Out-of-Town Wedding Guests

When preparing your wedding guest list, one of the most important questions is where your out-of-town guests will stay. Nearby hotels are usually the most covenient place. With a little looking on your part or help from a wedding coordinator, a special place for your guests is a phone call away. Hotels have helped solve this problem for brides by offering special package deals and discounting blocks of rooms, particularly if the reception is being held there.

Prices for rooms can vary depending on the season. At the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, wedding coordinator Donnie Fort says prospective brides and grooms can get a block of 10 or more rooms at a special rate. That rate stays the same whether the hotel is busy or not, she said.

George Cartwright, director of food and beverages at the Westgate Hotel in San Diego, said the same is true there.”But since our hotel is downtown, hotel rooms fill very quickly,” Cartwright said. “With pre-booking the rooms, you guarantee the guests’ space.”

Some hotels design their rates based on availability throughout the year. The Harbor Court Hotel in Baltimore, Md., does this. “If a bride or groom is calling for August, July or December, it’s not so busy,” said Connie Conner, Harbor Court’s director of catering. When they want October, May or June, she advises they call at least a year in advance.

They are coming to celebrate a beautiful day in your life

“It is a luxury hotel that is among the top hotels in the country. The fine quality of the rooms and the service, as well as the proximity to the harbor, are all desirable,” she said. Just as rates may change, hotels also vary the time span by which prospective brides must reserve rooms. Most hotels require reservations six months to a year in advance. Booking rooms early also helps guarantee accommodations during busy holidays, especially Christmas and New Year’s.Out of Town Wedding Guests Out of Town Wedding Guests

Many hotels offer maps and return postcards that can be sent with invitations to out-of-town guests. Guests call the hotel to make reservations, or reply with the postcard. Other amenities, such as fruit baskets or wine & cheese baskets, may be offered to guests. Hotels often let the wedding party into the rooms ahead of time to place its own extras. These could be food or toy baskets, which are especially helpful for children or late-night arrivals. “Brides and grooms can put personal items in each room or they can choose from amenities the hotel provides, such as a ‘Welcome to Texas’ basket or baskets of fresh fruit and wine,” Fort said.

Because many hotels set reservation deadlines, it’s advisable to include that information with the invitations. Most hotels will stop taking reservations three to six weeks before the wedding. “Guests return here after a reception because they liked what they saw. They come back and often re-book for their own wedding guests or wedding reception,” Fort said. Hotels often have special appeal becuse of their design and decorations. “Ambiance is very important,” Cartwright said. “When they see the hotel, it is very ornate and is a beautiful place for their wedding photos.” Convenience is another reason to choose a hotel.

“They get the wedding coordinator services provided by the hotel at no cost,” Fort said. Arranging for guest accommodations should be part of your planning. If you are having your reception at the hotel, simply ask your coordinator. If not, call the main reservation office. Are there special discounts, amenities or extras included? Do you have a swimming pool, sauna, whirlpools, restaurants, bars, exercise rooms and visitor packages?

Take the time to assure that the hotel booked caters to a range of people. Is it child friendly? Convenient for seniors? Accessible to events and reasonably priced? Most of all, remember your guests. They are coming to celebrate your wedding with you. Assuring their comfort is a grateful gesture that will be long-remembered