One very large expense when planning a wedding is when a couple has to arrange for transportation to and from the wedding venue. Depending on the number of people that need transportation, this can cost anywhere from $300-$1500.
Fortunately, there is a way to lower this cost if you are looking to block hotel rooms at a hotel for out of town wedding guests. In fact, in many cases, the hotel may even provide the shuttle service for free.
Why would hotels offer a free shuttle to the wedding venue?
Hotel sales managers know that a free shuttle helps differentiate them from their competitors.
After all, there are dozens of hotels near your wedding reception site but only a handful will offer free shuttle. It’s just good business practice as far as they are concerned and it’s great for your guests as well.
Is there a way to know which hotels offer free shuttle service when you block rooms?
It’s actually quite easy to find out. Rather than calling every hotel in town, fill out this group hotel rates form. In the comments section, add the following:
“We are getting married at [Name of wedding venue] on [Enter date]. We will give preference to the hotel that offers complimentary shuttle service to/from our wedding reception. Free breakfast, and free WiFi would also be appreciated.”
As soon as you submit this form, hotels near your wedding venue will email you their group rates, and let you know whether they offer complimentary shuttle service to your wedding venue.
So instead of spending hours calling hotels, you will have a list of hotels that provide complimentary shuttle service to your wedding reception in less than a half hour.
And what if no one offers us free shuttle service to our wedding reception?
If hotels want to charge for shuttle service, then you should start by negotiating for free transportation.
Just let them know that the decision to block rooms comes down to who offers free transportation to the wedding venue. If you are booking a lot of rooms, they may give in to your request with a sliding scale method.
What’s the sliding scale method
A hotel may offer to provide complimentary shuttle service or even a portion of it based on the number of rooms reserved. This is called the sliding scale method.
To explain, let’s look at the following example.
Less than 10 – Charge $600
10-20 rooms – Charge $400
20-30 room – Charge $200
30+ rooms – Free
But what if the hotel I want does not have a shuttle?
If you are reserving a block of rooms at a hotel that has no guest shuttle, then consider renting a van for the weekend. Or, if you have a lot of guests, then consider renting a tour bus (around $600-800 per day) or a school bus (around $250-$400 per day). Read about more options here.
What we have learned today is that it’s best to ask for a free transportation to your wedding venue when you are looking to block hotel rooms. When you do so, hotels will be more eager to say yes to your request, especially if they want your business.
And even if hotels don’t provide complimentary shuttle service, there are creative ways to pay for it without throwing off your budget.
What should you do next?