Why you shouldn’t choose a hotel for your wedding

There are plenty of downsides to holding your wedding at a hotel, which we believe seriously outweigh the positives! One of the most important decisions that a couple makes when booking their wedding is the venue, as this will set the tone for the whole day. So,  you need to think carefully right at the start of your planning as a hotel wedding is not always the easy option that it seems.

Firstly, it is highly unlikely, unless you have the wedding budget to book out the whole hotel for your exclusive use, that you will have the whole place to yourselves.  While the hotel may make an effort to separate their wedding events from other hotel guests, you will not get the complete privacy and exclusivity that you want. This means that there will be other guests in the vicinity of your wedding, possibly in the areas where you are having your wedding photographs or gathering for your drinks and canapes. There may even be another wedding at the hotel taking place on the same day as yours, and they may be using the same locations for photography, same common areas, bar facilities and even the same waiting staff.  If privacy is an important factor for you when choosing your venue, a hotel location is not going to be your ideal choice.

You will find that if you do not have exclusive use of the hotel, you will be expected to show consideration to the other guests who are not part of your celebrations. This means that you will probably be restricted on the times that you can have live music or a DJ playing and the bar will close at a set time.  

You may not be allowed fireworks or, if you are, they may need to be earlier in the evening, which is not great for the summer months when it stays lighter for longer. You will be expected to wrap up your evening celebrations by a certain time and your guests will be required to vacate any common areas of the hotel at that predetermined time. This can all seem very limiting, especially if you were hoping to dance the night away with your friends and loved ones.

You will also find that the wedding packages offered by most hotels are rather restrictive when it comes to the use of certain suppliers.  Most hotels will only hire out their venue if you purchase one of their set wedding packages, meaning that you can only use their catering services and waiting staff. You may find that even your choice of photographer, videographer and DJ is limited to their preferred suppliers.

However, for couples who want to be creative on their day and to make it personal and unique to them, this can be extremely limiting. In addition to the restrictive wedding packages, it is also highly likely that you will be limited on how you can decorate and customise the areas where you are holding your wedding. Generally, if you choose a hotel for your wedding celebrations, you will not have the creative freedom with the ceremony room and table settings that you would have at an independent venue.  If you have a vision for your wedding day, or a theme running through the day, you may find that the hotel has styled areas and decorations that cannot be changed, restricting any alterations that you might prefer.

The use of a standard hotel package, and the restrictions that they put on the use of their wedding areas, can mean that a wedding held in a hotel lacks uniqueness and does not allow personalisation.  If your dream is to have a truly bespoke wedding that reflects your personalities and style, holding your celebration in a local hotel where some of your friends or family have previously married may mean that you find that you end up with very similar days.

It is far more likely that you can put your own stamp on your wedding at a specialist venue and have the flexibility to make the choices that you want for your day.  You will also find that independent venues are generally far more accommodating to any changes or ideas that you have that brings your wedding vision to life.

You may find that hotels put certain restrictions in place when you book their wedding package with regards to accommodation too. You may find, for example, that hotels require your guests to stay at the hotel as part of the package that you have purchased.

While having accommodation on site for your wedding guests can be beneficial, it can also mean that your guests incur additional costs to attend your big day which may be the deciding factor in whether they can afford to attend your celebrations or not. Whilst block booking the hotel rooms reduces your issues with privacy, it is rare that the whole hotel will be for your wedding party entirely.  Some may say that the hotel insisting on a certain number of rooms being booked for your wedding party is actually a cost making exercise on their behalf and not for your convenience or benefit at all!

For many couples the chance to make their wedding day really their own in terms of decoration, theme and personalisation is one of the most important factors, meaning that a hotel-based wedding is definitely not the best option for you.

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