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Help me with hotel logistics

This is going to be a bit long, sorry.

So, our ceremony is in Margate, NJ, and the reception is in Ocean City, the best resort town on the Jersey shore. We have some legitimate OOT guests coming from faraway places, but most will be from Philly, North Jersey or Delaware, all of which are about a two hour drive from Ocean City. The ceremony is at 11:30AM on a Saturday, and the reception will be from 1-5.

Hotels in Ocean City are a little sticky. I haven't called any places yet, but most of the websites for hotels that I've seen require staying two nights during weekends in the summer. There are also a lot of B&Bs, many of which also have this rule but some of which do not, and also house rentals that would run for an entire week.

I should also mention that Ocean City is a dry island, so any afterparty boozing would require a central location where we could provide the booze.

If you were me, how would you go about providing hotels? Would you try to book a room block somewhere and hope people would plan to stay two nights? Would you just call a bunch of places and provide a list of hotels/B&Bs that allow for one night of stay? Would you go with a hotel not on the island but a little further away? Anything else I can think of?

Also, what if you were a guest driving two hours to my wedding? Would you make a weekend out of it and maybe go to the beach and the boardwalk after the wedding was over? Would you make the drive in one day? Or would you blow me off as soon as the reception was over and gamble your life savings away in Atlantic City (only a half hour north)?

Thanks for reading all of that, if you made it through.
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Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
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Re: Help me with hotel logistics

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    A  couple of the hotels I contacted were willing to waive their usual 2-night minimum in exchange for a block of rooms - you may want to at least make a  call.  Maybe they figure that a guarantee (or close to a guarantee) of a full house is worth waiving the minimum for? 
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    I'll definitely check that when I start making calls. I can't imagine that this will be the first time they've ever had anyone ask this, considering that lots of people get married in Ocean City.
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    Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
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    I went to school down there and those hotels are not going to budge for the 2 night requirement. I'd suggest checking if there's anything in Somers Point or see if you can reserve rooms at the Seaview resort in Galloway. It's about 20-25 minutes from Ocean City. Where are you having the reception in OC?

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    The reception is at the Flanders Hotel (which definitely doesn't budge on its 2-night minimum, and the rooms are too expensive anyway).
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    Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
    Wouldn't it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong?
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    If they won't waive the 2 night minimum for you, I would just call around and get a list of hotels that don't have a minimum, and list them either on your website or with any hotel/travel info you mail your guests. 

    When we're invited to a wedding 2 hours away, we usually don't spend the night, but that's mostly to avoid the extra hassle and expense of hiring a dog sitter.
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    If I were a guest living 2 hours away, I'd probably make a weekend of it.  Going to an 11:30 wedding that far away would require getting up pretty early.  I'd rather sleep in, drink coffee while watching the waves role in, go for a run on the beach & then get ready instead of waking up early and driving 2 hours all dressed up.

    Maybe have two hotel options--one in Ocean City with the 2 night minimum and one farther away like Pink suggested. 
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_hotel-logistics?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:8cbe8abd-0e31-4d15-aae2-464949368d87Post:9e706449-7479-4545-a101-a888421edc25">Help me with hotel logistics</a>:
    [QUOTE]Also, what if you were a guest driving two hours to my wedding? Would you make a weekend out of it and maybe go to the beach and the boardwalk after the wedding was over? Would you make the drive in one day? Or would you blow me off as soon as the reception was over and gamble your life savings away in Atlantic City (only a half hour north)? Thanks for reading all of that, if you made it through.
    Posted by sarah0725[/QUOTE]
    I don't think you necessarily have to block rooms.  I'd just do all I could to get the hotel information to people early so they can make their own reservations.  Also, FWIW, if I only lived 2 hours away I would make the drive home, and wouldn't consider this to be blowing you off because I would have stayed for the ceremony and reception, which is really what I was invited to in the beginning anyway.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_hotel-logistics?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:8cbe8abd-0e31-4d15-aae2-464949368d87Post:f387ecd5-a0bb-4e0c-af50-3f81c6701965">Re: Help me with hotel logistics</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Help me with hotel logistics : I don't think you necessarily have to block rooms.  I'd just do all I could to get the hotel information to people early so they can make their own reservations.  <strong>Also, FWIW, if I only lived 2 hours away I would make the drive home, and wouldn't consider this to be blowing you off because I would have stayed for the ceremony and reception, which is really what I was invited to in the beginning anyway.</strong>
    Posted by betrothed123[/QUOTE]

    Obviously. I apologize for my flippant wording.
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    Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
    Wouldn't it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong?
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    If I was going to a wedding 2 hours away in a resort town, I'd likely make a weekend of it.  Two hours away from here. . . definitely not.  I'd try to get a hotel in the "must stay two nights" category, and one in the "one is good enough" category.  You can provide a list of others, but the most fun weddings I've been to as an OOT guests have the bulk of the guests centrally located.
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    Sarah, this has nothing to do with your post but-
    I just read in your bio that you and your FI got engaged in a pirate store.
    FI and I got engaged on Halloween, right after we had changed out of our pirate costumes. Had we still been in them, he was going to ask me to be his sea wench.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_hotel-logistics?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:8cbe8abd-0e31-4d15-aae2-464949368d87Post:3550efbc-ee98-421a-a2cc-b0a27882af43">Re: Help me with hotel logistics</a>:
    [QUOTE]Sarah, this has nothing to do with your post but- I just read in your bio that you and your FI got engaged in a pirate store. FI and I got engaged on Halloween, right after we had changed out of our pirate costumes. Had we still been in them, he was going to ask me to be his sea wench.
    Posted by jasmineh7777[/QUOTE]

    Haha Jasmine! I think FI was planning on using the word wench in his speech somewhere, but in the end he just freaked out and opened the ring box and stared at me wordlessly. Best proposal speech ever, as far as I'm concerned.

    Thanks for all the opinions, guys! What's funny is I think I've gotten one of each perspective that I've considered myself as I've wrestled with this. I really would like to keep everybody in one place, and it would totally rock if people stayed the weekend, but I can definitely understand not doing that, and I'll have to see what I learn when I start calling places.
    imageimage
    Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
    Wouldn't it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong?
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_hotel-logistics?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:8cbe8abd-0e31-4d15-aae2-464949368d87Post:b62defe0-627d-4c37-9e3a-257eda397879">Re: Help me with hotel logistics</a>:
    [QUOTE]but in the end he just freaked out and opened the ring box and stared at me wordlessly. \Posted by sarah0725[/QUOTE]

    Chris did this too. He just held the box out and didn't say anything. My response was less than eloquent. "Are you serious?" haha
    image
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_hotel-logistics?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:8cbe8abd-0e31-4d15-aae2-464949368d87Post:591e4562-9bfc-42c5-8a3d-b97ca3ee6395">Re: Help me with hotel logistics</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Help me with hotel logistics : Chris did this too. He just held the box out and didn't say anything. My response was less than eloquent. "Are you serious?" haha
    Posted by jasmineh7777[/QUOTE]

    For some reason Dh thought it would be a good idea to put the ring boxes on my seat in the car. I then promptly sat down on them (hey, there was nothing on my seat when I got out to go to the store, why should there be something after?). Apparently I never said yes, just nodded my head.
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    I'm from the Philly area and my guess is that I wouldn't stay the night. If I'm going to spend money for a hotel for two nights, it's likely not going to be at the Jersey shore.

    If I could stay just the one night, I'd stay the night before so I didn't have to make that drive first thing in the morning. But I know the hotels around there and I know how unlikely it is to be able to stay the one night. It's really unlikely that I'd even think about spending the night after the wedding since it ends so early unless you were immediate family or one of my BEST friends.

    Have you considered starting later so people won't have to leave the Philly area so early in the morning? (Obviously this is coming from a "night person"!)
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    The start time is kind of specific. We wanted to have an afternoon wedding reception, and our venue is fine with that, but the latest they are willing to end an afternoon reception is at 5pm, so that they have the opportunity to turn the place around for an evening wedding if somebody else wants to start their reception at 7. I'm fine with this.

    Ending at 5 also means that we'll be getting out at the perfect witching hour for photographs on the beach at that time of the year. The light between about 5 and 6:30 is just gorgeous.

    Also, anybody who wanted to stick around would then have the rest of the evening to enjoy the boardwalk in Ocean City, or even head up to AC if they were so inclined.

    Basically, we're doing the beach the way FI and I like it, which is indoors during the part of the day that causes skin cancer, and free outside time in the loveliness of the evening.
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    Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
    Wouldn't it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong?
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