Posted By: SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
Interview: Lauren Selles, Sales & Catering Consultant, Lethbridge Lodge Hotel and Conference Centre
SBHR: Tell us a bit about yourself.
LS: I started working at the Lethbridge Lodge in 2007 as a waitress, intent on paying my way through school. I enjoyed my job so much that when I finished University I continued to waitress. Then, after I got married in December of 2012, I was thrilled when the Sales and Catering Consultant position became available as it seemed exciting to be a part of other peoples’ special day. So here I am!
…Also, I drink more tea than anyone I know.
SBHR: What value is most important when you think about ideas for functions?
LS: Quality is the value we think about most when coming up with ideas for function décor and set up. The most important thing to keep in mind when thinking creatively about an event is the client’s expectations and restrictions. Listen to what the client wants and follow through; if you make it effortless for them and it’s what they want, they’ll be happy!
SBHR: In your role you deal with a lot of brides. Weddings can be a very stressful time, what values do you keep top of mind when working with brides?
LS: While not every bride dreams of their wedding day from when they were little, it still is one of the most important days of their life. There is a lot of pressure (perhaps self-inflicted) on couples to make sure their day is perfect. When I’m working with Brides I keep in mind that they are stressed and this is all new for them. We go over as many details as possible leading up to the big day. If we can cover as much as possible in our meetings, they don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night thinking “what about this?!” I make sure to communicate to them that our Banquet Staff have years of experience and there isn’t anything we can’t handle together. So really it is all of our values coming together to create a great experience.
SBHR: what do you “value” the most in your role?
LS: I value attention to detail and organization. Our clients have put in a lot of work to make their event successful and we need to be organized and be mindful of every detail in order to make it work!
SBHR: You must deal with a lot of suppliers, wedding partners etc. Is there a particular value you look for in a good wedding partner?
LS: We work very closely with decorators, DJ’s, Florists, Cake Decorators and lots of crazy aunts! We’ve put some of our favourite vendors on our Preferred Vendor list which we give to our brides. It’s a list of companies whom we’ve experienced to be professionals and who we believe are amazing at what they do. When we considered who we wanted to put on this list, we chose people who, though not directly affiliated with us, represent all of our values. We work very closely with decorator Brenda Eaglesham, from A Decent Affair. She decorates our booth for us when we attend wedding shows and she’s even put together a display in our office to give couples a vision for how their day could look. She’s the one we call when we need linen or a backdrop and when the day arrives, it’s taken care of effortlessly.
SBHR: Of all of our values, which one influences your day to day activities the most?
LS: “Engagement” is my favourite, stating “we believe in being there for our guests and each other. We care about what we do, go the extra mile and have fun.” It isn’t necessarily something that the client comes in asking for but it makes them confident with what we offer and it’s what makes our relationship work. If we, as a venue, show that we care about them and what’s important to them, that we’ll go the extra mile to make their day the best and we have fun while we do it; what’s better than that? I’ve had a couple clients say to me “you have the best job,” and I agree!