French Lick Resort: An Unforgettable Venue
Located in the heart of French Lick, Ind., lies French Lick Resort, a beautiful resort filled with possibilities for your wedding. Join Kentucky Bride as we speak with Jennifer Ryal, Wedding Coordinator and Conference Services Manager at French Lick Resort, to find out what this stunning venue has to offer you. Kentucky Bride Magazine: French Lick Resort offers it all, from gorgeous golf courses to luxurious spa treatments, but what about French Lick Resort makes it a good wedding and reception venue?
Jennifer Ryal: Apart from our world class service, the Resort has quite a bit to offer. We have planners at each hotel who are with the bride from contract to completion, a full service florist on property, a pastry chef at each property and a list of trusted and capable vendors that are familiar with the Resort for music, entertainment, photography, etc.
KBM: The French Lick Springs Hotel and West Baden Springs Hotel are both part of what makes up French Lick Resort. Which of these two hotels has proven to be most popular among the wedding crowd and why?
JR: It is really hard to answer this question. West Baden Springs is a much higher price point and unless the budget allows a buyout of the facility, our maximum is 150 people. French Lick Springs has a little more flexibility in their minimums and is a traditional conference center so it can handle a much bigger event on a regular basis. I would not say that one hotel is more popular than the other. It all just depends on your style and overall budget.
KBM: If the bride plans to have a large group of people staying at the resort, how far in advance should reservations be made? What are some recommendations you might have in planning a resort wedding, especially for a large number of people?
JR: I would say at minimum, a year out. You get better rates and a better chance of getting your preferred date. In planning a resort wedding for a large number of people, I would recommend making sure you have adequate rooms in your room block and if the need arises to add more, the Resort has the flexibility of doing so. Quite a few resorts are remote and it could be quite an inconvenience for your guests to have to find lodging in the area outside of the Resort.
JR: West Baden Springs has a very set package and requirements. It is probably one of the higher price points in the region. It is a more upscale, quiet, European style hotel, where French Lick Springs is vibrant and fast paced. French Lick Springs has the Casino attached as well as a modern event center.
KBM: Is there a wedding planner and/or coordinator at French Lick Resort?
JR: Yes, there is one available at each hotel.
KBM: What packages are available from French Lick Resort for weddings?
JR: There are established packages at West Baden Springs, but not French Lick Springs. West Baden has several packages to choose from depending on the size of your event. Most packages include the reception space, food and beverage, floral center pieces and upscale linens. French Lick works off of food and beverage minimums based on the event size. For both hotels, ceremony fee, bridal work, ceremony flowers, music and entertainment, photographer and officiate are separate. We will assist with booking and can charge back to the master music, entertainment and flowers. Room blocks with a discounted rate can also be contracted.
KBM: The French Lick Casino is one of the resorts most popular amenities. Do brides and grooms often use the Casino for bachelor and bachelorette parties? If so, are packages available from the Casino for these types of pre-wedding events?
JR: We do not offer set packages for bachelorette or bachelor parties, but we're happy to contract a group block with a discounted rate. We can also assist with planning activities through our Conference Services office.
KBM: There are four golf courses available at French Lick Resort. Which of these is most popular? How far in advance should players sign up for a tee time?
JR: Donald Ross is definitely the most popular golf course. I would probably reserve a tee time one to two months out.
KBM: Do grooms often utilize these courses for bachelor parties? Are bachelor party packages available for the golf courses?
JR: Yes, we do often have groups take advantage of the golf courses, but no bachelor party packages are available for the courses.
JR: The Conference Services office has experienced planners that will assist once the contract has been executed. They can also assist with Resort activities, meal reservations, etc.
JR: Both spas are full service and offer a wide variety of services. Most popular among bridal parties are massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. West Baden Spa also offers bridal hair services.
KBM: Activities available at French Lick Resort include golf, tennis, swimming, basketball, shopping, bowling, historical tours, hiking, mountain biking, carriage rides, horseback riding, afternoon tea, power walking and excursions to different attractions. Which three of these are your most popular activities?
JR: Golf, horseback riding and afternoon tea are probably the most popular.
KBM: How could a bride incorporate some of the available activities into her wedding week? This applies especially to brides who are staying at the resort all week with family and friends.
JR: Golf for the guys, tea reservations for the gals along with some quality time in the spa for either. We have had the bowling alley used for rehearsal dinners as well as either of our fine dining restaurants, 1875 and Sinclair’s. We can arrange a carriage entrance or take away for the bride or bride and groom, the stables can book group rides or even host a Western Style Themed dinner at the Stables.
JR: Make sure your venue meets your needs, not just your wants. I would always suggest to clarify what the maximum capacity would be to be comfortable, not what it is when you have wall-to-wall tables and chairs. If it is an outside venue, what is the rain plan? Does that plan accommodate your expectations and set-up? When does that decision need to be made? If you are looking at a downtown property or a “barn” type venue, what is the parking availability? How are people with limited walking abilities accommodated? Make sure venues are up front and can answer all of your logistical questions. Don’t leave anything unanswered.
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All photographs courtesy of the French Lick Resort website.