Get the Facts … “Find out how many guests each space can accommodate if there is more than one ballroom and ask for a basic floor plan.”
Be Prepared … “If you’re planning to have an outside ceremony, but weather may require you to move inside, what is the backup plan?”
Celebrate Old Memories as You Create New Ones … “Assemble photos in memory of, engagement, or even fun ones of themselves to display during the reception.”
Hotel du Village
2535 River Road, New Hope, PA 18938
866.683.3586, email@example.com, landmarkvenues.com/
“When deciding on your wedding venue,” says Lindsay Gilardi, director of events at Hotel du Village, “find out how many guests each space can accommodate if there is more than one ballroom and ask for a basic floor plan for visualization. What dates are available in the time frame you are considering? If you’re planning to have an outside ceremony, but weather may require you to move inside, what is the backup plan?”
Lindsay also suggests asking about any “hidden” costs. “For example, some venues have a facility fee on top of the per person menu price. Finally, when you are close to choosing your location, ask how you can secure a date before actually booking the venue.”
Personalize Your Day
Your wedding is an expression of you and your partner and there are many ways to incorporate your personalities into your planning. “For example, your wedding invitation is the ‘sneak peak’ into your wedding,” says Lindsay. “It’s often displayed in each invitee’s home for weeks and looked at multiple times. This helps to set the tone of your wedding, so when you use the same fonts, colors, and design elements for all your wedding stationery, your guests will notice.”
Lindsay and her team at Hotel du Village include menu cards at each place setting with a standard format. But, knowing the importance of a uniform look to all your printed items, “We can certainly accommodate other layouts if they are available on our on-site programs.
“Your décor and photos tell a story without words. I advise couples to assemble photos in memory of, engagement, or even fun ones of themselves to display during the reception. Guests who look at the photos can learn a lot about a couple.”
Lindsay meets with couples each week to tour the venue. “It’s easy to review packages, but it’s more challenging to ask the right questions that can help guide a couple in customizing their wedding. Once the couple has a connection with the space, I’m able to offer suggestions about how to move ahead and personalize their wedding, whether they are concerned with the menu, price, décor, or something else.”
Your Décor & Your Traditions
“Hotel du Village has a very romantic setting,” Lindsay notes, “and any venue with such a mood is enhanced very well with lots of candles!
“Many couples spend time planning a beautiful flowerscape alongside our original fireplaces. This really gives a focus to the sweetheart table if it is placed in front of the fireplace.”
One recent wedding incorporated bistro lights along an arbor provided by the florist to replicate the setting of the couple’s first date, which was over bistro lights at a bar. “This was a romantic gesture and gave their wedding guests some personalized settings to enjoy throughout the night.”
Another recent wedding had runners made of real greens with pillar candles to give some texture to each table. “It created such a romantic feel and really showcased The Colt Ballroom.”
Wedding couples have become increasingly sophisticated in designing their ceremony. “There are so many ways to make your ceremony tradition your own! For example, a recent couple of mine chose a close friend to officiate their wedding. He knew the couple for many years and was able to tell stories that shared the couple’s passions for life and of course one another. Their ceremony also involved a candle lighting, which represented the couple moving forward as one.”
Another example of creating your own traditions was a wedding last fall. “The couple did not want the typical sit-down wedding so they rented out the entire venue and made their evening consist of waves of dancing and different food stations! It was a really fun wedding and kept the crowd entertained.”
Lindsay tells us of a wedding just last weekend. “The couple chose a remarkable florist who designed some pieces I have never seen in the space before, starting with the ceremony. Instead of a traditional arch, the couple had two tall pillars decorated beautifully, with greenery and bright vibrant flowers including oranges, dark pinks, and yellows.
“After their ceremony, the pillars were moved inside to accent the sweetheart table in front of the fireplace. There is a baby grand piano in the room, so it seemed to be growing off the piano! What a focal point for the cocktail hour!
“Their tablescapes were also stunning, with an assortment of high and low centerpieces and a combination of both oval and round tables. Our cocktail hour chandelier was hung with simple greens and flowers that matched the rest of the room. This created a stunning feel in the cocktail hour room all night.”
Depending on your wedding vision, various features of your venue will assume greater importance. Are you planning a “wedding weekend?” If so, accommodations for your out-of-town guests, whether on-site or nearby, are essential. “Our on-site private hotel offers 22 sleeping rooms and our owner’s house offers six bedrooms,” Lindsay tells us. “These private accommodation on-site really allow couples to enjoy a weekend experience at the venue. With our pool, cabanas, and built-in fire pits, couples are opting to host casual rehearsal dinners — which allow guests to relax and be in one spot the weekend of the wedding.”
They also offer a recently renovated bridal suite. “It’s very spacious, allowing plenty of room for a large bridal party to get ready and lounge in the modern setting.” Whatever venue you choose, ask about amenities that might be available as you and your bridesmaids and family members get ready. “For example, we include special amenities in our packages for the bridal suite,” says Lindsay, “like champagne, local cheese and nut boards, and infused waters.”
A Rich History
Hotel du Village was part of a large tract of land granted to the Ely family, who were among the earliest settlers of Bucks County in the 1600’s. “This land was given to them by William Penn, an early Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania in the 17th century.”
In 1895 Dr. George Marshall of Ohio bought a parcel of the Penn Grant to create a country residence for his family. “At the turn of the century, his sister began the construction of White Oaks, close to her brother’s home. Morgan Colt was the architect for the building, and he was the name inspiration for our large dining room, The Colt Ballroom.”
White Oaks and the current hotel were acquired by a school for girls in 1925. “The restaurant, which is now our Historic Ballroom, is in White Oaks. Much of the original woodwork has been restored and incorporated into our renovated design. For example, the old restaurant flooring has been restored into the high chapel ceilings of the Historic Ballroom’s pre-function space and bar area.”
Frank & Jeanne Cretella of Landmark Hospitality had spent summers staying at Hotel du Village with their family. “They had always dreamed of owning a property like this and their daughter even learned to ride her bike up and down our long driveway! In 2013, they purchased the historic site to make it a premiere destination for events, weddings, and out-of-town guests.”
Wedding Day Excitement
Lindsay always worked in the hospitality industry. “I started at a young age and have covered most positions, all the way from bussing to bartending to managing, at an assortment of restaurants.” The fast-paced atmosphere always left her wanting to become more involved in the planning stages of each event.
“Once I decided I wanted to study hospitality, I went away to college and learned from the classroom as well as from the hands-on experiences at each job I worked. The most exciting part about organizing a wedding is seeing all the details on paper — and then watching them come to life to tell the story of the bride and groom!”
Hotel du Village
2535 River Road, New Hope, PA 18938
866.683.3586, 215.631.8050, firstname.lastname@example.org