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Redbirds

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Hello! Fred and I just opened our 4-room B&B 2 weeks ago and would love to hear feedback on a situation we just encountered:
We met with a bride this weekend who wanted to rent all 4 rooms the day of her wedding this fall, but wanted the house at 11am for her 9 BRIDESMAIDS to get ready, put on makeup, bring in a couple of fruit trays, snacks, take professional pics in and outside the house, etc. Check in isn't usually until 4pm, but we quoted her a price of $50/hour from 11-3pm ($200 total) for use of the house during normal cleaning time. Friday night, she was only renting 1 room, which meant we could book the 3 other rooms to guests not connected to her wedding.
We had many concerns: there's no way we can flip the rooms by 11am Saturday if the house is full the night before; 9 bridesmaid getting ready in the rooms...makeup & hairspray all over...towels possibly being used by non-guests (not all the bridesmaids were overnight guests!); the food--do they need plates, forks, napkins? Do we provide that? Do we charge extra for cleanup and supplies? Another option we gave her was to book all rooms both nights.
We ended up telling her that all the girls must have makeup on before coming to the house to get dressed and use of towels would be limited to guests only. She got back to us today graciously saying she appreciated our time, but the situation didn't meet her needs.
QUESTION: were we too demanding for her needs? (FYI: The marriage ceremony was not at the B&B). ~Sally~
 

EmptyNest

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You were too gracious in my opinion.
Do NOT do this!!! Especially if the wedding is not taking place on your site. You do not need to put up with this kind of grief. Develop a plan/policy and a price list that WILL work for you and STICK to IT!!!
Are you actually considering doing weddings on site?? Better think carefully.
You still have to clean the house / rooms with all those folks running around the place. If you do weddings, make sure that you REQUIRE that ALL GUest ROOMS be booked by the bride or whomever. That is part of the package.
 

Copperhead

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I agree with Catlady. Do not cry over the 'loss' be thankful! You were going to be subjected to a heck of a lot of cleanup and for what $200.
When you make your price list, think carefully of the amount of work - cleaning, laundry, etc it will take, time it will take and how it will affect your regular business.
Take this advise from those who have BTDT (been there done that) and wrote the book. I believe that people think that since we are small and are providing more of a service than a purchase they can talk to us about 'giving it away' -
 

Redbirds

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You were too gracious in my opinion.
Do NOT do this!!! Especially if the wedding is not taking place on your site. You do not need to put up with this kind of grief. Develop a plan/policy and a price list that WILL work for you and STICK to IT!!!
Are you actually considering doing weddings on site?? Better think carefully.
You still have to clean the house / rooms with all those folks running around the place. If you do weddings, make sure that you REQUIRE that ALL GUest ROOMS be booked by the bride or whomever. That is part of the package..
Catlady: this helps! We are just developing our policy/price list and to be honest, we're not a bit hurt that the bride "ranaway"! Getting a package together with a 2-night minimum stay is an excellent idea! We do have a wedding on the grounds next May and just talked to the bride a few days ago. We'll certainly get something together in writing for her to look over. THANK YOU! ~Sally~
 

Copperhead

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F&S - For your protection, you must do a contract for a wedding on your grounds. Include ALL the things YOU will provide for the qouted price and all the things you will and will not allow on your property. There are LOTS of things to consider. We do weddings here and it is NOT easy believe me!
 

EmptyNest

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You were too gracious in my opinion.
Do NOT do this!!! Especially if the wedding is not taking place on your site. You do not need to put up with this kind of grief. Develop a plan/policy and a price list that WILL work for you and STICK to IT!!!
Are you actually considering doing weddings on site?? Better think carefully.
You still have to clean the house / rooms with all those folks running around the place. If you do weddings, make sure that you REQUIRE that ALL GUest ROOMS be booked by the bride or whomever. That is part of the package..
Catlady: this helps! We are just developing our policy/price list and to be honest, we're not a bit hurt that the bride "ranaway"! Getting a package together with a 2-night minimum stay is an excellent idea! We do have a wedding on the grounds next May and just talked to the bride a few days ago. We'll certainly get something together in writing for her to look over. THANK YOU! ~Sally~
.
Here's are some friend's sites that do weddings in a variety of different ways. I am sure you can glean some information from the info on their sites:
Texas
Virginia
Virginia2
Virginia3
 

Willowpondgj

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I think you were too lenient and setting yourself up for regret at that price! I would have told her she had to rent both nights and I would have charged an additional cleaning deposit, just in case they destroyed the place!
With 9 bridesmaids, they would not only have used all of your towels, you probably would have had to do a complete room clean once they were out of there, because the brides guests would assume that she had rented the rooms and they could do whatever they wanted in them, including messing up the beds, etc. you would be doing twice as much work for nothing...IMVHO
I'll be happy to send you a copy of our wedding policies!
 

Sunshine

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This is a good thread. We have been asked several times if we will do weddings, but i have not done them yet as I am not sure about it (not to mention i don't feel the back yard is ready for that kind of thing). Copperhead, you said you do weddings. Would you mind giving us an example of one of your contracts? maybe just email it or something? You said there is lots to consider: what extras do we need to think about besides our "time and work" being worth something. That is a given, but since you have experience, is there something that you have discovered that you 'hadn't thought of' ahead of time that would be helpful to us? any little tricks etc....
I like the contract idea and that they have to book the whole house and rooms for two nights.
 

Redbirds

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I think you were too lenient and setting yourself up for regret at that price! I would have told her she had to rent both nights and I would have charged an additional cleaning deposit, just in case they destroyed the place!
With 9 bridesmaids, they would not only have used all of your towels, you probably would have had to do a complete room clean once they were out of there, because the brides guests would assume that she had rented the rooms and they could do whatever they wanted in them, including messing up the beds, etc. you would be doing twice as much work for nothing...IMVHO
I'll be happy to send you a copy of our wedding policies!.
Willowpondgj: I'd love a copy of your wedding policies! innkeeper@whitehouseonpark.com
 

EmptyNest

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This is a good thread. We have been asked several times if we will do weddings, but i have not done them yet as I am not sure about it (not to mention i don't feel the back yard is ready for that kind of thing). Copperhead, you said you do weddings. Would you mind giving us an example of one of your contracts? maybe just email it or something? You said there is lots to consider: what extras do we need to think about besides our "time and work" being worth something. That is a given, but since you have experience, is there something that you have discovered that you 'hadn't thought of' ahead of time that would be helpful to us? any little tricks etc....
I like the contract idea and that they have to book the whole house and rooms for two nights..
Oh YOU MUST have a CONTRACT! And...min. nights stay and book the ENTIRE inn, otherwise, you are just asking for TROUBLE!!!!!

 

Sunshine

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I think you were too lenient and setting yourself up for regret at that price! I would have told her she had to rent both nights and I would have charged an additional cleaning deposit, just in case they destroyed the place!
With 9 bridesmaids, they would not only have used all of your towels, you probably would have had to do a complete room clean once they were out of there, because the brides guests would assume that she had rented the rooms and they could do whatever they wanted in them, including messing up the beds, etc. you would be doing twice as much work for nothing...IMVHO
I'll be happy to send you a copy of our wedding policies!.
me too? Please?
 

gillumhouse

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As a guest who had booked into a B & B only to discover there was a wedding there - do not mix weddng and non-wedding if there is ANYTHING at your inn having to so with the wedding - even "JUST" dressing and photos is a hassle.
You are under no obligation as a B & B to allow all the "stuff" thye were demanding for a function that was not even at our inn. My cousin's dil and her bridesmaids spent the night at a B & B and the wedding photos were taken there - BUT they booked the whole place rhe night before the wedding! No booking? No deal!
 

Morticia

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FredandSally said:
QUESTION: were we too demanding for her needs? (FYI: The marriage ceremony was not at the B&B). ~Sally~
No YOU were not demanding SHE was. To think she'd have free run of the house from whatever time she wanted for free and with no limitations was just over the top. You should have required she book the night before as well and then you would not have encountered these 'problems'.
 

seashanty

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FredandSally said:
QUESTION: were we too demanding for her needs? (FYI: The marriage ceremony was not at the B&B). ~Sally~
No YOU were not demanding SHE was. To think she'd have free run of the house from whatever time she wanted for free and with no limitations was just over the top. You should have required she book the night before as well and then you would not have encountered these 'problems'..
in the excitement of planning ... a bride and/or family is not thinking of all the work and cleanup that will be needed after they use your lovely place to get ready. they are probably thinking of pretty pictures, funny pictures, all giggling girly party in various stages of curlers and makeup and robes ....
but as we have discussed, makeup on towels causes stains ...
they will be pressing things, possibly having to hem or stitch things ... usually are drinking tea or soda (hopefully not champagne)
you have to rent out the rooms as though they are sleeping there whether they do or not and anticipate a lot of cleanup.
not because they will be intentionally messy but because they are excited and in party mode.
we get a lot of wedding guests here ... lots of bridesmaids here, too. as well as ushers.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Responsible party pays 30 days in advance and signsan agreement. Check in time is check in time, there is SOMEONE IN THE ROOM at that hour, therefore they can book the night prior.
Lastly, renting the place will turn into a CIRCUS with NOT ONLY the bridesmaids and bride, the aunts, the makeup artisst, the hair stylists working the hair into upsweeps, the FLOWERS will be delivered there, the front door will be on continual rotation.
They will want to take PHOTOS - so the photog will be there. TRUST ME, the place will be crawling and you will be bouncing off the walls.
The dusting powder will be EVERYWHERE from the makeup. The plastic over the gowns and hangers and pins and needles and bobbie pins will be everywhere. Glitter. Anything and everything will be on your carpet, walls and any surface you have.
There will be a limo blocking all cars, there will be cars blocking all cars, 15 of them. HALF OF THEM will leave them there as they ride in the limo to the wedding (the bridesmaides)
They will NOT leave the hour they specified.
I can go on and on. CIRCUS is the word I choose. I WILL NEVER EVER EVER allow this to become the bridal chamber before a wedding again.
I allowed a MOM and her sweet little daughter to spend the night before the wedding and ALL OF THE ABOVE was what came of it. I had no idea she planned on getting ready here and it became out of control!
 

Morticia

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Responsible party pays 30 days in advance and signsan agreement. Check in time is check in time, there is SOMEONE IN THE ROOM at that hour, therefore they can book the night prior.
Lastly, renting the place will turn into a CIRCUS with NOT ONLY the bridesmaids and bride, the aunts, the makeup artisst, the hair stylists working the hair into upsweeps, the FLOWERS will be delivered there, the front door will be on continual rotation.
They will want to take PHOTOS - so the photog will be there. TRUST ME, the place will be crawling and you will be bouncing off the walls.
The dusting powder will be EVERYWHERE from the makeup. The plastic over the gowns and hangers and pins and needles and bobbie pins will be everywhere. Glitter. Anything and everything will be on your carpet, walls and any surface you have.
There will be a limo blocking all cars, there will be cars blocking all cars, 15 of them. HALF OF THEM will leave them there as they ride in the limo to the wedding (the bridesmaides)
They will NOT leave the hour they specified.
I can go on and on. CIRCUS is the word I choose. I WILL NEVER EVER EVER allow this to become the bridal chamber before a wedding again.
I allowed a MOM and her sweet little daughter to spend the night before the wedding and ALL OF THE ABOVE was what came of it. I had no idea she planned on getting ready here and it became out of control!.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
They will NOT leave the hour they specified.
I can go on and on. CIRCUS is the word I choose. I WILL NEVER EVER EVER allow this to become the bridal chamber before a wedding again.
I allowed a MOM and her sweet little daughter to spend the night before the wedding and ALL OF THE ABOVE was what came of it. I had no idea she planned on getting ready here and it became out of control!
Whenever we have a bride call now I run down the list with her...who will be in the house? Where are you dressing? Where are the flowers being delivered? Where are the pictures being taken? Where are you having your hair and makeup done? (If the hair and dressing are done elsewhere, I figure I'm pretty much home free.)
So far, with 2 brides in the house (one with mom, dad & grandma in tow) we have not had issues with any of the above. Both brides went elsewhere to dress and have their hair and makeup done. This may be because they were local families and the brides had moved away. So everything was being hosted at the parents' house (bride or groom).
But I do run down the list with them. And if it's the bridal party, they MUST take all rooms for 2 nights. And we have a buffet breakfast the morning after so everyone can ease into the day and have their last chat before the b&g leave. With the whole house, at least if friends and family are stopping by they are not disturbing anyone else but themselves.
I have the list because of the stories I've heard here.
 

Redbirds

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Wow! All of you have given us so much to think about. We have already agreed to have a wedding on our grounds in May (as I said before). Do most of you who are brave enough to host weddings have a package deal or charge by the hour, even though you require a 2-night minimum stay?
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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You can charge ALOT PER HOUR if they go over the specified time frame, which they always will. That will get every aunt and uncle into clean up and clear out mode.
 

Morticia

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Wow! All of you have given us so much to think about. We have already agreed to have a wedding on our grounds in May (as I said before). Do most of you who are brave enough to host weddings have a package deal or charge by the hour, even though you require a 2-night minimum stay?.
We don't so weddings because I don't think we have the proper 'look' for it. No good backdrops for the photos and all that. (Unless it is a beautiful summer or fall day.)
That said, I think you need to keep the 2 pieces separate. The guests are booking rooms (however many) and the wedding is booking a space to hold the event.
Think about it like your lunches and other parties...if the ladies decided to stay over, you would then charge them for the rooms, right? You wouldn't give the rooms for free because they had lunch.
You can connect them if you want, but each piece should be charged separately. Unless you do a 'bride stays free' package for booking the wedding at your inn. But charge according to what you have read here...you get the bride, you get ALL of her family and friends, too. At ALL hours.
Hubs did that ONCE...let the bride stay free. It worked out because they did everything elsewhere. We dealt with NONE of the 'other' guests, the dressing or any of it. All we did for them (and we did this because there were 2 weddings within a month and it was time anyway) was install full length mirrors in all the rooms and install a hook for the bride to hang her dress from (VERY important feature to have if you have the bride staying over).
Also necessary is a clean sheet for the dress to rest on so it doesn't come in contact with your dirty floors.
I took that one in stride. MOB is always stressed beyond the limit.
 

gillumhouse

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I do not do weddings - period. Yes, my place is much too small although I do have a pretty side yard but I dealt with enough weddings when I worked as a relief night auditor at HI to not ever wnat to deal with that at my B & B. it is such a high tension day for the principals that they go nuts.
 

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