White Plains, NY – February 22, 2005 – Here comes the bride and right behind her are dozens of out-of-town wedding guests in need of a place to stay. This year more than two million couples will become engaged and begin the stressful task of planning the perfect wedding, including making hotel arrangements for guests. Today’s average American wedding has 54 out-of-town guests coming to celebrate (American Wedding Survey 2005*), leaving the bride and groom with lots of family members and friends in need of a hotel. To help make the wedding planning process easier , Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) has created a stress-free, on-line booking solution for today’s future brides and grooms.
It’s simple - book a block of rooms for your upcoming nuptials at any one of Starwood’s 750 St. Regis, Luxury Collection, Westin, W, Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton hotels and a Starwood Wedding Specialist will create a stylish, customized wedding website for free. This website will provide the couple with a personalized one-stop online resource that provides an easy way for guests to make room reservations, RSVP for the big day, bridal registry access and the ability to upload photos, travel and reception information.
This is the second program Starwood has introduced during the past year targeting the multi-billion dollar wedding industry. Just last year Starwood announced it was going after a bigger piece of the wedding gift market with the launch of its honeymoon registry and concierge programs which give couples the opportunity to register for honeymoons at any Starwood hotel and resort around the world.
Starwood Offers the Tools to Help Couples Plan the Big Day
Do you have dozens of guests flying in for the big day? Don’t stress - just visit www.StarwoodHoneymoons.com/guesttravel and follow instructions on how to book a block of rooms at any Starwood hotel of your choice – all online. Once the room block is confirmed, a Starwood Wedding Specialist will help the couple create their very own, customized wedding website. Additional features of the site include the specially designed sections for photos and an “our story” page where the bride and groom can share heartfelt details about their courtship with friends and family. The couple can also post event updates and keep track of guest’s hotel arrangements - all with the click of a button.
“We wanted to introduce a stress-free service to help make the wedding planning process just a little bit easier,” said Jennifer Hyman, Manager of Leisure Strategy for Starwood. “According to the 2005 American Wedding Survey*, 66% of brides take on the responsibility of finding accommodations for their out-of-town wedding guests and the tedious process of calling dozens of hotels to try and make arrangements. In addition, 50% of all engaged couples rely on a wedding website to keep their guests informed which can cost up to $1,000 to design and maintain. We wanted to offer couples who chose a Starwood hotel or resort as part of their wedding celebration a true value.”
Tools to Help Couples Plan and Pay for their Dream Honeymoon
Last May, Starwood announced a partnership with the WeddingChannel.com and introduced the Starwood Honeymoon Registry , giving couples the opportunity to register for honeymoons at any Starwood hotel and resort, including many of the world’s most romantic such as the Bora Bora Nui Resort, The Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice Italy and The Princeville Resort in Kauai, Hawaii. The process is simple: brides and grooms call Starwood’s free Honeymoon Concierge at 1-800-503-7800 who will help them plan and personalize their perfect honeymoon. Couples can also visit Starwood’s Honeymoon Collection website at www.starwoodhoneymoons.com which is packed with hotel slide shows, property and destination content and fun activities. Once they’ve chosen their destination, couples simply register their honeymoon with the WeddingChannel.com so that friend and family can contribute “honeymoney” to their once-in-a lifetime trip.
For more information on the quick and easy way to take care of your wedding guests and to book a block of rooms please visit www.StarwoodHoneymoons.com/guesttravel.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries and 110,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchiser of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com .
For more information on Starwood’s Wedding Program, please
Teresa Busillo or Stacey McGahan of Harrison & Shriftman
At 917-351-8660 / 8675.
* 2005 America Wedding Survey - Four-page questionnaires were mailed out in mid-October 2004 to 6,000 women across the continental United States. Respondents were selected to participate based on the wedding date they listed on Bride’s, Modern Bride, and Elegant Bride reader response cards. The survey was processed by Karli II and tabulated by Condé Nast Corporate Research.