So I was under the impression that couples reserved hotel blocks for these two reasons:
1. Guarantee the guests would have lodging near the wedding
2. To get the guests a special rate
I got an invitation in the mail and it gave two hotels. One was slightly more expensive but looked charming so my friends and I all decided to book there for $127 per night, for two nights.
So another friend of mine had to wait until the last minute to RSVP and book so the blocks and rate were already released. And I was contemplating letting her stay in the room with hubby and I since she's tight on money. I went to the hotel's website to find out how much she'd have to pay if she got one of their rooms, thinking I'd offer to share if it was too much.
And I discovered that it was $25 per night cheaper than the blocked rooms had been. Heck, a king suite was still a dollar less per night than our room with a double bed. (and this was still over 10 days before the wedding, so it wasn't even an "uber last minute, must fill the hotel" rate).
I was going to call but I got distracted last week so when I checked in I mentioned that the rates were now lower and could I please change to the new rate. I also mentioned that I was confused that the rate for the blocked rooms was higher.
The gal behind the counter looked at me like I had two heads.
She started trying to explain it but didn't make much sense. The one thing she said that was clear though was "Well the couple gets more depending on what gets booked in their block. I could change your rate but it might impact what they get." And I think she thought I was a bad person when I said, "That's fine. I'd like the new rate please."
Sorry... already paying several hundreds of dollars to fly to, sleep at and give present at this wedding. If I can save $50 I'm going to do it. I'm under the impression the block was for my convenience and not some mechanism to pay for the couple's future hotel stays.
I personally do not think the bride and groom were pushing the hotel into this; I honestly think they'd be happy their guests get the best rates possible. I highly doubt they know about the rate increase. But I get the impression that this hotel totally does this sort of thing to make more money and often times gets the couple involved so they can get their rooms paid for and such.
Also a little after I checked in, another friend of mine was in the lobby and heard two people behind the desk talking amongst themselves saying, "The wedding hotel blocks are more expensive than the regular rates. If someone asks you to change the rate you have to do it, but don't tell any guest that doesn't know about it."
I know it's a business. And I know they want to make money. But it seems so shady and I'm debating whether to tell the bride and groom about it because I think it would piss them off. Dunno.