So we are planning small wedding of 40-50 guests for next October at a beautiful luxury inn setting on the lake, near my hometown. Most of our friends and family will either be traveling by car, 5-6 hours or by air on flights that range from 2-5 hours. The wedding will begin around 4:30/5:00 on a Friday. Do you think these guests will travel the night before the wedding after work or early the morning of the wedding?
I am just trying to figure out room blocks for one - two nights. We can block two nights but since 10 of the rooms we are required to book at the inn to use it as our venue the night of the wedding, are around $400 with tax per night, we were planning on paying down the room cost to $200/guest room so our guests actually want to stay there and don't have to pay a fortune. That is $2000 for us already, which is basically our venue fee we are justifying it as. I'm concerned if they need two nights, they will not want to pay the first full price night and will use that as a reason to book at a local hotel (which is 30 minutes away with no ubers in this area). If many don't book the rooms, we will be stuck paying the full price of all 10 rooms on Friday night, regardless if they are empty or not and we are already splurging on over the top food for our small guest count. They could stay one night somewhere more affordable and move into the inn rooms on Friday, but then it seems odd to ask them to make it that complicated and also the 11;00 check out - 3:00pm check in time window where they would be in limbo. This is definitely a destination, luxury venue and I know our guests will enjoy it but do not expect them to pay full price/night. I just want to get opinions on if you think most guests will need two nights? And should we just suck it up and pay to subsidize their rooms for thursday night as well? We would also be inviting guests to a welcome/rehearsal dinner on the property if they arrive the night before.