I'm just thrilled have my friend Crystal from The Huntley Hotel share her tips on wedding planning with the cinderella project. Crystal's an expert in the industry and having worked with countless brides and wedding guests, she's got the perfect perspective on several things you should consider when planning your wedding:
Wedding size: It’s important to have an estimate of how many guests you would like to invite so that you are looking into the right size venues. The Huntley is ideal for a wedding of 75 – 100 guests. All the ballroom spaces along with the outdoor terrace and rooftop restaurant are all newly renovated and serve as ideal spaces for the ceremony and reception.
Budget: It’s important to know how much you want to spend and what is expected for the event. The Huntley Hotel has wedding packages put together, but if they are not necessarily what the bride and groom envisioned for their wedding, we can customize a package for them to fit their needs and price point.
Timing: Try as best as you can to make a timeline and stick to your deadlines. Wedding venues should be booked approx. 8 to 12months in advanced. Dinners/Brunches should be booked approx. 3 months in advance. And hotel accommodations should be contracted approx. 6 months in advance. Of course, booking everything sooner the better.
Liquor packages: If you would like to have open bar at your reception, but are a little bit more price conscious, you can opt for a beer and wine package over a premium liquor package. Also keep in mind most guests will not be drinking the entire time. If you do go for a premium liquor package, you can save on costs by limiting the hours it is available and possibly start it at a later time so the liquor is available all the way until the end of the reception.
Rehearsal Dinners & Brunches: Don’t feel obligated to invite EVERYONE. You’re practically paying for another wedding if you do. Try to keep your guestlist intimate and for the people that really helped in your wedding and made an impact. The Twilight Room, in the Penthouse Restaurant, is perfect for a small intimate dinner of up to 30 people and the Skyline Room is perfect for larger parties of up to 80 guests. Both are semi private rooftop dining areas overlooking the LA cityscape with wall to wall windows and stunning panoramic views.
Guestroom blocks: Have a good idea of how many of your out of town guests will need accommodations and also will want to stay at a hotel. Most hotels do require a contract and a credit card guarantee for special rates for room blocks. At the Huntley, we have two options of setting up arrangements for out of town guests. We can block off rooms with a credit card guarantee or extend a courtesy rate with no guarantee with no rooms will be held. Also, remember to ask about suite upgrades for the bride and groom if you plan to stay at the hotel. Each hotel has different policies, so be sure to check with the ones you’re looking into.
Take advantage of your surroundings!: There are many local attractions for out of town guests to experience while they are in town for your wedding. It’s always a good idea to choose a hotel where they can see and experience everything else the city has to offer. The Huntley Santa Monica Beach puts you just steps away from Santa Monica’s renowned “Third Street Promenade” offering a variety of shops, restaurants, boutiques, galleries and theatres. The beach is just a block away and you can take a bike ride up to Venice Beach along the famed Pacific Coast Highway.
Thank you Crystal! And for all you readers dying to get a little taste of Southern California, click here to enter The Huntley's 2 night stay giveaway.
The Huntley HotelImages via The Huntley Hotel.
1111 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403
1111 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403