Post # 1
I’ve been going back and forth on this one, bees.
Our wedding venue is beautiful and exciting and could not be more perfect for us. The biggest problem is that it is in the middle of nowhere. The town that the venue is closest to has a population of 74. Yes. 74 total people.
So…there aren’t too many lodging options. Our guest list stands at 150 (gulp) people. There are some vacation homes nearby, cabins, and a few motels as the area is super poplular for outdoor activities and camping. There is one hotel thats 14 miles away that has pretty crappy reviews and the only “big” hotel is at a ski resort area some 17 miles away from our venue site. I’ve gotten the feeling from our venue coordinator that many brides go this route. It is a pretty nice place, but the group rate is 130 and that seems…a bit excessive…even though there is a lot to do at the property.
We’ve rented out a lodge for the wedding party and whoever else wants to stay there (holds 25 people) but I’m not sure if we should bother reserving a block of rooms at the resort 17 miles away simply because of the distance. I’m worried no one will book because they don’t want to drive that far. On our website, I’m planning on listing about 5 different options for lodging (all of which are closer if only by a few miles) including vacation rentals, so should I just leave it at that?
What would you do?
Post # 3
I think you should still book rooms as a courtesy for your guests no matter how far the distance. It won’t hurt and the hotel you save room blocks at should not charge you anything or ask for your credit card info.
I have a similar problem. I’m getting married in August way out in Long Island (40 minutes from the Hamptons) and the closest hotel is about 15 minutes away and $239/night. The hotels bump up the prices over the summer b/c of the Hamptons 🙁 But since we have almost 400 guests, about 40% of them are from Out of Town, we decided we had to book a room block b/c there was no where else for them to say. We also listed about 10 other cheaper hotels in the area on our wedding website.
Post # 4
I would block a hotel for your guests. This was the most stressful thing for me since everyone started bugging us ASAP about it. ugh.
Is the lodge you’re staying in the same one that’s 17 miles away? Most guests want to stay where all the other guests are because it’s more fun that way with hotel parties and carpooling.I don’t think $130 a night is excessive. That’s about what a normal hotel costs (ie- a nicer one than a holiday inn or days inn).
Have you thought about shuttling people?
Post # 5
@PinkMagnolia: No, the lodge is only about a mile from the venue. It will be the wedding party there and most likely younger guests (friends) as we’re planning on partying there ;). Probably not much family, which is where the bulk of the guest list is coming from. I’m definitly at least setting up transport from the lodge to the venue and back as I’m worried about drinking and driving on the dark, winding, country roads (and then anyone else can crash there even if they’re staying somewhere else–if need be.The lodge is rented out as a hotel unless you book the whole thing –which we’ve done–so we have the run of the place. I’m thinking of encouraging all guests to park there and shuttle if they want to imbibe.)
There doesn’t seem to be too much in the transportation dept. The resort thats 17 miles away has shuttles and I know they’ve gone to my venue in the past, but the people having their weddings there get first dibs, so I don’t think it will be available to us. I think there might be schoolbuses that you can rent/hire out, so I’ll have to look into it further.
@Diana R.: Don’t you have to pay for whatever the wedding guests don’t book? If not, that would help make this easier!
Post # 6
When you get out in the country, 17 miles just isn’t that far! I would list all the options and think about reserving a block of rooms for guests. Some of them may prefer a cheaper motel, some may want to driver a little further for nice accommodations.
Post # 7
Most, but not all of the time, you can set up a block without paying anything yourself. The block is available at your quoted rate up until sometime 2-4 weeks before the wedding, and after that point unreserved rooms are released to the public at the regular rate. Since you’re discussing a ski area it mightbe different from that type of standard scenario. You need to call the hotel and say you are interested in setting up a room block and the sales manager will go over their policy with you.
Post # 8
I would definitely book the block of rooms. It shouldnt cost you anything to book them.
We are providing a shuttle for our guests (school bus) which runs from the hotel to the reception just before the cocktail hour starts and then makes two different runs from the reception back to the hotel. It is only costing us about $300, and to me, that is very reasonable considering you then have provided the guests with all that you can to prevent drinking and driving.
Post # 9
Thanks, Bees! How many would you book? We have 150 Invitied with 115 likely to show. Many are Out of Town, but the venue is about 1.5 hours from our hometown as well.
Post # 10
@Roe: You don’t pay anything to block rooms (if the guests don’t book them by 30 days out from the wedding, the hotel will just release the room block), and it’s a nice courtesy to your guests. They can choose to stay where they want, but at least if they don’t want to do the research, they don’t have to.
Post # 11
We didn’t block rooms because there were no big hotels nearby it was just a small town and wedding party is stayin at a lodge also. We put all the B&B, motels and cabins in the area on our wedding website and everyone has done just fine booking. But they are only a few miles from the wedding but I think people are internet savy enough to do it on their own..
Post # 12
I would ask the hotel how many rooms to block. My hotel would only let us block 20 rooms. The problem is that hotels don’t want to over-commit a certain number of rooms to you in case they don’t end up being filled.
One hotel I talked to said they wouldn’t block rooms for us, but they would give us a discount code that whoever booked a room would be able to get 20% off (whatever the going rate is for the place). If you have a smaller hotel, maybe they’d be willing to go that route. Doesn’t hurt to ask!
Post # 13
Our hotel (near a main city) has blocked 10 rooms for our guests. Another 10 will become available for our guests if the first 10 are booked and so on.
Best to call the hotel and ask about their policy.