Booking a hotel suite to get ready at was hands down one of the best decisions we made throughout our wedding planning process. I realize it’s an added expense and not everyone has room in their budget for this…but if you can swing it, DO IT! Seriously.
Growing up, I had always envisioned getting ready at my parents’ house the day of my wedding, but that’s the funny thing about wedding visions: they almost always change. My parents’ house is way out in the suburbs, and requires crossing over at least one bridge to get to the main island of Montreal. Traffic can be really unpredictable and after we booked our venue, I just knew that I didn’t want to add the extra stress of possibly getting stuck in traffic on the big day. My family actually ended up hosting a bunch of family and friends from out of town the week of the wedding, so it was a really full house; I’m so glad I was able to get ready in a nice, quiet hotel room instead!
Our tiny one-bedroom apartment was not an option, as I could already foresee that it would be one giant mess on our wedding day. We also knew that we’d be putting up BM Green Eyes and her boyfriend on an inflatable mattress in our living room—NOT photo ready. Our venue actually offered a “bridal suite” free of charge, but it was basically a glorified conference room. While it served its purpose for bustling my dress and getting touched up after photos, it would have been much too cramped to fit me, all my girls, my parents, the photographers, videographer, hair and makeup people AND all the crap it takes to make girls look their best. We knew we needed a hotel room.
We found Le Saint Martin Hotel Particulier through Le Windsor’s preferred vendor’s list and they did not disappoint! After some comparison shopping, we decided to use them to reserve a block of rooms for our guests. We knew a large number of our list would not be local, and for those that were, we didn’t want to encourage drinking and driving after our eight hour open bar. For this reason, we absolutely loved the hotel’s proximity to our venue.
We decided to book the Cannes Suite for ourselves, which was the biggest room in the penthouse, and had loads of natural light. We saved money by having it do double-duty as our wedding night suite AND a place for me and my girls to get ready before the ceremony. Since we had a 5:30 ceremony start time, I was able to negotiate an early check-in of 1:00 p.m. for free, which gave us plenty of time to get ready and do photos. While I would have loved waking up in the hotel room with my girls, making our way over to the hotel after sleeping at my place allowed us to save a lot! Had we filled a certain number of rooms, we actually would have gotten upgraded to the Cannes for free, but a lot of our guests ended up booking their rooms way past the cut-off date, which was beyond frustrating.
At the last minute, we also had to book a smaller room for Mr. W and his boys to get ready in, which we hadn’t anticipated. Best Man Tequila had said he planned on booking a room for himself, so we had thought the boys could just get ready there; but after he decided not to, we were left scrambling. I was actually able to negotiate a cheaper rate as a “day use room” since we only needed it for a couple of hours, so it worked out. I wasn’t familiar with this concept before, but apparently, it’s a growing trend for big city hotels to rent out rooms for a few hours to their business clients for meetings and such.
One last piece of advice: Since I knew we would be using the Cannes as our wedding night suite, I was very strict with my girls and asked them to keep their messes out of the photos and to make sure that the bed was made and all their stuff was put away in the closet before we left for the ceremony. This was one of the best things I did because it ensured that Mr. W and I came back to a cozy, romantic hotel suite, and not a bunch of clutter everywhere.
Are you planning on booking a hotel room for your wedding?
All photos courtesy of the Saint-Martin Hotel.