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The Banqueting Manager: “The ballroom can be as extravagant or as understated as you like"

Aidan O'Sullivan: Experience, brand values and five-star standards inspire confidence for Powerscourt Hotel wedding guests

Aidan O’Sullivan is Conference and Banquets Manager at Powerscourt Hotel. He moved to the five star hotel in 2015, having previously worked at Luttrellstown Castle, a private venue for the luxury wedding market and exclusive private events. The pull of the hotel life was strong though and he relished the constant buzz and on-call demand of a five-star hotel. He’s delighted with this next step in his career.

His team are preparing the ballroom for an event for 550 people when I arrive - it’s a cacophony of sounds and planning with furniture being moved and rearranged, bars being stocked and a new stage setup. It’s a wonderfully fluid space, capable of hosting a formal dinner for 400 and in its standard Powerscourt set it’s an elegant and refined space. Dressed for a wedding it can be transformed entirely, he explains. The variety of the job is an exciting challenge for him. He can be planning a private dinner for 10 in their beautiful wood-panelled board room one day and a full-scale wedding incorporating indoor and outdoor spaces in tandem the next.

Every bride and groom are different, he says, and he strives to deliver what every client wants - that touch of difference that will convince them that they are getting the wedding they’ve dreamt of. He’ll go out of his way to meet the wedding party in advance, often joining them briefly during their tasting day to talk to the parents and the couple themselves. He likes to get a sense of their personality and to inspire confidence in the wedding party – they deserve to feel that they are in safe hands, he says.

The style and design of the ballroom can be as extravagant or as simple as the wedding couple want. He often works with outside wedding planners who bring an entirely different look and feel to the room and he loves working with the in-house teams to reinvent the room in some way for every wedding. The Secret Garden, the hidden outdoor space at the heart of the hotel, has become a very special place to bring an event. They have had civil ceremonies there, barbeques, pre and after parties which have been very successful.

Operationally, weddings can be complicated and challenging to deliver but this is one of Powerscourt’s many strong points, he says. There is such good humour and sense of pride in the brand from staff, that solving problems and managing a perfectly balanced day is not hard at all, he says. We thrive on it and genuinely give our very best.

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