Room allocation stress

Hi

We are getting married at a small wedding venue next May, and they require that we have exclusive use of the hotel for our wedding.  This includes occupying 21 of the 24 hotel rooms.  The hotel have give us a list of all the rooms in the hotel, and we have to allocate our guests to each room, then provide the list to the hotel the month before the wedding (this is to make sure our immediate family get the best rooms I think!).  Our guests can then pay for their rooms on the day.  

So far, we've only sent out Save the Dates, but not invites.  We've mentioned in passing to people that hotel rooms are available to book, but as we haven't done the proper invitations yet (and so haven't had proper RSVPs), we haven't done the final room allocation.  However, we're having a couple of problems with the whole process so far, and it's causing me a little bit of stress.  

1. Some people were really keen to get a hotel room booked as soon as they got their Save the Date, even seeming panicked about getting it reserved ASAP.  They don't seem to understand (no matter how many times I explain) that the rooms ARE booked and won't run out as no one can have them on that night except our guests.  I've even told them that I've got them written on my list!

2. Other people don't seem to get that we NEED to fill the rooms, and are considering booking elsewhere. I've managed to get across to some people that we need to fill the hotel, and they've decided against booking a room somewhere else, but I'm slightly worried that because of the way the hotel gets us to allocate rooms, our guest are perfectly free to book a room at a different hotel in the mean time (and may decide to do that if they're in the camp I described above who are worried about not getting a room).  

3. Some people also seem reluctant to say they want a room because they're being polite and not taking up space.  What they don't realise is that we don't have many guests so we aren't oversubscribed in any way!

I'm hoping I can solve all these problems with some sort of information card in with the invites, and by sending the invites ASAP before people start booking to stay elsewhere. So I need to get across: a) The rooms are 100% available to our guests and nobody else and you can definitely have one; b) we want you to take one, please don't think you're helping us by booking a B&B down the road!!!; c) there is plenty of space, please don't think you're putting us out by saying you want one and d) don't panic if you're reading this and you've already told me you want a room, I haven't forgotten.  I'm wondering how I can get all that onto a nice pretty little card?! Any tips?!

What also makes me nervous is that people won't have to pay any sort of deposit on the rooms – we just have to take their word when they say they'll have one, and just hope that they pay on the day!

Has anyone else had this kind of set up with their wedding venue/hotel rooms?  How did you sort it all out?

Posts

  • Hey there!

    Your situation sounds exactly the same as mine. Do you mind if I ask where you're getting married? (I'm intrigued in case we're getting married in the same place haha!)

    We've not sent save the dates or invites yet but have already had friends/family asking us about the room situation and H2B's mother panicking somewhat about wanting to book as soon as possible and trying to book it through the venue when actually they have to be reserved/allocated through us so I totally understand your problem!

    So far, I've word of mouth told people that have asked that:

    1) the rooms are booked/allocated through us - so just let us know that you want one and we'll take care of the rest.

    2) you don't need to pay anything yet - just provide us with an address/email and you pay on check out.

    3) we'd love as many people as possible to stay with us at the venue so we can enjoy breakfast together the next morning (also small wedding so the number of rooms pretty perfectly accommodates all of our guests).

    I've just put the following on our wedding website which I'm going to put a link for in the invites:

     

    "On the night of the wedding, we have exclusive use of our venue which compromises XYZ number of suites/rooms.

    There is enough room for everyone and we would love as many of you as possible to join us at the venue so we can share a celebration breakfast the following day. 

    Double/twin rooms cost £110 for the night and single rooms cost £65 for the night - prices include breakfast. 

    A small number of cots and fold-out beds are also available. 

    Guests can check in to rooms from X on the day of arrival and check-out is at X the following day.

    You will be contacted approx. a month in advance of the wedding when credit/debit card details will be taken in advance. However, full payment is not due until check-out.

    All rooms must be reserved through us (and cannot be done directly with the venue) - so please contact us by email at X to reserve a room or discuss your requirements."

    I think that makes it pretty clear. :) Feel free to use.

    x

  • P.S If it makes you feel more comfortable, maybe you could discuss with the venue getting guests to transfer the money to you, perhaps a month before the wedding (put in a separate account and tick off the allocation list who has paid) and then you settle the rooms balance.

  • MrsRendall2B wrote (see post):

    Hey there!

    Your situation sounds exactly the same as mine. Do you mind if I ask where you're getting married? (I'm intrigued in case we're getting married in the same place haha!)

    We've not sent save the dates or invites yet but have already had friends/family asking us about the room situation and H2B's mother panicking somewhat about wanting to book as soon as possible and trying to book it through the venue when actually they have to be reserved/allocated through us so I totally understand your problem!

    So far, I've word of mouth told people that have asked that:

    1) the rooms are booked/allocated through us - so just let us know that you want one and we'll take care of the rest.

    2) you don't need to pay anything yet - just provide us with an address/email and you pay on check out.

    3) we'd love as many people as possible to stay with us at the venue so we can enjoy breakfast together the next morning (also small wedding so the number of rooms pretty perfectly accommodates all of our guests).

    I've just put the following on our wedding website which I'm going to put a link for in the invites:

     

    "On the night of the wedding, we have exclusive use of our venue which compromises XYZ number of suites/rooms.

    There is enough room for everyone and we would love as many of you as possible to join us at the venue so we can share a celebration breakfast the following day. 

    Double/twin rooms cost £110 for the night and single rooms cost £65 for the night - prices include breakfast. 

    A small number of cots and fold-out beds are also available. 

    Guests can check in to rooms from X on the day of arrival and check-out is at X the following day.

    You will be contacted approx. a month in advance of the wedding when credit/debit card details will be taken in advance. However, full payment is not due until check-out.

    All rooms must be reserved through us (and cannot be done directly with the venue) - so please contact us by email at X to reserve a room or discuss your requirements."

    I think that makes it pretty clear. :) Feel free to use.

    x

    Thanks for your reply, that's really helpful!  Our venue is Cragwood Country House in Windermere.

  • I think the only iffy thing here is that you’re asking your guests to stay where you want them to, and then getting them to pay. My thoughts are if you’re dictating the accommodation, you should either pay for it if you want everyone there, or you have to be ok with people opting for somewhere else if you can’t afford to pay. People have varying budgets, plus some people just want to have a space of their own or a just have different preference of where they’d like to stay. 

    Having said that, if lots of people are keen then maybe encourage them to book now and pay you their money. That way it’s done, and you could even save it in a separate account until the wedding. Asking people to pay in the lead up may lead to cancellations. 

  • MrsTracey wrote (see post):

    I think the only iffy thing here is that you’re asking your guests to stay where you want them to, and then getting them to pay. My thoughts are if you’re dictating the accommodation, you should either pay for it if you want everyone there, or you have to be ok with people opting for somewhere else if you can’t afford to pay. People have varying budgets, plus some people just want to have a space of their own or a just have different preference of where they’d like to stay. 

    Having said that, if lots of people are keen then maybe encourage them to book now and pay you their money. That way it’s done, and you could even save it in a separate account until the wedding. Asking people to pay in the lead up may lead to cancellations. 

    I'm not saying it's compulsory for people to stay at our venue.  I just think if people understood the situation (that we need to fill the hotel) then they'd be more likely to opt for our venue.  At the end of the day it's up to them, but I just don't want people to think they're helping us out by staying somewhere else, when actually it's the opposite.

  • Hmm, ok, I get that. But then I suppose I wouldn’t want guest to feel pressured to stay either by saying you have to have the rooms filled. It’s a tough one as wedding guests already give up so much time and money to attend! How about you ask guests on your invite to tell you if they are interested, and get a measure of numbers from there? Hopefully you’ll have enough people wanting rooms anyway! 

  • MrsTracey wrote (see post):

    Hmm, ok, I get that. But then I suppose I wouldn’t want guest to feel pressured to stay either by saying you have to have the rooms filled. It’s a tough one as wedding guests already give up so much time and money to attend! How about you ask guests on your invite to tell you if they are interested, and get a measure of numbers from there? Hopefully you’ll have enough people wanting rooms anyway! 

    Yes I'm thinking of a sort of second RSVP card with an explanation about rooms and that there's plenty to go around.  Like Mrs Rendall is doing above, we could also mention that we've got exclusive use so then it's sort of implied that we need to fill the rooms. Then people can tick yes/no to having a room and return the card to us with their RSVP. Do you think that's a good idea? It is looking like we'll have most of them filled anyway by family members who've said in passing that they'd like to book one (parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles). So even if we do have to foot the bill for some empty rooms, I don't think it will be too many!  

  • Yeah that’s a good idea, I think saying they’re exclusively yours helps. I’m sure lots of people will want to stay anyway so you may find it’s just about organising people! Still a task, I know! 

  • As it’s only a reasonably small number of rooms could you perhaps get it all sorted before sendig the invitations? Speak to your families and close friends (the people you expect to take the rooms) and explain the situation exactly as you’ve done here and ask them to confirm whether they will be taking a room or not. Then once you send the invites out you can have different cards for different guests - one saying ‘we have booked a room at the venue on your behalf. Payment of £x will be taken on check out’ and one for the other guests saying explaining the rooms in the venue are all taken but add in details of other local accommodation (or if there are spare rooms after talking to people saying there are limited rooms available to book on a first come first served basis. 

  • I think you should confirm verbally with family etc exactly who wants a room and then offer the rest out with invites. There might be a bit of a scramble otherwise. We reserved rooms for family and close friends as they wanted and let the rest sort themselves out. I also said on our save the dates that I realise this is quite some time away but it would really help with planning and accommodation if you could let us know your initial intentions. We only had a small wedding but accommodation was def stressful. We ended up losing deposits on 2 rooms in a b&b, even though they did get booked by members of public but the owners said it didn't count as they weren't part of wedding party 

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