Friendor Friday with Mary Barnett, Catering Sales Manager for The Hotel Zamora

We are so thrilled to have Mary Barnett, catering sales manager for The Hotel Zamora, take over the ADP blog today for our weekly “Friendor Friday!’ We have had a handful of beautiful weddings (real and stylized) take place at the swanky hotel and have had the pleasure of working with Mary on the couples’ big day! Keep reading to learn about The Hotel Zamora and get to know Mary!


Tell us about holding a ceremony and/or reception at the Hotel Zamora:
The Hotel Zamora is a unique property and therefore we are excited to offer our couples unique indoor and outdoor (waterfront!) ceremony and reception spaces for their special day. Our property is divided to seamlessly host ceremonies that transition to cocktail hours and receptions.


When did the HZ first open? The Hotel Zamora first opened their doors in June of 2014. We just turned ONE…So Happy Birthday to US!


How many guests can you accommodate?
Being a boutique property, we are best suited for intimate wedding ceremonies and receptions accommodating up to 50-75 guests.


The best feature of the HZ?
Hands down….our 360 Rooftop. It’s absolutely stunning! With views of the Gulf and the Bay, it truly provides a spectacular view of St. Pete Beach. The BEST part about the rooftop is that couples can host their wedding ceremony and/or reception there! The Gulf side is ideal for 50-75 guests and the Bayside is ideal for 30-50 guests. Talk about saying ‘I Do’ with a view!


Any required vendors that a couple must use if they book your venue?
We do not ‘require’ our couples to select vendors from a set list. We do however promote, recommend and sing the praises of our ‘preferred vendor list.’ We also strongly encourage our couples to book a Wedding Planner or Day of Coordinator. The power behind professional vendors is an invaluable resource and a crucial element for a successful wedding day!


What is included when a couple books your venue for a wedding?
Included in our Ceremonies are white folding chairs, exclusive setup time, fruit infused water station, guaranteed weather back-up location and a private champagne toast for the happy couple. (CHEERS!) Our Receptions include all the essentials: tables, banquet chairs, white or black linen, flatware, glassware and a dedicated Banquet Team assigned to ensure that all your needs are taken care of. Depending on the size of the wedding, we also include a complimentary night in a Waterfront Junior Suite as well.


How far in advance should a couple book their venue?
I think it’s always best to follow the ‘One Year Out’ Rule. Giving yourself 10-12 months leeway, will help your chances of getting a preferred date/and or location. Securing your venue is a BIG DEAL! Once you ‘Say Yes to the Place’ the rest of the planning can fall into place. (That’s when the real fun begins!)


Do you offer wedding planning services? What makes your services different from the rest?
My job as a Catering Sales Manager/Wedding Specialist is to assist our clients and couples every step of the way. From the very first site visit, to planning meetings, vendor recommendations, menu tastings, and floor plan designs….I am their right hand gal! Something that makes our services different from the rest is the undivided attention and personalized service that our clients will receive. One of the perks of hosting your wedding at a boutique property is that we offer couples the opportunity to enjoy an intimate and personalized celebration as the only wedding on site. That means all eyes are on YOU!


Do you target any particular niche?
Our modern and chic property was designed for intimate gatherings perfect for any nuptial celebration, destination wedding or rehearsal receptions.


Fun fact about the HZ?
The Hotel was named after a Province in Spain, which is where we get our Mediterranean flare! Legend has it; King Ferdinand I of León, Spain divided his kingdoms between his three sons. To his daughter, Princess Doña, he bequeathed the well-fortified city of Zamora, thus making her the Princess of Zamora. Her modern day portraits now adorn our walls here on property. Want to see what she looks like? Come take a look!!


Have you had any strange requests for a wedding? (décor/themes?)
Honestly, nothing too crazy just yet. I did recently have a rather creative request for a signature drink to be served at the reception. The groom is a Chemist and the bride is a Dentist, so they created a signature drink called the “One Molar Solution” and they plan to serve the cocktail in a laboratory beaker! How Cool!


Most unique event that has taken place at your venue? Or most memorable?
For me personally, my most memorable moment (to date!) was the very first rooftop wedding ceremony and reception that I helped host after I started working for The Hotel Zamora. It could not have been a more beautiful day. Watching our couple exchange their vows with the most breathtaking panoramic backdrop was truly an amazing moment. It made me excited and so proud to work at such a beautiful property.


How is the HZ different from other wedding venues?
The Hotel Zamora is the first hotel to open in St. Pete Beach in more than 20 years. We bring the ‘Something New’ to the famous wedding tradition.


How/When did you start working for the HZ?
I started working the hotel December of 2015, after relocating from Orlando, Fl. I knew the *minute* I first pulled up to the property that THIS was a venue that I had to be a part of. I literally work surrounded by paradise.


What interests do you have outside of work? Tell us about yourself!
Being new to St. Pete, my husband and I are all about exploring ‘The Burg.’ We live downtown and frequent Beach Drive any chance we get. We made a pact to try as many local restaurants as possible. We plan to buy our first home here and we look forward to enjoying all that this beautiful city has to offer!


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