Today I worked on getting room blocks for our guests for our quasi-destination wedding. The only time it's been suggested that I block some rooms off for our guests was by our reception site coordinator, and he suggested that to us the only time that we've met him. (Full disclosure, my DOC might have said something to me about room blocks when I met with her too, but I don't remember.) That was approximately 6 months ago.
Today, as I'm on the cusp of putting our STDs in the mail, I'm also spot checking our wedding website to make sure that all systems are a go. Upon inspection of the "Accommodation Ideas" tab I remember that I should get to those room blocks and update the site. The first call I made was to our reception venue, seeing as it is a hotel, they can only block off 10 rooms only 7 of them are at their lowest rate: $190, and all rooms require a 3 night minimum. The worst part, all of the suites are already booked and they will only give us a 50% discounted rate for our room. I thought they would comp our room considering the cash we're going to drop there in 6 months.
Majorly disappointed but not completely surprised (I knew that not many people would be staying at the reception hotel because it's expensive and in very high demand), I moved on to a hotel that we've previously stayed at that was quaint and affordable. They can only block 10 rooms and the most affordable room is going to be $179 (not including the 10.5% tax), 2 night minimum, and there will be a $1,000 deposit required by us right now.
Red lights are flashing in my brain, alarms are sounding. This. Is. A. Disaster. I don't have to worry about pleasing anyone anymore because no one is going to come to our wedding. For most people it's a 3 hour drive and they are going to spend at least $300 on lodging. No one is going to come. I freak out and call my honey. Thankfully, he came to my rescue and worked his magic reducing our reception site hotel's policy to a 2 night minimum from the crazy 3-day holiday minimum, as well as finding a few hotels that are willing to accept room blocks without putting deposits down or penalizing us if all rooms aren't filled.
I feel blind-sided. I honestly haven't read anything about this kind of practice about room blocks. I feel like our reception site should have given us a heads up that their suites were already booked at some point or that when I signed the contract that someone would have asked if we would like a suite to be blocked for us or that if we wanted a suite there we couldn't have one because they were already booked. Furthermore, in none of my wedding timelines or planners does it say anything about getting room blocks for guests.
I've been to at least 4 weddings that are quasi-destination, like ours, and we've always received group discounts. I wonder if they've been putting $1,000 deposits down all over town and it's just not a big deal and maybe I'm making it a big deal.