Small boutique hotel wedding receptions are big on style

The modern boutique hotel is a holdover from an era when deluxe service was delivered with personal style to a sophisticated European clientele. Today a European-style boutique hotel, featuring 100 or fewer rooms, unique architecture and ambience, and first-name familiarity, can be found almost anywhere in the USA: in urban centers, in wine country, and at resort destinations surrounded by sea, sand, or snow. Boutique hotel architecture ranges from sleek Art Deco to rustic mountain-lodge. Piano bars, library-lobbies, and cafes opening onto the street are common. Although the number of hotel rooms may be limited, the alluring atmosphere and unique amenities of a boutique hotel property attract a loyal and discerning clientele. These cosmopolitan features make boutique hotel properties ideal wedding locations for imaginative couples getting married and wedding planners seeking small scale, great service, and intimate wedding venue ambience. The typical boutique hotel can cater wedding receptions for 200 or more, and may offer affordable wedding packages, including blocks of hotel rooms for the weekend, off-premises wedding venue recommendations for the ceremony, and customized concierge services to accommodate the interests and needs of out-of-town guests.

Photo courtesy Kiet Do

Boutique Hotel Wedding Locations Love Being Different, So No Two Are Just Alike

Unlike big name-brand hotels designed to keep guests inside the building, the boutique hotel attracts customers by connecting them with local restaurants, evening entertainment, and area attractions. This is a welcome benefit for wedding planners and couples designing a delightful weekend for out-of-town wedding guests. Whether the wedding ceremony takes place on-premises or at a nearby wedding venue, wedding receptions held at a boutique hotel feature greater flexibility and privacy, a less cookie-cutter approach, and more imaginative wedding ideas than larger chain hotels. Individual hotel rooms often have catchy names and distinct personalities. Period décor sets mood, provides color, and establishes a ready-made wedding theme. Boutique hotel staff members are typically younger, hipper, and happier to participate in making any party a smash. And a boutique hotel is an attractive alternative for a modest destination wedding, where booking the whole house can be a cost-effective way to give guests an unforgettable experience. Boutique hotel properties are also a good fit for gay marriage events, where privacy, intimacy, and sophistication may be as important as price.

Photo courtesy Kiet Do

Course Video Tutorial: 'A Director of Catering Teaches Boutique Hotel Weddings' (23:36)

Hospitality executive Bruce Mangual is Director of Catering at The Curtis, a renovated retro-funky boutique hotel located adjacent to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in the heart of downtown Denver. He began his hospitality career coordinating weddings and other social events at resort properties in Arizona and Colorado, moved to Denver to open a midtown boutique hotel for a friend, and was recruited by The Curtis to oversee catering operations following the hotel's makeover several years ago. It was a perfect match: The Curtis features funny, themed hotel rooms, talking elevators, and an urban, upbeat personality much like Bruce's. Its mid-century style makeover is a hit with Denver's youthful after-work crowd, and many of its regulars choose The Curtis for their wedding venue. In this course video tutorial, Bruce teaches Members the business principles, procedures, practices, and policies of hotel wedding catering, hotel wedding receptions, and planning boutique hotel weddings. He also gives Members an entertaining behind-the-scenes tour of The Curtis's infrastructure and machinery, including its busy kitchen, its whimsically named banquet rooms for wedding receptions, and glimpses of its lively young staff at work preparing for a weekend wedding event.

Bruce Mangual, Director of Catering

Learn 12 essential elements of the hotel catering business and planning boutique hotel weddings:

  • The role and function of the Director of Catering
  • Pros and cons of the brand-name hotel, boutique hotel, and off-premises wedding venue
  • When to book, how to budget, and what's negotiable
  • How to compare and evaluate package price options
  • Block-booking hotel rooms for value, variety, and convenience
  • Value-added features offered by today's boutique hotel wedding venue
  • How to save money by booking non-premium dates
  • The preferred vendor list, why it's essential, and when it's flexible
  • How to manage unrealistic client expectations by establishing a realistic budget
  • Five questions for your first meeting with the Director of Catering
  • How to plan perfectly using a detailed wedding day walk-through script
  • Contracts, terms, and rescheduling the event

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