For our wedding, everyone was coming from out of town. While a majority of my family and friends flew in town for the weekend, everyone had to at least drive a couple of hours. So having guest reservations was a must for us! And even if everyone is from in town, I would highly recommend setting up room blocks for those who want to stay...for those partying a little too hard the night ;)
First of all, I recommend setting up room blocks with two hotels...more than two overwhelms your guests, believe it or not, and it is fun for them to be altogether! The hotels you choose should have the following:
- Have one higher priced and one lower priced hotel to cater to all of your guests
- Shuttles! If possible, choose hotels that will provide shuttles to and from the wedding!
- Proximity to your wedding site. Don't choose hotels that are 2 hours from your wedding, no matter how nice they are! You can generally find a hotel within 10 minutes of your wedding and walking distance is even better!
When setting up room blocks with a hotel, there are different ways you can set it up:
1. Reserve the rooms - This means that you will have to enter into a contract with the hotel and guarantee a certain number of rooms will be booked by guests. If that number is not reached, then you will have to pay for the remainder of the rooms. The positive to doing it this way is that your rooms will not sell out because they are reserved for you and only you!
2. Room rates only - Yes, you can get special room rates even at hotels you are not getting married at just by asking! Some will provide a link and some will put the reservation under your name. In this case, hotels may potentially sell out, even before your guests have reserved their rooms. However, if no one stays there, you don't owe the hotel anything!
So there are pros and cons to the different hotel room blocks, so just make sure you do what is going to work best for you and your guests. Traveling to a wedding is costly for your guests so make it as simple as possible as you can :)