We are getting married in August at a hotel which has about 350 rooms and have given us a VERY reasonable room rate, but the hotel will have 2 other wedding receptions going on the same day. We are having a large wedding 225+ guests and the majority of the guests are from out of town or will likely need a room because they live an hour away and there are no cabs/public transportation. We are thinking that we will need about 80-100 rooms just to hold our guests. Here is the problem- we were only given a room block of 30 rooms with the option to add as many room as are available until the hotel books up. We asked about negotiating more rooms into the contract, but that would have come with attrition and I know many of my friends/family could end up booking on Hotwire or another travel site if they found something at the same hotel for cheaper. We didn't want to be put in a situation where we needed to ask friends and family to not to use a better rate if it became available just to save us money and we didn't want to be in a situation where we were spending an extra $4000 because of room attrition because a better rate became available.
There are 2 other hotels within a mile that I may try to get room blocks in, but then guests would have to drive and we know most would rather not drive because they will be drinking.
Our Save the Dates are (if all goes according to plan) going out in February, but I really would like our guests to reserve their rooms as soon as possible because the other 2 weddings have been on their books much longer than ours and we have no way of knowing how large these weddings are. Are there any etiquette rules for this? Should I have my parents and FI's parents send a link to our wedding website announcement to our extended families? Is it rude to send the wedding website out via email before the STDs go out? Also, should I go ahead and try to get back up hotel blocks in nearby hotels just in case? Does anyone have experience with a similar situation.