Wedding Etiquette Forum

Renting out entire hotel

Hello all,

Not sure where this post should go. I am helping my friends plan a wedding and they found a lovely boutiqe hotel for their wedding. Unfortunately, the hotel makes them pay for all of 64 rooms upfront if we want to have the run of the hotel to ourselves and will not all the guests to each book rooms through them. We have to manage a list and provide it to the hotel upon start of the festivities.

Obviously, we are not requiring guests to stay there, but for those who would like the convenience of just going upstairs at the end of the day or those travelling in from out of town, we want to offer rooms.  Also, there is a huge cost associated with booking this many rooms so we would like to recoup some of the costs.

Has anyone done something like this? If so, how did you set it up? Any help is appreciated!

Re: Renting out entire hotel

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    SillyDuck said:
    Hello all,

    Not sure where this post should go. I am helping my friends plan a wedding and they found a lovely boutiqe hotel for their wedding. Unfortunately, the hotel makes them pay for all of 64 rooms upfront if we want to have the run of the hotel to ourselves and will not all the guests to each book rooms through them. We have to manage a list and provide it to the hotel upon start of the festivities.

    Obviously, we are not requiring guests to stay there, but for those who would like the convenience of just going upstairs at the end of the day or those travelling in from out of town, we want to offer rooms.  Also, there is a huge cost associated with booking this many rooms so we would like to recoup some of the costs.

    Has anyone done something like this? If so, how did you set it up? Any help is appreciated!
    I hope this wedding is either a few years out or has a fantastic rescheduling and deposit back policy. 


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    MyNameIsNotcharlotte989875
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    SillyDuck said:
    Hello all,

    Not sure where this post should go. I am helping my friends plan a wedding and they found a lovely boutiqe hotel for their wedding. Unfortunately, the hotel makes them pay for all of 64 rooms upfront if we want to have the run of the hotel to ourselves and will not all the guests to each book rooms through them. We have to manage a list and provide it to the hotel upon start of the festivities.

    Obviously, we are not requiring guests to stay there, but for those who would like the convenience of just going upstairs at the end of the day or those travelling in from out of town, we want to offer rooms.  Also, there is a huge cost associated with booking this many rooms so we would like to recoup some of the costs.

    Has anyone done something like this? If so, how did you set it up? Any help is appreciated!
    You can't charge guests for anything. It's one thing to offer guests the opportunity to book a room through the hotel, but quite another for the couple to rent a space and then "sublet" it to their guests. 

    If they don't want to cover the cost of these rooms (I wouldn't), they should just not book them. Typically hotels will allow events to block a set of rooms, where guests would get a special price and be located near each other. There's no reason to rent the entire building. 
    short+sassy
  • maine7mobmaine7mob Maine, USA member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments First Answer
    There is no way I'd do this, even before Covid. You would be putting yourself in the position of a hotelier, and in addition to all the wedding planning, you'd be responsible for booking your own guests and assigning them rooms. Even if this went swimmingly (it won't), there would still be hard feelings because some guests would feel that others got put in more desirable rooms. And as stated above, you'd have to have your guests pay you in order to recoup your money, which is just not cool.

    My guess is that the hotel wants to put the Covid responsibility on the wedding hosts. I would absolutely find another place that will let you reserve a block of rooms. That's the usual way to do this.
    banana468short+sassyMyNameIsNotlevioosa
  • I would NOT do this.   I also agree that as a hotel they are wanting to be covered for their costs and that's just a huge liability.  What happens if the wedding does not take place due to any number of circumstances that can happen?  That's a LOT of $ to contend with.  
    short+sassy
  • Unless your friends are okay with potentially eating the cost of a lot of rooms, plus the massive extra work of coordinating payments/schedules/rooms with guests, this should be a hard no.  There is so much about this that is a bad idea.  Maybe if the hotel will take the payments to credit back your friends and the hotel decides on who gets what rooms.  But, going in, they have no way to know how many rooms will actually be booked and they are stuck with the rest of the cost.

    If they still go with this arrangement, I would also strongly recommend they don't tell their guests they've prepaid the rooms, if the hotel will handle the payment and booking aspect anyway.  One, because it pressures guests to stay there, even if your friends aren't trying to pressure them.  Two, your friends don't want to be in the position of saying "no pay, no stay".  Or make an exception because Aunt Suzie or BFF Jane swears she'll have the money on the first payday after the wedding, but never pays up.  A recipe for hard feelings, all around.  And before your friends say "my friends and family would never do that!", they're already (probably) wrong.  Even some of the nicest and most reasonable people can become miserly and unfair, when it comes to money.    
    They either need to be okay with booking the venue, but not the rooms, though then people would be in the hotel that aren't guests and there might not be enough rooms left for guests to stay in nor would they have a "run" of the hotel.  Perhaps send out Save the Dates with a warning the hotel venue only has 64 rooms to try and ensure as many of their guests as possible book early.  Or they should chose another venue, if this hotel won't do room blocks.  Or, if there is a different nearby hotel, they could do blocks there.
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  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is a supremely bad idea, especially if your friend cannot cover the entire cost of the hotel. 
  • I feel like this is common for small, boutique, high end hotels (at least it is in my area) and that’s exactly why I decided not to go that route. If your friend can cover the entire cost of the hotel without having any decide to stay there/ pay then that’s up to them. From the hotels point of view if they host a wedding there they’re likely not renting out other rooms during that event so they require the event to cover the entire cost. But that’s a huge risk/ financial burden for the couple. 

    Logistically it’s definitely tough- they can say “rooms are available in hotel at x price, contact bride/groom for info”. But they absolutely can’t tell people to stay there. 
    banana468SillyDuck
  • I feel like this is common for small, boutique, high end hotels (at least it is in my area) and that’s exactly why I decided not to go that route. If your friend can cover the entire cost of the hotel without having any decide to stay there/ pay then that’s up to them. From the hotels point of view if they host a wedding there they’re likely not renting out other rooms during that event so they require the event to cover the entire cost. But that’s a huge risk/ financial burden for the couple. 

    Logistically it’s definitely tough- they can say “rooms are available in hotel at x price, contact bride/groom for info”. But they absolutely can’t tell people to stay there. 
    Yeah - I can sort of understand it and if there wasn't a virus as an issue it would be less of a financial risk.

    But I can't see that as a good idea unless the hosts are so financially OK that they can take the loss and not worry about it. 
    charlotte989875
  • Thanks Charlotte, you seem to be the only one who understands this idea. By no means is anyone required to stay here, but it is an option. Unforuntely, this is the only location with the astetic that the couple wants. They understand the risk but for the price of the rooms vs staying elsewhere and Ubering in, etc, it's totally worth staying. I guess we'll just have to manage. 
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