The Manchester Memorial Hall is one of Manchester’s most romantic venues.
Located just off Albert Square, it’s one of Manchester’s most beautiful buildings. The Hall was designed by noted Victorian architect Thomas Worthington, the man responsible for the Albert Memorial in Albert Square housing Matthew Noble’s statue of Prince Albert built in 1867.
Regarded by Historic England as one of the finest examples of Venetian gothic revival architecture in the country, the Grade II listed building pre-dates Alfred Waterhouse’s Town Hall – and even Albert Square itself.
With such a significant and romantic history, it’s no wonder that so many Manchester couples celebrate their nuptials here every year. But no matter how beautiful the venue, you still want someone on hand on hand to make the magic happen and ensure everything goes to plan on your special day.
We spoke with Lawrence Hallows, the man tasked with making dreams come true, about the famous faces he’s looked after, how he keeps each event unique, and the extreme lengths he’s gone to in order to make his couples dreams come true.
What made you want to be a wedding planner/designer?
I am passionate about all the relationships in my life and I enjoy building on them, so when I take on a project I get to excel in building a relationship with my clients. I also have a passion for detail and organisation. This is really the key to any busy and successful event or wedding organiser. The buzz I get from creating something for someone else is unreal, especially the biggest day of their lives.
How long have you been with Albert’s?
Albert’s have been hosting Manchester weddings since opening late 2012. I joined the company that year but at Sam’s Chop House and gradually progressed to Albert. I have always wanted to do events and it was the perfect opportunity to show what I was capable of.
What kind of planning do you offer? How detailed is it?
I am as involved as they want me to be, and I have literally gone bridal dress shopping with clients before. I offer everything from invites to flowers to evening entertainment. I’ve lent myself to be a witness before to a mature couple of 85 – a highlight of my wedding planning career.
How do you keep each event unique?
I think the key is to listen really carefully to what the client wants and then you can elaborate on that vision or dream. Every client is different and it’s essential to really involve yourself in what they want. I am as involved as they want me to be, and I put my heart and soul into giving them what they want.
What was the most spectacular event you’ve put together?
I don’t think I have pulled that one off yet. I’m hoping this will be own wedding day (hint and a nudge to my partner Adam).
What’s the most unusual request you’ve had for an event?
There are far too many to mention. Every wedding is unique and therefore every single one has at least one unusual or strange request – from papier mache dogs as favours to a mash potato bar instead of canapés. We pride ourselves on offering a truly bespoke service. This makes the process more personal for my clients and more fun for me.
What was the most challenging wedding you have planned?
My most challenging wedding was a wonderful couple that were originally from Manchester but were serving overseas in Afghanistan. We had very little contact during the process and they gave me an idea of what they wanted. It wasn’t an extravagant affair but I did feel immense pressure to get this right for them. They were serving our country and relied on me to ensure their day was perfect. I think I got the most satisfaction from that special day.
Have you had any famous weddings at the Chop Houses?
Yes we have had many stars through our doors and a number of famous faces have been married at Albert’s but I would never divulge information. They were certainly weddings to remember.
When is your most popular time of year for weddings?
I think wedding season is primarily spring through to summer, but we do get a lot of festive weddings because of our location near the Christmas markets. Our building and cuisine lends to winter months with hearty meals and warm surroundings so October-January are always busy.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
Seeing the happy couples dream become a reality on the day. It’s the greatest day of their lives and we are privileged to be part of this.
To find out how you can create your own history at the Manchester Memorial Hall, contact Lawrence on 07811 184 905 or l[email protected] for a no obligation meeting and walk through this historic Manchester building.