Are you tying the knot in the near future? Congratulations! The time leading up to your wedding holds the promise of many special moments between you and your fiance. But it also promises a fair amount of stress, at least if you’re planning a traditional wedding. One simple, surefire way to instantly eliminate much of that stress? Skip the DIY nuptials and consider looking at various hotel wedding packages instead.
What are hotel wedding packages? They’re kind of like starter kits for brides and grooms who don’t already have an incredibly clear vision of exactly how they want their day to unfold. If you can visualize a basic outline of your big day, but you don’t care quite as much about the details — or, at least, don’t want to handle them yourself — a package like this might be the way to go. Keep reading to learn more about hotel wedding packages and the fundamental arguments for and against them.
First things first: what will you get if you opt for a classic hotel wedding package? That depends on the venue, to a certain extent. But in general, most hotels offer the same basic services. First, the hotel will set you up with its wedding coordinator. A wedding planner handles every detail of your day, from the marriage license to the timing of your bridesmaids as they walk down the aisle. That wedding coordinator will probably run down the rest of what’s included in your package.
Most venues provide an officiant or offer some options if you don’t have someone in mind. They also provide the venue for the ceremony, of course, and either flip that room to transform it into a reception space or open up separate spaces for cocktail hour and the reception. Tables, chairs, linens, food and drink (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) all tend to come along with a package at a hotel. The hotel team will also likely pump soft background music into the room when the DJ isn’t playing.
So then what, exactly, are the extras? The add-ons that may increase the price of your package? If you predict your guests will hit the bar hard, you might want to upgrade to a premium liquor package. While beer and wine are probably included in the original package, and that cost is already wrapped up into the per-head pricing, liquor might cost another few dollars per head — or more than that. You might also have to bring in your own photographer. If the hotel has one on staff, it’s not uncommon to charge extra for the photos themselves. You might not automatically have the rights to them.
Depending on the venue you choose, you might also have other options for upgrades. Perhaps they’ll provide your centerpieces for an additional charge, or maybe you can opt for a more lavish table setting. The apps available at cocktail hour might be upgradeable, too. Ask whoever you speak to initially about any potential extras your specific site offers.
If you’re not sure hotel wedding packages sound like the right move for you, consider this: they take a lot of the stress out of wedding planning. If you don’t have strong opinions about the small details of the day, the hotel will take care of these for you, and you won’t even have to think about them. Plus, you can say goodbye to DIY — there’s no need for hand-hewn centerpieces at a pre-packaged wedding! The time you save on worrying about your wedding is time you can enjoy actually being engaged, and you’ll never get that time back.
What’s more, some hotel wedding packages actually save you money. Often, you can snag a deal when you have the ceremony and the reception at the same space. They might even throw in one of those “upgrades” for free!
Of course, there’s also a flipside to this type of wedding. You and your significant other don’t have quite as much room to get creative. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but don’t expect a wedding planned largely by the hotel to ooze personality. It will be efficient, beautiful and organized — and if that’s what you’re looking for, great!
Also, while some packages save you money, others actually cost you more. The hotel naturally folds service fees into their packages, which is essentially the price you pay for saving time. So if you’re willing to sift through dozens of different vendors and do a bit of DIY, you could save some money when you skip the package. But it means giving up more of your time — so you just have to weigh the cost of that time.
No matter what you choose to do for your big day, you can count on one thing: it’s a day you won’t forget for as long as you live. So savor the wedding planning process, and then enjoy your dream day.