To help you on your big day way, here’s a heads up on one classic soirée setting: the hotel.
What’s to Love
"A hotel staff knows hospitality and will treat you and your guests like guests!" says Jacqueline Gifford, travel editor for Brides magazine. In addition, these venues usually come complete with a number of amenities – such as tables, elegant table cloths, special chairs, place settings, etc. – already in place and included in their catering packages.
Another perk is that if most of your guests are staying at the hotel, there’s no need to worry about transportation, says Gifford. Even better? Guests typically get room rate discounts and the newlyweds occasionally receive a free suite or upgrade, adds Ali Phillips, owner of Chicago-based Engaging Events by Ali.
What to Watch Out For
Although hotel weddings have many perks, there are a few potential drawbacks, says Gifford. For example, you may not be the only couple getting married at your hotel that weekend – or even that day. If you don’t want to "share" the space and staff with another bride, make sure you ask about the hotel’s policies prior to booking.
You’ll also want to ask about time or noise restrictions, notes Phillips, as some hotels shut down music as early as 9 p.m. so that other guests can sleep.
Finally, hotels often get the reputation of being cookie cutter spaces; however, many have lovely, lavish interiors, especially the newer boutique hotels and older grand lodges and resorts.
Regardless, it’s easy to break out of a generic mold, says Phillips. She suggests mixing up table shapes and layouts to add character to a conference room, and bringing in lighting and draping to give a ballroom that magical just-married glow.
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