2021: Our Fourth Year of Weddings


Looking back to December 2020, I asked myself:

What 2021 will bring? Will we host the 19 weddings we have in the diary? Will others postpone and smaller weddings be added to the diary? When will I be able to straighten a bride’s veil and quietly whisper ‘she’s arrived’ to a groom?

Having worked our way through such an unprecedented year, we entered 2021 with uncertainty, hope …and PPE! As we reached mid-summer, many restrictions were eased, and on what was known as ‘freedom day’, we hosted our first wedding party with readers, dancing, and a live band. What a high, especially for Liv and Brychan who had missed out on all of this when they married with us in 2020. This was the most fitting 1st year anniversary celebration for them!

Throughout the year, our couples changed their plans. Some decided to postpone their weddings to 2022, giving themselves a better chance at realising their original schedules. Others cut their numbers and changed their plans to keep their dates. Some couples got married in the Register Office and will return to celebrate at another time, reducing the number of weddings that we had in our diary. At the same time, we knew that some couples were ready to marry, with or without restrictions and our ‘Can’t Wait Weddings’ offer allowed us to help an extra 14 couples tie the knot in 2021, bringing us to a total of 25 weddings. Our busiest year to date!

Despite this success, our emergence from this wave of the covid-19 pandemic threw up a number of challenges, in particular the well-documented strain that was put on the catering and hospitality industry. While events were able to go ahead again, there was a drastic lack of staffing in the sector, something that is still now affecting venues and caterers. Being supported by an incredible team of Wedding Volunteers has never been so important, and their contribution to wedding days in 2021 was felt even more so than in previous years. As our Volunteers plugged the gaps in staffing due to contact isolating and industry demand, many of our weddings would not have succeeded without them and for this, Insole Court and the 25 couples that celebrated with us this year will be eternally grateful.

As a result of the industry boom, we lost our newly replaced wedding caterers, an unwelcome stress for our couples who already had plans in place. Fortunately, our Catering Manager and Senior Chef were able to work with these couples and create bespoke menus a world away from our usual café offering, while on other occasions our incredible street food partners like Cardiff Grazing Co, Ffwrnes and Samosa Co provided the most incredible food, in a less formal setting. As we enter 2022, we’re delighted to introduce our new formal wedding caterers as Humble Events, from the team behind The Humble Onion. A well-known restaurant based in Dinas Powys, now working with venues to bring the best quality, well curated menus and quality wines to couples and their guests. Having worked hard to develop our in-house offer, we’ll also be catering some of the smaller weddings ourselves, an offer that we continue to develop.

Highlights for this year include Jurrasic park, pie cakes, outdoor ceremonies, Father Christmas and tennis on the lawn! Zoom became a staple at weddings -either bringing couples to Insole Court, or taking the wedding ceremony to guests who couldn’t attend in person. As ever, the most rewarding part has been working with our couples. Whether their days went ahead as originally planned or had 7 changes right up until the day before, each wedding or civil partnership has been filled with love and joy, and was a privilege to host.

Our 2022 couples have also brought us so much joy, too. In a time of such uncertainty, a time when I have scarcely had all the answers and have very unfortunately had to pause couples’ planning processes though covid restrictions, catering issues and less admin time when working longer hours, our future couples have continued to be patient, kind and understanding. I know that some other venues aren’t as lucky to work with such wonderful couples, and I thank them for continuing to believe in and support us.

We enter 2022 with new restrictions in place, but also with hope and a better understanding of how to manage these restrictions. Most importantly, we understand how restrictions affect weddings at Insole Court, and how we can safely and tastefully work within these restrictions to host weddings and civil partnerships and to celebrate this union.

We don’t know exactly what 2022 will bring, but regardless …we can’t wait!

Morning Heledd,

Kath and I just wanted to drop you a quick email to say a huge thank you to you and the whole Insole team for making our wedding the best day of our lives.
You all went to so much trouble for us, and every single one of our guests commented on how wonderful both you and the venue was.
Putting this together at such short notice and under the circumstances was really stressful, but you were outstanding and even put up with me being me for the past few weeks.
We had an incredible wedding that we've both decided was too wonderful to keep quiet, so will be telling everyone this week.
All of our unmarried guests asked if we minded if they used Insole Court in the future too. Everyone had a fantastic time.
Also we'd like to make an additional donation to Insole Court, as you all went so over and above to make our day perfect.

Thank you again, so much,
Mart & Kath

For more information about weddings, please contact [email protected]

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