Post # 1
We chose our venue/main hotel partially because also have the venue (a small hotel with great pool and atmosphere) exclusively for the weekend if we commit to our guests filling the rooms (we did). Our venue’s hotel rooms only accomodate half of our guests and it is pricier, so we’ve also reserved discounted blocks at nearby hotels. Our wedding is on Sunday night (okayed by our guests), so we have the hotel rooms saturday & sunday. It’s a full destination wedding, everyone is traveling at least 3 hrs or cross-country/international trip and most ppl are staying 2-5 nights.
We want to do everything reasonable to make sure that guests who can afford it fill up our main hotel. What do you think will work best and is reasonable?
- Should we just tell ppl that’s our preference?
- Explicitly say it somewhere? (wording for that?)
- Throw a welcome event at main hotel on Saturday? (before Sunday wedding)
- Not pay for shuttles between other hotels & venue?
- Should we give main hotel guests only a perk (like paying for their shuttles to/from airport $25-50 per person one-way)
Post # 3
We’re having a shuttle from the hotel to/from the wedding location. We’re also having an after party at a bar that’s in the parking lot of the hotel. Price is about the same as other hotels in the area. We’ll be telling people on the website that we’re blocking off rooms at such-and-such hotel for $x/night and about the transportation and after party. They can decide from there what they want to do. If they really don’t want to stay there, that’s fine, but it seems silly not to.
I’ve found that unless it’s really expensive or something, your guests will want to stay where everyone else is. So if you mention a hotel, they’ll probably stay there without any additional encouragement.
Post # 4
I don’t think you need to nor should you try and influence where guests stay and really you won’t be able to. If they want something cheaper, they’ll do it regardless of where you want them.
Unfortunately, being on the hook for rooms like that sucks, but it’s a risk you have to take. More than likely, you’ll fill your block up just fine since people generally like to stay where the reception is if that’s an option.
Post # 5
thanks, bees. the votes have been really helpful. not paying for shuttles also helps our budget- I just didn’t know before if guests expect hosts to pay for shuttles from other nearby hotels (I will give info on cabs and driving directions).
@MrsSmitty: thanks. since our venue and main hotel are one in the same and we have it to ourselves, everything is happening there- rehearsal, welcome event, ceremony, reception, after party (and nothing has to have any set end time).
@MrsWBS: makes sense & thanks for your thoughts. I just figured I should get these kinds of opinions from bees early on instead of later re-thinking decisions I made.
Post # 6
I agree with @MrsWBS.
Your guests can stay wherever they like. I don’t think there is a polite way to convey to your guests that they should want to stay somewhere because you put yourself at a financial obligation.
I would just list where the activities are happening, and hope that people will fill up at your hotel. I do think most guests will want to be where the action is happening and not have to worry about driving back and forth. But ultimately it’s their choice, and I don’t think you should try to do much to influence them.
Post # 7
@andielovesj: makes sense to me and that’s what we’ll do
Post # 8
I think spreading it informally works the best. We have a hotel that is within walking distance from our venue and another across the highway that requires a shuttle. We just told people that the one next door is more convenient and that we will be staying there and 100% of our guests booked there.
Post # 9
We had this.
We reached out to immediate family and wedding party and told them we had limited spaces at the venue hotel, but we were giving them first dibs before the rest of the guests – were they interested? If so, tell us by X date (we actually had to give the venue a list of each couple assigned to each specific room). Then we reached out to far away guests and offered them the same deal. When our wedding invites went out there was only space for a few people left at the inn. It worked great, no pressure and we got to make sure those really close to us and involved with the wedding were close by.
Post # 10
@kay01: Smart. Our venue was asking if we wanted to give them a list of who could book the rooms. I just wasn’t sure if we should do that or just let anybody who calls them book.
We are definitely giving our close family and friends a heads up about reserving the hotel before the save the dates and website (which both have the hotel info) go out to the full invite list.
Post # 11
I agree with PP who say not to try to influence them other than to hold a few events or parties there. My SO would love to be in the middle of the action and stay at the hotel, but I’m alot more reserved and would want to get *away* from everyone periodically, so we’d probably stay at a different hotel.
Post # 12
@Shkragoldfish: Ours made us actually assign people to specific rooms. Nice to be able to assign my poor friends/family to the cheaper rooms, and the groomsman away for the first weekend ever from his twin kids a canopied bed for his wife that loves and works with antiques, but it was a bit of a mess too when my SIL requested not to be near “anyone she knew” (we finally decided to translate that as not near the divorced parents we were separating anyhow and put her near BIL, because it was a small inn), or my parents that picked out the specific room they wanted – then asked for specific rooms for their friends, etc. Should have never let on it was us assigning rooms!