The Summit’s Kelly Bavin talks weddings with Andrew Sinclair

2018-11 Summit Restaurant Mt Coot-tha Brisbane – Kelly Bavin Events Manager – Andrew Sinclair Brisbane Marriage Celebrant

Kelly Bavin, Events Manager, Summit Restaurant (venue closed 2020)

How long have you worked at the Summit Restaurant?

Seven years!

What was your study / career journey to take you there?

My initial degree is a theatre/ drama degree. Hospitality was work that I could schedule around university and led me to travel the world  I have worked in all facets of marketing, events and venue management in hotels, cocktail bars and restaurant. Event Management was by far my greatest passion and hence why I am here all these years later!

What does a wedding day schedule look like for you?

It is a big day! Early start to get as many emails and office based work out of the way, then meetings with future couples. Weekends are usually best for couples to visit us so we tend to limit them to a couple in the morning of a wedding. Then it is all systems go! We have a wonderful team across the venue and everyone is committed to ensuring the wedding setup and execution is exemplary.

You’ve be in the Brisbane wedding industry for 8 years.  What changes have you seen?

Obviously styling trends and even menu trends change. The digital age is apparent with wedding #’s and social media. Couples are more aware than ever of what they envisage and platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are certainly a big part of this.

What wedding trends are you seeing?

Boho style on a Shared Dining menu. The heritage style of the restaurant lends itself so beautifully to the theme – a real sense of family banquets! In saying that, the classic atmosphere of Summit works with any style!

What are the top questions asked by couples when looking for a wedding venue?

It is important that couples know exactly what costs they are looking at and we certainly understand this. We are very transparent and are happy to work with flexible options. Couples often ask us about hidden costs and future price increases – and we are always happy to say ‘these prices we discuss today are the prices we will honour you!” Also couples who don’t want to be ‘pigeon holed’ into set packages – we actually enjoy tailoring all our options to meet the needs of individual clients.

Live or recorded music.  Which works best at wedding receptions?

Live – but that is a personal preference. Both are great – it really is up to the individual couple – and of course to ensure a professional is engaged – you want to ensure your music reflects you as a couple!

When hiring staff, what qualities do you look for in applicants?

Personality is key – and someone not afraid of hard work! This is not a Mon-Fri 9-5 job, and I need to feel confident that my staff understand that. We are very lucky to work in such an exceptional venue and will do all we can to ensure our weddings exceed our couples’ expectations.

What dessert options are popular at Summit Restaurant?

Look you can never go past a chocolate fondant! However we have started offering ‘Cheese Wheel Wedding Cakes’, which not only look spectacular but provide a fabulous alternative to dessert.

You’ve met many couples and families over the years. Which ones stand out and why?

Honestly I am not lying when I say we have the most amazing couples here – genuinely lovely people. By the end of the planning is feels like you have a new friend! I still remember couples names and wedding dates from 2012. The ultimate compliment is meeting a new couple who attended a wedding here years ago – it means they had such a great experience as a guest that they couldn’t imagine anywhere better! We do see this often and I love getting to catch up and sometimes meet the babies that have come along since!

What wedding day preparation tips do you have for couples?

On the day – relax and enjoy every moment. It goes by in a flash. Just ensure your pre prep is done and take the day as it comes.

How far out is your furthest booking?

December 2020… although a few 2021 enquiries are coming through….

On a lighter note ….

Where are you going to for your next holiday?

I just came back from Spain – I want to go back!

Charity of choice?

Medecins sans frontiers – they are incredible!

When you arrive home after a wedding what do you like doing?

Honestly? Squeeze some family time with the kids and relax with a wine or 2!

When hitting the kitchen what is your hero dish(s)?

North African curry or Greek lamb and zucchini

What Australian bricks mortar retail outlet do things well?

Sasha Drake – local designer in Paddington (amazing)

What are you most curious about in life?

Travel – I adore finding new places and cultures.

What is your number one online retailer for personal shopping?

Kiehl’s – love it and you get freebies everytime you shop!

Favourite Brisbane restaurant

Ooh there are some great restaurants, however thanks to my children don’t get out enough! Probably currently Madam Wu – this is likely to change next time I am out though…

Favourite non-work web site(s)?

I am not a computer fan…. Try to steer clear outside of work.

If you could drive a dream car what would it be?

I am not a massive car person if it is just for me then perhaps a red Porsche Boxster ??

What has been your 5 minutes of fame?

Well I have a drama degree – so younger me had a few moments

Quirky things that people may not know about you?

For my own wedding – it was my husband that planned the majority of it – and I wouldn’t change a thing!

The Summit Restaurant (venue closed 2020)

Kelly Bavin on LinkedIn

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