Dine – Celebrating 18 years
In Dine’s 18th year, Sophie Brooks and Jenny Mason also celebrate a combined 18 years with the company. Read about their careers so far, how they’ve progressed and developed their roles, and their event highlights. They also tell us how their jobs and responsibilities have evolved to accommodate family life and why they’re still here!
Anyone who works in Events and Hospitality will agree that you have to really love it to cope with all it entails. However, I feel quite fortunate that even after 10 years I’m still here, talking about fantastic food every day, speaking to really lovely clients about their events and of course working with a brilliant team..
As Dine comes into its 18th year, we are also celebrating another 18th within the team. Jenny and Sophie have clocked up an impressive 18 years of service between them this January, starting from their first Dine event, through weddings, families, part time working and how their roles have developed. Here, they tell their story;
Time with Dine: 10 years
I started with Dine in January 2006 as a Trainee Event Manager, but worked my first event in the December as part of the interview process – it just happened to be one of the biggest events of the year and was a fabulous Venetian Ball. I remember finishing at 5am after a 17 hour shift and driving 2 hours home on such a high as it had been such an incredible event to see, let alone work on! I knew I’d definitely made the right move coming to Dine and couldn’t wait to get started.
After my first year as a Trainee I was promoted to Event Manager and worked on a range of events before stepping in to run Weddings at Allerton in 2007. I had my own Dine Wedding in October 2007 which was beyond perfect, and in 2009 I moved into more of a marketing role so that I could get my weekends back – although working events is great fun, it doesn’t leave much time for any kind of social life, particularly during the Summer. I had a little girl in September 2009 just as The Mansion was opening, so when I returned I was based there a couple of days a week which was great. Two further children later and I’m still based at The Mansion, and currently work 2 days per week as a Marketing Executive which fits in really well with having a young family. My role is so varied, from entering awards to tweeting photos of our latest events, promoting the Garden Room Restaurant and providing support with enquiries, no day is ever the same which is perfect for me.
Anyone who works in Events and Hospitality will agree that you have to really love it to cope with all it entails (and the weekends!). However, I feel quite fortunate that even after 10 years I’m still here, working for one of the best event companies around, talking about fantastic food every day, speaking to really lovely clients about their events and of course working with an excellent team – all fuelled by top quality coffee from the restaurant!
Head of Wedding Planning
Time with Dine: 8 years
My Dine career started in January 2008, when I was recruited as an Event Manager at Allerton Castle; I still remember being blown away the first time I walked around, despite being warned about 6 day weeks and long hours… it really didn’t matter, I was going to get to plan and run weddings in a Castle! I didn’t once look back, accepted, and let all my friends & family know I’d finally found my dream job!
I’ve always loved weddings and events, I’m a people person, so getting to chat to so many people who are happy all the time is great. Whether it was picking up the phone to speak with someone who wanted some information, calming a Bride down who was panicking about her table plan, advising on colours and flowers, or coming up with new, exciting ways of incorporating a theme; the whole journey was part of the fun.
A lot of people don’t understand how vital an Event Manager’s role is throughout the planning process; the hours of detail that go into everything, from getting the timings right so that the couple have enough time with their photographer but aren’t late to welcome their evening guests, to being the only one in the building who knows how to tie a cravat, understanding a couples’ favourite menu or just making sure the Groom gets a stiff Whisky when the nerves finally kick in – that’s what we’re there for – and to keep everything going so that couples can enjoy the best day of their lives!
My Dine journey changed a little last year; I also have a little girl and she started school in September 2014. All of a sudden, weekends became so much more precious; and even though I still loved what was doing I do, I needed more time at home. I started only working alternate weekends, but even then, running so many events took its toll. So luckily for me, a new role was created and I’m now Dine’s Head of Wedding Planning. I now look after the training needs of the Event Managers and am responsible for coming up with new exciting ideas for our events.
So 8 years on, I’m still here – for me it’s onwards and upwards with the excitement of the new, incredible venues we’ve brought on board and the new ideas that are constantly being developed… this afternoon is going to be spent arranging some more viewings at the amazing Wentworth Woodhouse and trying to organise a company to come in and show us how flavoured canapé lipsticks are created… they call this work?!
If you’re interested in working in Events, keep an eye on our careers page for any upcoming vacancies with Dine