Category Archives: Weddings

Wedding Planning Insider Notes {Part I}

So I have decided to put a list together for some of our newer wedding planners and brides who would like to plan their own wedding. Although this list may not work with all the venues, it is a good reference to have. If anything, at least you know what you are or you are not getting from the venue.

When booking a venue, especially if it is a hotel, there are a few things you should consider and ask:

After I finish my somewhat extensive presentation, I always ask the bride and groom if they have any questions. Most of the time they reply “I have already answered all of their questions during my presentation” and “they can’t think of anything else.” Then I start again: “Did you ask me for coat check or parking?” or “How many chefs and carvers and how much?” Do you know if I have hidden charges and what they are?” So I just opened a whole new door for them and that is to ask questions and pay attention to all the details: The hidden questions that no one else wants you to ask.

If you are a bride or if you just got into this business, there are quite a few details you should know which makes a huge difference in your planning and will save you money in a long run. We all know the obvious things, but details are what makes or breaks the wedding; I am here to share some of them with you and will continue in a few blog series.

Things that we miss most of the time

Put it in writing
Starting with the venue, don’t just concentrate on the ballroom. Look at all the areas that come with your ballroom.

Ask for a map of the hallways, sections and side rooms you will get with your package. You’ll be surprised at some of the limitations and/or additions you have. From the bathrooms, to coat check to ceremony room and pre-ceremony room to back yard, outdoor and hallways: know exactly what areas will be yours to decorate.

Walk around your ballroom and note everything you see and make it a point that these need to be fixed before your wedding or you will need a 10% to 15% discount in case it’s not repaired or fixed.

Ask what is the procedure to inform the guests of the exact location of your ballroom. Do they use signs, arrows, TV monitors or a guest concierge? It is important for the venue to have plans for this and remember if you don’t ask, you don’t get it.

Most of the times venues have storage of “left over’s”. This is what all the other weddings left behind. If possible ask your catering manager if you can see what they have and how you can use them for all the areas that are not associated directly with your wedding like the second closest bathroom or the alternative hallway to your ballroom. This will help to save on the places you like to decorate but don’t want to spend money.

With a venue with a few ballrooms, ask all the important questions such as the % of occupancy during the time of your wedding. Most hotels have a record of previous years and some repeat groups who always book during that time.

It is good for both the venue and the wedding party to have only one event at one time if the price is right. So sometime it’s better to ask how much more you have to pay to insure the room next to you is not rented to some other events and if that is not negotiable or possible, I recommend either choose a slower season that is almost guaranteed there will not be other groups or do more research on other venues. I remember during one of my friend’s wedding; we had to walk through metal detectors because there was a UN conference booked in the other ballroom.

Another very important question to ask is not only about any future construction on the venue but also all the areas around your venue. Most of the time venues know about constructions, street fairs, street closures etc….about a year or two ahead of time.

It is very important that you spend less money on renting items such as chair, napkins, tablecloths, etc unless it’s an empty catering hall. If you have to go through a huge rental, I strongly recommend choosing another venue. The right venue is the one that you picked not for the price but only and only because you saw yourself getting married there and it delivers your vision. Remember too much change is “wrong”.

Ask if they have a special carpet (red or white) or flower arrangements at the entrance door or a presenter to stand at the door to let people in. First impression is everything.

Rooms
If possible see the bridal suite and put the exact room number into your contract or at least put “equal or higher level” in case if the hotel had to change your room the last minute. Always make sure your bridal suite has at least two or three bedrooms since it gets crazy the morning of your wedding.

If your venue is a hotel, walk the floors; pick a specific floor for your guests. Pick a floor with rooms with the best view and least amount of noise. It is always better to put the guests on the same floor or if possible rent the entire wing. It seems guests likes it more and works much better with room service and room deliveries. Make sure you ask if there is going to be any future construction that might block the view of the rooms.

Last but not least make sure you negotiate a room for your groom since most of the hotels do not provide that.

Wedding package
If the menu is included in the contract confirm there is a clause that mentions you have the right to use the newer version of the menu when it comes out or keep the same even if it has been discontinued.

More details to put into your contract

» Power drops for the photographer, videographer and the band
» Power drops in your bridal suite (trust me you need them with all the hair dryers and straitners etc…)
» Steamer, hangers, barstools, bottle water etc… for the bridal suite
» Stage, stage cover and dance floor
» Make sure you see the dance floor and put the exact color and condition in your contract. Sometimes you are surprised with the “older dance floor”.
» Serving Plates and Silverware: Check and note the plates, silverware and their colors. Sometimes Venus changes their serving plates, colors or other stuff without prior notice and if you were planning your colors around them there will be a problem. Also put it into your contract in case the venue purchases any new items such as new staging, dance floors, dishes, silverware and table cloth/napkins, you have the first choice to decide if you are going to use them for your wedding.
» White glove service, Champagne up-on arrival and “In-room gift delivery” are the least costly things for both you and the venue and most impressive things to add to your wedding.
» In non-union or five star venues, I would ask for the colors and condition of the wait staff’s uniforms and make a note into your contract.

Some more details to negotiate
Another thing to negotiate is the food for the day of your wedding at your bridal suite. Most of the times hotel will send a light continental breakfast, finger food or tea sandwiches but it is only one time a day. Negotiate breakfast and lunch as well as a private hospitality suite for the bridal party and the families before the guest arrival. This helps everybody to relax and get ready for the wedding.

If you are planning to change your wedding dress negotiate a changing room (this is a small room close to your ballroom) since sometimes getting to your bridal suite takes a long time especially if you have to take elevators or go from a one wing to another.

Power of smell
Make sure either the venue or your florist delivers flowers to your bridal suite. Nothing puts you in a good mood more than the sense of smell especially if they are the same as the ones you picked as your wedding flowers. In most of the five and six star hotels you will have a personal concierge and maid in your room. Make sure you note that on your contract because sometimes hotels fail to mention that to you or they put it up-on availability.

Negotiate and meet with a dedicated mater’d or a Capitan for your wedding. A day before your wedding walk the floor to make sure everything is set the way you wanted it. It is almost impossible to make last minute changes without reoccurring charges

Steaming and ironing of the napkins, table cloths, curtains and buffet tables skirting are a must. This seems to be one of the most common things that the planners and brides forget and trust me it makes a huge difference.

Time line – diagram – menus and last minutes changes
Although I always tell my brides nothing goes 100% based on your time line but it is very important to make sure the band, mater’d and the venue know there is a reason for every timing you have lined up. If there are any suggestions or changes, they should let you know at least a month in advance

If you agreed to the diagram all the set ups should be “as per diagram” and nothing should and can be changed. From the size of the stage for the band or DJ to the dance floor size and location, tables, stations and all the other miscellaneous set ups.

Look at all the albums especially the most recent one in the catering office to see different set ups, colors and decorations. This can be a very good reference for your set up.

Your other vendors & vendor to vendor relations
Meet with all of your vendors to walk the space, get some ideas from them and share yours. Treat all of your vendors with respect, since they are the ones who will make your dream day come true. Negotiate vendor meals. Do not and I repeat do not ever give them something other than what all the other guests are eating. That is totally wrong. The best rate would be half of your per person prices since they don’t eat your wedding cake and don’t drink alcohol. Make a point that you expect your vendors to be treated well and fed at a specific time and not at the end of the night.

The good deed
Always make arrangements for the left over’s: if the venue does it it’s great but if not contract the local charities, closest hospital or shelter to your venue and see if they can use your left over flowers and food.

With love,
Ferinoosh

Email this post

Weddings at The Roosevelt Hotel New York

The Roosevelt Hotel New York is excited to announce the launch of its’ new website, exclusively focused on weddings hosted at the Grand Dame of Madison Avenue.  For your New York City wedding, The Roosevelt Hotel offers two distinctive ballrooms with the elegant appointments of the Grand Ballroom and the classic style of the Terrace Ballroom.  Our event spaces are some of the  few remaining New York City classic spaces and are spacious enough to host receptions of up to 1,000 guests.

Visit www.RooseveltWeddings.com to explore the storybook setting that The Roosevelt Hotel has to offer.  Click on the image gallery to see our fabulous spaces and learn about our culinary staff, including Executive Chef Rupert Leitner by clicking on Meet the Chef.  Need some planning tools?  We’ve got that too.

Posted By
Kelli Crean
Ecommerce Manager

Email this post

2010 Wedding Trends

weddingtrend

Photo Credit: Paul Retherford

Ferinoosh Khosravi, the Roosevelt Hotel’s Senior Catering and Sales Manager and popular “Wedding Ace” has taken to her blog Here Comes My Bride to weigh in on what to expect from this season’s weddings.

In her latest post, she explains that the muted colors and small, modest  accessories that were popular to last year’s brides will not be as prevalent this year. Bright colors and bold accessories are what we can expect. Also, bridesmaid dresses will begin to vary in color hues and fabric type, giving way to a more casual vibe.

Ferinoosh also has some ideas about how to cut costs for the big day (it is ok for the groom to wear his best suit rather than renting an expensive tuxedo). Check out the full post for all the details.

Email this post

What “Type” of Bride are You?

 

During my years of working with brides I believe I can say I have seen so many different types of brides. Each and everyone unique to their own style. Based on my experience I have developed a “Type” and “Personal Style” category to help me and my brides to plan the best weddings for them.

Although there are so many different categories out there, here are the four that helps me the most:

City Bride
Vineyard Bride
Castle Bride
Island Bride

I guess once you know what type of a bride you are, you have a better and clearer view of how to do the rest of the planning. I know the first thing in bride’s mind, is the “Wedding Gown”. One thing that I always stress to all of my brides is that you have to be yourself and find what works for you.

If you are a city girl, you will not feel comfortable in a lacy country looking gown or if you are an Island girl, you will not feel good in a princess looking hairdo and Cinderella dress. I know some times we get lost in all the pictures and dresses we see and we love them all but finding what your style is and niche is the most important key factor. Here is what I found out based on experience and research (thanks to all the bridal magazines out there):

A city bride is always looking much better in something that is sophisticated, unique and more Modern. An Island bride always looks amazing in Narrow, sexy and a very light gown. I always tell my Castle brides to choose a gown that is classic, elegant and a bit dramatic and finally my Vineyard brides to wear a very soft, feminine and natural looking gown.

All these said, I know you always want to look and feel stunning, but remember you need to consider a dress that suits your location as well. If you are a city girl who is getting married in the Bahamas, of course you need to wear “Bahama-like” no matter where you are from.

Posted by
Ferinoosh Khosravi
Senior Catering Manager

Email this post

Flowers & Your Wedding

IMG_0110

Considering all of these, to find out the best arrangements for your big day, my suggestion is when visiting your florist take a picture of your wedding gown, swatch of the bridesmaids, color of the groom’s tuxedo, location of the wedding and all your favorite pictures that you tore from magazines…this will give them an idea of what’s going on in your head.

Also consider this; your color theme should compliment and not contrast against each other. Also make sure to use season as a good indication of the theme of your colors and types of the flowers you choose. Although overall I believe that flowers are beautiful and no matter where and when you use them they still are gorgeous but sometimes some choices do not make sense. Like Daisies are not for indoor wedding especially in the middle of winter.

flowers2aa1

Once you find out what your personal style is the rest is easy. Let’s start with flowers … my favorite subject. First there are so many beautiful and different kinds, shapes, colors and smells out there but first it’s very important to know what goes with your style first. Second such as, the season, the location & the mood of your wedding.

flowers3

One thing that I love is the smell; I think that will set the tone. Smells are very memorable. I love the fact that every time I smell lily’s it remind me of one of my dear friend’s wedding.

At last remember, choose a flower that is a perfect match with you and who you are and don’t forget the embellishments, that a little bit of a bling or spot light on the flowers goes a long way.

Posted by
Ferinoosh Khosravi
Senior Catering Manager

Email this post