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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Share Predictions for
Wedding Tips and Trends in 2012

TORONTO, January 11, 2012 – Fairmont is known worldwide as a place of special occasions, from the copper-roofed Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai, to royal-favorite The Savoy in London, to Toronto’s Grand Dame Fairmont Royal York. Many of Fairmont’s storied properties have hosted “first dances” for close to a century, and all are on the front lines when it comes to knowing what modern brides want. Here are a few trends Fairmont wedding experts predict will be big in 2012.

Every Wedding is a Destination Wedding – While destination weddings used to conjure images of white sand beaches and swaying palm trees, modern couples getting married close to home may still have friends and family flying in from all over the world. Many of Fairmont’s city center properties have seen more weddings book 2- and 3-night room blocks along with Sunday brunches to make sure out-of-towners have a vacation too. Gift bags have also stepped up to include more than water and an itinerary – considerate couples book neighborhood walking tours for guests and offer hand-picked restaurant recommendations and tips for local attractions.

“Couples want to make sure they’re taking care of guests who spend a considerable amount of time and money to be there for them on their big day,” said Wayne Harth, Director of Catering at Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park. “We’ve had brides arrange guided architectural tours and trolley cars to take guests around Chicago while the bridal party prepares for the evening festivities.”

Close-knit, But Not On a Shoestring – Intimate weddings give couples more time to spend with the people they care about most, and more money to spend on luxuries, both big and small. A growing number of couples are choosing to limit their guest list to 100 or less, but their nuptials still boast the budget of a much larger wedding.

“Our brides are having smaller weddings, but spending more per person, whether it’s on elegant menus or setting up elaborate play areas for kids. We had one couple set-up a fully supervised adjacent room with Wii games, arcade machines, sweet table and disco,” said Bruce Russell, London Wedding Planner for Weddings at The Savoy by Bruce Russell. “Another thing we’ve done to upgrade smaller weddings is to offer a la carte reception menus featuring six appetizers, six entrees and five desserts – all selected by guests on the day of the wedding. It’s a convenience and a luxury that invitees really appreciate.”

Keep People Dancing with Passed Small Bites – There’s no better way to make a DJ lonely than by rolling out limited food stations that immediately build up long lines - keeping people away from the music and quickly deflating a lively atmosphere. Instead of killing the party on the dance floor, forgo food stations for passed small bites that will keep guests dancing all night long.

“Passing tapas and desserts on the dance floor has become extremely popular and is a great way to keep the party going,” said Tracey Gavin, Senior Catering Sales Manager at The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston. “As an added perk, you can get creative with the food you present, whether it’s mini ice cream cones or cheeseburger sliders. It’s definitely a memorable touch.”

Groom’s Role Grows – While many catering managers used to see grooms only twice – at the first meeting and on their wedding day – many men are becoming more involved in the planning process, particularly when it comes to menus and desserts. Formerly a regional staple in the Southeastern U.S., the groom’s cake has slowly been inching its way north and even as far as the UK and Europe, and taking different forms as it migrates. Whether it’s part of a “cake-scape” of different designs and flavors, a surprise gift from the bride featuring a favorite sports team, or just the classic chocolate treat of the groom’s choice, many couples are forgoing the traditional one size-fits-all confection.

“For the most part, brides still run the show, but we’ve seen a growing level of involvement from men in every aspect of the wedding,” said Ashley Pigott, Conference Services & Catering Manager for The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. “As grooms get more and more involved with picking dinner menus, music, and more, desserts have become a prime opportunity for them to show off their own style and preferences.”

Spicing up the Dessert Table - Having cupcakes instead of a wedding cake has been fashionable for years now, but some couples are getting even more creative with their dessert table by bringing out their inner child. Tiered donut cakes, old fashioned candy bars and huge spreads of cookies have taken over, giving guests an assortment of sweet treats to choose from.

“Many couples want a range of tastes and colors on their dessert table and are branching out beyond the traditional tiered wedding cakes and perfectly decorated cupcakes,” said Jenny Hytonen, Wedding Manager from The Fairmont Palliser. “One wedding we did had a whimsical candy bar filled with lollipops, gumdrops, licorice, taffy and more, and guests went wild for it.”

Decorating from Above – A stunning centerpiece may look great in photos, but many times they end up obscuring views and getting in the way of conversation. So, instead of arranging votives and flowers on tables, some couples are hanging their centerpieces from the ceilings – creating a dramatic effect that finally lets guests sitting across from each other see eye-to-eye.

“We had one bride with an Alice in Wonderland theme for her reception who wanted magical décor for her guests, so we hung creative Mad-Hatter style top hats and candles from our Hacienda Trellis - it created a stunning effect.” said Amanda Wingert, Senior Catering Manager at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. “The hanging decorations have definitely become a popular feature and we’ve started to see a range of variations on the standard lantern and floral centerpieces.”

Future brides and grooms interested in more information on weddings at Fairmont can visit Fairmont Weddings online. For a look at real Fairmont weddings as well as tips, tricks and ideas from Fairmont’s wedding experts, visit the brand’s social media site Everyone’s An Original.

Located in world-class destinations around the globe, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of hotels that includes landmark locations like London's The Savoy, New York's The Plaza, and Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel. With more than 60 hotels, Fairmont is known as much for its warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences, as its classic hotels that imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication and social importance and are often considered destinations in their own right. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also regarded for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit

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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Lori Holland

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Mike Taylor

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Also See: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to Open the 290-room Fairmont Amman in Jordan in 2014 / December 2011

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to Debut in Several New Global Markets in 2012 With Five International Hotel Projects in the Works / December 2011

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to Open 375-room Fairmont in the New Master Planned City Center in Chengdu, China in 2014 / November 2011

Jennifer Fox Appointed President at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. in Toronto, Canada / November 2011

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to Add Moscow's Pekin Hotel to its Collection; Property to Undergo Extensive Renovation and be Rebranded as Fairmont Pekin Moscow Reopening in 2017 / October 2011

Philip Barnes Appointed as Regional Vice President for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in the Pacific Northwest and General Manager of the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada / October 2011

Hoon Namgoong Appointed as Director of Food and Beverage for the Fairmont Yangcheng Lake in Kunshan, China / September 2011

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts of California Pledges 1,000 Volunteers for the 27th Annual California Coastal Clean-Up Day, September 17, 2011 / August 2011

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to Open 330-room Fairmont Taiyuan in Northern China / June 2011

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to Open 380-room Fairmont Jakarta in Indonesia Developed by Senayan Trikarya Sempana / May 2011

The Fairmont Washington, D.C. Completes its Renovation of 415 Guest Rooms on Three Floors / April 2011

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Appoints Karina Davies as Director, Sales & Marketing of Fairmont Yangcheng Lake in Kunshan, China / March 2011

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Signs Agreement with Business Gate to Manage 287-room Fairmont Riyadh, Business Gate in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia / March 2011

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to Add New Property in China, the 371-room Fairmont Nanjing as Part of the Jin Ao Plaza Development in a 56-story Building in the Jiangsu Province / March 2011

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Opens Second Property in Zimbali, South Africa, the 154-room Fairmont Zimbali Resort / June 2010

Throughout 2010, Fairmont Expects to Open Seven Hotels Around the Globe / January 2010

The Fairmont Washington, D.C. is Abuzz With 105,000 Permanent Guests; Hotel's Rooftop Beehives Enhance Culinary Program and Help the Environment / May 2009

Fairmont Engages “Hotel Within a Hotel” Concept at First U.S. Hotel, The Fairmont Washington, D.C. / September 2003

The Fairmont Washington, D.C. Buying 6% of its Power Needs from a West Virginia Wind Farm / Aug 2003

Legacy Hotels Real Estate Investment Trust Acquires The Monarch Hotel for Approximately $145 million - to be Flagged The Fairmont Washington, DC / Oct 2002

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