Making the Most of Your B&B Wedding
Experts from the Inns at Montpelier Share 7 Suggestions to Engaged Couples
With its unique and scenic location, and the concentration of a range of fine boutique hotels and B&Bs, Central Virginia is a fast growing region for destination weddings. Couples that are looking for a more intimate event and want to make it a unique getaway weekend will experience an amazing destination wedding in Orange and Madison, Virginia.
Located in the heart of this region, the Inns at Montpelier (IAM) is a registry of 10 distinguished Virginia bed-and-breakfast inns near President James and Dolley Madison’s historic home Montpelier.
Here, IAM innkeepers share some helpful advice gleaned from guests and years of experience as hosts to hundreds of weddings and wedding parties every year. Whatever your motivation, these tips are sure to help you make the most of your B&B wedding.
- Do Your Homework
When it comes to boutique hotels and B&Bs, there are range of styles and settings from which to choose. Around Montpelier you can find restored farmhouses, grand historic homes and renovated plantations. Explore wedding sites, but also check out reviews on bed and breakfast sites for a sense of service and how the operators conduct their business with everyone.
- Time and Place Matter
If it is possible, try to visit venues at the same time of year and time of day as you plan to have your wedding. This will not only be a nice trip but let’s you see where the sun will be, what flowers and trees will be blooming, and what the weather is like. If that is not possible, talk specifically to the innkeeper about these questions and see what recommendations they have for onsite locations to make the most of the light and space. Ask for pictures. Remember, they live there year round and have seen many weddings try a lot of different set ups in that space.
- Don’t Assume Small Means Easy
When you set out to have an intimate wedding you may find, after scouring Pinterest and bridal sites for decorating ideas, doing it yourself can get pretty complicated and time consuming. Remember, time and your energy level on even the smallest of big days is valuable. Plan to pace yourself by not taking on too much. Be selective and get help from relatives and friends to do the decorations if you can. Work with the innkeeper in advance so they understand your vision and how you want to be communicated with so you can trust that things are under control. Many innkeepers fill the role of wedding planners and are happy to help you through the process.
- Consider doing everything in one place
No matter how many guests are coming to your wedding, there are still logistics to consider and reducing travel time to all the events avoids the stress. Many B&B’s offer weekend packages where you rent the entire inn. This reduces the pressure level immensely. You can have the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, cocktail party, wedding reception and Sunday brunch all in one place. The result is that you have more time to spend with family and friends making memories instead of herding people, worrying about logistics and moving from place to place.
- Tend to the Vendors
Just because you’ve chosen qualified vendors doesn’t mean the work is done. Be sure to communicate clearly what you want from specialists like the caterer, bartender, photographer and DJ. If you are not using the innkeeper’s service as coordinator, consider a designated contact like a close friend from your party so you don’t have to fret over small details. You set the schedule but get help to watch the clock.
- Get Those Rooms for your Wedding guests
Whether you are looking at a handful or hundreds of guests, many are going to need a place to stay. After you have secured your venue, your next call is to block rooms nearby for your guests. That next call should be made the same day after you have booked the venue. Once you have secured a block of rooms, make sure your guests know to call the lodging establishment directly and not use an online reservation site.
- Make it your own
Finally, remember that this is your day and at a B&B, even if it’s just for one weekend, it is your home. Work with the innkeeper to tailor the wedding to your personality as the bride and groom. They have a lot more flexibility than most hotels and will help you achieve your dream. Whether you’re having a small or large wedding, it should be about what the bride and groom wants, and not what “professionals” or relatives tell you MUST be done.
For more information on the 10 inns in Orange and Madison County that make up the Inns at Montpelier, go to www.innsatmontpelier.com/weddings.
Photo Credits: Inns at Montpelier