Couples Tie The Knot A Little Tighter
May 20, 2009
Source: Long Island Business News
By: Claude Solnick
Some weddings planned a year or more in advance, well before the economy tanked, are going full steam ahead according to initial plans. But even those booked a year in advance are retrenching.
And wedding venues are cooperating.
Therese Coppola, director of sales and marketing for Danfords Hotel and Marina said they’re making an extra effort to “work within a couple’s budget. “
“We offer different menus at various price points,” Coppola said, noting the importance of different price points in a down economy. “Many brides and grooms are downscaling their wedding choices across the board along with the number of guests they are inviting.”
And Nasser Samman, general manager at The Garden City Hotel, describes his property in these times as “affordable luxury,” noting the importance of being able to “customize menus to budgets” in a difficult times.
Lloyd Van Horn, general manager of the Montauk Yacht Club, said his hotel hasn’t adjusted wedding packages. But he argues groups get a “destination wedding” without huge travel costs.
While hotels in high season may be reluctant to discount rooms, Swiezy said they’re being accommodating in other ways with room blocks of 10 or more.
“A lot of times they mandate you do some food and beverage like a brunch. They’re being more flexible with that,” Swiezy said. “They might not mandate you have to have an event at the hotel.”
Couples and families are spending less on weddings. They’re shrinking guest lists, shifting from sit-down dinners to buffets, ditching open bar for beer and wine and doing rehearsal barbecues rather than dinners.
Two out of five weddings Robbins is helping organize this summer eliminated sushi bars or raw bars, often costing $25 to $30 a person.
Christopher Robbins of Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs summed it up, saying menus are not as likely to be as luxurious as a few years ago. He said, “In 2009 the focus is not on beluga caviar and foie gras” for parties in general and weddings in particular.
“You’re scaling back on the things you’re requesting to eat,” Robbins said. “That makes sense financially. It’s also how you’re perceived.”