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Marriott Expands Weddings Service

Marriott International,
Inc. today launched the most extensive weddings resource and service in
the lodging industry. The company has trained 1,200 of its managers as
“Marriott certified wedding event planners” to design and assist with a
broad range of weddings, including cultural, religious, ethnic and
military weddings, at its Marriott and Renaissance hotels. Marriott’s
wedding services will be enhanced later this month with a new toll-free
weddings help desk, followed by the introduction of a dedicated weddings
web site in May. “Globally, the number of wedding events at Marriott and Renaissance
properties grew approximately 10 percent over the past two years, and more
than half of our hotels report a significant increase in ethnic,
multicultural and military weddings,” said Robin Uler, senior vice
president, food, beverage and retail, Marriott International. “Annually,
weddings and wedding-related business generate property revenues of
approximately $300 million for the company’s full-service hotels.”

According to Conde Nast Bridal Infobank, approximately 2.3 million couples
are expected to marry in the U.S. alone and will spend on average a total
of $22,000 on their weddings and receptions. Approximately 71 percent of
all wedding receptions take place in a hotel, country club or catering

More couples are also traveling to get married, choosing destination and
resort venues that provide unique and sometimes exotic backdrops for
weddings, as well as transforming the event into a vacation for family and
friends. Marriott offers the most resorts and spas in the lodging industry.

“We understand the important role our hotels play in planning and hosting
weddings and have developed a full range of services to meet the needs of
these special customers,” said John Marriott, executive vice president,
lodging, Marriott International. “The weddings business continues to grow
and change, and our wedding event managers are incredibly well trained and
equipped to create truly memorable experiences. Weddings are an
opportunity to build trust and loyalty with our guests that last a

“Marriott’s certified wedding event planners” have been trained to assist
with a variety of wedding ceremonies and receptions, including ethnic and
multicultural weddings, which has greatly expanded the weddings market for
the company. Marriott wedding event planners are also a helpful resource
and point of contact for independent wedding planners who utilize the
hotel’s banquet space and catering services.


“Each ‘Marriott certified’ planner has completed specially designed course
work and passed a 50-point test that covers a variety of wedding protocols
and etiquette, as well as culinary and decorating trends,” said Uler. “Our
planners can suggest custom menus and flowers, help book music, develop
room design and decor for indoor and outdoor ceremonies, and assist with
related events, including the rehearsal party, wedding brunch, honeymoon
and anniversaries. Their services are available at no additional charge
for wedding events booked at Marriott and Renaissance hotels.”

Just in time for the spring wedding season, the company will also
introduce a toll-free weddings hotline and help desk to provide
information and tips on wedding planning and to assist couples with
researching Marriott and Renaissance locations and services.
Representatives will be available seven days a week to serve as a resource
on wedding trends, protocols, menu ideas, how to calculate costs,
scheduling, etc. If the couple settles on a location, the representative
will refer them to the appropriate Marriott or Renaissance certified
wedding event planner.

In May, Marriott will introduce a newly designed weddings web site that
walks the couple through the planning process start to finish. The site
will offer a variety of suggestions and ideas from the company’s top
wedding event planners; feature couple testimonials; showcase striking
visuals of venues, table settings and floral arrangements; and highlight
trends and unique touches to personalize any wedding. Couples will be able
to search locations and request space and room availability to book their
event at any Marriott or Renaissance property.

Members of Marriott Rewards, the company’s loyalty program, can also earn
points for their wedding by taking advantage of Marriott’s Rewarding
Events. A substantial number of points can be earned based on qualified
charges, including the wedding room block, banquet space, catering,
flowers, audiovisual and staging. Points can be redeemed for the couple’s
honeymoon or free vacations at more than 2,400 Marriott International
hotels worldwide. Details on Marriott’s Rewarding Events are available at
Outside of North America, wedding couples and their families will find
similar wedding planning services offered at most JW Marriott, Marriott
and Renaissance properties. Several hotels, such as the Costa Rica
Marriott in San Jose, the Guam Marriott Resort & Spa, the Renaissance
Kuala Lumpur and the Marriott St. Pierre Hotel and Country Club in Wales,
also feature on-property wedding chapels.