Do you want to plan a beautiful ceremony and reception without having to dream up every detail from scratch? Then a hotel wedding venue might be the perfect choice for you. Most lodging establishments already have everything you need for a picture-perfect celebration, from an in-house caterer to a beautiful ballroom. If you're thinking about celebrating your nuptials at a hotel, here are six things to consider before booking the space.
Choosing a Location
Hotels come in all shapes and sizes, so it's important to find one that matches your wedding theme and aesthetic. Think about the factors that matter most to you, whether it's renowned catering or a great view of the city skyline, and research suitable options in your desired location.
Reserving a hotel for your big day may seem pricey, but a bride and groom can potentially save big bucks in the end. That's because hotels come fully decorated, and rental items (like tables, chairs, and linens) are almost always included. The date and time of the ceremony will affect the overall cost; weekend weddings in the summer will likely be priciest, since most hotels see increased business during this time.
The Right Space
Hotels are made up of many different areas—like restaurants, ballrooms, patios, and event spaces—that can be converted into a wedding venue. Determine your guest list and desired aesthetic, then talk to the hotel management to ascertain the best location for your ceremony and reception. Just remember, certain spots at a hotel cannot be closed to guests, so you may have passersby stopping to listen to your vows or to check out your centerpieces.
Expecting many out-of-town guests? Chances are, most will stay overnight at the hotel, which eliminates the need to arrange transportation to a ceremony site. Book a block of rooms several months before the big day to ensure everyone gets accommodated. As a bonus, room blocks usually come with discounted rates, but they also have strict policies regarding cancellations, deposits, and late reservations. Talk to the hotel manager about rates and restrictions before making concrete plans.
If the hotels hosts many weddings, they may have caterers, pastry chefs, and event designers on hand—or they'll at least provide a list of preferred vendors. Double-check with the hotel if you're planning to hire outside professionals. Some properties may charge additional fees for bringing in your own cake, food, music, or decorations.
Your Weekend Schedule
With proper planning, a bride and groom can plan for their wedding weekend to place at one property—think rehearsal dinner at an on-site restaurant, getting ready in a bridal suite, reception in the ballroom, and post-wedding brunch on the poolside patio. Make a tentative itinerary early in the planning process, and see how the hotel can work with your needs.