I’ve recently joined my family business at Mount Ephraim Gardens as the new General Manager. Mount Ephraim is a family home that’s been in my family since 1695 and we now run the country house and gardens as a business with the gardens and tea room open to the public. We now also offer five fabulous guest rooms in our West Wing as well as offering wedding ceremonies and receptions.
We’ve been organising weddings for over 20 years now but it all happened really organically. We had held many family weddings here over the years and then someone from outside the family asked if they could have their wedding reception here and it just grew from there. I was also lucky enough to get married here in 2005 and have the best day of my life. We now organise about 25 weddings here each year and tend to be fully booked between May and September with a small number of weddings over the autumn and winter too.
My work days here are pretty unconventional and massively different from my previous 20 years working for charities in an office. I’m responsible for the day to day running of the house and gardens and all that it entails along including the marketing and administration and of course managing our weddings. An average day could consist of answering emails for prospective couples and putting together bespoke quotes for them, polishing floors and moving tables and chairs around ahead of wedding days, placing adverts to let more people know about us and what we offer, dreaming up some fun social media posts, picking flowers to put in our guest rooms and Tea Room, offering prizes for fundraising events, and of course showing couples and their families around. This is the best part of the job as I get to meet a whole host of different people and show them around my family home. I love hearing people’s different ideas for their wedding day and sharing my experiences of how weddings can work here but ultimately every couple is different and will want different things. We pride ourselves on being truly flexible and allowing couples and their families to take over Mount Ephraim for their wedding – not just on the day but on the day before and day after as we never offer weddings on consecutive days. This is our family home and we want couples to feel as if we’re their home for their wedding too so they don’t feel rushed.
So it’s a really varied role with lots of responsibility but lots of fun too. We have a great team of people here at Mount Ephraim working in the gardens and in the tea room and guest rooms and I’m lucky enough to be working for such an amazing family business. Every day is different and it’s this variation that keeps me on my toes! I’m hoping that in the coming years I can grow the business and get to meet even more couples who choose to have their weddings here as well as get to meet tons of other wedding professionals who all do an amazing job in making Kent such a fabulous county to get married in.