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11 Questions with... Tim Pitcher of Grangefields, Derbyshire

In this month's 11 Questions we spoke to Tim Pitcher, barn manager of gorgeous Derbyshire wedding venue, Grangefields. An expert in coordinating rustic celebrations, Tim shares with us his experience of working in the industry

Tim Pitcher - barn manager at Grangefields wedding venue

Tim Pitcher - barn manager at Grangefields wedding venue

Tim Pitcher is the barn manager of Grangefields - a wedding venue nestled in the heart of the Derbyshire countryside. From meeting with suppliers to organising his team, he is on hand to deliver couples the best day of their life. We asked Tim to reveal his typical working day, what he loves most about the industry and his plans for the future. 

How Did You Get Started in the Wedding Industry?

Foliage decorated barn door entrance to a wedding ceremony

I have spent most of my working life within hospitality, managing pubs and bars around the country - I did have an eight year foray into policing, however my heart has always been within this sector. I was looking at new opportunities and saw that Cripps and Co were hiring, I researched the wedding industry (something I hadn't previously considered) and it ticked a lot of boxes for me and suited who I am both personally and professionally.

I joined one of Cripps and Co's sister sites Hazel Gap Barn and after two years of bar management moved over to run Grangefields. 

What Does Your Typical Working Day Involve?

Variety! Managing a wedding venue practically from its start-up has meant a great deal of relationship building with suppliers and prospective couples, putting together a team and ongoing workflow opportunities. 

My day starts early with venue preparation and emails - on a non-wedding day it's all about welcoming in couples and showing them around, planning existing couples' big days and ensuring the site is fully staffed and stocked! Wedding mornings are mainly taken up with the set up that has been planned, organising suppliers and ensuring all is perfect for the wedding parties arrival. I'm then on hand all day to guide them through the day. 

What Is It That You Love about Working in Weddings? 

Bride and groom celebrate as they leave their wedding ceremony barn room

I am very much a people person - there is so much to love about my growing team and venue, and I take pride in showing it all off and delivering on our promises to our couples. There's nothing I enjoy more than seeing a couple get married and then guiding them through the best day of their lives. 

What Do You Find Most Challenging in Your Work?

I love spending lots of time getting to know all our couples and suppliers alike - this fundamentally means I can run out of time! I do find I have to reign myself in to make time for everyone. 

What's Your Advice for Someone Who Wants to Work in Your Field in the Wedding Industry? 

Lines of wooden tables in a barn wedding dining room

I think the wedding industry is such a vast and diverse sector that there is a place for people with a multitude of different skill sets. I feel that transferring skills from other jobs and businesses and applying them to weddings can be a perfect fit.

The best advice I could give is to start by getting involved with a wedding business, in whatever capacity that may be, then work hard, show your willingness to adapt, learn and develop - then opportunities will arise. 

Above all else I feel that personality, being personable and a sound business acumen are key to success within this industry.

Which Wedding Professionals Inspire You?

All of our suppliers who come to Grangefields to ply their trades and set up wedding are masters of their crafts! I am forever dumbfounded at the fabulous cake creations, the sprawling floral displays and the beautiful images that our photographers capture. 

Which Current Wedding Trend Do You Want to See More of?

Stylish barn room in a wedding venue

I am a lover of ensuring every wedding is different at Grangefields. By working closely with my couples we ensure aspects of their lives are incorporated into their big day - there is nothing better than elaborate garden games, salsa dancing or a fire show to bring a wedding party together.

A recent wedding had a ‘rum and reggae’ hour, whereby we produced lots of perfectly crafted rum cocktails whilst the DJ got everyone grooving to some Bob Marley classics! The more unusual concepts are the things that ensure all the guests remember our weddings over others.

What’s Your Favourite Wedding from a Film or TV Programme?

Who doesn’t love a good movie wedding!

I’m old enough to remember Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene’s (Kylie Minogue) wedding in Neighbours when growing up, and I think as cheesy as it was it will always stay with me as a classic!

Being a father to two kids I can relate to Steve Martin's struggles in Father of the Bride but my all time favourite however has to be the hilarious Wedding Singer

What’s the One Wedding Tradition You Would Ditch and Why?

Birds eye view of Grangefields barn wedding venue surrounded by countryside

Hmmm tough one! I feel a good mix of tradition and modern thinking can deliver the best day; the walk down the aisle, the smiles during the first dance, everyone’s Nan expects to see the cake being cut! I very much leave it up to my couples to decide what is right for them on the day.

I think there are several traditions that have already fallen into the abyss including the groom throwing the garter, cans tied to wedding cars and even the bride always wearing a veil. I think we’ll keep all the current popular ones as they hold a special place on the day, who knows what might become popular and the ‘norm’ in years to come! 

I personally love a brides speech in addition to the traditional groom's - maybe that could become the norm soon?

What Is Something Special You Are Able to Offer Clients? 

At Grangefields we offer epic weddings and we work closely to ensure everything is perfect for our couples in their own unique way. The food offering is of the highest possible quality, the venue and facilities are stunning, we are relaxed but professional in our delivery and will always go above and beyond on the day to ensure it is literally the best day of their life. You are in the safest possible hands with myself and my team.

What’s Your Next Ambition for Your Business?

Outside view of Grangefields wedding venue

We are a new venue for Cripps and Co and we have been growing at an insane speed! I will always strive to be the best and continue to improve all aspects of the business to ensure my couples get the best service in the best surroundings.

We want to be the number one wedding destination in the Midlands and are working towards achieving that!

There are a few exciting additions to Grangefields in the pipeline for this year, I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprises! Follow us on social media @grangefieldsvenue for some sneak peeks soon!

You can find out more about Grangefields on their website.