Post # 1
This is my first post on ANY blog. I finally decided I need help.
Has anyone attended or held a wedding at the Palms Hotel in Miami Beach or the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood? What are your thoughts on both venues?
I am planning my wedding next MAY 10th 2014, in South Florida. Right now our guest list is at about 145 people (assuming 15% will not show, 168 originally). I am expecting several out of town guests (over 90). So I wanted to host the wedding at a hotel, to make it more convienent for guests.
Now I’m stuck between the Palms Hotel, which is Gorgeous and a bit more affordable than the Westin. However, I’m worried that my guests will not be comfortable or that my wedding may looked really cramped in the Palms – Royal Palm Ballroom. They say their max capacity is 180, but I know 140 will fit very tightly.
The Westin Diplomat is a much larger hotel, with a lovely beachfront ceremony location. However if it rains, we then have to have the ceremony in one of the ballrooms upstairs… which defeats the purpose. At least at the Palms, we can have the ceremony out on the verranda if it rains.
Should I save money and have it at a smaller venue even if it will look crowded? Or spend more money to have it at a larger venue and take my chances with the rain…
Thanks in Advance!
Post # 3
With a high percentage of out of town guests (over 50% of your 168 guest list), I think you can expect a higher % of no shows than 15% that you estimated. I estimate 20% no show normally for my clients and their guest list do not have such a high percentage of out of town guests.
My suggestion is to save the money and go with the smaller venue. That way you can have the outdoor ceremony that you want even if it rains.
Happy Planning! 🙂
Post # 4
I would definitely do the Palms!
Post # 5
How “out of town” are we talking for your guests? A few hours or a plane flight?
Post # 6
My wedding guest list is actual 232 guest (including children). However this list is comprised of “Definitely”, “Likely” and “Probably Not” attending. I have 167 guests Definitely and Likely to attend, and from this list I assumed 15% will not show up. That’s how I got to approx. 141 guests.
I’m from New Jersey and my fiance is from Ohio, but his immediate family is from all over the US. We only have a few friends in Flordia. Of the 167 only 38 are from Florida. The rest are from CA, GA, KY, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TX, VA.
I might end up with 120 guest or 145 guest. But I am just madly in love with the Palms Ceremony gazebo. The Westin Diplomat is on the terrace in front of the ocean, but it seems like every other oceanfront wedding. The Palms is unique but small… and if I get more RSVPs then expected I might have to sit someone next to DJ speakers. So cramped.
Do I prepare for the worst and pay the extra money to book the Westin. Their Golf Resort ballroom has plenty of space. However we will also have to shuttle guest from the Westin Hotel (Ceremony) to the Golf Resort (Reception) which is 5min away. So I would have to charter a big bus/trolley as well.
Big Families are Fun, but hard to coordinate functions.
Just thinking out loud….
Post # 7
I went to the Palms website and it actually said 220 banquet style seating in the Royal Palm ballroom (under the meeting page). I think even if you add in dance floor space, you will have enough room for your guest list. If you are very concerned, please ask the hotel to send you a floor plan showing how they will set up for 145 people in the ballroom with dance space. If they want your business, they should send that to eliminate your concerns so you can book with them. If they cannot comply with this simple request, then I am not sure it is a good idea to book them. 🙂
If you are talking about the ceremony space limitation, I cannot find anything that specify how many people the gazebo area can fit. However, if they tell you they can fit 180 people for wedding ceremony, then I think it should be ok.
It seems to me you love the Palms more than the Westin so I would suggest you ask for an actual floor plan layout for your review.
Post # 8
I also took a look at the photo of the ceremony gazebo that is on the hotel website. It looks like they have 144 chairs set up (9 rows of 8 chairs per row on each side) so I think ceremony venue size should be fine for your guest list. 🙂