Reserving Hotel Rooms for out-of-town Guests

Your wedding is an important day and you want all your friends and family to be there to share it with you, even if they live out of town. Your wedding will likely be a long day of festivities and you don’t want guests who traveled more than an hour or so to have to worry about driving home. It is all about keeping your loved ones safe, comfortable and happy. As the bride planning her wedding, you will want to do your best to make sure your guests have accommodation options. Folks coming from out of town will not have any idea where your venue is and what hotels are nearby. They will also not have insider information like you do and won’t know which hotels to avoid and which to patronize.

You will need to take care of the legwork for your guests coming in from out of town and identify one to three hotels for them to choose from and then go about making the reservations. Use these tips to help guide you and give you the chance to get some good deals.

1. Call each guest who is coming from out of town who you think will likely want to stay over in a hotel. Don’t wait for the RSVP to come in the mail. You need to make reservations as early as possible to get the best deal. Politely ask your guests what their budget is for a hotel and let them know you will find an option or two and get back to them.

2. Once you have a number of guests who will need a room, call a few of your local hotels and ask about rates for “block” rooms. In many cases, if you are reserving a block of 10 rooms, you will get a nice discount, which your guests will appreciate. Typically, hotels around convention centers and other tourist attractions will offer these block room deals. If you have guests with varying budgets, you may need blocks at hotels in varying price ranges. If your wedding is on a Saturday, it is a good idea to reserve Friday and Sunday. When your guests make the actual reservation, they can decide the exact number of days. You are essentially holding the rooms until they make the call.

3. Once you have negotiated a price with a hotel in each budget range, inexpensive, moderate and first-class, call your guests back and give them the details. Let them know they have 30 days or whatever the deadline is the hotel gave to reserve the room in their name. They will likely need to put down a deposit or pay for the room up front.

4. Visit each hotel where guests will be staying and either create maps that indicate how to get to your wedding venue from the hotel or ask the hotel to provide driving instructions. If several guests will be staying at the hotel, inquire about shuttle service to and from the venue. Larger hotels will offer this for free.

5. Gently remind your guests that if they agree to stay in a room in one of the discounted block deals, it is important they let you know well in advance if they cannot make it. Block room discounts are based on the rooms being paid for. If you reserve 10 rooms, but only 6 rooms actually get paid for, the discount is voided and those 6 guests will pay full price for their rooms.

Your guests will appreciate being able to stay in the same hotel together. This gives them the chance to catch up before and after your wedding if they are old acquaintances. Do your best to find affordable rooms that are comfortable and near your wedding venue. In many situations, hotels will comp a room for the bride and groom if there are a number of wedding guests staying at the hotel. It never hurts to ask!

Photo by William Warby

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