After the engagement ring is on your finger, the questions looms, “Where should I have my wedding?”
Although many options are tempting, from historic homes and favorite restaurants, to exotic locations like mountain tops, many brides must find a balance between budget, planning time and out-of-town guests’ requirements. Hotels offer convenience, value, a wide array of capabilities and experienced
staff to make wedding planning and the big day effortless, cost-effective and polished.
Today’s brides are busy with families, careers, studies, travel, hobbies and, of course, a fiance. Some brides are even planning weddings from another town or state. Many of the wedding guests are traveling from a distance to share in the special day. Some will be drinking during the reception. Hotels
offer the ability to hold both the reception and guest rooms in one place so that no one will need to drive afterwards. Most hotels offer a complimentary bridal suite with wedding packages and many airport hotels allow the couple to leave their car in the parking lot and take the courtesy shuttle to and from the airport for the honeymoon.
Sometimes a bride and groom cannot get a church location for their ceremony. They may practice different religions and decide that a non-religious ceremony is more appropriate. Hotels offer space for ceremonies and decorations such as lattice panels and archways to personalize the room.
In addition to the ceremony and reception, there are many other events that surround a wedding, including the rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids’ luncheon and departure brunch. Most hotels offer custom menus and even discounted rates for these additional events and with a variety of function rooms from which to choose, each event can take on a unique atmosphere.
With so much going on, the guests and the bride can find themselves running all over town. Hotels frequently offer a complimentary bridal party hospitality room removed from the cocktail hour to allow the bride, groom and their closest friends and family members a chance to catch their breath in privacy.
The cost of a wedding reception can vary widely due to a number of factors: type of reception, number of guests, time of day or year and menu selected. Hotels offer reception packages that typically include reception room set-up with tables and chairs, a selection of tablecloths and napkins, staging for the head table or a band, a dance floor, cake and gift tables and basic centerpieces — all at a per-person price. Hotel menu packages come complete with hors d’ oeuvres, two to four courses for plated meals or lavish buffets, hosted bars featuring cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks and champagne toast and cake cutting for every guest.
As many brides quickly discover, much about the wedding experience has very little to do with the bride and groom themselves. There are friends, families, friends of families and other guests who must be thought of every step of the way. Most families contribute some or all of the funds for the festivities and expect to have some say in everything from the time of year and the guest list, to the location and relative distance many of the guests must travel.
Hotels can offer the best of all possible worlds when it comes to satisfying a multitude of requirements. By law, hotels are required to maintain accessibility for guests with all kinds of disabilities. From ramps and elevators leading to their public spaces, to Braille signage throughout the building and smoke detectors for the hearing impaired, your guests will be treated with the utmost in discretion and
Reception catering is another example of how hotels can accommodate a wide variety of needs. Most offer pre-planned children’s meals consisting of a fruit cup, chicken fingers, fries and soft drinks, but they can also prepare vegetarian or vegan meals, low cholesterol or sodium entrees and other specific requirements. They can further customize their beverage offerings so that your bar features your
favorite drinks, including expanded wine bars, microbrew beers or specialty martinis. Some hotels will also permit outside caterers to provide the meals for your reception when the menu is something outside of their packages. This includes Kosher or Halal catering, Ethiopian or Korean cuisine or any other
requirement you may have. Some will even contract the caterer for you.
The execution of the events on the day of your wedding is not something that should be left in the hands of the inexperienced. Hotels employ and train teams of experienced and professional staff members to cater to your every need.
The banquet manager and captains will ensure that your ballroom is set correctly with gleaming glassware, crisp linens and a uniformed staff to wait on you. From the lighting of the candles to adhering to your carefully planned agenda, the banquet department will deliver everything you planned and more.
The chef and his culinary team prepare delicious meals to tempt your guests. Guaranteeing that the food is fresh, hot and tasty, they can feed from 50 to 500. The catering director and managers tie it all together: your initial site visit, menu planning, agenda detailing and table placement diagramming. They will place your favors and place cards and greet your limo. As your liaison to the other hotel departments, they can assist with guest rooms and special dietary requests. They can also recommend florists, bakers,
photographers and entertainment.
Most hotel chains maintain brand standards of operation that add yet another level of experience to the team of professionals working with you. From equipment and staffing guidelines, to continuous training and operational policies and procedures, hotels offer you their good name and reputation for
hospitality. Many also award frequent traveler points for all of your catered functions — a great way to pay for your honeymoon!
From your guests checking in to the shuttle for the airport where you depart on your honeymoon, hotels offer convenience, excellent value, a wide range of capabilities and an experienced team. Hotels are your one stop shop for weddings.