Booking a block of rooms for your wedding guests at a local hotel, or at one near the wedding ceremony venue should be part of your wedding planning process done early. Usually by booking early you can save yourself a bundle and be sure your guests will be comfortable. Here are a few tips from hoteliers that will make the process practically painless.
Book Early! – This bears repeating. Hotels and wedding reception venues need lots of advance time particularly if your wedding ceremony will be held at a popular resort, or a location which frequently hosts events. If you’re planning a storybook wedding at the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone Park, for example, booking18 months in advance is probably not early enough. You’ll also get the best prices possible when you are working on this year’s rates.
How Many Rooms? – Take a long look at the guest list. How many of your guests will be traveling long distance to help you celebrate? If your list has twenty out-of-towners, reserve twenty rooms. That said you’ll want to have a crystal understanding with the hotel regarding cancellation policy, deadlines for making reservations, and whether or not you will be charged for unfilled rooms. (Generally, the reservation deadline is far enough in advance that the rooms can be returned to the inventory and filled, so you won’t be held responsible.)
Negotiate for Group Rates! – The hotel sales representative will probably offer a group rate for your wedding guest accommodations. If he/she does not, ask for one. Be sure to provide the hotel with a list of guests so that the hotel staff can be sure they are filling your rooms with your guests.
Request Freebies! – For very large groups, hotels often provide breakfast vouchers or discounts on spa or salon services for the wedding party. Packages may include a bridal suite or a hospitality suite, too. So, don’t be bashful!
Be sure your guests know the details including; reservation deadlines, check-in and check-out times, and shuttle schedules. Mail them a brochure which lists the hotel’s amenities at about the same time as you send the wedding invitations.
As you’ve probably been told a thousand times by your wedding coordinator or others who have orchestrated a wedding ceremony, planning is the most critical key to making the process go smoothly. It also takes away some of the stress as your big day approaches.