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    Wedding Priorities – where do you begin?

    Priorities, priorities… where does a couple start?

    We have all heard the famous question about whether the chicken or the egg came first – the same though can be true of venues and dates when trying to book a wedding.  As much as that might sound like a dreadful thought, it isn’t actually far from the truth.  Planning a wedding is all about priorities.  That might not sound particularly romantic and creative, but it is a cold hard fact that all newly engaged couples need to be aware of.

    Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography            Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography        Steph and Alex's Wedding 1 - Lucie Watson Photography

    Arguably the first things to identify should be the venue and the date.  Once those are in place there is a host of other things you can move onto.  However, once you have seen a couple of venues, read a few wedding magazines and talked to a few suppliers you will realise that (unless you are exceptionally lucky) your first priority is a budget.

    Look realistically at how much you have to spend and where you will be sourcing the funds, then start to break it down into the different areas.  Venue and catering are likely to be the biggest costs but there are plenty of other areas you might want to splash out on that can take you by surprise.  It’s also worth thinking about a contingency – or at the very least withholding a percentage of your budget for “sundries” and “creative touches”.

    Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography         Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography

    Once you have your budget, you can start looking at venues and their catering partners.  Get that nailed down, along with your date and you can settle back a little, relaxed in the knowledge that the biggest choices have been made.  Finding a photographer should probably be next on your list – they book up fast, particularly on weekends and if you have your heart set on someone in particular, you need to get yourself in their diary early.

    The rest is then down to you and what you think matters the most.  For some, a bespoke hand-made dress and a six-month waiting list will be vital – for others it is an off the rack trip to the local shops.  The right entertainment and live music are an imperative in some cases, whereas others are happy with a Spotify list recommended by friends.  Whatever choices you make though, do take your time, it’s a truly special day and needs to be right for you – not driven by whatever other people say your priorities should be.

    Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography            Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography

    If you are unsure where to start but have chosen BMA House as the venue then you can feel reassured by the fact you will have a dedicated wedding planner throughout the process, able to offer support and guidance across all elements of the day.

    Find out some more about our all-inclusive wedding packages and book yourself a visit to our wonderful central London venue. Simply drop us an email today and we look forward to hearing all about your wedding day plans.

    Email: [email protected]

    Tel: 020 7874 7020

    Images with thanks to Lucie Watson Photography (

    Four Seasons in one Day…BMA House has the perfect solution for our unpredictable British weather

    A quick throwback to the 90s there from Crowded House…

    It might seem to be a little odd quoting an Australian band in a blog about a London venue.  However, just walking around London one day last week I experienced hail, wind, rain and then got so warm I ended up wearing little more than a t-shirt.  That is perhaps a drastic example, but it does very clearly highlight the importance of having an all-weather venue when planning outdoor events in the UK.

      Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography

    And of course, that is something we can do for you here at BMA House.  Our Courtyard and Garden are both truly spectacular spaces – unique in London – but knowing you have the back-up of equally stunning indoor spaces with the same capacities is vital.

    So now you are confident that we have contingency options here – what can you expect from our outdoor spaces?

    The Courtyard really is BMA House’s centrepiece.  Visible from the road through wrought iron gates, the whole venue is built around this space – which is capable of hosting 320 guests around its beautiful fountain.

    The Garden is a more intimate space, away from the road yet made truly special by the wonderous medicinal herbs planted to reflect the fact we are home to the British Medical Association.  Where better to enjoy an evening drink after a busy day than here, amongst the plants and by the pond?


    To truly bring these spaces alive we work closely with CH&CO, our catering partner to create bespoke, ethical and exciting menus that reflect the two outdoor spaces and in the case of the Garden even make use of those wonderful herbs growing fresh on-site. We bring seasonal food to your event, supporting our wonderful British farmers & source local produce wherever possible. Sustainable spring and summer menus can be themed, such as street food style or a BBQ and of course can meet the needs of vegetarian and vegan diets.


    We can even provide a pop-up bar specialising in cocktails that make the most of the theme, the setting and again the on-site produce.  It’s incredible what the right herbs and spices can do to a cocktail or mocktail.

    So come and have a look, and don’t worry about an umbrella as we quite literally have you covered.

    There is no bigger missed opportunity than cheese without chutney

    According to George R. R. Martin, author of the word famous Game of Thrones series of books and tv shows, all you need to do is give him “a good sharp knife and a good sharp cheese and I’m a happy man.”

    Now that maybe true for our fantasy writing friend George.  However, in my opinion there is one thing missing – where, oh where, is the chutney?  Now I have heard it rumoured that not everyone pairs chutney and cheese – I literally don’t understand!  I am also aware that some individuals spread chutney on a pork pie or add it to a ham sandwich.  However, here at BMA House we don’t judge, instead we provide remarkable, sustainable chutney to suit every occasion.


    Why all the talk about cheese and chutney?  Because amongst our other waste policies is the ongoing creation of chutney using food waste. Our chefs create beautiful chutneys using unused and untouched fruit and vegetables, plus their peels, that have been left-over after an event, to accompany a host of different dishes as part of our waste reduction initiatives.  Not only is it sustainable, but it also provides a unique accompaniment that cannot be found elsewhere.

    Rather than just being a blog about cheese and chutney there is a more serious point to be made here about food wastage.  As a leading sustainable venue, BMA House is constantly looking for ways to “be better” and find new solutions to the challenges created when you run a busy venue complete with a substantial kitchen.


    Food waste is a big issue in events – firstly there is the issue of catering numbers – how many people will actually show up and how much will they eat?  Then there is the issue of portion size or in the case of a buffet quantities of each dish – if you have two main options plus a vegan dish, how many of each do you offer?  This is particularly challenging where many meat eaters choose to be vegan for a month, or a few days, or just because that option looks tastier.  The result can be extensive amounts of waste in the food produced.  When you add in kitchen wastage the figures continue to grow.

    Food waste doesn’t seem like the biggest sustainability issue when you first think about event organising, venue logistics and management.  You would imagine it’s a long way down the list after travel or energy usage.  However, the description above hopefully shows just how big an issue it can be and why it is so important to question your venue about such policies when booking.  It is also vital that the venue themselves work closely with you to manage catering numbers and quantities as well as the many other elements that can help reduce waste – including chutney production!

    Chutney making is just one of the many ways we are working to decrease our impact on the environment and improve sustainability – for me though – it is one of my favourites.

    Now where is that stilton?

    To find out more on our award-winning venue’s Sustainability practices, visit our Sustainability page here: – we really are more than a few recycling bins in the corner of our meeting rooms!

    Luxurious private seasonal dining at BMA House


    Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography

    Do you ever get that feeling that you want to go out for dinner, somewhere lovely, with great food and wonderful service… without actually leaving home?

    The answer is of course a private dining experience at one of London’s most iconic venues.  With four unique rooms, BMA House’s luxurious private dining options provide the perfect atmosphere to gather, relax and eat in style.

    Amongst our Grade II listed spaces, our four intimate dining spaces provide everything from the perfect winter or autumn retreat for a cosy meal in charming, character-filled surroundings; to bright open spaces flooded with light and botanical influences that provide the freshness of spring and summer.


    Our chefs lovingly create bespoke, sustainably sourced menus for all our private dining clients – which include a menu tasting opportunity in advance to ensure the flavours are perfect and fit each client’s need.  Bursting with flavour these menus include seasonal ingredients from Fairtrade suppliers across the whole spectrum of dietary needs.

    In terms of the actual spaces available –

    You could choose the Prince’s room for a sense of occasion and luxury. The marble-floored foyer provides an impressive welcome for pre-event drinks and the room itself is adorned with gold-leaf detailing. Corinthian columns, large mirrors and windows create a bright, luxurious space and intricate details make this historic corporate dining venue one of London’s finest.

    With original Spanish mahogany panels, two fireplaces, access to the Courtyard and ornate tiles the Paget room is an intriguing space. Natural daylight floods the room through Lutyens windows, making the room ideal for private dining.

    Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography

    Period features take centre stage in the Snow room, ensuring it remains a popular dining venue in London.  15-foot-high ceilings and direct access to the Courtyard make the Snow room feel bright and airy, alongside simple, stylish décor.


    With botanic-themed artwork, a double-height ceiling and large windows, the Garden room benefits from natural light and direct access to the Garden, which gives the room a design that brings the outdoors, in. There is also a fixed bar, space for live music and capacity for up to 48.

    Prices start from £50+ vat per person depending on numbers.

    Are hybrid events better for the environment?

    Following changes to working practices after the COVID-19 pandemic, leading London venue, BMA House is exploring why hybrid events are better for the environment?

    The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has delivered the first major review of the science of climate change since 2013.  The results according to UN Secretary General António Guterres are “a code red for humanity.”  According to the BBC, “the authors say that since 1970, global surface temperatures have risen faster than in any other 50-year period over the past 2,000 years.”

    COP26 is an opportunity for the world to gather and make tangible changes in terms of carbon emissions and environmental change.  Some are describing it as a last stand for humanity.  It will be a face-to-face event that has the power to change the word for the better.  However, due to the impact of COVID-19, global travel restrictions, closed borders and more – it will undoubtedly be a hybrid event.  Given the nature of COP26’s content, , what better time to question why hybrid events are better for the environment.

    Firstly, it is worth noting that hybrid is not a new concept, it has however become a reality due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  COP26 will arguably be the world’s first major hybrid event bringing together both in-person and virtual audiences.  Prior to COVID almost all delegates would have travelled to the event in person.  Now, necessity is forcing change, it is forcing new concepts in the world of event management.  It is making us think differently about attending events in person and how we calculate the value of travel.

    Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography

    Travel to and from events is the most obvious consideration when it comes to the sustainability of in-person events versus hybrid events.  Cutting down on planes, trains and automobiles does unarguably make hybrid events better for the environment (and it would have saved John Candy a lot of hassle way back in 1987!).  It also allows wider audiences to attend – those who previously did not have either the funds or the time to attend an in-person event.  It is clearly the single biggest benefit to the environment for hybrid events.  So many miles of travel will be reduced, so many trips no longer need to be taken, so much fuel (not matter how responsibly sourced) will not be used.  An extension of this is also the potential growth of international delegates, who can attend virtually, without associated travel miles and cost.

    However, there are many other considerations beyond travel that need to be taken into account.  Firstly though, we must assume that a hybrid event includes some element of face-to-face meeting for some of the delegates (otherwise it would be purely digital).

    Energy usage is a big question to consider.  The venue still needs power, but so do all the home offices and remote spaces for all the virtual delegates.  Perhaps the venue needs less power though due to smaller in person attendees, and the remote attendees were going to be powering and heating their homes anyway?  In terms of energy, on the surface it is perhaps a net balance.  However, the energy cost of streaming requires servers around the world to be on, cooled and maintained.  Plus each remote delegate needs to power their own devices.  Maybe this consumption balances out with less venue AV requirements and the fact in person attendees would still be switching on laptops and tablets anyway.  Time and research will prove this question.

    Food consumption is also probably a net balance – people still need to eat whether at home or the event.  They need to source and cook the food either at the venue or themselves.  Food miles should perhaps be considered but so should the fact that the home based, live streaming, delegate is eating leftovers or sharing lunch with family.

    The most difficult and most important question to ask though is whether to have the event in the first place and what value it will deliver.  This has always been an important question to ask, but COVID-19 has highlighted the fact we really cannot hold events for the sake of holding them.  This will have a huge impact on the environment as organisers question themselves, hone the content and ultimately create fewer but better events.

    Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography

    Hybrid events are the future, and they will be better for the environment than historic events.  However, all angles must be considered if we are to ensure they are a success and better for the environment.  The face-to-face element of events deliver serendipitous meetings and conversations that might not otherwise happen online, and we cannot ignore the importance of physical meetings.  Many topics that are often dealt with in a round table format for example offer significant logistical challenges, where small group dynamics work well online or in person but can be tricky where some are “in the room” and others not.

    We must recognise that hybrid offers the opportunity for wider interaction and attendance, the chance to dip in and out of session, which in turn adds diversity and inclusion, increasing value in other ways.  However, some things simply aren’t quite as good as the in-person experience – particularly that post event glass of English sparkling wine – which never tastes as good behind a laptop.

    For further information on holding your hybrid event at our impressive London venue, please email: [email protected] or call: 020 7874 7020 or visit:

    Wedding venue dreams – make them all about you

    The perfect London wedding venue will make the day about the couple, putting them front and centre, respecting their wishes and finding ways to meet their needs and their wedding dreams.  If a wedding venue can provide that sense of ownership, with all the right personal touches then they truly are somewhere special.

    Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography

    Sustainability in wedding venues is not a new thing but it has become far more prevalent and more of a focus as couples seek to be more environmentally friendly.  Where should couples start though, what are the key questions to ask and look out for?

    Firstly, as mentioned it should be about the personal touch.  We, for example, provide one point of contact, one wedding planner from start to finish included in our offering, whether this is one of our all-inclusive packages, or bespoke proposal built with you in mind. We’ve made things nice and simple for you, book your chat at a time that suits you with our wedding planner here.

    We are also exclusive – despite having four very different spaces licensed for weddings, we only ever host one at a time – meaning there is no risk of that awkward moment when you bump into another bride in the toilet!

    Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography         

    It’s this personal and individual approach that then allows you to create a wedding that is sustainable because it means the venue is driven by your needs rather than a standard template with “insert couples name here” at the top.

    Some areas of sustainability are obvious – such as our caring policy on biodegradable confetti or the fact that there are no single use plastics in the venue.  However, one of the biggest areas for environmental impact is the food and drink.  Food miles are considered for all our menus, as is the seasonality of the food and sustainable value of our suppliers – in fact we now only stock English sparkling wines for that very reason.  And you don’t have to be concerned, not only have the English wines consistently beaten continental competitors in blind taste tests, but we also always offer complimentary menu tastings so you can check them out yourself.  It is, however, our water which travels the shortest distance as it is bottled on site.


    Just a few additional personal touches here at BMA House are the charming London open spaces, balconies for bouquet tossing and a host of local boutique hotels offering special rates to our guests.

    Steph and Alex's Wedding 2 - Lucie Watson Photography

    Your wedding should be about you and your venue must recognise and support that – we certainly do, and we would be delighted to chat more and learn what special touches we can add to your special day.

    Simply click here to book your chat with our caring wedding planner, or email us on: [email protected], or call: 020 874 7020.