Choosing a Hotel for Your Guests
Find the perfect accommodations for out-of-town wedding guests
By Yu Qing
Whether you're planning a destination wedding or just inviting many out-of-towners to a local affair, choosing a common hotel is crucial to make sure your guests enjoy a comfortable stay. You already face the stress of dealing with the unending details of your wedding; don't add unnecessary anxiety with disgruntled guests who complain about lodging. Keep everyone comfortable and satisfied by thoughtfully planning accommodations. After all, you want your guests in positive spirits to help you celebrate your most important day.
- What You Need to Know
- Use your guest list to try and project how many hotel rooms your guests will likely book.
- When deciding on location, think about where your wedding events will be held, as well as local attractions that your guests would enjoy.
- Hotels will often reserve a block of hotel rooms and guarantee a discounted group rate, depending on how many rooms you will be booking.
Complete your guest list. If you are keeping your guest list on a spreadsheet, include one column marking whether someone is an out-of-town guest and another marking if they will be attending the wedding and requiring a hotel room. Although you won't get an official count until your invitations are sent out closer to the wedding, you should try and project the number of necessary guest rooms so that you can negotiate a rate with a hotel. Knowing the number of guests who will need accommodation will help you plan more effectively. For example, a small party of guests might enjoy staying at a cozy lodge, while a larger party will fit more comfortably in a large hotel.
Decide on a neighborhood. If you think your guests would enjoy staying near the ceremony and reception venues, look up accommodations near those sites. Alternatively, there might be a trendy area or a lively downtown with nicer hotels. If you have a wedding planner, ask for advice on where your guests should stay. A professional who is familiar with the area and its vendors can offer valuable advice for accommodations. Look up surrounding attractions, which can provide entertainment for your guests' free time. Tourist sites and wedding planners are valuable sources of information when searching for recreational activities. Choose accommodations that are near movie theaters, shopping centers, museums and other attractions.
Decide on a hotel. Schedule appointments with representatives at the top hotels in your chosen neighborhood. Let them know how many rooms you expect to be booked and find out what their best rate would be. Tour the hotels and decide on one that has the best combination of price and amenities for your guests. Consider each hotel's amenities and your guests' preferences. For example, if there is a large number of children on the list, look for hotels with children's amenities, such as game rooms and kids' menus. On the other hand, adults might appreciate spa services or upscale dining. Ask a few guests for their input. Your parents or in-laws may provide useful information about the extended family and their preferences.
Once you've reached an agreement on a room rate with a hotel, include contact information and pricing on your "save the date" cards. Send "save-the-dates" about six months in advance so that guests can reserve their rooms.
Send an email to your guests about six to eight weeks before your wedding reminding them to reserve their hotel rooms. Most hotels won't continue to hold rooms once you get close to the date of the events, so be proactive about encouraging your guests to book their rooms.
About the Author
Yu Qing is a freelance writer and has worked in the bridal jewelry and event planning industries.
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Buy the block
Help your out-of-town guests by reserving blocks of lodging at a reduced rate. Select a spot near the ceremony that has some local flavor, if possible. You may have better luck negotiating a rate with a sales associate rather than someone at the reservation desk.
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BLOCK OF ROOMS
A group of rooms reserved at a hotel for guests, often at a discounted rate. The block is usually held in the couple's name, with guests paying for the reservations themselves.View the Full Weddings Glossary