Bride-to-Be Blogger Danielle: Lining Up (Guest) Lodging

Tim and I figured that we should set up hotel blocks before we finalize our wedding Web site and send out save-the-dates. We also intend to find one realtor who could help folks rent houses and condos, should they prefer to do that for our Rehoboth Beach wedding. We thought the biggest challenge would be keeping the renters near the hotels in order to coordinate transportation. However, we’ve found the smaller hotels in this beach town to be a bit more difficult to navigate than if we were looking in a metropolitan area with plentiful hotels that are part of large chains.

We began researching hotels to look into general pricing, locations and amenities, and came up with a list of eight. After calling several of them, we booked a room a couple weeks ago to spend the weekend in Rehoboth meeting with hotel managers and realtors. We had to postpone that trip to deal with some family matters, and when I tried to rebook the same hotel, it was completely sold out. When we tried some others from our list, some told me there was a two-night minimum, and others were sold out as well.

I finally found one of the hotels on our list that was able to accommodate us for our weekend of research. But then I started to call the other seven hotels to inquire whether we needed an appointment to discuss room blocks, and those calls were a little discouraging. I found that one is already booked with one large group and will not accommodate more than that each weekend; another does not provide room blocks May-October; a third would not be able to provide rates until long after our save-the-dates should be sent; two said they’d need to call me back, but have not as of yet. If you’re doing the math, that leaves only three who provided me with optimistic information and agreed to meet with us this weekend.

We may drop in on the other two hotels that owe me a phone call, as I doubt they will send us away if we’re there in person. I just hope that we are able to come up with enough options for at least 150 guests between rentals and hotels. I feel we are going to have to jump on whatever is available this weekend, and I pray that the realtor we select is able to offer several rental properties in the same area to make transportation simple. I have a feeling that this will require a great deal of logistics and coordination.

If all goes well this weekend, at this time next week I will have an update on where our guests will be staying — more or less. Would it be asking too much for this to work out in a way that keeps everyone in a central location, makes it simple to get our guests to and from the wedding, and allows us to drop off welcome bags without too much trouble?

Did you have trouble securing guest lodging? Is coordinating guest details such as hotels, transportation, activities and welcome bags a lot of work? Do you have any tricks or tips to share? I need them!

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