Post # 1
We’re getting married next June and I just called today to set up a room block at the (only decent) hotel in Oak Park (just outside Chicago, where our reception will be). I thought I was in plenty of time (and people had even told me to wait) but not so much.
They have no regular rooms left at all. All they have are suites and rooms in the Motor Inn (the motel side basically, they are decent rooms but not as nice. Suites are probably close to $200 and Motor Inn more like $100. There is only one other hotel in town and its terrible, so my next option would be to book something downtown. It isn’t an event or anything, just a popular weekend and a shortage of other hotels.
So I need to let her know asap but I don’t know what kinds of rooms to hold and how many. How did you figure it out? We are inviting 160, 20 live IN the suburb (no chance of needing a hotel), another 20 in Chicago (so 30-45 minutes away), another 20+ in some other suburb/NW Indiana (probably between 30-90 minutes away, not sure most of these are FIs family), and then at least 25 families/couples/etc that will be flying in.
How many rooms? How long do I hold them for? Ah!!! I had no idea this would be such an issue. I wish I had called earlier.
Post # 3
@MaryRachel: Wow, you have a lot of Out of Town guests! We booked our block with a hotel that if you booked less than x amount of rooms then even if no one reserved them we had no obligation to pay for them. Does you hotel offer that option? Are you paying for the rooms or are the guests?
Also, you can cut down on rooms if you can figure out how many people will be sharing rooms. We reserved our rooms from Friday – Sunday for a Saturday wedding. If people want to stay longer they can pay the regular rate.
Another option, but I have no idea on the etiquette, is to reserve 15 rooms or whatever and have it be first come first serve for the discounted block rate and just have it be your preferred hotel for guests after that. You may be able to add rooms on to your contract as well.
Post # 4
@MaryRachel: Maybe you already looked into this, but when I called to book a block they would only let me book 10 rooms at a time. They said once those 10 filled up I could book another block.
Post # 5
@MaryRachel: Hey! Good to see another Chicago burb bride 🙂 We’re getting married in Schaumburg in May of next year and are inviting 278 people. Our wedding coordinator at the hotel gave us 30 rooms standard to start off with (10 on Friday and 20 on Saturday). I’d say approx 90% of our guests are coming from out of town and even if they aren’t, they’ll likely stay at the hotel due to convenience and not having to organize transportation home after drinking. I’m guessing we’ll likely have to add more to our block based off of that fact. We have our rooms blocked until 2 weeks before the wedding I think, and we can add to that number whenever. However, this might be different due to the fact that we’re actually getting married at the hotel we have the block at.
You can probably provide a hotel with a number of guests you are inviting and they should have a good idea of how many rooms you need booked. If they’re not helpful there, just take your guest list, subtract out the decline rate you’re expecting and divide that number by 2 seeing as most people stay as couples/families.
Another thing to consider – maybe you want to have room blocks at two different hotels? One that’s higher-end and one that is a bit cheaper? If capacity is an issue at the one you want anyway, this would be a good alternative. Just a thought!
Post # 6
@springbride23: Yeah, my mom is from here, but everyone has moved away and my dad’s from California. And I have a pretty big family, so tons of Out of Town guests. I’ll definitely try to figure out who might share.
@sourcandy: I think the hotel barely has any rooms left period, unfortunately. They already have a couple of other room blocks that beat me to it.
@kat912: Thanks for the equation :). I would love to have a second hotel (and apparently I’m going to have to) but unfortunately there isn’t one convenient at all. Our reception is in Oak Park, so our next options are going to be the Loop or further suburbs (they’re about equidistant). There is only one other hotel within five miles that I know of, and I would never want someone to stay there (ick.)
Post # 7
I’m having my reception at that hotel, and hearing your story makes me so happy I set up my block there last month! We’re looking at inviting about 130, and everyone but us will have at least an almost 2 hour drive (my guests are coming from around the country, my FI’s are way west in the burbs), so we blocked 35 rooms. A mix of queen and double beds in both the hotel and motor inn.
But it sounds like you might want to just book as many rooms as you can there that are available. You need to book at least 10 for the group rate, and they’ll hold until a month before the wedding. You will probably also want to book some blocks downtown and maybe some other suburbs, and have taxi numbers/CTA info handy. I would personally try sure make sure that maybe you get people arent familiar with the area get rooms at the Oak Park hotel, so they aren’t stuck wandering around lost