‘The wedding of the sensory’

‘The wedding of the sensory’

Back in the day, it may have been enough to have a beautiful ballroom and a reputation for excellent food and service to gain favor as a wedding or reception venue. Today, that’s just the starting point at which the wedding experience is defined. From there, hoteliers have a great opportunity to distinguish their properties by delivering signature services, customized experiences and delightful surprises, adding up to an extraordinary day that is singular owing to its location.

The famous French novelist Honore de Balzac was quoted as saying, “Love is the poetry of the senses.” When I think back to my own wedding, I find myself tapping into sensory-based memories that bring me back to that wonderful day.

When evaluating the wedding offerings delivered by your hotel or your brand, try using the five senses as a guide. Imagine how memorable the experience can be based on what your property distinctively delivers. Think not only in terms of wedding-specific services but the overall atmosphere your property contributes to the couple’s big day. (Suggested reading to set the stage: Diane Ackerman’s “A Natural History of the Senses” (Vintage, 1991).)

Sight: Do you offer a room with a spectacular view? Privately elegant interior rooms? A lush outdoor setting? All of the above? Create language and match it to quality images that tell your visual story.

Smell: Does scent distinguish your hotel? Is it a lobby flower, a familiar aroma from your kitchen, or a unique plant that graces the immediate outdoors? If so, use it to craft your story.

Sound: Tinkling piano keys from the musical hands of an in-house pianist or a melodic bird that is indigenous to your area may be among factors that build an unforgettable wedding experience.

Taste: A signature menu item or drink can become legendary for a hotel and for its bridal couple and their guests. If you do not have such a tradition, consider starting one.

Touch: Perhaps you are known for a lace overlay on each wedding banquet table, the cashmere throw that is your gift to each bridal couple or the resident feline who curls up in front of the fireplace in your lobby lounge – or on the lap of a nearby guest.

Taking the time to write your hotel’s story will set it apart from your competitors and will ring true to the couple you are seeking to woo. And who knows? That wedding celebration might be the start of a wonderful relationship between the couple and your hotel.