Post # 1
I need some of your expert advice!
Securing the venue we love is contingent upon booking all the rooms at the affiliated lodge for two nights. Most of our guests will be driving 1-4 hours to the site and a few will be flying in from out of state. They are all middle class people, feeling the pinch of our current economical status, so I’m worried about what’s fair to expect them to pay for accomodations. It works out to $279 for couples and $160 (for Friday and Saturday nights) for single people–we would take care of AT LEAST two meals for everyone who spends the weekend and hope to plan a morning activity for everyone as well.
Most people would have to stay for at least the night of the wedding as it’s really too far out in the sticks for anyone to drive home and there are no other hotels nearby. But we have to get both nights fully booked in order to get our wedding/reception venue.
Do you think this is asking too much?
If not, any ideas on how to broach the subject with people? We can NOT book the venue with out at least 50 people booking space for both nights, but I don’t know how to ask people to commit to it with out being crass/pushy/akward. HELP!
Post # 3
hmm, sounds a bit much honestly….unless you have a very high guest count. 50 rooms is a lot even for one night! I would get a soft count first before you commit to it, because you don’t want to get stuck paying for all of that yourself. you would need a soft count of at least 75 to be safe, i think. but sounds like a very nice place! 😛
Post # 4
This is a tough one and while I may be able to offer some perspective I think ultimately you are going to have to decide. First consider seeing if you can negotiate with the place–I mean it, ASK if they can come down to $199, if you dont feel comfortable ask your Fiance to do it. Hey you lose nothing for asking–I am trying to get my venue to budge on the corkage fee–but thats another story. ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED IN AUSTIN? I’m guessing no, I AM curious where you are getting married-I do think that is on the higher side–I travel for business all the time and actually have carte blanche to choose my hotels but I try to be reasonable–only place I ever HAVE TO pay upwards of $200 is in NYC and San Francisco. I would also try to see what you can get that place for the week after or the month before–before you try to negotiate. See what you can get it for on Priceline-if it really is the only thing in the area…you will know it isnt pricing something else. I would call the hotel as a stranger and see if you can get AAA rates or ANY local business rate, then you will know how low they might go.
Also Can some of your guests double up? Is it REALLY too far for them to commute?
ASSUMING you cant manage this, if it is the place you have your heart set on-your guests will just have to manage somehow or decline. My friend got married in Canada during peak season at a very remote resort–she did say she didnt expect any presents but dont feel like you have to say this. Mind you we all had to buy airline tickets and rent cars and and and so I am sure some people decided not to attend. You have to let it go but if you know for a fact it is prohibitive for much of your party…then you will have to decide. In the end decide how you would feel. Its great that you are concerned about your guests, but you might have to give in on one side–If you decide to go ahead with it, leave the guilt behind you. I hope this helps
Post # 5
I think it does sound like too much to ask in all honesty. I just don’t think it is reasonable to ask people to stay in a hotel for two nights in a place of your choosing. The only thing I can think of that might make it a bit more palatable is if you and your Fiance or some other family member covered the cost of all of the stays for the first night. But that doesn’t sound like it is in the budget.
I would suggest trying to get the venue to budge on this requirement…it seems SO unreasonable! If they just won’t do it, I would really consider looking elsewhere. Hope it all works out! Keep us posted.
Post # 6
We had a similiar situation except our Inn was even more expensive! (less rooms though). We decided to pay half the bill for the rooms, so that it ended up each guest had to pay $150. Even the cheapest hotels like THe Comfort Inn were going for around $100 a night in our area so $150 wasn’t too bad. Especially since the price included breakfast and the rooms were probably the nicest we’ll ever stay in for the rest of our lives. They weren’t just standard hotel rooms.
As an aside we also negotiated prices for our rooms…we didn’t take the original quote they were asking for and then they came down.
But to answer your original question…yeah $280 is too much. This isn’t going to be a "dream" weekend for most couples…it’s just a wedding they are going to. You might find a few couples to splurge but I doubt you’ll find 50 couples. <span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-size: 14px”>
Post # 7
Only you know your guests. It might be too much, it might not. It depends on the location, what they like to spend their money on (travel, kids, etc.), time of year, etc.
We’re getting married at a lodge with similar prices, but luckily we didn’t have to rent out the whole place. Most of our friends are making it into a vacation, and we’ll probably have close to 50 rooms booked. But if we had to guarantee the rooms, I would have been hesitant.
Post # 8
Thanks guys…the place is about an hour and a half outside of Austin, right on the river in the country. It would cost $285 for two nights at the closest Holiday inn, so I guess I was trying to convince myself that this was a fair price. Also I was hoping our guests would think of it like livvies guests–a vacation for them at a really nice place that they would never have stayed at otherwise. And I was totally going to say ‘no gifts’. But, it sounds like majority says: too much.
Post # 9
i don’t think the hotel rate is too much, but the 50 rooms minimum is what seems difficult to meet. 🙂
Post # 10
It might also be too much stress, worrying about whether all the guests you need would commit, and then if they don’t, losing your venue. You don’t want your venue contingent on the whims of others either.
Post # 11
Is it 50 rooms, or 50 people? We have 123 (out of an invited 200) people travelling (getting on a plane) for our wedding and they are all staying at the same hotel – and I think it comes out to approximately @50 rooms. We have several rooms with 4 single people (instead of single people having their own room, they chose to all stay together for money (and fun) reasons). So, it may only be possible to book all of the rooms if you are inviting A LOT of people. I would separate your guest list into three groups, and think of people as "parties" instead of individuals (so a family of 3 is actually one party).
# flying in – they will stay both Friday and Saturday
# driving 3-4 hours – 50% of these parties will be convinced to stay Friday, 90% can be convinced to stay Saturday night
# driving 1-2 hours – few can be convinced to stay Friday (unless you have an event for them to attend on Friday night, they will probably just want to drive down Saturday morning. Age also factors in). And 70% will stay for Saturday night.
Two weeks ago we went to a wedding that was 2.5-3 hours away and we stayed both Friday and Saturday night – but that was because we had 20+ friends there who flew in from out of town and we wanted to spend time with them. I think we paid $200/night for the room – so $400 total – but we shared the room with another couple so we only paid for one night.
In summary, it may be very difficult to get people (who are in driving distance) to book rooms for Friday night unless there is a fun event for them to attend. As far as the cost of the rooms – our goals was no more than $200 per room, per night. If it is $279 for BOTH Friday and Saturday together – that is an amazing price. I also really liked the idea of everyone staying together in one hotel, and on our website we discussed how much we want everyone to stay together and that was the only hotel we listed. (Our rooms are 179 and 199/night depending on the size). We are paying for Friday night’s room for 5 or 6 of the rooms for people we know are kind of struggling right now financially. We just included this in the wedding budget.
Post # 12
Well, I also think it sounds a little steep. Darling Husband and I make pretty nice money, but if you’re paying ~$300 a night for hotel, plus gas, plus food… suddenly it looks like a ~$1000 weekend. As guests at the wedding, if we were really close friends of yours, we would pay it for one night. Otherwise, to be perfectly honest, we would stop drinking early, leave the reception by about 10:00, and be back to Austin before midnight. The real problem you’ll have is that there is no reason in the world for anyone but the wedding party to spend two nights there. And the idea of guests looking at this as a vacation is nice, but the fact is that most people already know what they would like to do with their vacation time and money. That leaves them in the position of having to give up something else to have a weekend at your hotel… when they can reasonably attend the wedding spending only one night, or even by staying in Austin. I think you’ll have a hard time filling that many rooms for that many nights.
Post # 13
I think that this may be a case where you would have to weigh pros and cons. The fact that you are having doubts about the price of the rooms most likely means that your guests will have some of the same considerations to make. When we planned our wedding, both of us really wanted to get married in a more remote area of Colorado, but we ultimately decided on a venue outside of Boulder, so guests could rent a shuttle to their hotel (for $25/pp each way) instead of a car (We are providing shuttles or planning for events within walking distance throughout the weekend). It was hard to sacrfice our dream venue ( a gorgeous barn in a tall grass field with a killer view of the Rockies), but at the end of the day, it means so much more to us to have everyone there. Either way, it’s a tough choice, but I am sure you will come up with something that works for everyone involved!
I also agree that the rate does not seem like too much (especially for a close friend’s wedding), but the need to block 50 rooms seems like a lot of stress! MrsSpitzer is also wise to suggest asking the vendor to budge. They may be willing to if you explain that you will have to choose another vendor if they don’t.
Post # 14
On a different note, I would also be a bit hesitant about booking a venue that puts such a huge monetary burden on you right from the beginning. It gives me the feeling the reception itself would come with a very large price tag. And places like that tend to sneak in the extras half way into planning. Just a thought!
Post # 15
I don’t think the hotel cost is terrible either (but I just got married in Austin in June so know that it is expensive) but having to book 50 rooms there seems strange. I would definitely try to talk them down in price and number of rooms and see what they say. I don’t live in Austin and most of my friends and family were able to make it even though they had to pay for gas/airfare/hotels. You need to decide if it’s worth the stress of not filling up the extra rooms and maybe paying for some yourself vs. not having your dream location. Austin has TONS of cool spots for weddings in and around the city so I’m sure if they are not willing to be flexible you can find something just as nice.
Post # 16
- Wedding: February 2009 - Small church ceremony with mountain-view log cabin reception
50 rooms?! YIKES.. If those are not filled, that will be an expensive weekend for you and your man. I would ask if they’re willing to come down both in price and in the block. Is it 50 rooms total? Like 25 Friday and 25 Sat? If so, that’s a lot more reasonable.
Honestly, I think it may be too much stress to put on yourself. You want to really enjoy this special time in your life, and this may be too much to handle. Good luck:)