Looking for a property for a wedding can be difficult. If you’ve decided that you want to have your ceremony and/or reception at a hotel- you’re in luck! Most hotels are ready to accommodate weddings and large ceremonies, and in fact are one of the better venue options for weddings. There are, however, so many options and it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. We have a few tips to help guide you through it all, exclusively here on Bridal Hot List.
Define Before you Find
‘Hotel’ is a blanket term, and that covers a whole lot of different types of properties. This can include resorts, beach front properties, historic buildings, and boutiques. A wedding venue should reflect the couple, so narrow your options based on your couple personality. If you’re big readers or trivia buffs, look for a historic property in your nearest downtown area. If you’re laid back and like to relax together, a nice beach-y hotel near the water would make for a beautiful back drop. It can be easy to get wrapped up in going to whatever property is trendy, newest, or even closest, but in the long run you will want to find a place you are proud to tie the knot.
Have a Headcount
Have a ballpark number (within 15 people, max) of how many people will be attending. The more accurate you are with your numbers, the more accurate will be with their numbers. You may want to book the grand ballroom, but you may not be able to fill it. If that’s the case, there’s no point in spending extra money on it. You should also have an idea of how many out of town guests you have coming in who will need a hotel room. Some hotels will be able to work with you to factor in hotel room nights in addition to your wedding area. In dealing with hotels, I’ve found more often than not, bundling hotel rooms in with a meeting space can save you a bit of money.
If you start with looking online, shoot an e-mail to the sales manager saying you’re interested. If you’re going to properties to look around, ask for a business card. It’s smart to start building relationships with hotels as soon as possible to be able to get great rates. Hotel people tend to be loyal to clients they have histories with. If you’ve seen a property before or had a great time, mention it and they will absolutely appreciate a return customer! Plus, having a friend in the hotel business can definitely be beneficial to you. You can ask them for recommendations later on for trips and fun destinations.
Do a Test Run
If you’re in the finalizing process, it could be helpful to ask if you can do a walk-through of the property at the time of your wedding. If the lighting at night is awful, it will probably sway your mind. If the mornings are loud due to commutes or trains or anything else, you’ll want to know before you sign a check. If you can afford to, stay the night and make sure you absolutely love it. You may even be able to get a great discount if you explain that you are strongly considering having a ceremony there!
Rates are not always black and white. If you’re getting ready to draft contracts, work with the salesperson to get your rates as close to your budget as possible. Work with them on bundling to save costs, like having a few friends staying at the same hotel or even booking both the ceremony and reception in the same place. Work with their catering department and see if the property can lump all your expenses together. Little things you can help save you venue money overall. You can even ask for other discounts, such as AAA, student, or anything else you can come up with. Being creative can result in some surprising savings!