Thursday, June 3, 2010

Out of Town Accommodations


When we get hired to plan a wedding, 95% of our clients are planning a New England destination wedding. Because of this statistic, one of the first things we do for our clients is find them overnight accommodations for their guests. The quicker you can take care of this to-do item, the better, since there are many factors affected by these decisions. Here are a few things to think about when reserving your accommodations for your out of town guests:

1. ROOM BLOCKS- some hotels will offer room blocks that you can reserve and offer your guests. Often times there is a reduced room rate with your block, but that's not always the case. In the height of the summer season in New England, many hotels will offer you the courtesy of reserving rooms because they will otherwise sell out. Some hotels will require attrition on the room block which means you are required to fill a certain % of the total block, often times it's around 80%, and if you don't, you are responsible for paying for the rest of the rooms. Make sure you check in with your hotel to see how your block is filling up. Many hotels start their room blocks at 10 rooms and then will continue to add to it as you fill the rooms. If and when you reserve your room blocks, make sure you include the name of the block on your Save The Date or your wedding invitation to make it easier on your guests.

2. PRICING- we always suggest trying to get room blocks at three hotels around your wedding location that reflect three different price points to help your guests. Some people at your wedding might have just graduated college and don't have the means to spend $300/night for a hotel room. Some of your parents guests might want to make a mini-vacation out of it and splurge on their accommodations for the wedding. No matter the reason, try to find three different price points to make it as convenient as possible for your guests. One other thought, especially if you can't get a reduced rate for your room blocks, is to ask about a AAA or AARP rate. This can often be up to $10.00 cheaper than the going rate for hotel rooms.

3. STATIONERY- please try to take care of your guest accommodations as soon as you can in order to include this information in your Save the Date and/or Invitations. We suggest including the hotel name, address, phone, website, room block information and pricing if you have that information. Also consider including whether or not there is a 2-night minimum.

4. WELCOME BASKETS- if you'd like to include welcome baskets or welcome itineraries for your guests you will need to know where everyone is staying. Getting a room block at a hotel is the easiest way to keep track of your guests, since everyone will be in the same area. For the hotels that don't offer blocks, you will have to contact your guests directly to find out where they're staying. Write an email asking people to let you know where they're staying, include some sort of check box on your wedding website, or go old school and make a few phone calls.

Maine welcome bakset

5. TRANSPORTATION- similar to your welcome basket situation, you need to know how many guests are staying at each hotel in order to reserve the appropriate vehicles.

shuttle bus

Getting this item checked off your list soon than later will help keep you organized and will help get your other vendors involved the information they need. Good luck with your planning and have a happy wedding!


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