Have you considered informing your guests of overnight accommodation possibilities for your Wedding Day?
Ferry & Lieke recommended it after their wedding:
"Definitely book a hotel with all your day guests for an afterparty" - Ferry & Lieke
Planning the accommodation for your guests is as easy as 1... 2... 3... :
Step 1 - Find Accommodation
- How many rooms do you require?
Look at your guest list... Who will be coming from out of town? Who are your closest friends whom you would like to stay over? Add a few rooms for luck and BOOM! You have an idea of how many rooms will be needed.
- Does your Wedding Venue offer accommodation?
If they do and they have enough rooms available (based on your requirements) then your work is done! Ask the coordinator / events manager how to block book the rooms and look no further...
- Finding suitable accommodation.
If the venue does not offer accommodation or they don't have enough rooms available... then ask your venue first for advice before you start doing your homework to find suitable accommodation in the area. Booking.com is a good tool to find a list of hotels or accommodation close to a specific area. Ideally... one hotel big enough for all your guests to stay together, is preferred! This will make it easier for transport later. If this is not possible, then make a list of all possible locations where your guests could stay and visit these locations. If you are unable to visit, read through the Booking.com or TripAdvisor reviews. You want your guests to have a good experience on your Wedding Day :)
- Once you have a list of potential hotels for your guests to stay at... you can move on to Step 2!
Step 2 - Block Book Rooms
- When should you reserve the rooms?
Short answer... as quickly as possible... Once you have found the perfect hotel for your guests, you want to make sure that it is available. it would be a shame if you left it so late that all hotels within driving distance of your Wedding is booked up! Remember, you start planning your wedding LONG before your guests receive their invitations so they won't even know yet when or where to be booking accommodation.
- Visit / contact the hotels on your list.
Once you have done your research, list the hotels you would like your guests to stay at, in order of preference (if you are lucky then you would only need to contact one hotel). If you are unable to visit in person, then call them on the phone. Inform them that you are getting married (yay!) and ask what the possibilities are of making a 'Block Booking' for your guests for 'X' number of rooms on your Wedding Date!
If the hotel does offer 'Block Bookings', then book the rooms for the night before AND the night of the wedding. Guests coming from far away will want to stay over the night before too.
- Ask for information about the accommodation.
Ask the following:
What the room rates?
Are discounted available for guests who book their rooms early?
What are the 'check-in' and 'check-out' times?
What is the cost of parking?
What facilities are available on-site? (like a bar)
You will need to know these details when you send the information to your guests.
- Ask about the conditions!
Some hotels require a deposit for Block Bookings AND they hold you financially responsible if not all the rooms are booked (which means you might have to pay a percentage of the total cost of lost bookings!). Be aware of this!
Other hotels will keep the Block Booking for a certain amount of time and if the rooms are not all booked by a certain date (as determined by the hotel) then the rooms will be released to the public. This option will be of a lot less risk to you but you will need to inform your guests of the urgency in booking the rooms while they are still 'held' as part of the Block Booking.
- Once you have found a hotel which fits all your requirements and you have been able to make a 'Block Booking'... then you can move on to Step 3!
Step 3 - Inform Your Guests
- Inform close family and friend first!
Inform those closest to you first so that you can be sure that they are all accommodated and will be partying with you until early hours! You can inform them via e-mail, Whatsapp, Facebook, smoke-signals or whatever means necessary! Just get it done!
- Inform the rest of your guests.
The best way to do this is to add the details as an attachment to your Wedding Invitation or... the beauty of the modern era... add the details to your 'Wedding Website' (if you have one). If you do have a Wedding Website, then you can update the details as and when needs be.
Well done! You have made life easy for your guests and they are now all accommodated close to (or at) your event!
Lastly... consider arranging for a shuttle service to and from the 'Block Booked' accommodation. Your guests can focus on the party as no one needs to drive and you.... can just relax and enjoy! :)