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For those who offer Elopement Packages, how do you handle any extra guests who show up for the ceremony? enlightened

ie if you state Maximum 4 or 6 guests including the bride and groom, what do you do if 5 or 10 extra people show up? Do you charge per person? How do you handle this? Once they are there it would not be easy to send them away, esp since it is a special event. Do you restrict them to the outside grounds only, or ?

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I have been trying to find this image and get the date I took it so I can plan for the Spring blooms...I found my original finally...click here.

As I always say, you never ever know when you may need a photo, so just take them! I didn't think this one would be called upon, but today I did need it as we had a call for a possible march elopement. We begin in April so things are blooming, but I found this blooms end of march and sometimes early April (depending on the year) ...first to bloom really around here as well as the Asian Magnolia blossoms.

Looking closer I see tulips up as well...so that helps when I don't have the original image with date.

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FWIW, a draft/sample of our wedding contract (this is for full-blown weddings rather than elopements) is available on our website at http://www.harborfields.com/SampleWeddingContract.pdf 

Thanks for the feedback from folks here last summer when we started developing this! (thread here: http://www.innspiring.com/node/13551)

We now have three weddings scheduled for this coming summer, with some inquiries still coming in! (And thanks to the brides/couples/families we've worked with for their help in further developing our contract, too.)

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Sorry your pdf link...says NOT FOUND

OnTheShore's picture
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Sorry, some extraneous invisible characters got added into the link somehow.

The correct link is http://www.harborfields.com/SampleWeddingContract.pdf

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Thank you

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After last night, I am thinking of having it ONLINE as the rooms are and let them book it there, they are able to call and all of that, but ONLINE CHECK THE BOX seems like a good thing...

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Copperhead, do you have them sign some sort of contract? I'm thinking maybe I need to create one for myself.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Copperhead, do you have them sign some sort of contract? I'm thinking maybe I need to create one for myself.

I do not have a contract for the Elopement Packages, just a agree to the terms confirmation.  I am however going to make a stern policy regarding guests.  We do have them sign contracts for the larger weddings, as one bride said when reviewing it 'gee it's like we were buying a house or something'. 

But for this package, most are coming in from other states and making the contract impossible unless it was done via online service.  Having them agree to the terms in the confirmation should be enough.  The issue is to make sure they understand the terms!

This is what I have come up with at this point to add to the policy:  suggestions welcome!

"This is an elopement package and based on a max. of 4 (bride, groom and 2 witnesses (18yrs or older)).  Due to our set up and other obligations we must plan for the package you choose.  If you have additional guests show for your ceremony, an additional fee (need to decide on $) will be charged and payable before the
wedding can commence. We do have packages for small groups for those wishing to share the happy occasion with more than 2 witnesses. So please choose the package that best meets your needs and avoid issues on your wedding day."

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05/22/2008

I would like to see your wedding contract. You can email to me if you like. Thanks

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05/22/2008

A friend of mine is thinking about weddings now as this is becoming the "THING" around here. I would love to see someone's contract as well so I can share some thoughts on it with her.

Thanks in advance.

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JINXED! 

It happened today 12/31!  No I did not confront them.  They were paying my package price for the wedding/cake only and were gone in an hour. 

Time to place strict note in the confirmation and when I speak with them.  At present I do want to speak with all of the elope package guests.  And this WILL be covered.  In the past I just stated this was an elopement for 2, with option to bring up to 2 witnesses.  Now I will state that there will be an extra charge for anyone over that and the details will be in the confirmation. 

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copperhead wrote:

JINXED! 

It happened today 12/31!  No I did not confront them.  They were paying my package price for the wedding/cake only and were gone in an hour. 

Time to place strict note in the confirmation and when I speak with them.  At present I do want to speak with all of the elope package guests.  And this WILL be covered.  In the past I just stated this was an elopement for 2, with option to bring up to 2 witnesses.  Now I will state that there will be an extra charge for anyone over that and the details will be in the confirmation. 

and oddly enough you were thinking of this thread as it happened!

PS "Jinx buy me a beer"

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This is why I would like to allow dogs OFF SITE - this is so adorable!

PS follow that board on Pinterest for photography ideas...and more

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Ok, now you've done it...I'm going to blame you the rest of the day because I've gotten sucked into looking at all the fabulous pinterest pictures!

Breakfast Diva's picture
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That's where we get ours! 24 hour notice and it's only $11.99    What a deal!

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I have died and gone to heaven...

I can order Special Order CAKES online at my local KROGER store! "Build a cake" 8 inch round is the smallest size.

I will go over there and see how they are, they have a great bakery. 

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JB, do you have a common area powder room/bathroom?

We decided that if they have any guests at their elopement/small wedding, then the bridal couple must book an overnight stay with us because we don't have a bathroom for them to use to either change before the wedding or if their invited guests need to use a bathroom. The guests will have to use the bridal couple's room if they need to use a bathroom.

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Birdie wrote:

JB, do you have a common area powder room/bathroom?

We decided that if they have any guests at their elopement/small wedding, then the bridal couple must book an overnight stay with us because we don't have a bathroom for them to use to either change before the wedding or if their invited guests need to use a bathroom. The guests will have to use the bridal couple's room if they need to use a bathroom.

This is where I think problems might arise. Supposedly, food cannot be served in a place where there is no access to a restroom. Unless the person has a food cart which is totally self-contained. Around here food carts are required to have hand washing sinks. (Essentially a sink attached to nothing that drains onto the sidewalk. Most carts don't even provide the employees with water to wash with anyway.) Not sure where the dividing line is in re serving food.

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Madeleine wrote:

Birdie wrote:

JB, do you have a common area powder room/bathroom?

We decided that if they have any guests at their elopement/small wedding, then the bridal couple must book an overnight stay with us because we don't have a bathroom for them to use to either change before the wedding or if their invited guests need to use a bathroom. The guests will have to use the bridal couple's room if they need to use a bathroom.

This is where I think problems might arise. Supposedly, food cannot be served in a place where there is no access to a restroom. Unless the person has a food cart which is totally self-contained. Around here food carts are required to have hand washing sinks. (Essentially a sink attached to nothing that drains onto the sidewalk. Most carts don't even provide the employees with water to wash with anyway.) Not sure where the dividing line is in re serving food.

Yes we do, but we won't be offering it. That is what I am saying. If you go into the analytic side of doing anything you will never do it.

We aren't serving food other than purchased. But I digress. Nothing worth doing is easy.

After ten years we need to up the game and do something different. Step across the threshold and work smarter not harder. This is what I am all about. I will give anything and everything a try to see if it is compatible with our inn/innkeepers. 

Throwing in the towel is not an option. We now have a new B&B opening in town a couple blocks from us (here is today's paper). I am sure they will use us to emulate on just about everything, I am expecting it. I hope we are apples and oranges, or I hope that they will put $ and effort into marketing so for once we can reap the benefits, vs this inn marketing for everyone else. Smiling

Either way, we don't want weddings, only elopements! heart

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"After ten years we need to up the game and do something different. Step across the threshold and work smarter not harder. This is what I am all about. I will give anything and everything a try to see if it is compatible with our inn/innkeepers."

My sentiments exactly! After stepping back and analyzing what to do differently, we came up with these Elopement/Small Weddings. Will it work? I don't know, but I have to try. Not only to bring in revenue, but to keep things fresh for us as innkeepers. Times change, and so must I.

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I saw this today, as a matter of fact: 

What everybody ought to know about comfort zones

the final lines along what you just said Birdie - -

Get strategic.

Embrace change. 

Seek improvement.

Work smarter.

Just don’t carry on doing the same things, expecting things to magically improve. To paraphrase Einstein, insanity is repeating the same experiment and expecting different results.

 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

I saw this today, as a matter of fact: 

What everybody ought to know about comfort zones

the final lines along what you just said Birdie - -

Get strategic.

Embrace change. 

Seek improvement.

Work smarter.

Just don’t carry on doing the same things, expecting things to magically improve. To paraphrase Einstein, insanity is repeating the same experiment and expecting different results.

 

yes

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Ready to go by May...good luck! The place looks like it needs tons of work. They must be dreaming..or can pay really big bucks for contractors. I don't know about your part of VA, but here it would take that long to get someone to come out and even give an estimate Sad

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Birdie wrote:

JB, do you have a common area powder room/bathroom?

We decided that if they have any guests at their elopement/small wedding, then the bridal couple must book an overnight stay with us because we don't have a bathroom for them to use to either change before the wedding or if their invited guests need to use a bathroom. The guests will have to use the bridal couple's room if they need to use a bathroom.

Exactly. Which is why ours is limited to the two with the outside room entrances. But, again, we don't want more people. 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Birdie wrote:

JB, do you have a common area powder room/bathroom?

We decided that if they have any guests at their elopement/small wedding, then the bridal couple must book an overnight stay with us because we don't have a bathroom for them to use to either change before the wedding or if their invited guests need to use a bathroom. The guests will have to use the bridal couple's room if they need to use a bathroom.

Exactly. Which is why ours is limited to the two with the outside room entrances. But, again, we don't want more people.

yes

We'll reevaluate our 8 person max later this year and see if it's worth it.

 

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Birdie wrote:

JB, do you have a common area powder room/bathroom?

We decided that if they have any guests at their elopement/small wedding, then the bridal couple must book an overnight stay with us because we don't have a bathroom for them to use to either change before the wedding or if their invited guests need to use a bathroom. The guests will have to use the bridal couple's room if they need to use a bathroom.

I do not. My package includes the room for the night so they have a bathroom available. My package is limited to max of 4 so the bathroom for their room is THE bathroom to be used (unless I am feeling generous and no incoming to need the shared bathroom - it would not need that much).

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How about similar to an extra person room rate?   Restricted to 6 people.   (more than 6 will be subject to an extra charge.)   Then you can charge for the bigger cake and more coffee.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

How about similar to an extra person room rate?   Restricted to 6 people.   (more than 6 will be subject to an extra charge.)   Then you can charge for the bigger cake and more coffee.


We don't want to do weddings, only elopements. That is the whole things, weddings can be nightmares. Been there done that year one...We don't actually want an extra person charge, because it is an elopement not a wedding. 

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Thanks Copperhead. They are not trying to be bad, but good. They want to be there and make it special, so it is difficult to penalize people, if they just show up. So I am thinking the wording needs to be stiff and of course the additional fee. But in reality we don't want the fee because we don't want the extra people at all, as you said, it becomes a small wedding vs an elopement.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Thanks Copperhead. They are not trying to be bad, but good. They want to be there and make it special, so it is difficult to penalize people, if they just show up. So I am thinking the wording needs to be stiff and of course the additional fee. But in reality we don't want the fee because we don't want the extra people at all, as you said, it becomes a small wedding vs an elopement.

Yes, stiff wording to the couple.  They are the only ones that could blab it and so being strict and adding a very high fee for over the max will hopefully do the trick. 

It is amazing just how many do not know what an elopement is.  You may consider adding the definition of elopement to your website (if it is not there).

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Been worried about that from day one, have not had it happen yet and not sure what I would do if they did. 

What we do when someone ASKS is say that this is not an Elopement but is a small wedding.  We do charge more as there is always issues with a larger group.  1) we must get a larger cake (our elope cake serves 4), 2) they arrive early 3)they stay late 4) they take photos messing up MY photos

I must plan and sometimes we have more than 1 wedding in a day.  So as I am typing this I am trouble shooting this.  I may just add a statement in our confirmation with a large fee for unexpected guests.  Money talks! 

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