I'm sure many of you are familiar with Samantha Goldberg from the Style Network’s series, Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? and I am so excited to share with you this exclusive Q+A with Samantha!
Sam is currently teaming up with the Hilton Family to debut a new wedding planning Web site called Guestiquette, which includes information on tricky etiquette topics, tips on making OOT guests feel at home, guidance on working with a hotel and a great booking tool to manage guest hotel accommodations online. So, if you're just starting to look into hotels for your guests, check this out! I promise it will make the process that much easier!
Classic Bride: What are your ultimate top five ways to save while planning a wedding?
Samantha Goldberg: First, book and manage your wedding room block online with Hilton Family’s easy tool to save time spent calling hotels during work hours. Second, plan your wedding during an off-peak time like Sunday to lower the cost. Third, ask talented friends to “gift” you your wedding services (flowers, photography, etc.) Fourth, look for more inexpensive dress options. Don’t be afraid to buy the dress right off the rack or even rent your gown (a great way to wear the designer dress of your dreams, without the hefty price!) Also, keep an eye out for trunk sales from your favorite designer which can save you 50-70% off retail (this can also be a great way for bridesmaids to get a great deal on their dress) And finally, consider a destination wedding with fewer guests that also serves as your honeymoon.
CB: If a bride and groom want to ask talented friends to “gift” them wedding services (flowers, photography, etc.), what is an appropriate and polite way to broach the question?
SG: First, think through who your “talented” friends are and match them with the wedding service you’d ideally like them to assist with. It’s a good idea to start with your closest set of friends, since they probably serve as your informal wedding consultants anyway! A good way to broach the topic is to begin by paying them a compliment on their talents, such as “I really admire how wonderful your photography skills are …” and transitioning into the topic of your wedding. Also remember to always give your friends an out when you ask the question, to avoid any awkwardness or guilt on their part if they can’t accommodate you.
CB: What are some of the extra services that hotels provide for guests that are often overlooked?
SG: Hotels such as the Hilton Family, offer an online group booking tool that allows you to reserve a block of rooms for your guests, use a guest list manager tool to track reservations that have been made and create a personalized webpage to send out to your guests so they can easily book online. The best part is that you can do it all online, 24/7, in your pajamas, and you don’t have to worry about calling your hotel because once you make your reservation online, your hotel representative will reach out to you!
Also, regarding ground transportation from hotels to the wedding ceremony/reception, you may find that certain hotels provide free shuttle transportation service to and from venues that are close by. Definitely, put this subject on your list of questions to ask your hotel.