Meet the Marriage Makers | Saddlers Bar
proudly part of 'The Recommended Collection'
Tell us a little about you and your lovely business!
Saddlers Bar is a beautifully converted Horse Box Bar. Lined with copper, decked with oak and filled to the brim with delicious drinks. We serve a wide range to suit all tastes but can also specialise if you simply prefer a gin/prosecco/cocktail/pimms bar for your big day. A unique feature of our Horse Box is our on-board draft system serving icy cold lager, cider and ales. Essentially if it's drink-related, we have it covered!
- who are you/who's in the team?
Saddlers is a family affair. Lela looks after the customers and arranges our bookings. Al brings the muscle power and big smiles no matter what’s going on and Maddie, our daughter is great when we need an extra pair of hands behind the bar. We work so well as a family because we know eachother’s strong points and weaknesses so we can really plough our efforts in to the things we are all good at.
- where are you based and where do you cover?
Saddlers HQ is in the leafy outskirts of the beautiful city of Salisbury. We cover the whole of the South.
- how long have you been trading?
We launched in May 2018 with a very busy first year. To date we have completed over 20 events.
- what do you specialise in and offer?
Aside from delivering a stylish luxury bar service with everything you would expect to find in a bar, we also offer drinks packages to suit all occasions; arrival/reception drinks, table wine, and bespoke themed cocktails designed and named especially for our clients.
- any awards we should know about?
AWARDS - YES! We were very fortunate to be nominated for the ‘Best British Newcomer’ in the British Wedding Awards. This category is voted for by the general public and so we were ecstatic when, in February this year, we were crowned winners. It is so nice to be recognised for our efforts and to have such a prestigious award in our first year. We’ve also been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2019 Muddy Stilettos Award for ‘Best Bar in Wiltshire’ – how exciting is that! Voting closes in 6 days, so if you’d like to vote for us, we would be super grateful - here’s the link >> www.wilts.muddystilettos.co.uk/awards/
What is your favourite thing about working in the wedding industry?
Our speciality is weddings! We have been privileged to be part of so many weddings in quite a short period of time. There is something very special about being able to contribute to such an intimate and special event, which makes our job so rewarding. The bar is an integral element to any good party and so we really enjoy making sure that every little detail is taken care of; from our polished paintwork and shiny hubcaps, through to the quality of the strawberries in our pimms. We get even more excited if we can get a little bit creative and encompass the theme of your wedding in to the décor of the bar for the day.
Are you spotting any trends for 2019/2020?
Our predictions are around the "less is more" theory. We are seeing more and more small and intimate DIY weddings as couples want to personalise with meaningful touches that reflect their relationship, interests, and sense of style. Our old friend ‘tradition’ is often being offered the day off and little miss ‘creativity’ is working overtime to create less with more.
From a Bar perspective this is definitely the year of the cocktail but, with a growing focus on quality and provenance of ingredients. There are so many good spirits on the market now, but there are also some pretty awful ones too. We take the guess work out and ensure top notch tipples by road-testing all of our products (tough job we know!).
Couples are also loving having a personalised cocktail designed for them and named after them, or their dog, or even a special place.
What is not in, is over-the-top, in-your-face, bigger-is-better weddings. ‘keeping up with trends’ and filling the day with fussy trinkets and ‘wedding-alia’ is out, out, out.
What do you offer that others can’t? What makes you special?
What attracts customers to our beautiful bar is our stunning good looks of course (the bar that is – not us)! We have spared no expense in creating a stunning addition to your big day with the highest grade materials of copper and oak, beautiful ambient lighting, and hi-tech equipment... the list goes on.
What makes us different is that we invest a huge amount of time in sourcing great products from small batch producers and crafting excellent drinks from our finds. We meet the producers and each product has to earn a place on the shelf by demonstrating excellent craftsmanship, provenance and taste. This means that along with your all-time favourite drinks, in our bar you will always discover a new favourite to share with your friends. We believe this should be the benchmark standard for all bars and that everyone should be able to enjoy a little bit of luxury on their special day so, we keep our prices low. Simple.
What five words would you use to describe your business?
Stylish, Sophisticated and Seriously-Good Drinks (is that 6 words?!?)
What top tips would you like to share with our lovely couples planning their big day?
A common misconception is that it will be simple to buy your own alcohol and run a “DIY Bar”. The truth is, it can be achieved but it is certainly not simple. How much stock is needed? How do you chill your drinks? Glasswear? Who is responsible for the bar once everyone is tipsy? Who will clear up? What about allergies? And then there is the all-important ICE!!!! Who calls last orders? The outcome is often very messy.
It can cost as little as £250 to hire a beautiful bar with licenced staff and all of the accompaniments needed, to serve deliciously chilled drinks to your guests, and we take care of the clear up operation too. After all of the effort that you will have invested in to planning your dream day, don’t leave this key element to chance.
Above all, our general wedding planning advice would be to keep things simple. Work out a budget and keep a close eye on it. Pick your top 5 must-haves and build on them. Venue, dress/suits, bar, caterer, music. If you are at the very early stages of planning, a good starting point for inspiration is pinterest. Create a board for each of your top 5’s, but limit yourself to 10 images per board (one in, one out). This will help to narrow down what you want to achieve without swamping yourself with too many ideas.
Anything else you would like to tell us?