New Wedding Trends For 2009 Impact The Way Couples Plan Their Big Day

Hilton Family Of Hotels Launches Wedding Resource

June 30, 2009

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -  The wedding season is in full swing and couples planning their big day are being impacted by new trends. To help couples navigate the stressful wedding planning process, Hilton Family of Hotels has launched "Guestiquette," www.hiltonfamily.com/guestiquette," a practical, information-packed online wedding resource to provide guidance on wedding guest etiquette topics and even help brides and grooms book and manage their hotel accommodations.

The site, which is already attracting hundreds of couples, seeking to have the best wedding ever, covers topics such as:

Hilton "Guestiquette"

"Online wedding planning is a growing trend at Hilton," said Jeremiah Allen, director of eSales. "We've seen an increase of 211 percent in brides who plan, book and manage their wedding room block online through Hilton's group booking tool, e-Events. Tech-savvy brides and grooms are planning, booking and managing their wedding blocks online with real-time inventory across the Hilton Family of Hotels, with 24/7 booking access. After a couple books their wedding block online, they actually receive a call from the hotel representative, who offers additional assistance and support."

A burgeoning demand from brides for more online wedding group bookings and creative and helpful guest web sites; smaller weddings with fewer guests, more off-peak weddings - mornings, afternoons, Fridays and Sundays; and the month of October emerging as the new June are just a few of the trends affecting the wedding industry in 2009, according to The Wedding Report, a well known national data source.

The Wedding Report points out that the number of couples getting married is likely to remain steady overall at about 2.2 million in 2009. If the economy begins to recover, there may be a slight increase. However, if there is more economic turmoil the number of weddings will decline in 2009 as couples wait for the economy to recover. Spending will follow the same trend, except that overall spending will be down 10 percent over 2008, which is already seeing a decline of 20-30 percent. In 2009, it is estimated the average wedding cost to be between $21,000 and $25,000.

The Wedding Report adds that with the economy driving the planning process, more than ever, the name of the game for brides and grooms also will include simplified decorations, centerpieces and wedding invitations as well as online RSVPs.

About the Hilton Family Online Group Booking Tool

Currently, the Online Group Booking Tool is available at all North American Hilton Family of Hotels, including Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton, and The Waldorf Astoria Collection, and will soon be extending its online planning and booking tools to Hilton Family hotels in the U.K. Online group booking is available only at participating locations and is subject to availability at participating hotels. Other terms and conditions apply. Please visit www.hiltonfamilyevents.com for full details.

About Hilton Hotels Corporation
Hilton Hotels Corporation is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 3,300 hotels and 550,000 rooms in 77 countries and more than 130,000 team members worldwide. The company owns, manages or franchises some of the best known and highly regarded hotel brands including Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites by Hilton, the Waldorf Astoria and the Waldorf Astoria Collection, as well as the recently launched Home2 Suites by Hilton. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors.

Hilton Hotels Corporation is an Official Sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team, which will extend through the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, the 2010/2012 U.S. Paralympic Team and the 2011 U.S. Pan American Team.

The Hilton Family of Hotels adheres to founder Conrad Hilton's philosophy that, "It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality." The company put a name to its unique brand of service that has made it the best known and most highly regarded hotel company: be hospitable. The philosophy is shared by all brands in the Hilton Family of Hotels, and is the inspiration for its overarching message of kindness and generosity.

For more information about the company, please visit www.hiltonfamily.com.

About Hilton Hotels & Resorts

For nearly a century, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has been proudly welcoming the world's travelers. With more than 570 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts provides the foundation for memorable travel experiences and values every guest who walks through its doors. As the flagship brand of Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to set the standard for hospitality, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. Hilton Hotels & Resorts is a part of the award-winning Hilton Honors program. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Begin your journey at www.hilton.com and learn more about the brand by visiting news.hilton.com or following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.