Destination weddings are gaining popularity for a variety of reasons. Selecting the correct hotel to assist with wedding accomodations is critical as a couple plans this type of event.
Travel expert and hotels.com blogger Nicole Hockin (TravelWeekly, USA Today, NYTs, Rachael Ray Show, O, Oprah Magazine) has compiled a no-stress checklist for choosing the perfect hotel for any wedding celebration.
Here is what Nicole had to say about this important decision.
As we have become a more mobile society, its not only “destination” weddings that require accommodations and entertainment for out-of-town guests. Asking friends and loved ones to travel to the hometown from which the bride or groom grew up, or to the town or city in which they met, or merely the town that the happy couple now resides still requires effort for a large portion of wedding guests so choosing the right hotel is just as important as selecting the celebratory venue.
Tips For Choosing a Hotel For Your Wedding Celebration:
Reserve Room Blocks: Most large hotels won’t require a financial commitment to block off 10-15 rooms. It’s a good idea, once you have your wedding weekend locked down, to block rooms at more than one hotel to give guests a choice of rates and rooms. This comes in extra handy when you want to keep Grandma away from some old fraternity buddies. The key is to keep in close contact with the hotel’s event manager, so as guest counts change both sides can adjust quickly.
Convenient Location: Look at how convenient the hotel is to your event venues, restaurants, activities and points of interest. Does the hotel have a spa or partner with one nearby? These are the types of things you want to ask BEFORE you commit to housing your guests there.
Hotel Shuttle: Many hotels offer complimentary shuttle to nearby locations. Make sure you book a hotel that can help transport guests to and from the airport or wedding venue and coordinated activities.
Package deals: Consider having the rehearsal dinner, reception and next day brunch all at the same hotel or resort. By hosting multiple wedding events at the same hotel, you can often get discounted rates or packaged deals. Most hotels also offer the services of a wedding planner and caterer to help you select the decorations and menu.
Welcome Bags: Hotels are happy to help you give your special guests the VIP treatment. Create welcome bags for the hotels to distribute as guests check-in. If most of your guests are from another area, they may appreciate tasting locally produced snacks or perhaps include toiletries not provided by the hotel.
Bridal Suite: Ask about the bigger suites for the bride’s and groom’s parties to be able hang out and have enough room to get ready for the big day. It’s a nice touch for the wedding parties to be able to get ready together. Be sure to order a pre-celebration treat for all to share.
Kids Suite: Sometimes it’s hard for guests traveling with their children to really have a good time. Book a suite in the hotel for the children of your hotel guests and hire a professional sitter to care for them, in case any of the kids lose interest in the reception and need to leave. That way, their parents can enjoy the party. Send an email out in advance of the wedding to families that might want to take advantage of this so you can properly prepare the babysitter and stock the suite with appropriate snacks and crafts.
Earn Points: Here’s a great incentive from Marriott Hotels for couples considering a destination wedding: Marriott Rewards members who book a qualifying destination wedding by December 1, 2012 to be held no later than December 31, 2013 will receive 100,000 bonus points, in addition to the base points of up to 50,000 with Rewarding Events for a total of 150,000 points. Then the only decision is where to redeem them for an unforgettable wedding getaway.
Thank you for offering your expertise to us, Nicole!