The actress got married at her local, Ben Abrahams’ pub at the Victoria Stakes pub in Muswell Hill, north London, on Saturday 29 April.
Hill, who also played Aveline in 1980s TV show Bread, has thanked the pub for a “wonderful afternoon” that she said was pulled off supremely well with only two days’ notice.
How it started
Abrahams said that after holding many wedding receptions, he realised there was a demand to use the venue for wedding ceremonies as well.
The publican contacted his local council and signed up with the registrar last year to receive his wedding licence, something he described as a relatively simple process – although they had to check the site was suitable and did not flout any regulations.
He said holding wedding ceremonies has added a guaranteed income but there are costs to consider.
“We employ a full-time event manager now because, to deliver that service, we have to make sure someone is answering the phone and getting back to enquiries quickly. And someone has to be there to manage the event on the night,” he said. “So, there is the extra cost of a full-time person.”
He also spent time creating bespoke menus and ensuring the kitchen was capable of delivering a wedding breakfast service.
“It’s not easy. You can’t just decide to do weddings,” said Abrahams. “There are standards you have to meet. We needed a second set of crockery and glassware, which we store separately so it isn’t used on a busy Saturday night. There’s also costs for dressing the venue.”
Pub weddings on the rise
The publican said the trend of getting married in a pub is on the rise – as more people look to avoid hotels and golf clubs.
“People are looking for unique experiences and ones that include heritage”, said Abrahams. “People can see the craft beer, meet the chef, and see that the building they are getting married in has history.”
Couples who have got married at the venue include “trendy east London hipsters” as well as people getting hitched for the second time who want something a less formal. Abrahams got married at the pub, something he described an “amazing experience”.
Benefits for business
“It helps with the financial forecast for the year ahead, so we can guarantee some basic turnover”, added the publican. “It’s incredibly exciting for staff to be part of a wedding.”
The pub, which has since been rebuilt, burnt down six months ago – resulting in it being inundated with letters and cards from people who had a special event with them.
Although Abrahams said holding weddings can be “very stressful with a lot of pressure”, it is also “very rewarding” and said people considering it for their site should go for it.