For one thing, your destination can be thousands of miles away so you may not have the luxury of being able to see the hotel before booking it.
In comparing hotels, you will need to get as much information from each one to be able to make a fair comparison. A hotel that may be suitable to one bride may be completely unacceptable to another so it is extremely important to ask the right questions.
Listed below in categories are questions that you should ask when comparing hotels. The answers will help you decide which hotel is perfect for you.
The location of your destination wedding is an extremely important component of the event because most won’t have their own transportation. Select a hotel that is as close as possible to the beach or to downtown etc. so they can have a good time outside of the wedding itself.
- Is there anything distinctive about your location? Are you close to anything spectacular? If you are having a beach wedding, then ask how close they are to the beach itself.
- How far are you from the airport? Do you offer free transportation?
- How far is the hotel from the wedding venue and reception?
- How close is the hotel to the main areas of attraction (Beach, ski slopes etc.)
Remember that destination weddings can be tricky to plan from far away so it’s important to not be shy about asking lots of questions. Whether you are planning a wedding in the Bahamas or a Vineyard in Napa Valley, make sure you compare at least 3-4 venues before making a decision.
- Is the date available?
- What is one of the best features of a wedding at your facility versus your competitors?
- What kind of wedding packages do you offer? Or is everything custom or à la carte
- If there is no wedding package, how are weddings priced? Is there a per guest price? How do prices vary according to season, day of the week, or time of day?
- If there is a wedding package, what does it include? Can you see any photos from a previous wedding that had the same package that you would like to book?
- How flexible are you with customizations? How much leeway do I get with menus, music, flowers, photography etc.? Is there a charge for any customizations?
- What is the difference in price if you were to get married on a Friday instead of Saturday? What if you married on a Sunday?
- How much of the deposit is required to reserve my date? When is the next payment due?
- What is the cancellation policy? What if the event has to be cancelled or postponed?
- What is the attrition policy for the room block?
- How are the banquet rooms normally decorated for a wedding? Are there any themes available? What is the price range?
- Do you have volume restriction on music?
- What types of activities can our guests participate in before and after the wedding?
- Do you help in getting a marriage license? Is there a cost?
- Are there any other weddings scheduled to take place on my wedding day?
- How soon should we plan on arriving before the wedding?
- Are any renovations scheduled on my wedding date? If so how destructive will they be?
Ceremony and Reception
- Do they have spaces available for the ceremony and the reception?
- How far apart are the ceremony and reception locations that we prefer? If they are more than walking distance then what are the transportation options?
- Can you show me where I can get married on-site? What are your options if it’s raining?
- Can you have a seating chart of how many people can fit in each banquet room?
- Do you have any photos of past weddings that you can share?
- Does the hotel have enough hotel rooms for guests on that date? Do you have group discounts? Where can my guests stay if you run out of rooms?
- How many rooms will you block out for my guests? How long will you hold them?
- Do you have suites for families?
- Do you have connecting rooms?
- Can the wedding guests be blocked in rooms near each other?
- Does the hotel have a hospitality suite that they can give for free? A hospitality suite provides a great place to hang out for guests (Especially if you have guests in multiple hotels). Plus, you can have snacks and drinks there so wedding guests don’t have to go very far for either.
- What do the bride and groom get for blocking their rooms at the hotel? Free room, free upgrade?
- What amenities does the hotel have? Free WiFi, free breakfast, pool, spa, scenic terrace?
Staff and Experience
- How many destination weddings does the hotel handle in a year? How many are the same size as my wedding?
- Can you give me references from recent weddings?
- Is there an on-site wedding coordinator? What are the charges?
- What does he/she do for a destination wedding like ours? How do they help? Can you call them with any wedding related questions? How helpful are they in finding vendors?
- Who would be our primary contact if we booked a wedding here?
- What types of activities do couples usually organize for guests? What’s on the property? What’s nearby?
- Can somebody on staff organize group activities and outings for my guests?
- Can you help us get group rates for any of the activities nearby? Since you are not a local, having the hotel arrange for activities can be very helpful, especially if you don’t speak the local language very well.
- Can you arrange for an officiant to preside over my ceremony and coordinate the legalities?
- If the hotel uses a specific vendor, can I see their work beforehand?
- Can we use a caterer, florist, baker of our choice etc. or do we have to use ones that the hotel has a deal with?
Selecting a hotel for a destination wedding is a stressful and oftentimes frustrating experience. Hopefully, the questions above will help you get a better feel for which hotel is right for your destination wedding.
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