- 10 years ago
I have a similar situation, my ceremony will be starting at 6:30 and if it rains, we’ll be in the same area as the reception, cocktails at 7, we’ll go out of the ballroom, and then at 8, back in the ballroom. I’m hoping it won’t rain, because the real plan is to have the ceremony outside. Anyway, there is a bat mitzvah in the ballroom that doesn’t end until 5:30!!! But the time they get all those people out, it’ll be 6. And then they have to clean up, and re-set up for my ceremony (if they can)! So if it does rain, and we’re in the ballroom, they’ll be setting up for the reception on the other side of the folding wall… I’m sure we’ll be able to hear it, but really what can you do. They have assured me that this is how they always do things and there’s no way around it. I spoke to my florist about it and she said a lot of times, she and her girls will go in right at 5:30 and start bussing tables to get a move on. Apparently this is very common in the wedding industry. So yeah, I won’t be able to see anything either, I’m trusting my florist to make everything perfect. As long as your florist or someone outside of hotel staff or even a wedding planner (my hotel comes with one) knows you exact vision and you trust that they will make it right, then I think it should be ok. Plus, it will be an exciting surprise to see it all done along with your guests!
Thanks, LeahB. Now I’m thinking, what about the DJ? Doesn’t that person need to go in for sound check? What if we have a band?
I was not planning on hiring a florist; I thought my friend could go in early and set up…but now she would have to miss the ceremony and cocktail hour to do so which would be unfair. I loved the idea of her personal touch at my wedding, but not at the expense of her presence!
I don’t know how to handle this with the hotel. The $500 fee for something that seems common sense bothers me when we are spending so much there already.
pay the $500 for your piece of mind…
and let the venue do their job – this is your "one" wedding – but think about how many weddings they do – they can probably do this with their eyes shut kwim??
before we moved our venue from the boring ballroom at the marriott – our timeline was similar – our cocktail hour started at 6, and we had access to the area from 3pm onward…
The extra fee actually does make sense. Their evening staff comes on at a specific time, and is probably larger than their daytime staff. If they have to pay for staff to come in early, that costs more. And I think that you’re stuck with it – you can try to argue with them, but in the end if you don’t want to pay, the room doesn’t get set up early.
We specifically didn’t go with a hotel because of things like this. Our country club will close the clubhouse for the whole day for us; the staff comes in at 8:00 as on a normal day, and will just start setting up at that time. Not only do we have access all day, but so does the florist, the band, etc. And there is no venue fee at all – just a food and beverage minimum. Everything except the cake is scheduled to be completely set up by 2 hours before the ceremony, when the photographers arrive. And the only people with access will be our guests and the club staff, so perfect strangers aren’t wandering through the reception or looking in on the ceremony. For anyone still thinking about choosing a venue, I highly recommend thinking about your local country club.
I have to say, this was also one of the reasons we did not have our wedding at a hotel. We chose a Golf course, and they did the same thing as Suzanno’s venue, we had access starting at 9am, the caterer was in early, the DJ was in around noon, florist was able to get things set up, cake was delivered, and I could approve all of the centerpieces for my 4pm wedding.
It sounds like each venue has their own guidlines, and I think that if this is where you have your heart set on getting married, I would either pay the $500, or if it were me, I would see about pushing the ceremony back, is that an option??
i went to a wedding recently where they were setting up plates, spoons and glasses for dinner during the ceremony (we were in the ballroom next door) and you totally heard it and knew exactly what it was. Mind you this was a 5 star hotel and a very expensive wedding. While you could hear the voices in the ceremony just fine, it was VERY distracting. I don’t have a solution– but i just wanted to let you know as a guest i have experienced it took away from the experience.
Wow, I never knew about these issues (and Bex, that totally makes sense). I thought I did my research but I never found this out about hotels as venues.
I’m tempted to scratch everything – I am just so frustrated right now. I can’t really think straight because my mom is in the hospital so I’m a bit over-stressed, but the whole point of doing it at a hotel was I thought: ceremony, reception, catering, and bed – all in the same place, how easy!!! But it’s not so simple.
is it possible to move the ceremony to another part of the hotel? Rather than pay $500 for earlier set-up, what if they’re willing to accept the fee (or for free of charge) move you all to another, more intimate place for your vows and let the setup of the ballroom commence at the usual time.
I wish I could help more. We got married at a hotel and used three separate locations–ceremony (rose garden), cocktail hour (outdoor fireplace, etc.), and then reception (a tented patio).
Best of Luck to you
Another thing to check is the proximity of the ballroom to the kitchen. I am at a conference this week, and during the speakers just before and just after lunch you can totally hear the plates clattering and the dishwashers running. If you’re ceremony is at 5:00 that is during the dinner hour, and you don’t want your guests listening to kitchen noise all through your vows.
There are many great things about a hotel wedding, like you mentioned, the convenience of having everything in one place. But the drawbacks is the fact that multiple events can be happening at the same time.
MrsBic’s suggestions of seeing if there is another location avail for the ceremony that is not right next door to the setup of the reception.
As for not being able to see the room before your grand entrance, that’s usually the case for most brides & grooms. Since the setup time is so tight, I’d highly recommend hiring a Day-of coordinator to ensure your vision is executed, or pay the option to the hotel to do it for you.
What about moving the ceremony to a different part of the hotel? Is that an option?
We’re having a hotel wedding, but the ceremony and cocktail hour is outside in the garden and the reception is in the ballroom, so hopefully people won’t see or be distracted by the ballroom setup.
Yeah, where is your cocktail hour? Maybe most of the setting up will be done during that time? And even if they are loud, the cocktail hour will be loud too so you won’t hear it. It really wasn’t an option for me to not have a hotel wedding. We’re having our ceremony there too, and I’ve been to so many weddings where it’s a huge disaster after the wedding for people getting back to the hotel, either with the shuttle that never comes and can only hold 20 or 30 people (250 person wedding) and only comes every 45 minutes. And then people drove there so they drive home anyway, I couldn’t do it. The guilt would be too much. Ok, I’m done with my rant. Jasmine, what happens if it rains? It’s the same for me, but if it rains, ceremony is in one half of the ballroom.
LeahB: If it rains, I will have a heart attack 🙂
Just kidding, the back up plan if it rains is to move the ceremony to the ballroom, then move everyone to the hotel restaurant/bar for the cocktail hour while they change up the ballroom for dinner. Then everyone back to the ballroom for dinner.
Got it, I know… I say I can’t be upset if it rains because I have no control over it, but I will REALLY be upset. A girl has a vision!! And the ballroom isn’t it! I’m having a fall wedding for a reason! Grr.
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