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Guest Accommodations: What you Should Know

by Emily Jane Cappiello  


Although making arrangements for your out-of-town guests may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to relieve your stress as well as make your guests coming from afar feel appreciated and welcome.

“You want to make it as easy as possible for your guests to attend your wedding,” Regina Cameli, area director of catering for Kimpton Hotels, Boston, said.

First and foremost, doing your homework on hotel accommodations and pricing is one of the best ways to keep your out-of-town guests happy. By creating a pricing list that also notes specifics about the lodging, from number of beds to if it has a coffeemaker, can allow guests to choose where they would like to stay and can help to control their budget.

Since guests and families are already purchasing airline tickets and taking time off of work, it is always helpful for the couple to consider the range of budgets that their guests are working within. I would always recommend that the couple secures at least two blocks of rooms with varying price points so that the guests can choose what works best for their budget, said Cameli.

“We typically offer wedding block discounts that can be significantly less than our published pricing,” said Scott Hamilton, director of sales for La Playa Resort in Naples, Fla.

Acting early, Hamilton said, helps the bride and groom to be, as well as the hotel to be able to create and personalize accommodations for out-of-town wedding guests. “Brides need to plan early when it comes to hotel arrangements so that guests know what to expect,” he said. By choosing a hotel sooner rather than later, guests can work around their budget restrictions as well as decide if making the trip into a long weekend or mini-vacation is an option.

Karen Worzel, special events lodging at Hawley, Pa.-based Woodloch Pines explained that communication between the bride and her guests, as well as the bride and the hotel, is key to making sure guests are comfortable.

“I send information with questions and answers to my bride so that she knows what is included, and what activities are open to guests. Most brides now are using websites and are communicating the details to those staying, so when guests call, there are very few questions,” she said.

At Woodloch, Worzel said that they like to take the stress off the bride when planning rooming situations and that most guests call with housemates in mind and we try making sure that everyone is where they feel the most comfortable.

“Sometimes the bride likes to be involved so that she can seat people with who they are staying with to keep the groups together, but most times, we handle the booking,” she said. By keeping the lines of communication open, Worzel said, both the bride and the guests know what to expect when staying on the grounds.

Hamilton explained that hotels like La Playa try to alleviate the stress of guest accommodations, but the bride needs to be organized and straightforward with the people she works with at the venue.

“I would recommend using a professional wedding planner to help.” Hamilton said. “But otherwise, a bride needs to be organized, needs to set a budget for hotel accommodations and stick to it and she can’t be afraid to ask questions,” he added. When the bride is calm, her guests will be as well. 

the welcome basket

Out-of-town guests travel by plane, train or car to be there for your special day, so treating them to a little something extra is a sweet treat. That’s where welcome baskets come in. You can leave them at the front desk for distribution as your guests check in, or you can request that the baskets be placed in guest rooms for a nice surprise. A personalized card from the bride and groom make for an extra-special touch and let the guests know how much you appreciate them being there for your special day.

“The welcome basket or bag is a really considerate gesture. It welcomes your guests and let’s your guests know that you are very appreciative that they have travelled from afar to be with you on your big day,” said Cameli.

“Things that reflect the local area are always appreciated, including snacks and bottled water which are essential for hotel guests. One bride made a mixed CD for all of her guests to take home music that was played at the wedding including the dance sets,”Cameli said.

Some other things to think about adding when putting together a welcome package:

Menus to local restaurants

Directions to the nearest pharmacy

Activity books and crayons for little ones

Aspirin and vitamin-C packets

A fresh direction card to and from the ceremony and/or reception location

A mixed CD of music that will be played at the wedding – it will help your guests get in the partying mood and will make a nice keepsake after.

In addition to a standard wedding basket, you can also play to the different tastes of your guests. If you have a wine lover, you can create a basket of wine and include a selection cheeses and crackers – so that your guests can kick back and relax with their favorite glass.

For those chocolate lovers, an assortment of gourmet chocolate could make your guests feel right at home. This gives each basket a personal touch and the guests will feel that they are extra important to you during this busy time. “It gives the guests a little something that they can enjoy while they are away from the comfort of their own homes,” said Cameli.

As the wedding day draws closer, there will be other things to think about. By being organized and getting your accommodations done early, you will be setting the scene for less stress and happy guests. By making sure, that your guests have a variety of services and price points to choose from when making reservations for your wedding and by having a good idea of what to put in a welcome basket, there will be one less thing you will need to think about as your big day approaches. 


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Although making arrangements for your out-of-town guests may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to relieve your stress as well as make your guests coming from afar feel appreciated and welcome.

“You want to make it as easy as possible for your guests to attend your wedding,” Regina Cameli, area director of catering for Kimpton Hotels, Boston, said.

First and foremost, doing your homework on hotel accommodations and pricing is one of the best ways to keep your out-of-town guests happy. By creating a pricing list that also notes specifics about the lodging, from number of beds to if it has a coffeemaker, can allow guests to choose where they would like to stay and can help to control their budget.

Since guests and families are already purchasing airline tickets and taking time off of work, it is always helpful for the couple to consider the range of budgets that their guests are working within. I would always recommend that the couple secures at least two blocks of rooms with varying price points so that the guests can choose what works best for their budget, said Cameli.

“We typically offer wedding block discounts that can be significantly less than our published pricing,” said Scott Hamilton, director of sales for La Playa Resort in Naples, Fla.

Acting early, Hamilton said, helps the bride and groom to be, as well as the hotel to be able to create and personalize accommodations for out-of-town wedding guests. “Brides need to plan early when it comes to hotel arrangements so that guests know what to expect,” he said. By choosing a hotel sooner rather than later, guests can work around their budget restrictions as well as decide if making the trip into a long weekend or mini-vacation is an option.

Karen Worzel, special events lodging coordinator at Hawley, Pa.-based Woodloch Pines explained that communication between the bride and her guests, as well as the bride and the hotel, is key to making sure guests are comfortable.

“I send information with questions and answers to my bride so that she knows what is included, and what activities are open to guests. Most brides now are using websites and are communicating the details to those staying, so when guests call, there are very few questions,” she said.

At Woodloch, Worzel said that they like to take the stress off the bride when planning rooming situations and that most guests call with housemates in mind and we try making sure that everyone is where they feel the most comfortable.

“Sometimes the bride likes to be involved so that she can seat people with who they are staying with to keep the groups together, but most times, we handle the booking,” she said. By keeping the lines of communication open, Worzel said, both the bride and the guests know what to expect when staying on the grounds.

Hamilton explained that hotels like La Playa try to alleviate the stress of guest accommodations, but the bride needs to be organized and straightforward with the people she works with at the venue.

“I would recommend using a professional wedding planner to help.” Hamilton said. “But otherwise, a bride needs to be organized, needs to set a budget for hotel accommodations and stick to it and she can’t be afraid to ask questions,” he added. When the bride is calm, her guests will be as well. 

the welcome basket

Out-of-town guests travel by plane, train or car to be there for your special day, so treating them to a little something extra is a sweet treat. That’s where welcome baskets come in. You can leave them at the front desk for distribution as your guests check in, or you can request that the baskets be placed in guest rooms for a nice surprise. A personalized card from the bride and groom make for an extra-special touch and let the guests know how much you appreciate them being there for your special day.

“The welcome basket or bag is a really considerate gesture. It welcomes your guests and let’s your guests know that you are very appreciative that they have travelled from afar to be with you on your big day,” said Cameli.

“Things that reflect the local area are always appreciated, including snacks and bottled water which are essential for hotel guests. One bride made a mixed CD for all of her guests to take home music that was played at the wedding including the dance sets,”Cameli said.

Some other things to think about adding when putting together a welcome package:

Menus to local restaurants

Directions to the nearest pharmacy

Activity books and crayons for little ones

Aspirin and vitamin-C packets

A fresh direction card to and from the ceremony and/or reception location

A mixed CD of music that will be played at the wedding – it will help your guests get in the partying mood and will make a nice keepsake after.

In addition to a standard wedding basket, you can also play to the different tastes of your guests. If you have a wine lover, you can create a basket of wine and include a selection cheeses and crackers – so that your guests can kick back and relax with their favorite glass.

For those chocolate lovers, an assortment of gourmet chocolate could make your guests feel right at home. This gives each basket a personal touch and the guests will feel that they are extra important to you during this busy time. “It gives the guests a little something that they can enjoy while they are away from the comfort of their own homes,” said Cameli.

As the wedding day draws closer, there will be other things to think about. By being organized and getting your accommodations done early, you will be setting the scene for less stress and happy guests. By making sure, that your guests have a variety of services and price points to choose from when making reservations for your wedding and by having a good idea of what to put in a welcome basket, there will be one less thing you will need to think about as your big day approaches.