What comes to mind when you think of a hotel wedding? For us, it’s fancy ballrooms, sweeping staircases, and lots of time spent lounging poolside with your crew. Oh, and party-ready guest lists! Yes, indeed, there are many perks to hosting a hotel wedding!
While intimate weddings are here to stay, guest list numbers are bouncing back — paving the way for both inner-city hotel weddings and destination-style resort weddings to make a strong return. To understand the how and why of hotel weddings, we called in an expert. As director of Pop Up Event Co, Bree Nicholls partners with a wide range of gorgeous venues — but it’s the uptick in hotel and resort weddings that has been most noteworthy of late. The American market first alerted her to the resurgence. “Watching global wedding trends with a keen eye, I’ve noticed a sharp return to hotel weddings in recent months,” says Bree. “I think we’re going to see the trend expand as we enter Australia’s spring and summer wedding seasons.”
Not only can you bring a crowd (many hotel ballrooms accommodate up to 1000!) but your guests can get from nuptials to reception nosh with ease. “Hotels and resorts provide for an easy transition from ceremony to reception,” says Bree. “There’s no jumping on a bus to get to the reception location post-ceremony, and no walking up a big grassy hill (in heels, no doubt!) to grab your first drink from the bar.”
Heaps of scope for styling
“Hotels provide an array of ‘blank canvas’ spaces to work with and couples can really focus on transforming a room by styling and theming their event,” says Bree. “Many modern couples are now opting for a contemporary wedding style with signature details. Think custom lighting, champagne walls and towers, eclectic table arrangements and dramatic ceremony entrances. Hotels provide the perfect backdrop for this wedding vibe.” If the thought of a blank canvas is a little daunting, turn to a stylist or your planner for ideas on personalising the room. “Cost-effective ways to transform a room include adding a bright pop of colour in your table decor, adding a backdrop or lighting behind your bridal table or even providing fun and entertaining guest experiences,” says Bree.
There’s no delicate way to say it, Queensland can get hot. Really hot. An indoor venue will allow everyone to keep their cool, whatever the weather. “Hotels and indoor function spaces offer a great sense of security with respect to inclement weather,” says Bree. “Considering all the rain Australia has experienced in 2022, securing a wet weather backup venue is an absolute must. An indoor venue gives a couple a sense of calm leading up to their big day.”
Your room is right there
Having your room handy to your ceremony location is perfect for morning-of prep. Just wake up, order room service, pop the Champagne, and enjoy the precious moments with your faves. It works when the reception winds up too. “Having accommodation right on your doorstep is a bonus,” says Bree. “No one likes to be thinking about driving home at 12 am! Hotels will always offer a discount for wedding guest accommodation. And here’s a cheeky tip: if you are booking more than ten rooms for your guests, you will likely receive an even further discounted group rate.”
Plenty of pre & after-party options
Whether you’re meeting guests poolside for cocktails or at the lobby bar for a nightcap, hotels and resorts offer loads of options for getting together. With many guests staying onsite, organising weekend wedding activities will be a breeze. On the big day, you’ll also have the chance to party on with a longer ‘end time’ (most hotels offer 12 pm) than some other venues.
There’s a fancy ballroom (and lots of other rooms)
Love options? Hotels and resorts offer plenty of choice when it comes to event spaces — from intimate garden hideaways and poolside decks to rooftop terraces and grand ballrooms with ginormous dance floors. If you’re choosing a coastal hotel or an island resort, you’ll also have the option of a beach ceremony (and a backup if the weather doesn’t go your way). Best of both worlds.”