If you have attended a wedding where there was a room reserved for all the wedding guests, or sometimes just the wedding party, to mingle and enjoy refreshments, you have experienced what is called a suite. reception. While this may seem like a modern addition to the wedding day experience, hospitality suites are actually anything but new, according to Kimberly Sisti, a San Diego-based wedding planner and owner and designer of Sisti & Co.
What is a wedding reception suite?
A wedding reception suite is a place where guests can come throughout the weekend for refreshments, snacks, and information.
“Historically speaking, Homer’s Odyssey from 2,000 years ago deals with this concept in detail, as it was very important that foreigners and travelers from faraway lands could find a place where they felt welcome. and at ease, ”she says. Brides. “The friendly and generous welcome and entertainment of your guests and even strangers promotes goodwill towards other humans. ”
Oniki Hardtman, wedding planner and owner of Oh Niki Occasions in South Florida and New York, also notes that even in more modern times hospitality suites were quite common at corporate or business retreats for relaxed networking and / or to make sure that the company tab is not displayed individually at the bar.
What does a wedding reception suite include?
When it comes to weddings, Hospitality Suites serve a number of purposes, but primarily as a place where wedding guests can come and go throughout the weekend for refreshments, snacks, and wedding information. , notes Christina Mytinger, catering manager for weddings. at St. Regis Valley of the Deer in Park City, Utah. “Hospitality suites often come with charging stations, card and board games, and printed weekend itineraries,” she explains. “For example, a hospitality suite at St. Regis Deer Valley is conveniently located in one of the resort’s superb suites, such as a deluxe suite, which includes a living room, dining room, fireplace, designer kitchen, full bathroom, and a half bath. guest and patios, and can be personalized with lounge seating, comfy chairs, coffee tables, and additional outdoor seating for drinking in the pristine cobalt sky of Deer Valley. ”
Do you need a hospitality suite?
While not a must have, experts agree that a hospitality suite is a ‘nice to have’ feature at any wedding, and this is especially true if you are hosting a wedding. destination or a multi-day wedding. “The best way to be hospitable to your out-of-town guests is to book them in a hospitality suite for their comfort and relaxation while on the property,” adds Hardtman.
The advantages of having a hospitality suite
Here are some of the benefits of having a hospitality suite for your wedding weekend.
It offers guests a common meeting place
Whether guests have arrived at the hotel before their room is ready or are simply looking for a place to spend some free time between wedding events, a hospitality suite can provide guests with a wonderfully relaxing experience in two cases, notes JoAnn Gregoli, owner of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli At New York. “It shows your genuine concern for your guests and helps them feel welcome on your wedding weekend.”
It takes the pressure off the couple
A hospitality suite can also be of great benefit to the bride and groom, who tend to be the “go-to people” for any questions or concerns that guests may have. Securing a hospitality suite with a designated person to answer these questions on behalf of the couple immediately relieves stress and allows them to focus on their upcoming nuptials, Hardtman notes.
It offers customers a chance to reconnect
For guests coming from out of town who might arrive at the wedding destination a few days earlier, a welcome suite offers them the opportunity to reconnect with old acquaintances and even make new ones before the wedding. celebration of marriage. “A hospitality suite allows the couple and their parents to step in whenever they are free to host guests and maybe make plans, not in the schedule or an invitation,” Mytinger adds. “It is also the only wedding venue where the couple or their parents are not expected to be present, so there is no pressure to stand up and say hello as is found during a welcome party. ”
It’s a simplified location for gift bags
“If you choose to include a gift aspect in a hospitality suite, it alleviates the complexity of welcome bag deliveries, including assembly, then locating each guest and delivering the bags,” Mytinger explains. “All personal items selected to be shared with the guests, whether special for the couple or the destination, can be displayed and also provide activity as guests, always pampered, ‘go shopping’ and build their own. ideal welcome bags! ”
What to consider when creating a hospitality suite
If you are planning to create a reception suite for your wedding guests, follow these expert tips to make sure it is useful, enjoyable, and memorable.
Negotiate costs in advance
The cost of a hospitality suite can cost more than a standard room, so to get the best deal Gregoli recommends trying to negotiate the use of a room in your block of rooms with the sales team. from your hotel. “The suites are an extra and they come in different sizes, so ask for pricing options for some of the available rooms,” she says. “These suites are also generally in high demand, so if you are considering one you will really be booking it at the same time you book your block of rooms.”
Advertise it well
There is always the possibility that a hospitality suite will not be used, warns Kylie Carlson, owner ofThe Marriage Academy. “For example, if it’s not advertised properly well in advance, customers may not realize it’s an option,” she says. For this reason, she recommends including a mention of the hospitality suite in the information card that guests receive when checking in at the hotel and also adding a few signs throughout the floor of the suite. .
Do not connect the suite to yours
While it can be tempting to create a large “party” space, Hardtman doesn’t recommend that the hospitality suite connect to the suite the couple are staying in. said.
Fill the suite with refreshments
When guests enter a hospitality suite, they will most certainly expect there to be some form of food, be it snacks, appetizers, or take out. At the very least, Carlson recommends making sure water is served with a few extra items. “If it’s summer, consider organizing fans and sunscreen for guests to take with them to the ceremony,” she says. “Everyone will thank you! ”
Overall, your hospitality suite should be as fun and personalized as possible, according to Hardtman. “It’s a great place for those engagement photos and fun personalized items with your wedding branding, such as beer koozies, insulated beach wine goblets, towels, sunglasses and more. “, she adds. “Think about what will be most useful and most representative of the destination you are in as well. ”