Over the past week, my mom and I (well, mostly my mom) have been working on securing the blocks for hotels rooms for our out of town guests. This is an important step, because most of our guest list is from out of town and I don’t want to send save-the-dates until the blocks have been secured. Like everything else with the wedding, the process has been more complicated than I expected.
Here’s the thing. Our wedding, as I’ve mentioned before, is at a venue that is about an hour away from us. The fact that we’re getting married on a farm in a National Forest means we will have a lovely, organic setting. It also means that there are no hotels close by. None. The nearest hotels are about 25 minutes away, but that makes them pretty far from our house/neighborhood, where any other wedding events (TBD) will be taking place, and even further away from the theme parks, for those guests who want to visit them. Also, the two hotels near the venue are nothing to write home about, trust me.
So, we moved on to looking for hotels in Altamonte Springs, where we live. These are close to our house, and about halfway between the venue and the theme parks. We narrowed it down to two, and then found out that one (the one I liked best) was just charging more than we were comfortable with. We thought about getting two blocks, one at the more upscale choice, and one at a more mid-range hotel. But I don’t want two blocks; it’s too complicated and I like the idea of everyone staying in the same place. So, it looks like we will be going for the less-upscale (but still very nice) hotel.
And I’ve been second guessing myself. What if people want a nicer hotel than the one we are offering (Again, the hotel we picked is very nice)? What if they don’t want to make the long drive to the venue after flying/driving all the way into Orlando for the wedding?
Then, I remembered some great advice from A Practical Wedding. Wedding guests are grown-ups. Or if they’re not (many of ours are not), they are at least attached to grown-ups. They can make their own decisions. If they want to stay somewhere else, they are welcome to use a different hotel. Our block is just offered as an option. If they would like to stay closer to the venue, they can do that. If the wedding is too far away, or too hard to get to, or too inconvenient, they don’t have to come. I’m at peace with that (although, we’ll see if I still feel that way when RSVPs start coming in).
We’re trying to make things as easy for our guests as possible, because we do appreciate that they will be coming from far and wide to celebrate with us. But I’ve traveled far and wide for weddings before, and I’ve never regretted it. I’ve only regretted it when the wedding really was too far and wide (and too much the day before Passover) to attend. In hindsight, I wish I’d gone. Celebrating someone I love starting a new family of their own is definitely worth the inconvenience. And I’m going to respect our guests enough to realize that they can make this decision on their own.