Raiding the Lobby
Posted: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Alyn Wharmby is an Ohio native turned middle school teacher and graduate student, currently earning a degree in School Administration at UNC Charlotte. She is beginning her new life with fiance Erik and chihuahua Bella on July 13, 2013. Contact Alyn here.
I religiously check and follow my Wedding Wire.com checklist. To be honest, Im not sure how brides organized their events before it! Each month my task lists seem to get longer as we approach the big date. I love looking ahead and checking off items that Ive completed before their deadline! My November and December checklists were especially stressful when they rolled around. All of the items creep up seemingly faster than I would expect. I always feel incredibly ahead on planning progress, with the exception of everything that needs done in the next month! What was on the list? All of the things I hadnt yet finished: a florist, a videographer, wedding registries, and blocks of hotel rooms. So, I put myself on a quest to finish those tasks before the holiday mayhem that made both the vendors and I far too busy for advance planning.As soon as my save-the dates went out, people began to ask about when and where to book hotel rooms. To be honest, their requests were the first I had thought of booking blocks of rooms, until it popped up on the dreaded checklist! I got to work right away, creating a list of what I need to know and want to get from a hotel. Were looking at blocking about 50 rooms, and considering the fact that were bringing a lot of business, I think that we should have some perks as well. Before calling and visiting the hotels I was considering, I did some searching and compiled a list of questions from various websites to ask each hotel. Heres my list: Do they provide the bride and groom with a complimentary bridal suite? Does the hotel have a complimentary hotel shuttle that can transport guests to and from the ceremony or reception areas? Is there an extra charge if I want to reserve this shuttle exclusively for my party? Can we get the Hospitality Room for the weekend for free? What will be the cost for guests? Is there an attrition clause? If so, ask that it be removed. What is the cancellation policy? What responsibility do the bride and groom have in the contract (should be none)? Can I add more rooms at the same discount if I fill up my block? At what date will they release the rooms (when do people need to book by)? Can guests extend their stay at the discounted rate if they want to make it a longer weekend? What amenities are included - is there a pool, gym or breakfast? How can I deliver welcome gift bags? Do they charge for this? Do they have any suites? If so, how many? What is the check-in time? What is the check-out time? Do they provide transportation to the local airport?My advice for booking blocks of hotel rooms? Know what you want and get it. I wouldnt choose a hotel until the location and price were right and I got a free hospitality suite and free bridal suite. Im filling their hotel for the weekend; I expect that their offers to be competitive. I was also not afraid to quote costs from one location to another--- to get the price I was looking for. Competition is key! In the end, we made a choice and knocked it out before the holidays. Half of our block of rooms has already been booked!
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