Things to Remember When You are Reserving Rooms for Your Wedding Guests
Reserve a hotel/motel for guests between three and six months in advance of your wedding. However, check with the hotel/motel as early as possible because some are booked the same time each year due to conventions or other annual events. You may want to arrange with more than hotel/motel to give your guests a choice in price and location.
The hotel/motel will usually hold the rooms you reserved for up to 2-3 weeks in advance of your wedding date. After that, any unreserved rooms will be available to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Questions to ask the hotel/motel
Depending on where you have your wedding and the type of wedding, not everything here will apply to you and other things may need to be added to the list.
Ask about the size and details of the facility
- Can the facility comfortably accommodate the size wedding and number of guests you are planning?
- Does it have handicap access?
- Does it have air conditioning?
- Is there a room available for the bride to use during the reception to change clothes or just freshen up?
- Can you have your ceremony in the venue and how and where will it be?
- What is the cost for setting up the ceremony seating?
Ask about your date
- Is it available?
- Ask if there are any other events or weddings booked for that day.
Ask about the decor of the facility
- If you have not seen it already, ask to see pictures of the facility as it would be set up for a wedding.
- Can you make any changes?
- Make sure that if there are certain decorations that you see now and like, that they will still be available on your wedding date.
- Ask if they are doing any remodeling or redecorating from now until your wedding day. You do not want construction going on during your reception.
Ask about the number of hours
- Most receptions last between 5-7 hours.
- Ask how many hours you will have for your reception. Some facilities will give you four hours and charge you additionally (sometimes another $500) for every additional hour.
Ask about Money
- How much is the total rental fee?
- Specifically, what does the price include?
- Ask about the deposit, how much and when is the balance due?
- Ask if they have any “wedding packages”. Sometimes facilities will offer a wedding package including food, flowers, wedding cake and even a limo. Although you limit some of your choices, it can save you time and money!
Ask about any extra charges
- If it is a community centre or historic venue, do you have to rent chairs and tables, and if so, is this an extra charge?
- What about linens and glassware are they included?
- Is there a cake-cutting fee?
- What about a corking fee? (When you purchase your own alcohol for the reception, a corking fee is sometimes charged for each bottle of liquor opened.)
Ask about the food
- If the facility is a hotel or restaurant and will provide the food for the wedding, make sure that you have had an opportunity to sample the food and talk about menu choices.
- If you choose a location that requires an outside caterer, ask if you are required to choose from their approved list or can you choose any caterer?
Ask about alcohol and bar service
- Does the facility provide the alcohol and bar service or do you bring your own alcohol?
- Do they supply the bartenders or do you hire them?
- Are there any restrictions about the type or quantity of alcohol to be served?
- Do they require a cash bar or is an open bar an option?
- Ask about their liability insurance and if it is sufficient for your size wedding.
Ask about entertainment
- Make sure the dance floor is big enough to accommodate your guests.
- Ask the facility manager to show you where the band or DJ would set up their equipment.
- Make sure the facility can accommodate them adequately.
Ask about parking
- Is it readily available?
- Do you need to hire a parking attendant or valet? Are there any events (i.e. festivals, parades, and sporting events) that will make parking difficult for your guests?
Ask about any restrictions
Warning: Because of liquor by-laws, ask your reception venue if you can give wine or other alcohol as favors. Some allow it and some do not.
- Ask if there are any restrictions in regards to using the facility. For instance, some historical sites have certain restrictions or rules regarding smoking, lit candles, and alcohol.
Ask about overnight accommodations
- Ask if the facility has overnight accommodations for your out-of-town guests.
- If it is a hotel, can you reserve a block of rooms at a discount?
Ask about a wedding coordinator
- Many facilities will have a Wedding Day Coordinator on staff and at no extra charge. The role of the Wedding Day Coordinator is to make sure that everything runs smoothly for your wedding day!
A bed and breakfast is a wonderful option for standard accommodations for both honeymoon couples and out-of-town guests. Bed and breakfast facilities can vary in size. Some can accommodate one guest while others can accommodate several.
Bed and breakfasts often have unique surroundings like wineries, local attractions and country-like settings. They may even provide a list of area attractions for your out-of-town guests and organize day trips.
In addition to lodging, you may also want to consider a bed and breakfast for wedding ceremonies, receptions, showers, and/or rehearsal dinners.
Some brides and grooms want to leave a welcome package in the rooms of their out-of-town guests. Ideas for these packages include candy, fruit, wine, snacks, a map and special instructions for wedding events. A personalized note from the bride and groom is also a nice touch. If you decide to leave welcome packages, arrange with the hotel in advance. They may distribute them for you to the guests’ rooms before arrival.