Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Guests Need Somewhere to Stay Too

Who would have thought, right? I've been so busy thinking about where to hold the wedding, where I'd stay the night before, where I'll get ready, where we'll go on our honeymoon—that I completely forgot about reserving blocks of rooms for our awesome guests.

But no big deal, the wedding is still three months away, right? Plenty of time to book a few rooms, since even though it's a nice area to visit there's not a huge demand for tourism in early May. We're not having a huge wedding plus a lot of people know friends in town to stay with, so we'll only need 10-15 rooms maximum.

Well. There are two private universities in the Greenville area, and both of them have graduations that weekend. They're not huge schools, but it definitely causes an influx of people.

Which didn't hit me until I clicked on the website of the hotel I planned to reserve rooms in from the beginning and saw that they had zero rooms available the weekend of the wedding. Zero rooms? In a tiny town like Traveler's Rest? Except... it's five minutes away from Furman University. Duh.

That would have been the best option since it's just fifteen minutes from the venue, but I immediately rebounded and told myself "That's ok, I'll just reserve rooms in Greenville. It will be an extra fifteen minutes of travel time for my guests, but they'll get to experience the area." On the plus side it is a pretty neat city. I've grown quite attached in my five years here!

Downtown hotels are really pricey, I mean I never would expect my guests to pay $319 a night, even if it's for a hotel that looks like this:

Image via Uptake

Go east of the downtown area though and you run into more booked hotels. And even if they have rooms available (there are some, although you're limited), the prices have been jacked by at least $20 because of the higher demand from local graduations.

Fortunately I found a hotel with availability that's near downtown—close, but not so close that it's wicked expensive. Rates are reasonable and the hotel looks nice without being overly ritzy. The downside of course is that it's a longer drive to the wedding venue—thirty minutes instead of fifteen. Remember though that we have a morning wedding, so guests won't be traveling late at night after a long day.

It goes both ways, you can stay close to the venue and have nothing to do or you can stay further away and have a beautiful city right there. I'm really hoping people take advantage of these kinds of sights just a mile away.

Image via City Data / Our cute Main Street

Image via Black Olive Photographic / Riverwalk along the downtown area

Image via Forbes / Listed as a top rejuvenated area!

Image via Greenville Daily Photo / Falls Park Liberty Bridge—the coolest park in the area!

Anyone smarter than me out there who anticipated these kinds of problems and booked hotels early? If it was an option, would you rather stay as close to the venue as possible or be able to check out local areas? 

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