This week's topics: W Scottsdale recent happenings, private event buy-outs, wedding parties and room blocks, managing events at a large venue and pre-planning, pros and cons of working with a wedding planner, touring and selecting wedding venues, working in hospitality, when to book your wedding venue
For the second episode of the Wedding Day Podcast, Iron Diamond's founder Sonja Babich and co-host Dan Riggs joined guest Anna of W Scottsdale hotel to discuss all-things weddings in Arizona. Photographs of this week's conversation were captured by Ryann Lindsey Photography.
Anna is the marketing manager of W Scottsdale and works with printed and digital marketing materials across the W brand nationally. In many ways, Anna is the public cheerleader for the hotel, which has sweeping views of Scottsdale and Camelback Mountain. From custom menus, luxurious atmospheres to private events, W Scottsdale even offers engaged couples a bottle service option to keep the party going all night long.
Our hosts delved into the world of wedding venues with Anna to discuss hosting events and details like room blocks and restaurants. Anna said she's noticed a ton of couples looking to maximize time with loved ones by keeping their events central to the hotel or surrounding Scottsdale areas. One of this week's most interesting convos centered around how to schedule room blocks (which keep all your guests together and offers discounted rates), contracts and tips for the most effective booking. Anna suggests starting with ten rooms, but the sky is the limit - Sonja had eighty rooms blocked at her wedding!
When it comes to weddings and hospitality in general Sonja, Dan and Anna are all focused on keeping things people-oriented. Anna broke down how her team handles weddings to ensure the best outcomes, meaning at W Scottsdale only one wedding per day typically occurs. Anna strongly recommends a wedding planner for on-site weddings to help work with the hotel's wedding coordinator, though it is not required to have a planner (but the team at W Scottsdale loves to work with outside professionals).
There's so many things to consider in the world of a wedding venue, from a property tour to accurate timeline of the day, it's essential to map things out and find the best fit for you. It takes a lot of commitment from couples, usually 3-4 meetings to flesh out their wedding vision with hotel staff. Anna is a huge fan of the site tours, and the W team works to showcase guest rooms, amenities and event spaces. "As much as you want to see our venue, we want to make sure you see our venue in the best possible light as well," Anna said.
Anna really emphasized that couples should really take time and explore different venues and options considering it is one of the most important aspects of the day. Dan even suggested taking a PTO day with your loved one as a combo site-tour and date-night. It's also helpful for all sides to coordinate - make sure your desired venue space is actually available and can mold to your vision when you tour it! And, don't be afraid to have a second tour with your photographer or videographer to get an even better sense of the day.
The parting advice from Sonja, Dan and Anna was to start planning early. Especially if there is a dream venue or wedding professional, get it lined up sooner rather than later as many professionals can get hired for entire seasons super quickly. The team also discussed flexibility with wedding dates and venues and how W Scottsdale works with couples to work on their timeline.
This episode is powered by Ryann Lindsey Photography, Hazel Grove Rentals, Florals by Kendra, Le Beige Beauty and Amour de Sucre. Special thanks to advertisers Linen Effects, Continental Diamond, Warpaint International.
Photo Courtesy of W Scottsdale