Post # 1
I am a little frustrated and wanted to hear from the ladies.
Although we are getting married in Calistoga- the immediate wedding party and closest friends, and family will be staying in Napa (we managed to use our accumulated points to cover the costs of the hotel resort we are staying at for our immediate family). The last time we went to Napa we looked into blocking rooms at hotels.
Now- I have many friends who would rather stay in a B&B, some who would like to go super economical (i.e. cheap) and others who are willing to splurge.
How am I supposed to set up a room block with people who have those varying budgets?
So I decided not to set up a room block, and to encourage guests to plan ahead for their own needs & to find internet deals (which may be cheaper than if I set up a room block) Some people may be willing to find a cheaper accommodation outside of Napa (i.e. Santa Rose or Headlesburg) and are willing to commute from farther away. *I did make hotel recommendations in all areas surrounding our venue btw. I didn’t leave my guests in the dark, I promise!
Now I am facing a bit of a conflict with some guests who are encouraging (pushing me) to get room blocks somewhere– but I know some would refuse to pay one amount- while others are willing to spend lots. But I don’t want to set up room blocks at two diff hotels.
What do most people do in this situation? What have you done for your guests along these lines? Am I seriously obligated to create room blocks when we are having a small wedding of 55-70 people?
Post # 3
Please help! Any suggestions/feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 4
We are planning on doing room bloacks for two reasons- convenience for guets and to save some money. We are also listing other options on our site, if guests are interested in something more upscale or more budget friendly, but not as convenient.
Post # 5
Could you set aside room blocks at two hotels? One that satisfies lower budgets, and one that’s a little more high-end?
That way guests could choose which option fits best, and they don’t have to do internet searches to find a decent place to stay.
Post # 6
I think its OK to setup room blocks at two different hotels. We are setting up room blocks, and some hotels have different blocked rates for different types of room – i.e. standard room, deluxe room, suite, jr. suite, that your guests can select from.
Can you set up room blocks at the hotel you are staying at? Or hotels closer to Calistoga? I think the reason for setting up room blocks is for convenience, and to also guarantee a lower rate for your guests – so your target guest audience are the ones that DO want to save some money!
If your guests are willing to spend more or want to find their own B&B – they can do so on their own, and you are not expected to try to accomodate them.
When you setup these room blocks, keep in mind that you can negotiate (i.e. so and so hotel is offering me at $X rate, can you match it?), and most (not sure about wine country) will allow you to block rooms without any penalty to you if they are not filled up.
We’re looking into blocking rooms right now, and we’re asking for discounted honeymoon suites for ourselves included in the block. =)
Post # 7
It’s all going to work out Sparkles! Don’t stress about it. There is no requirement for room blocks, though they can be helpful. At the same time, if you are making recommendations to your guests in a high, medium, low price point, than you are really catering to everyone’s needs. If there is a place that it would be convient for most people to stay– do a block of rooms there, just make sure the hotel does not require a minimum number of rooms (just in case only a few stay there)
We only blocked rooms at one place. We are getting married in Orlando, and found a fantastic place that is across the lake from our venue. The bonus with it is that the guests can take a boat over from the hotel to the venue which = safe transportation after a few drinks!!
Post # 8
What was slightly disconcerning was that some hotels would want me to block an "X" amt of rooms- but to place a deposit down to save the rooms.
So I would block rooms at two different hotels, but having to put a deposit down on a hotel that possibly people wouldn’t want to consider made me not too excited about the prospect… of booking two different hotels.
Has anyone had to put deposits down to block rooms? Is this normal practice, because I had no idea!
Post # 9
Recently, my friends set up a room block with a v. good rate at an otherwise fairly expensive hotel. They also provided a list of a few less expensive hotels in the area. And they told you the area to search for hotels in if you didn’t want any of those hotels (which is useful for someone form out of town). I don’t think a room block is required, but for people without a lot of time it’s helpful. But there is never any obligation for guests to stay there, so don’t worry if you think it’ll be above or below someone’s budget. If they want to spend more/less, they can work it out (I always have when I needed to anyway). I think it’s important to think about the needs of people traveling to your wedding, but there is a limit to what you can do. You are certainly not obligated to find a hotel that fits each guest’s needs…
Post # 10
Wow Hirsche! you totally lucked out with the hotel you found for your guests! That is awesome. I am way impressed.
Post # 11
Just a word of caution, when you (if you decide to) set up a room block, most hotels for a wedding block will set up what is called a courtesy block, meaning you are not responsible for all of the rooms in the block being reserved. This is the best route for you to go, especially as you will have guests who will go elsewhere depending on their budget, preference etc. Do not "contract" rooms with any hotel, as if you do, you will be fully responsible for all of the rooms you contract being booked.
Post # 12
Yes – those winery hotels really know how to get you! A friend of mine ran into the same issue when he got married at a winery. They know you have no choice, that is why!
When I wanted to book rooms, I did a quick google search and came up with the following page that really helped me:
What my friend did instead was emailed and call all of us to figure out who definitely needed to reserve a room, and then he held the rooms for them. It seems a bit of a hassle, but it saved them from having to guarantee the rooms themselves.
Let us know what you decide!
Post # 13
I did a room block only because my mom made me. IT took $25 a night off the rack room rate.
But…a few friends found cheaper accommodations on Priceline and Expedia.
Post # 14
I’m using 2 hotels to "bid" on the block and get the price as affordable for guests as possible. I kinda think they’re getting a good deal out of it anyways- they get their hotel on my invites and I’m paying for it, boo.
I am only putting one on the invite for space reasons- I also figure guests can review their own hotel options if they’re not interested in my suggestions (I can’t be everything to everyone). Also makes it safer for those who will be drinking, and convenient too as they’re both located 5 minutes from the wedding venue. I’m just disappointed they don’t offer a shuttle service. Oh well.
Post # 15
I agree with Happilywaiting. I’m getting married in San Fran, and the hotel gave me the option of blocking 20 rooms with a really GREAT rate, but that I would be responsible for paying if people didnt book – OR – 10 rooms at a not-so-great-but-still-lower-than-usual rate that would "expire" about a month before the wedding. Since my wedding is also only 50 – 70 people, and people usually like to do their own thing, I figured it might be hard to get those 20 rooms booked and then I would be stressing out about being on the hook for that expense (as if the wedding itself isn’t expense enough!) so we got the 10-room block. Perhaps hotels in the wine country are willing to do that?
I also sent out an email to everyone telling them the room block info and also pointing them to travelticker.com and other sites for deals in the area, and explaining what neighborhood they should be looking in for a hotel, etc etc. So they don’t end up clear across town.
I dont want to tell people where to stay, but I want to make it easy for them to find something they are comfortable with that is convenient.
Post # 16
I am also getting married in a "touristy" area that requires down payments for hotel blocks. But there is now way I’m paying $1000 for a room block that might not even be used! Instead of doing the hotel block thing, we went ahead and listed some hotels in different price ranges on our wedding website, along with their contact info. If you don’t have a wedding website, maybe you could list some hotels on the directions/map card? Especially for a small wedding (we’ll have less than 75), I don’t think hotel blocks are a necessity.