If you happen to be getting married in a large hotel, the majority of your wedding guests will probably book a room there so they can stagger up to bed when the party finishes. Having accommodation at your wedding venue is a big bonus, as your friends and family can relax and have a good time without wondering how they are going to get home, or whether they will be able to find their hotel later in the evening.
For those couples that have chosen a venue without accommodation, or those that are looking for more affordable alternatives to what the hotel can provide, here are ten tips on accommodating your wedding guests:
- Research accommodation close to your wedding venue and try to find hotels in a wide variety of price ranges.
- Always check with the hotel directly to see whether you can get a good deal by booking a lot of rooms, even if your particular wedding venue doesn’t have an existing arrangement with that hotel.
- Provide detailed information about local hotels with your wedding invitations, including a short description of each hotel, the distance from the venue, and their website address.
- If your guests need to provide a code, or mention your surname, to get a discounted rate on hotel rooms, make sure you state that clearly on the information you send with the invitations.
- If the hotels that the majority of your guests are staying at are a long way from your venue, consider hiring a mini bus to provide shuttle runs from the hotel to the ceremony, and then back again at the end of the night. Alternatively, if you know guests that are staying at the same hotel, hook them up so they can share a taxi there and back.
- If you plan on having a breakfast or brunch for guests the morning after your wedding, mention it on your invitations. This may affect your guests’ choice of hotel, as well as the type of booking they make.
- Check what time the hotel bar stays open until, and see if they can open late for your wedding guests. If your guests want to continue the party back at the hotel, you don’t want them to be disappointed by a closed bar.
- Ask the hotel whether they will place a small card, note, or gift in the rooms of all your wedding guests before they arrive. This is a great personal touch, and will make your guests feel that the wedding celebrations have already begun at the hotel. Just giving the hotel a list of the guests that are staying there and a box of gifts should be enough.
- If some of your guests are coming from out of town they may want to arrive the night before, or they may decide to make a long weekend of it and stay for a couple of days after the wedding. Check with your hotel whether any discounts you negotiate will apply on other nights, or just the night of the wedding.
- If reasonably priced accommodation in the area you are marrying is scarce, try renting some large holiday homes with plenty of rooms, and invite your guests to stay there. Although the houses themselves can be pricey, once there are a few people sharing the cost they can be an affordable option and great fun at the same time.