Wedding Etiquette Forum

Another hotel block question

Hi all,

So my wedding is next June of 215 but I'm trying to block out hotel rooms now so that I can get organized.

Upon calling a few hotels, I've found out that there is also an enormous city wide convention the same weekend as my wedding. One of the hotels we checked into was already booked! (Thank goodness it was the one with the seemingly worst customer service, at least from the impression I received from the very curt woman on the phone!)

Has anyone else ever dealt with this? Room prices are very expensive that weekend. We originally planned on booking a more affordable hotel and a very expensive hotel for anyone who wanted to enjoy a stay-cation. 

Now that rooms are all very expensive, should we book two no obligation blocks at different hotels so we don't end up with a situation where guests can't find a room? 

Should we book one block and hope we can add when the time comes?

My favorite hotel, based on their phone customer service, also offered 30 rooms at no obligation OR we could schedule more than 30 rooms with a 50% minimum guarantee. So if we book 40 rooms, as long as 20 of them are booked for either Friday or Saturday, we do not have to pay for any unbooked rooms. 

Any other suggestions? I didn't realize I would have this difficulty over a year out! Yikes!
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Re: Another hotel block question

  • Gizmo813Gizmo813 member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited May 2014
    I'm assuming it's too late at this point to change the date (or location) of your wedding? 

     If you're willing and prepared to pay for unbooked rooms, I'd go with the choice # 1 and book extra rooms. (Be prepared to pay for those rooms, though.) It's always best to make sure people have a place to stay, especially if you know this far in advance that there is a hotel-room shortage. 

    How far away do you have to go to find a hotel with available rooms? You might consider expanding your radius, because guests will have to do that anyway if there are no rooms near your reception. If this is the case, see if you can budget for a shuttle bus to take guests back and forth to the reception, and maybe even the ceremony if it's a different place. That way, they won't be TOO inconvenienced.

    ETA: Paragraphs
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  • crackktheskyycrackktheskyy Stars Hollow member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Gizmo813 said:
    I'm assuming it's too late at this point to change the date (or location) of your wedding? 

     If you're willing and prepared to pay for unbooked rooms, I'd go with the choice # 1 and book extra rooms. (Be prepared to pay for those rooms, though.) It's always best to make sure people have a place to stay, especially if you know this far in advance that there is a hotel-room shortage. 

    How far away do you have to go to find a hotel with available rooms? You might consider expanding your radius, because guests will have to do that anyway if there are no rooms near your reception. If this is the case, see if you can budget for a shuttle bus to take guests back and forth to the reception, and maybe even the ceremony if it's a different place. That way, they won't be TOO inconvenienced.

    ETA: Paragraphs
    It's definitely too late! We've booked almost everything.

    We are inviting 220 guests. I just spoke to my mom and she also thinks we should book with the percentage guarantee. I have no idea how to do this. If we book 40 rooms, we only need 20 to be filled. With 220 invited does that sound good or should we book more?

    There are hotels with available rooms, they are all just concerned about filling up quickly. I don't want to expand the radius too far because we are planning the wedding in a major city and have the ceremony and reception very close to each other. We have also set up complimentary trolley transportation for our guests who stay at the preferred hotel so we are hoping to book one of the downtown hotels that still has rooms and take care of everything else! We have already booked trolleys and have valet service for those just driving into the city for the night so no one has to worry about paying for/finding a parking space.
    image
  • Look at who you are inviting and make an estimate about how many people you anticipate staying at the hotel. A lot of times, people who live close by will opt to go home after the reception rather than stay at the hotel ... unless it's a DW. OOT guests might need a hotel room, or they may stay with friends/relatives in the area. 

    If you are having a DW, and the majority of people on your invite list would need a hotel room, estimate how many people you expect to have attend. Remember, not everybody you invite will come! 

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    crackktheskyy
  • Will the hotel with the percentage guarantee let you add rooms to your block later? 

    We have to meet 80% occupancy of our hotel room block or pay for the missed revenue (up to 80%).  We counted the number of rooms we'd need for the wedding party and my fi's immediate family and used that number to set our original block.  We provided the information to them early, so they are booking their rooms now since they will definitely be there.  Once those rooms are booked, we'll add more rooms in small increments through September as word of mouth spreads among our family and friends.  Our room block has to be final about 3 weeks before the wedding. 

    Talk to your hotels and find out if you can do incremental increases in your hotel block (as long as they have space).  This is written into our contract.  Since there's going to be such high demand that weekend, make sure your VIPs know about the block early so they can make sure they get a room if they want one.

    We were dealing with a huge convention the weekend of our original wedding date, so we had push our wedding back a week because none of the hotels in the area would even consider doing a room block for us.  I feel your pain!          
    crackktheskyyindianaalum
  • I honestly would not do the % one unless you are having a DW, which at 40 hotel rooms, 220 guests doesn't sound like it. I invited 274 people, at most right now we're going to have 220, but only 115 have rsvp'd yes currently. We got a hotel block for 30 rooms and only about 10 people are using them currently. Granted, we're still missing 105 people's responces
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  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Keep in mind that people are still free to book rooms at other hotels. So if you run out of rooms in the block, people can still book elsewhere. It'll just cost more and might be less convenient.

    Our wedding is also the same weekend as a huge medical convention. Fortunately, our wedding is about 35 minutes out of the city, so those local hotels were easy to block, but we weren't able to make a single affordable room block at any hotels in the city. We tried.

    I would probably do two hotels and no-obligation rooms. Or more than two, if you can.

    Remember that blocking rooms is a courtesy and not a requirement either. You can also let VIP guests know in advance about the hotel situation.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
    image
    crackktheskyy
  • You can also let people know (via website or special insert/note) that you strongly recommend booking early.
    crackktheskyy
  • crackktheskyycrackktheskyy Stars Hollow member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Gizmo813 said:
    Look at who you are inviting and make an estimate about how many people you anticipate staying at the hotel. A lot of times, people who live close by will opt to go home after the reception rather than stay at the hotel ... unless it's a DW. OOT guests might need a hotel room, or they may stay with friends/relatives in the area. 

    If you are having a DW, and the majority of people on your invite list would need a hotel room, estimate how many people you expect to have attend. Remember, not everybody you invite will come! 

    I've been trying to make an estimate based on my side of the guest list, and I'm guestimating between 15 and 40 rooms. As for FI's side, I'm not really sure and neither is he. His family is ENORMOUS but most of them don't drink which might make them more likely to drive home. The wedding is late so I'm not sure how many people will want to stay over and who will want to go home.

    The wedding isn't a destination wedding BUT it's in a major city where most of our families/friends are from the suburbs or live outside the state. Also, FI and I both go to grad school in two major cities in two different states so we have people coming from all over.

    Basically, we are hosting a pretty big wedding with a six hour open bar. I know some of my friends will be staying because we have set up a trolley from the hotel so that no one has to worry about drinking and driving!

    It's so difficult to guess who might stay!
    image
  • crackktheskyycrackktheskyy Stars Hollow member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Will the hotel with the percentage guarantee let you add rooms to your block later? 

    We have to meet 80% occupancy of our hotel room block or pay for the missed revenue (up to 80%).  We counted the number of rooms we'd need for the wedding party and my fi's immediate family and used that number to set our original block.  We provided the information to them early, so they are booking their rooms now since they will definitely be there.  Once those rooms are booked, we'll add more rooms in small increments through September as word of mouth spreads among our family and friends.  Our room block has to be final about 3 weeks before the wedding. 

    Talk to your hotels and find out if you can do incremental increases in your hotel block (as long as they have space).  This is written into our contract.  Since there's going to be such high demand that weekend, make sure your VIPs know about the block early so they can make sure they get a room if they want one.

    We were dealing with a huge convention the weekend of our original wedding date, so we had push our wedding back a week because none of the hotels in the area would even consider doing a room block for us.  I feel your pain!          
    The hotel with the percentage will allow us to book 30 rooms between Friday and Saturday at no obligation. If we want to book anything more than 30 rooms, we have a 50% obligation to make. We can add incrementally based on availability, but my fear is that with us already being over a year out and some hotels already being full because of the convention, we might have difficulty adding rooms.

    And that is horrible about pushing back your wedding! We booked ours at a really desired venue and so we had to book almost 2 years out even just to get a Saturday date! We had no idea about the convention at the time!
    image
  • crackktheskyycrackktheskyy Stars Hollow member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I honestly would not do the % one unless you are having a DW, which at 40 hotel rooms, 220 guests doesn't sound like it. I invited 274 people, at most right now we're going to have 220, but only 115 have rsvp'd yes currently. We got a hotel block for 30 rooms and only about 10 people are using them currently. Granted, we're still missing 105 people's responces
    Thanks for the input! It isn't a destination wedding, but it is a trip for most of our guests who live in the suburbs, though we have a fair amount coming in from other states. If we block 40 rooms, we are only responsible for filling 20. Anything under 20 we pay the difference for. If only 20 book, we are not responsible for the other 20. 

    Good to know about your guests, though! I know for sure that my family and most of the bridal party will be using the rooms, which already accounts for about 10.
    image
  • crackktheskyycrackktheskyy Stars Hollow member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    phira said:
    Keep in mind that people are still free to book rooms at other hotels. So if you run out of rooms in the block, people can still book elsewhere. It'll just cost more and might be less convenient.

    Our wedding is also the same weekend as a huge medical convention. Fortunately, our wedding is about 35 minutes out of the city, so those local hotels were easy to block, but we weren't able to make a single affordable room block at any hotels in the city. We tried.

    I would probably do two hotels and no-obligation rooms. Or more than two, if you can.

    Remember that blocking rooms is a courtesy and not a requirement either. You can also let VIP guests know in advance about the hotel situation.
    Yes, that I know...I'm just worried that if the book the other rooms, they will be around $300 that weekend! Everyone we've spoken to has said that for the general public, rooms that weekend will cost $300-$350. Outrageous!

    We might look into the two no-obligation blocks. We've rented two trolleys so we would still be able to pick people up at both. The only issue would be if most stayed at one and only a few were at the other the trolley would have to make multiple trips. It would be easier for the two trolleys to go to one hotel! But this might be the best way to make sure everyone can get a room in the city for under $200, if they want one!

    We are definitely letting VIPs know in advance and we will also be sending out our wedding website with the hotel info on it with our STDs so hopefully our guests plan ahead! I know it's a courtesy but I will feel bad if I don't do everything I can to make sure our guests have a nice time and are not inconvenienced! 

    Thank you for your help!
    image
  • crackktheskyycrackktheskyy Stars Hollow member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    FizzySips said:
    You can also let people know (via website or special insert/note) that you strongly recommend booking early.
    I could maybe mention on the website about the convention, as long as this wouldn't be considered rude on my part for assuming people can't figure out their own plans! But perhaps I could mention that there is a large convention in Philadelphia that weekend so it might help to book early!
    image
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I totally hear you! We feel guilty for not being able to afford shuttles from either hotel block to our venue. We feel like we should be doing more, especially since some of my friends are really broke and might not be able to come to the wedding if they have to rent a car.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
    image
  • indianaalumindianaalum member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited May 2014
    Gizmo813 said:
    I'm assuming it's too late at this point to change the date (or location) of your wedding? 

     If you're willing and prepared to pay for unbooked rooms, I'd go with the choice # 1 and book extra rooms. (Be prepared to pay for those rooms, though.) It's always best to make sure people have a place to stay, especially if you know this far in advance that there is a hotel-room shortage. 

    How far away do you have to go to find a hotel with available rooms? You might consider expanding your radius, because guests will have to do that anyway if there are no rooms near your reception. If this is the case, see if you can budget for a shuttle bus to take guests back and forth to the reception, and maybe even the ceremony if it's a different place. That way, they won't be TOO inconvenienced.

    ETA: Paragraphs
    It's definitely too late! We've booked almost everything.

    We are inviting 220 guests. I just spoke to my mom and she also thinks we should book with the percentage guarantee. I have no idea how to do this. If we book 40 rooms, we only need 20 to be filled. With 220 invited does that sound good or should we book more?

    There are hotels with available rooms, they are all just concerned about filling up quickly. I don't want to expand the radius too far because we are planning the wedding in a major city and have the ceremony and reception very close to each other. We have also set up complimentary trolley transportation for our guests who stay at the preferred hotel so we are hoping to book one of the downtown hotels that still has rooms and take care of everything else! We have already booked trolleys and have valet service for those just driving into the city for the night so no one has to worry about paying for/finding a parking space.
    Although no guarantees, go through the list and "guess" who you think would want t a room. It might eyeball it for you. If you know someone lives 2 minutes away, chances are they are not staying. If you know the live 5 hours away, count them "tenatively" as yes. This ist just to get an estimate. Of course, there is never any guarantees

    on a funny side note, my hotel ended up having a DOG convention the night of my wedding, so there was freaking dogs barking everywhere all night long! LOL
  • crackktheskyycrackktheskyy Stars Hollow member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    phira said:
    I totally hear you! We feel guilty for not being able to afford shuttles from either hotel block to our venue. We feel like we should be doing more, especially since some of my friends are really broke and might not be able to come to the wedding if they have to rent a car.
    Oh I totally understand. We are grad students so we have a ton of grad student friends so no one has that much money! I wouldn't feel guilt about the shuttles at all. We lucked out because our venue had a hook up with a shuttle place at a discounted rate. We're hoping that at least by having it in the city it is convenient to get to by public trans!


    Gizmo813 said:
    I'm assuming it's too late at this point to change the date (or location) of your wedding? 

     If you're willing and prepared to pay for unbooked rooms, I'd go with the choice # 1 and book extra rooms. (Be prepared to pay for those rooms, though.) It's always best to make sure people have a place to stay, especially if you know this far in advance that there is a hotel-room shortage. 

    How far away do you have to go to find a hotel with available rooms? You might consider expanding your radius, because guests will have to do that anyway if there are no rooms near your reception. If this is the case, see if you can budget for a shuttle bus to take guests back and forth to the reception, and maybe even the ceremony if it's a different place. That way, they won't be TOO inconvenienced.

    ETA: Paragraphs
    It's definitely too late! We've booked almost everything.

    We are inviting 220 guests. I just spoke to my mom and she also thinks we should book with the percentage guarantee. I have no idea how to do this. If we book 40 rooms, we only need 20 to be filled. With 220 invited does that sound good or should we book more?

    There are hotels with available rooms, they are all just concerned about filling up quickly. I don't want to expand the radius too far because we are planning the wedding in a major city and have the ceremony and reception very close to each other. We have also set up complimentary trolley transportation for our guests who stay at the preferred hotel so we are hoping to book one of the downtown hotels that still has rooms and take care of everything else! We have already booked trolleys and have valet service for those just driving into the city for the night so no one has to worry about paying for/finding a parking space.
    Although no guarantees, go through the list and "guess" who you think would want t a room. It might eyeball it for you. If you know someone lives 2 minutes away, chances are they are not staying. If you know the live 5 hours away, count them "tenatively" as yes. This ist just to get an estimate. Of course, there is never any guarantees

    on a funny side note, my hotel ended up having a DOG convention the night of my wedding, so there was freaking dogs barking everywhere all night long! LOL
    So true! I've been trying to eyeball it but it's tough. But at this point, I'm thinking that just between my divorced parents, we have four rooms because both sets of parents will stay Friday and Saturday. With some VIPs, I've also been told that they plan on getting hotel rooms, especially the long distance ones. 

    We might just go for the block with the 50% obligation rate. My mom seems to think a ton of people will stay over. Meh.

    I just don't want our guests to run out of options of places to stay due to outrageous hotel fees!
    image
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