Monday, 25 May 2009

Wedding guest accommodation - The easy way!

Here at the Bishops Table Hotel, we specialize in supporting the major wedding and function venues on the Surrey and Hampshire border with guest accommodation. Whilst there is a huge amount of information on how to organize the service and the reception, guest accommodation can be easily overlooked. In our latest blog we look to offer clear advice and tips on how to make the most from arranging accommodation for your guests so that it does not become a major undertaking for you.

Certainly, with guests traveling from far and wide – often to an area they may never have visited before – there is almost an obligation to find suitable hotel accommodation for them, and this can end up with something else on the list that you end up having to organize and 'be responsible' for.

However, there are ways that you can minimize the effort, and make sure that your guests have an enjoyable stay. Here are some pointers that may help.

  1. Don’t leave it till the last minute as hotels are in strong demand during the wedding season! Your reception venue will have a list of partner hotels, and ask which one has given them the best service, or special rates. This will be a good start as the hotels that want your business will be keen to keep a good name with the venues.
  2. When you contact the hotel, see how helpful they are – this will reflect on how they will keep your guests happy over that special weekend.
  3. If possible, ask if you can see a couple of rooms and get a feel for the hotel. Once again, how you are welcomed will reflect on how your guests will be welcomed, so keep this in mind. If you want to book any rooms for special guests – now is the time to do it!
  4. Most weddings start at the time when hotels start their check-in times, so see if there is a facility to check-in early or at least a room available where your guests can freshen up after a long journey and before the event. They should be able to help, but it will depend on how busy they are.
  5. All hotels should be able to hold a number of rooms for you, but they may need some form of guarantee or cut off date to release unsold rooms. It is by far the easiest for you to hold rooms in the name of Bride and Groom. Send the details with your invitations, and direct your guests to contact the hotel of their choice and book quoting your details. That should be all you need to do! Unfortunately, one of the only alternatives will be you trying to collate guest lists and details, and apart from being very confusing, it will also be another organizing task you don’t need at this time!
  6. Check on transport from the hotel to the reception and church, and even more importantly, getting back! Taxis are usually very busy on wedding days, and hotels will have companies that they see as reliable. These taxi companies will be far more likely to be reliable if they have future hotel business at stake than they will with a one off event, so get names, and remind your guests to book early. Also check the hotel has a night porter or reception to help the late returnee’s
  7. Finally, don’t forget the morning after. Most guests like the opportunity to meet up and continue conversations over breakfast. See if the hotel can accommodate a group breakfast, and if it will allow non-residents to come and join in. It can make a grand finale to the special occasion.

Getting these points answered can go a long way to helping make your guests feel at home and add to the overall enjoyment of the special day, and with this key area out of the way, you can get on with organizing the main event – and of course the Honeymoon!

If you want any further advice, help, or support, please contact the team here at the Bishops Table Hotel.