The Wedding Chronicle – December 2002

Relax And Enjoy Your Wedding By Planning Ahead

Attention To Hotel And Transportation Details Avoids Stress For You And Your Guests

When a couple is planning their wedding, there are many things that can contribute to stress. The goal when planning a wedding is to minimize this stress by paying careful attention to small details that one may not have thought of beforehand. Set yourself up to avoid unforeseen challenges and create a successful experience for both you and your guests. A Wedding Coordinator is your best resource for avoiding anxiety, as they know the potential challenges of planning a wedding. However, if you are planning on your own, here are some basic tips to keep in mind regarding venue selection and out of town guests.

First, consider the hotel accommodations for any out of town guests. As the bride and groom, you want your guests to have fun and entertain themselves and each other, so you and your fiancée can relax and look forward to the wedding day without having to entertain a multitude of people. Obviously, the best choice would be to have your ceremony and reception at a hotel that can accommodate the out of town guests. However, this is not always feasible, as prices can be high, and your choice of location may not be at a hotel. In this case, give your guests three different choices of hotel accommodations, varying in cost from low to high. This way, all the out of town guests can feel confident in staying at a nice hotel within their price range or whatever is economically best for each. In addition to economy, choose hotels that are within walking distance from fun activities, so that the guests can entertain themselves. They should be within walking distance from malls, parks, the beach, or other fun activities. This also gives out of town guests a chance to get to know each other and have fun together, while the prospective bride and groom can concentrate on themselves and the big day that’s coming. This way, you will not have to worry, or “baby-sit” to make sure your guests are having fun. Also, make sure your choice of hotel locations are in close proximity to the airport, so that out of town guests need not worry about the cost of transportation to and from the airport upon arrival and departure. When your guests are in the same place, they can easily carpool to and from your wedding, cutting down on the cost and the fuss of accommodating guests with rides.

Many hotels offer group room blocks that they set aside for your out of town guests to individually call in and book. This feature is important, as you may wish to distribute gift baskets to your guests, and having “group rooms blocks” makes it easier to know where to have them delivered as well as how many per hotel. Usually a professional wedding coordinator can secure a room block at the hotel(s) of your choice, without a deposit or financial commitment on your part. You can also call the hotel and get rooming lists, or the room numbers of your guests, instead of calling all over town to figure out where everyone is staying. This way, your baskets or gifts can be passed out with little stress and low confusion, as you’ve planned in advance. Please keep in mind, there is usually a $1 -$3 delivery fee/gratuity for each bag/basket the hotel delivers. Handing them out at the front desk is rarely done, especially at upscale hotels. Some of my favorite cites in Los Angeles to have weddings and/or group room blocks are: Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pasadena, Beverly Hills and Long Beach.

Another important planning aspect often overlooked is transportation. Some couple’s choose to have their ceremony and reception in the same location. This is the easiest to plan, as you need only to consider how out of town guests will arrive from and depart to their hotels after your wedding. However, if you choose to have your ceremony at a different location than your reception, you will need to consider transportation to the ceremony, then to the reception, then back to the hotels after the celebration. This is more complicated but can be done with careful planning. First, consider financial feasibility and the number of people who will need transportation. Will you need a large bus or a small van? How much money can you spend? Are the guests mostly older or younger? These aspects all play a part in choosing your type of transportation. For example, if you only need to accommodate a small number of guests, a van may be your best bet. If there are many out of town visitors, a bus may be the answer, however they often charge an hourly rate. Obviously, transportation choices are easier if out of town guests are staying in a choice of three locations, as explained above. If they are all over town, it will be almost impossible to arrange transportation, which will lead to chaos and confusion that could have been avoided.

When you plan your wedding you should enjoy yourself and your guests should remember your wedding as fun and stress free. No one wants their guests to feel as if they spent too much money, or that they were stranded without rides or appropriate accommodations. Make sure you finalize your gift basket plans and transportation at least three weeks before your wedding. This way, everything will run smoothly and you will have set up your guests and yourself with a fun and enjoyable time.

Now that you’ve perfectly taken care of all the logistics and details to plan your wedding, you can relax and enjoy your perfect day. What better way to remember the beginning of the rest of your lives together?”