Weddings

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IronGate's picture
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I've read in several threads about how much work weddings are.  Some have even said to avoid them, and I'm wondering why.

I completely understand how the whole bridezilla, it's-all-about-me, mob mentality can take over and ruin the atmosphere for other guests.  I'm just wondering, as part of a wedding package, are you doing things you don't normally do?  Are you adding catering?  Rearranging furniture to accommodate? 

It just seems to me that weddings can be controlled with some strictly enforced policies, such as the party has to book ALL rooms (not just all available rooms) for at least two nights, catering must be handled through a third party who will not have access to the facility until after xx o'clock, etc.

Thoughts?

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Yes on all and include a fee to hire someone to all of that stuff for you!

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Hi all -- I thought I would revive this old topic.  One of my thoughts to increase revenue for my future imaginary inn would be to host weddings and corporate events.  What do you all think of a policy which would require:

(1) entire inn must be rented out in advance;

(2) rental fee for wedding location (outdoor area, and main floor of lodge for rain location) -- this could be anywhere from $1000-$3000, depending on the area (I know some places here in Atlanta charge a $3k rental fee -- nothing included but the place);

(3) innkeeper contracts out catering and/or event planning company (for food, tables, linens, silver, etc), can work with local catering companies to decide on set menu options -- this way there is no negotiating on what food, linen, etc. choices are available, you have control over what they are allowed to do since you're paying the bill, and you build a working relationship with the local caterer;

(4) innkeeper charges bride for catering, which would include out-of-pocket costs plus additional fees for coordinating;

(5) allow bride to choose her own florist, and work directly with her chosen florist to make sure the florist will be back after the event to take everything away; also offer to handle that for her (again charging additional fees for coordinating);

(6) act as on-site coordinater, which would include coordination of the rehearsal and wedding (for additional fees); perhaps hubby could act as officiant (for additional fees);

(7) allow allow bands/DJs on list of acceptables.

Thoughts?  I feel like this would be doable and a great way to increase income, especially if you have separate OQ.

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Great policies! Thanks for bringing this up, as I'd love to do weddings, too.

I got married at an historic estate and they had similar rules regarding caterers and music. They did a ton of weddings (for the spring/summer months, they were booked months in advance for 2/day on weekends and many weeknights), and practically had it down to a science. (By the way, their rates started at the high end of what you're quoting)

kris_pip wrote:

(3) innkeeper contracts out catering and/or event planning company (for food, tables, linens, silver, etc), can work with local catering companies to decide on set menu options -- this way there is no negotiating on what food, linen, etc. choices are available, you have control over what they are allowed to do since you're paying the bill, and you build a working relationship with the local caterer;

(4) innkeeper charges bride for catering, which would include out-of-pocket costs plus additional fees for coordinating;

Unless you love coordinating weddings and have the extra time for it, this would worry me a bit from your perspective. Brides change their minds ALL the time, and the guest list will change up until the day-of. You don't want the trouble of being the middle-(wo)man, plus explaining that they can't return groceries and staff the day-of, etc. so they're going to be charged anyway.

If I were to do this, I'd do a list of approved caterers that you're friendly with, that understand the rules and limitations of the property, and treat it kindly. Some venues have one exclusive caterer. The one we used had a list of 10 with varying price points. They'll love being the exclusive caterer(s) for your property and will work for your business, and that way the brides get some choice and direct involvement, but you won't have to run daily interference.

kris_pip wrote:

(5) allow bride to choose her own florist, and work directly with her chosen florist to make sure the florist will be back after the event to take everything away; also offer to handle that for her (again charging additional fees for coordinating);

Our venue had set times for drop-off, and a $25/day charge for each item left behind after the end of the rental period. That was incentive enough to make sure we (our caterers) disposed of everything promptly.

kris_pip wrote:

(7) allow allow bands/DJs on list of acceptables.

Great idea to have a list. Our venue had an additional restriction on any amplified music out-of-doors, and any amplification indoors or out after 10PM.

Remember to ask for a security deposit and deduct for each violation!

Good luck  . Glad I'm not the only crazy aspiring who's still hopeful about doing weddings.

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stephanie wrote:

Good luck  . Glad I'm not the only crazy aspiring who's still hopeful about doing weddings.

 

Me, too. I find it interesting that no matter what I read on these posts about all the negatives, I STILL want to do this!!! I must be nuts!!! It is so nice to know that I am not alone on my nutso-road-to-innkeeping!!!!  Eye-wink

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If you have the right personality for it, it's a good thing to add to the business.  I have stayed at the Walnut Lane Inn in Lyman, SC run by southern gentleman extradoinaire Hoyt Dottry and his partner.  They have six or seven rooms and do 35 - 40 weddings a year, handling all the catering themselves.  It is a great business for him.  Hoyt has the calmest demeanor - I'm sure he's great at dealing with brides and mothers-of.  If you know you have a knack for it, it can definitely be part of your business plan (if your site will allow it).  It's never been a part of the business I've been interested in, except on a very small scale.  I have to say that the two weddings we had here were very gratifying when they were actually on and then over - they were special.

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AH YES...those Southern Gentleman...they have a way about them and I can truly see them calming down bridal partiesSmiling And...taking it all in good stride. Sorry that isn't me!

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No, you are not alone. You will be joining a choice group of prize nuts. We have Vetnut, VAnuts, several MEnuts, some buckeyes thrown in, some Cannuts, a couple of WVnuts, MOnuts, and Texnuts to name a few.

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gillumhouse wrote:

No, you are not alone. You will be joining a choice group of prize nuts. We have Vetnut, VAnuts, several MEnuts, some buckeyes thrown in, some Cannuts, a couple of WVnuts, MOnuts, and Texnuts to name a few.

WAnuts, LAnuts, GAnuts, NCNUTS? we haven't had any of them for a while, they must have bailed.

This elopement thing and renewing vows is big right now at B&B's without the full fanfare.  If you do some searches you can find lots of info on it.  We get a call per week wanting to have a small wedding here.  It has happened in the past, so those who went told those who want, and the word of mouth continues.  I have some nice prof photos of a couple weddings here - when I went ahhhh that is where they did that.  In fact one photog has our place framed up in a couple places, restaurants etc.  But it doesn't say what it is.  So it is just nice decor.

Remember the weddings of long ago, elegant and cake and punch only.  I think THAT is an ideal type for a B&B.  Simple and elegant.

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My TX inn-mate is really trying to convince me to take that on too - elopements at least, for only 2 people.  She charges around $600 and it is not that much work.  Her dh is the officiant.  It includes a one night stay and some minimal stuff which is a good addition to the bottom line.  She is very strict on the time that she allows these too.  She has a very grand setting for these though - great photos!

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gillumhouse's picture
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The Vetnut was aimed at you for your service to this Country and meant in a positive way (in case there was any question). Thanks for the service you gave.

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oh...did I say anything about the nuts??  I thought that was cute.    Actually, if I wasn't too old & in the Retired Reserve, I'd consider going back on active duty with the shortage of nurses and all.  They haven't gone over 50...yet!  Thanks!  My dh thanks you too. 

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I am in the Buckeye nut category...I will certainly say that innkeepers and their ilk are their own breed!!! (edited to remove a smiley that didn't work)

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The best advice I have heard about doing weddings is making the bride pay for insurance for the event.

This from an inn who does large weddings. One time the father of the groom came limping up and told the innkeepers that "don't worry it was not a bad fall, and you have insurance anyway, I'm sure"

To which the innkeeper replied, "Oh yes, we always have the family of the bride purchase insurance just in case anything happens to their guests."

Later that evening the same fellow was seen dancing away with no more limp....

Riki 

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IronGate's picture
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egoodell wrote:

The best advice I have heard about doing weddings is making the bride pay for insurance for the event.

. . .

Riki 

Excellent advice!  I would not have thought of that, until it was too late.  Would work for corporate retreats, also.

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This B&B is for sale currently, and they have a very comprehensive WEDDING/ELOPEMENT page on their website.  Take a look here.

for sale link

60 weddings in just over 6 months.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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I especially like this idea (maybe a good thing for us to stick in a wedding card for our wedding nights/honeymooners?)

$25 gift certificate to use against a return stay at the B&B on your first anniversary

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I like that too.  I've given them a business card with the discount on the back but it would be nice to do something special for weddings or anniversaries too for their next anniversary.  I'll add it to the list.

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JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

I especially like this idea (maybe a good thing for us to stick in a wedding card for our wedding nights/honeymooners?)

$25 gift certificate to use against a return stay at the B&B on your first anniversary

Excellent! I like that one.

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Bree wrote:

JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

I especially like this idea (maybe a good thing for us to stick in a wedding card for our wedding nights/honeymooners?)

$25 gift certificate to use against a return stay at the B&B on your first anniversary

Excellent! I like that one.

What if we sell, what happens to these GC's for future owners?  I wanted to ask you as you had some stuff come up from PO's when you bought like this.  I surely don't want to give them the cashola in case these are ever redeemed.  Most likely they won't be, but it is the thought of the whole thing.

What do you think?

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JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

Bree wrote:

JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

I especially like this idea (maybe a good thing for us to stick in a wedding card for our wedding nights/honeymooners?)

$25 gift certificate to use against a return stay at the B&B on your first anniversary

Excellent! I like that one.

What if we sell, what happens to these GC's for future owners?  I wanted to ask you as you had some stuff come up from PO's when you bought like this.  I surely don't want to give them the cashola in case these are ever redeemed.  Most likely they won't be, but it is the thought of the whole thing.

What do you think?

If there is no payment received, then the next owners get nothing from you and they don't have to honor the GC. (They would be foolish not to, tho.) AND, if you keep good records, which I'm sure you do, you can tell the recipients that you are selling and that they should use the GC beforehand in case the new owners choose not to honor it.

We honored freebie donation GC's that we got hit with for full room nights. It hurt, and those guests never returned for a paid night, but we chose to do the honorable thing.

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Bree wrote:

JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

Bree wrote:

JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

I especially like this idea (maybe a good thing for us to stick in a wedding card for our wedding nights/honeymooners?)

$25 gift certificate to use against a return stay at the B&B on your first anniversary

Excellent! I like that one.

What if we sell, what happens to these GC's for future owners?  I wanted to ask you as you had some stuff come up from PO's when you bought like this.  I surely don't want to give them the cashola in case these are ever redeemed.  Most likely they won't be, but it is the thought of the whole thing.

What do you think?

If there is no payment received, then the next owners get nothing from you and they don't have to honor the GC. (They would be foolish not to, tho.) AND, if you keep good records, which I'm sure you do, you can tell the recipients that you are selling and that they should use the GC beforehand in case the new owners choose not to honor it.

We honored freebie donation GC's that we got hit with for full room nights. It hurt, and those guests never returned for a paid night, but we chose to do the honorable thing.

How can you word it so it does not impact the new owners, what if the new owners do not discount rooms and won't accept it.  What would you put on the GC to state only valid for THESE owners right now? Without making it stand out and sound ick?

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JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

Bree wrote:

JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

Bree wrote:

JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

I especially like this idea (maybe a good thing for us to stick in a wedding card for our wedding nights/honeymooners?)

$25 gift certificate to use against a return stay at the B&B on your first anniversary

Excellent! I like that one.

What if we sell, what happens to these GC's for future owners?  I wanted to ask you as you had some stuff come up from PO's when you bought like this.  I surely don't want to give them the cashola in case these are ever redeemed.  Most likely they won't be, but it is the thought of the whole thing.

What do you think?

If there is no payment received, then the next owners get nothing from you and they don't have to honor the GC. (They would be foolish not to, tho.) AND, if you keep good records, which I'm sure you do, you can tell the recipients that you are selling and that they should use the GC beforehand in case the new owners choose not to honor it.

We honored freebie donation GC's that we got hit with for full room nights. It hurt, and those guests never returned for a paid night, but we chose to do the honorable thing.

How can you word it so it does not impact the new owners, what if the new owners do not discount rooms and won't accept it.  What would you put on the GC to state only valid for THESE owners right now? Without making it stand out and sound ick?

Are you going to be handing these out like candy on Halloween? How many do you figure you will hand out? 5? 10? Once the place is for sale, stop handing them out. They expire in one year, right? So, once you've nailed down the 'we're selling' scenario, stop issuing them. OR, issue them as 'a gift to you from Mr & Mrs Innkeeper', NOT from 'This Particular Inn'. No, that doesn't work. Then they'll be calling you for $25 if you're not there.

OR, tell the new owners what a great idea these are and HOW much business they have generated. SELL the new owners on taking them!

Someone else may have the wording you need. (I'm still rewriting my mgmt response!)

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Bree wrote:

JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

Bree wrote:

JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

Bree wrote:

JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

I especially like this idea (maybe a good thing for us to stick in a wedding card for our wedding nights/honeymooners?)

$25 gift certificate to use against a return stay at the B&B on your first anniversary

Excellent! I like that one.

What if we sell, what happens to these GC's for future owners?  I wanted to ask you as you had some stuff come up from PO's when you bought like this.  I surely don't want to give them the cashola in case these are ever redeemed.  Most likely they won't be, but it is the thought of the whole thing.

What do you think?

If there is no payment received, then the next owners get nothing from you and they don't have to honor the GC. (They would be foolish not to, tho.) AND, if you keep good records, which I'm sure you do, you can tell the recipients that you are selling and that they should use the GC beforehand in case the new owners choose not to honor it.

We honored freebie donation GC's that we got hit with for full room nights. It hurt, and those guests never returned for a paid night, but we chose to do the honorable thing.

How can you word it so it does not impact the new owners, what if the new owners do not discount rooms and won't accept it.  What would you put on the GC to state only valid for THESE owners right now? Without making it stand out and sound ick?

Are you going to be handing these out like candy on Halloween? How many do you figure you will hand out? 5? 10? Once the place is for sale, stop handing them out. They expire in one year, right? So, once you've nailed down the 'we're selling' scenario, stop issuing them. OR, issue them as 'a gift to you from Mr & Mrs Innkeeper', NOT from 'This Particular Inn'. No, that doesn't work. Then they'll be calling you for $25 if you're not there.

OR, tell the new owners what a great idea these are and HOW much business they have generated. SELL the new owners on taking them!

Someone else may have the wording you need. (I'm still rewriting my mgmt response!)

Sure bail on me right when we had it all coming together. 

We have wedding nights here.  ESP in the fall, which is very soon.  But I don't want any backlash or repaying for something I never intended on.   If someone makes me an offer today we can sell it tomorrow.  LOL! 

Did I tell you I had a very interested person pursuing buying this place a couple months ago? No we do not have it listed and in fact, as you know under repair and renos.  He said he wanted to look into it in case we were interested in selling.  He had a B&B in this state before which I verified.

But he was looking for 7 to 10 rooms, not 6.  So the occup would have to be pretty high to tempt him.

I sent him plenty of info and he didn't bite.  He had cash for the sale after selling another business.  It was not the right time.  Nor the right person.  Not yet.

I can't even think about selling when we are busy, but it is always - the escape plan, ahem, I mean exit strategy is being worked on.

Okay well you talked me out of those GC's.  Nice idea, but too tricky.  Funny that place I got that idea from IS FOR SALE.  Which is why I wondered about the whole thing.

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IMO, any outstanding GC's are simply part of the business liabilities that a new owner takes on when they buy a place. I would continue to give out GC's if that's part of my general marketing plan. When a potential buyer looks at the financials, they would see which GC's are outstanding and they could factor that into their offer price or not. As the selling innkeeper, I would also provide the list of GC's that have been redeemed over the years and very clearly indicate the redemption rate of GC's.

For instance, if I've given 100 GC's over time and have only had 20 ever redeemed, I've got a redemption rate of 20%.

If the potential buyer wants to factor outstanding GC's into their purchase offer, I would counter that they could only factor 20% of the outstanding GC values into it.

If giving GC's is good for your business and good marketing (and in the case of $25 off newlywed's anniversary return stay, that sounds like demd good marketing to me) then keep doing it. I think the impact on purchase price will be negligble. Teeny tiny.

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happyjacks wrote:

IMO, any outstanding GC's are simply part of the business liabilities that a new owner takes on when they buy a place. I would continue to give out GC's if that's part of my general marketing plan. When a potential buyer looks at the financials, they would see which GC's are outstanding and they could factor that into their offer price or not. As the selling innkeeper, I would also provide the list of GC's that have been redeemed over the years and very clearly indicate the redemption rate of GC's.

For instance, if I've given 100 GC's over time and have only had 20 ever redeemed, I've got a redemption rate of 20%.

If the potential buyer wants to factor outstanding GC's into their purchase offer, I would counter that they could only factor 20% of the outstanding GC values into it.

If giving GC's is good for your business and good marketing (and in the case of $25 off newlywed's anniversary return stay, that sounds like demd good marketing to me) then keep doing it. I think the impact on purchase price will be negligble. Teeny tiny.

I know we've talked this one over before, because the answers are all over the place, but is that how GC's should be negotiated at purchase? If I sell 25/year and only 5 of them get redeemed in any given year then as the seller I am only going to give back 20% of what I have taken in in GC sales to the new owner?

(Actually, that wouldn't work here because the STATE wants that money after a certain number of years. So, it would be give it to the new owners or turn 60% over to the state. Altho, no large retailer has ever turned over a dime.)

I'm curious because the PO's here did not GIVE us good records. They paid SOME of the outstanding GC money to us but said they had paid it all. (So, my purchase agreement was based on receiving all the outstanding money, not a %.) THEN, GC's started turning up every year that we had no record of. I would call the PO's to verify it was valid (and not some scam, which DID happen) and all of a sudden there WERE 'records' showing that yes or no that was a valid GC, bought and paid for, or not.

The last one of those came in last year. The PO's had a fit that I called them. My take was, why should I give away rooms that were never paid for? I DID give steep discounts on the rooms because I took the GC's at 'face value'. (ie- the GC was for a particular room so I gave that room at the price that had been paid for it 4-5 years ago.) One reason I only do dollar amounts now.

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With purchased GC's it must be a little more complicated. My guess is from an accounting POV the money received for the sale of the GC should be deducted from the purchase price because it is money that, technically, the seller has not earned.

But for simplicity, and so that everyone can walk away from the deal and be done with it, I do think they should be negotiated into the purchase price like any other liability. The seller could, of course, try to talk the buyer into seeing the outstanding small-value GC's (such as $25 off a return stay) as a marketing benefit instead of a liability. "Look, dear buyer, I've built in repeat business for you."

I'd guess that for most B&B's the amount of GC's--when the redemption rate is applied--might be a few hundred dollars. Compared to the sale price of a B&B which might be a few to many hundred thousand dollars, it's not enough to be a deal-breaker.

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happyjacks wrote:

With purchased GC's it must be a little more complicated. My guess is from an accounting POV the money received for the sale of the GC should be deducted from the purchase price because it is money that, technically, the seller has not earned.

But for simplicity, and so that everyone can walk away from the deal and be done with it, I do think they should be negotiated into the purchase price like any other liability. The seller could, of course, try to talk the buyer into seeing the outstanding small-value GC's (such as $25 off a return stay) as a marketing benefit instead of a liability. "Look, dear buyer, I've built in repeat business for you."

I'd guess that for most B&B's the amount of GC's--when the redemption rate is applied--might be a few hundred dollars. Compared to the sale price of a B&B which might be a few to many hundred thousand dollars, it's not enough to be a deal-breaker.

I like the strategy of calling the freebie $25 GC's a marketing benefit, because they are.

After I thought it over for awhile, given my track record for PITA's, I wondered if I really want to hand those out when they check-in?

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I didn't read any of the posts, so bear with me if I repeat anything.  

An innkeeper friend of mine just had a wedding party this weekend.  She called me numerous times. She's been opened for 3 years, is the number one B&B in her town, and this was her first wedding party.

AND, remember she had other guests there staying with her, too. 

She said the phone was ringing so much and all she did was answer the phone -- florist, make-up person, tux rental, caterer, church, DJ, limo, etc.

She didn't have enough bathrooms for the bridesmaids, she didn't have enough room for all the flowers that were delivered, they asked for all kinds of special things, but said "we will pay for it". 
She was in a situation where she couldn't do those "speical things" because she was answering the phone all day. 

They scratched her closets by hanging up their gowns, there was make-up on her bedspreads.

I don't think the bridal party respects what an innkeeper has to do in order to meet all their needs. 

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Believe me if we do weddings it will be small only--probably leaning toward 10-20 max. The "Just the Two of Us" type of wedding would be ideal. My daughter just got married this summer and they had it at his parents lodge on the Mirimichi River---all I can say is thank God!!

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riverbendnewbie wrote:

Believe me if we do weddings it will be small only--probably leaning toward 10-20 max. The "Just the Two of Us" type of wedding would be ideal. My daughter just got married this summer and they had it at his parents lodge on the Mirimichi River---all I can say is thank God!!

I heard a very funny story from an innkeeper who used to do weddings. (It's funny now, it wasn't at the time.) She also had a limit on the number of guests, a limit on who could do the catering, a limit on where they could park, a limit on the age of the guests, etc.

When they showed the day of the wedding, there were 20 extra guests, some children, with pets. They expected to stay at the inn as booked. The kids and pets 'wouldn't be a problem, would they?' The caterer was grandma. She barreled into the kitchen and started moving things around. It rained so no one would park at the rented spaces and they subsequently blocked all access to the driveways and the roadway on her small street. The police were involved. The story goes on but the topper was that the father of the bride decamped early the next morning and never paid for the guests at the inn, who then all refused to pay for themselves. FOB left tuxedo behind. Innkeeper refused to release rented tuxedo until she was paid.

It's not worth it unless you want to be able to tell these stories.

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go to bbonline.com

find your state

look on the left, click on the little button that says 'weddings at the inn'  then you can go to those websites and see. 

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Thanks , I will definitely look them up

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Additional reasons than those already mentioned:

For a non-wedding day it is no problem if the nextdoor neighbor fires up his lawnmower at noon and mows his lawn ... for a 12:00 outdoor wedding, that's a problem.  So you have to go ask if he can take a break for a while (he may or may not be understanding about it)  Then when there are more people than you allowed and they are parking all over and blocking part of your neighbor's driveway or parked on their lawn...then the person you asked to be understanding is not likely to be so understanding.   When the wedding gets a little noisier than you would like and the neighbor is annoyed by the noise....   (you see where this is going).

It's not to say that B&B's shouldn't do weddings.  They can be successful if that is what you want to offer as your target niche (where you do them all the time and have all the connections).  However if it is just something you are going to do once in a while when asked for by potential guests, then it is probably better off to avoid them.

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swirt wrote:

Additional reasons than those already mentioned:

For a non-wedding day it is no problem if the nextdoor neighbor fires up his lawnmower at noon and mows his lawn ... for a 12:00 outdoor wedding, that's a problem.  So you have to go ask if he can take a break for a while (he may or may not be understanding about it)  Then when there are more people than you allowed and they are parking all over and blocking part of your neighbor's driveway or parked on their lawn...then the person you asked to be understanding is not likely to be so understanding.   When the wedding gets a little noisier than you would like and the neighbor is annoyed by the noise....   (you see where this is going).

It's not to say that B&B's shouldn't do weddings.  They can be successful if that is what you want to offer as your target niche (where you do them all the time and have all the connections).  However if it is just something you are going to do once in a while when asked for by potential guests, then it is probably better off to avoid them.

I agree. If you want to do weddings, you will be turning away B&B guests, the two do not mix, and you need to have every rule and boundary set up in advance, then an entire team to keep those rules and boundaries.  That is what I was trying to say.

Let me add the obvious, weddings are not in Dec, they are usually in your busiest season.  They would not be midweek, but on a Sat, typically. I am talking $$, losing money to hold a wedding there.

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Small weddings will be something we would do--the location is perfect unless the bride and groom get hit with a wayward golfball! Could someone tell me the websites of other B&B's that do small packages for elopements?

swirt's picture
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Here is one in our area that does a lot of them.  http://www.thefoxandthegrapes.com/

IronGate's picture
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riverbendnewbie wrote:

Small weddings will be something we would do--the location is perfect unless the bride and groom get hit with a wayward golfball! Could someone tell me the websites of other B&B's that do small packages for elopements?

BnBfinder.com/Weddings has list you can download, but I had difficulty with their hyperlinks.  It kept taking me back to the Weddings page.

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We have had an inquiry about the wedding party (bride) staying here for December.  The dad is a PITA.  Showed him the rooms, he says ... we can have more people come and stay then ... no, the only room is the white chocolate room as it will hold ONE extra person at $25. extra .. he grumbled. 

PIC explained that there will not be any inviting extra persons to breakfast or any extra persons staying on the property except those that are going to be registered.  The bride seemed to understand but her dad ...

We have no idea how many it will entail to "help" the bride get ready.  Not holding my breath for the booking and when they left, I said that I didn't care if they booked or not.  They will book for 2 nights, but already the work sounds more than I want to do.

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casa chocolate - red flags all over your post - sounds like dad will send others along or tell them it is okay or others will just show up or the bride (or other guests) will 'forget' that they can't eat there too, etc.  they will want to take pictures all over and suddenly folks are everywhere. 

not out of mean-ness ... but because your place is lovely.  and who wouldn't want pictures of the bride getting ready? etc.  i can see it quickly turning into a 'pool party'.

if you want to do it, it has to be a whole house rental, plus additional fees which i don't think they'll want to pay.

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I have been learning ... there will be a list of rules.  She has already been told that there are not to be extras.  She will sign and if she has extras, we will point out the extra costs.  They are taking the whole house ... but I am still not liking the dad.  The mom/wife passed away a few years ago so it seems like it is a father/daughter team. 

She said she understood our rules.  But we will be tacking on extra costs for anything she adds.  Dad is a cheap skate ... he kept re-adding the prices.  I think that we are too expensive for what he wants to pay Smiling

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for me, the big questions are

do you have private space to retreat to as the guests are in all the common areas and continue to party and talk and eat and drink and watch tv and play music and want to cook far into the night? do you have big common areas with kitchen facilities?

that is what you need.

i have a wedding group here right now. they are all nice.

but they are a lot of work because they are all getting ready or doing things all at the same time, all in party mode. they all eat at the same time, so all are needing things all at the same time.  20 people all together.  nervous, excited people often do not want to wait!

there are little children and one infant in the mix. (which is why the breakfast room is so messy right now) they are running around and playing and fussing and fighting and just being kids.

the adults and kids will soon be showering and shaving and doing hair. the irons and ironing boards are all humming away. 

the reception is at a tiny outdoor place with a tent ... when it's over, they will be gathering here because this is home base. it is foggy and rainy so the outdoor chairs will likely not help. 

  

 

 

 

 

__________________

just for rant-inn

 

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The biggest consistent aggravation with weddings for us has been that no matter how much you talk to the wedding party and how many x's are signed on your policy by the wedding party, their guests  did not sign that policy nor did they receive a copy of the policies and they are clueless about your policies and think that the entire inn has been rented, including your OQ, and that they can do whatever the heck they want to do and go where ever they want to go.

And since no one READS, your signs and policies mean nothing, and because EVERY SINGLE one of them is a "special" member of the family or friend of the family, it'll be ok if they go in here, or do this, because the bride needs them, you know?

This is like late check ins and early arrivals, it goes on in EVERY event, there is NOTHING you can do about it.

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Why?  Because no matter what kind of wedding packages you put together and policies you write, they all want exceptions to them.  "Can I have this instead of that?  It's got to be easier."  And they don't want to pay extra for anything that you go out of your way to do for them.  This is all from a friend of mine who has had her own business in the past before opening a B&B and they started out with about a half dozen wedding packages.  They have a great setup for weddings too.  They are now down to a few wedding packages that they are willing to do.  They love the elopements and the really small weddings.  Dealing with all the guests and the general brouhaha can just wear you down.  Even when they had a wedding planner that worked for them.  

But, there are B&Bs out there that host weddings and other events and it must work for them, or they wouldn't do it.  I think it's easier to do them if you have staff and work with a set caterer, florist, etc.

We don't have the room to do them here.  I just got a call this morning & referred the caller to some other venues.  This time I remembered to be sure to tell them that we love having the wedding night couples and also any guests. 

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ITs called "PAY THE BIG BUCKS" and you can do whatever you want.Smiling  And I do mean big bucks..  I don't know how they stand it...

What really works for several of my friends here is the elopement packages. They will allow parents or an attendant..but other than that...no guests!!! They are doing a booming business. I think they have each had abou 75 weddings/ elopements this year. Works for them.

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catlady wrote:

ITs called "PAY THE BIG BUCKS" and you can do whatever you want.Smiling  And I do mean big bucks..  I don't know how they stand it...

What really works for several of my friends here is the elopement packages. They will allow parents or an attendant..but other than that...no guests!!! They are doing a booming business. I think they have each had abou 75 weddings/ elopements this year. Works for them.

As those increase, I think those are much preferred and even very enjoyable for us as innkeepers.  You can have everything set and off you go. Simple.  Issue I had was a simple wedding grew and grew and grew and I kept allowing it until we had to cancel it here.

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Yes, the elopement packages or very simple weddings for 10 guests or less are going great for my friends as well. Her husband is the officiant and he is the perfect personality for that.  They've done some very sweet elopements.  These small weddings require at least one overnight room booking too and there are many guidelines in place. 

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Samster wrote:

Yes, the elopement packages or very simple weddings for 10 guests or less are going great for my friends as well. Her husband is the officiant and he is the perfect personality for that.  They've done some very sweet elopements.  These small weddings require at least one overnight room booking too and there are many guidelines in place. 

That's the word I was trying to think of, the other is Celebrant.  Officiant and Celebrant.

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I can only speak from my own experience with six rooms and no space big enough to do a wedding onsite if it's more than a dozen or so people.

On a normal weekend from March through November, I can book my rooms for a weekend two-night stay for six separate couples who don't know each other.   They will spend some time in the common areas but most of their time in their rooms or out sightseeing.  They might have a couple of hours socializing with some or most of the other guests in the inn in the living room or on the back porch.

I can sometimes also book them for a wedding or any group function, with these additional hassles:  they will bring food and drink and leave dirty glasses and dishes (which they've raided from my pantry) all over the living room, porch and library; they will use all of the rooms as common rooms with the ensuing commotion and running around, over my head when I am trying to sleep; if they want to have a caterer come in, that person will infringe upon my kitchen and my owner's quarters to prep and serve, and will take up space I need for breakfast stuff (I don't have a walk-in refrigerator or commercial oven and dishwasher); someone will not want to have the room with the detached bath; the arranger of the group will not know about all the special diet issues/early or late arrivals in advance so that will be my problem at check-in.  On and on it goes.  Groups are a lot more work than individual rooms - price and plan accordingly. 

I have a family group here this weekend.  Already I have had to ask them not to take items out of the guest refrigerator if they didn't put them in there (they thought another couples' bottled water were freely available) and not to use the back porch for their gab sessions after 10:00 at night.  They are all very nice people, but it has taken a lot of my time with arrangements for them this weekend and I am not getting compensated much for the extras.  I don't have a lot of spare time, nor as much patience as I'd like in dealing with some of the nits. 

When it all works, though - I've had two lovely, not-too-painful, SMALL weddings here and it's been fine.

 

 

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Where is this going to take place, what about the decorations, will we have access to this and that and the other thing, why can't the caterer arrive before x o'clock?, the flower delivery, the make-up person arriving, the photographer being all over the place, the pie-faced guests before, during, and after the ceremony. There are a jillion details that bridezilla's MOTHER will be asking every other hour for the month leading up to the event - oops, now Hannah is going to drop her load of rain on our parade, are the tents going to hold up or even still be there? Will the parking lot be a parking lot or a swamp? Yes, I know our wedding is not until next month, but will everything still be there or did it blow away with Hannah? That lovely flower garden, is it still lovely?

There are so many valid questions and stupid concerns that will drive you nuts. I used to work at a Holiday Inn, relief night audit which means front desk nights. I HATED weddings and I was just dealing with the exhausted, now-poverty-stricken father of the bride, a hyper mother of the bride with a laundry list of things she felt did not happen as she wanted (even if it did as was supposed to), drunken guests who were arrogant about having a room available to them now - at 11 pm or later on a Saturday night and incredulous that none was available...... Shall I go on?

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Because you can make more money on TWO night stay than the entire months of aggravation for a wedding. You need to be HEAVILY STAFFED, so you have to pay people etc.  You have ten times the work and very little $return!

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