We are getting married in Philadelphia. There are quite a few hotels within walking distance of the venue. Do I need to block off some rooms? Or would it be just as helpful to list out the closest hotels on the invite and let our guests choose where they want to stay? I’m not sure how many people will stay over as everyone is relatively local.
If you are marrying in a touristy area or somewhere with limited lodging, then it is helpful to set rooms aside. Make sure you ask for a courtesy block so you are not financially responsible if they are not filled. Some guests will locate their own hotels and others prefer a list to work with.
If all or most of your guests are local, I wouldn’t worry about a block.
It's nice to set up a courtesy block of rooms at a few hotels. Do you have to do it for all of them in the area? No. I know for mine, I called 3 different ones since I knew most would be out of town and set up a block. Sometimes the block rate over the regular won't change, and then I've also seen some where the block rate is more expensive
I'm also in a big city with a lot of hotels within walking distance of my venue. I wanted to just list a handful of the close hotels (about 10% of our guests would need a hotel room) but my FMIL was very offended by the idea of not having hotel blocks so she did 3 hotel blocks that I will list on our website
I'm also in the Philly area. While most of your guests are local, some might want to stay in a hotel for a night away from the kids or to not have to worry about traveling home (particularly in possible February snow/slush). I suggest setting up a room block in the most expensive hotel, then listing other hotels that are nearby. This way, even if the room block fills, guests have the information to choose their next best option and can stay within a similar cost.
For us, the price of the blocked rooms was significantly cheaper for guests than going to another hotel ($169/night vs. $400+). As long as it’s a courtesy block (you don’t pay for unreserved rooms), it’s worth it! Just make sure you publicize when the booking deadline is.
I would say it depends on how many people are traveling to the wedding and how far it is for and local guests. For example, all of my fiancé’s family will have to travel, and we are getting married about an hour or so away from where the majority of my family lives. Since there will be an open bar and since the reception is ending at 11:30, we figured most people would want to stay near the venue. We did a room block and so far it’s been very helpful for both sides of the family.