – from the Famous Blacksmiths Shop to nearby venues such as Anvil Hall or Gretna Old Parish Church! Plus you can tour both Smiths at Gretna Green hotel and our new sister hotel, the soon-to-be Greens at Gretna hotel!

From photographers to pipers, dresses to table dressings, our in-house wedding team has gathered only the very best in local vendors – plan your wedding in one stop! Plus a number of appointments with the fantastic Smiths’ wedding team are available on the day allowing you to book your special day whilst visiting us!

There’s not long left now until we throw open the doors and welcome everyone again but in the meanwhile, here’s a few photos of last year’s fayre to keep you in the wedding planning spirit!

Ideal wedding/shower gifts!

Ideal wedding/shower gifts!

A tasty treat for your guests...

A tasty treat for your guests…

A sample table dressing...

A sample table dressing…

Why not have a disco after your wedding breakfast?

Why not have a disco after your wedding breakfast?

Welcoming visitors to the 2014 fayre...

Welcoming visitors to the 2014 fayre…

Needing inspiration for your theme? Look no further!

Needing inspiration for your theme? Look no further!

Smiths Hotel’s Famous Afternoon Tea

January 23rd, 2015

Afternoon Tea at Smiths has been a huge hit… For some people the lure of freshly baked cakes and delicious homemade scones is simply too much to resist! While Smiths has a host of yummy lunch dishes on offer, the ‘quaint yet quirky’ afternoon tea is fast becoming its most sought after lunchtime treat… for this scrumptious offering of tea, coffee, finger sandwiches, macaroons, banana bread, chocolate and more has been flying out the doors since it was added to the Smiths menu partway towards the end of last year…

Afternoon Tea....ready to enjoy!

Afternoon Tea….ready to enjoy!

Should you be visiting us to get married, attend a wedding or blessing or that you’re simply stopping off on your way north or south of the border then you simply must sample the wares! Plus it also makes the perfect treat for a baby shower, special birthday, long overdue catch-up with friends or even an informal work get-together!

Presented with a blanket draped over your table and descend into a picnic of the senses with our delightful crockery and picnic basket all adding to the charm of the Smiths afternoon tea experience, Smiths Afternoon Tea is a firm favourite with all who have tried it!

Keep an eye on here….and on our Facebook pages…the chefs do like to have fun with the Afternoon Tea – we had a festive version over the Christmas period….who knows – there may even be an Easter themed one?!

Festive Afternoon Tea at Smiths (December 2014)

Festive Afternoon Tea at Smiths

Need more info? Why not head over to Smiths website