North Fork Weddings: Where to stay after the big day

10/12/2011 12:00 PM |

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Hyatt Place Long Island/East End sales associate Dominique Bissett preps the Sea Star Ballroom's bridal suite, which is accessible to brides who stay at the Hyatt.

Couples can plan every detail of their wedding celebration down to who’s in charge of the calligraphy on the place cards, but the planning doesn’t stop with the end of the reception.

Newlyweds-to-be also need to make sure guests have a suitable roof over their heads when the partying is over, and the North Fork offers a variety of lodging options.

Steven Shauger, general manager of the Hyatt Place Long Island/East End, which opened this past July in downtown Riverhead, said couples can book blocks of rooms for their guests and choose where they’d like everyone to stay.

“We had one bride recently who said, ‘I want to be near my bridal party — but away from my parents,’” he said.

A minimum of 10 rooms is required for a block at the Hyatt, and Mr. Shauger said as many as six adults can sleep comfortably in each room.

At Soundview Inn Hotel in Greenport, couples can reserve a block of rooms and have their guests call the hotel to book them.

“We try and take some of the responsibility off the bride for having to guess what kind of bed her guests want,” said Ellen Wiederlight, the hotel’s manager.

Guests have the choice between four types of rooms and suites at Soundview, which offers, as the name suggests, views of the Long Island Sound from each of its 45 rooms.

Ms. Wiederlight said couples and their guests typically book three nights, with some out-of-towners opting to stretch their stay a few extra days.

“If they don’t live out here and they come out here for a wedding, they stick around,” she said.

Both hotels will prepare a special room for the bride and groom.

Mr. Shauger said couples tying the knot usually choose the Hyatt’s corner rooms, which are a bit larger than the others and offer wider views of Peconic Bay. Hotel staffers have set up suites for couples’ first married nights, complete with rose petals on king-sized beds, plates of chocolate-covered strawberries and bottles of champagne.

“They like the little things,” Mr. Stauger said.

As for their guests post-party activities, many of them take advantage of downtown Riverhead’s bars and restaurants. Some couples have rented out the butterfly exhibition space located just next door for their guests’ post-party entertainment. He said many couples wed at the Sea Star Ballroom, which opened in August and is located next door, and have an entire wedding affair that eliminates the need for transportation.

Couples who wed elsewhere can use local bus companies to shuttle guests from the wedding venue back to their rooms.

Of course Riverhead Town has seen many hotels pop up in recent years and couples should also look into blocking rooms at hotels like Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn Express and the Hilton Garden Inn in Riverhead, and East Wind in Wading River. Both the East Wind and Hotel Indigo have ballrooms for couples looking to have everything for their special day in one place.

Many folks getting married on the North Fork like the waterfront views and the luxury of Harborfront Inn at Greenport, and The Greenporter Hotel is a good option for people who don’t want to break their banks on lodging.

Some couples also opt for bed-and-breakfasts, and realtor Erica McKenzie of Andrew Stype Real Estate in Mattituck said she’s noticed a new alternative trend to the bed-and-breakfast stay: renting houses for bridal parties for the weekend.

She said so many couples have inquired about renting weekend houses on the North Fork for their weddings that she’s planning to target such couples in upcoming advertising efforts.

“Sometimes people just want a little house on the beach,” she said.

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