Room Block Drama
Mr. NationalHarbor's primary and extended family come from a very small town in Pennsylvania. I have visited the town several times and it is very different from DC. Things are a lot slower and A LOT less expensive there. I tried to take that into account when we first started making the list of possible hotels for guest accommodations. However, our venue is right near the National Harbor and after driving there ourselves and getting confused trying to navigate the roads near the venue I thought it easiest and best to choose hotel accommodations that were directly down the road near the harbor and contracting with a shuttle to bring guests to and from the hotels to the Oxon Hill Manor for the ceremony and reception and back home at the end of the night. That way no one gets lost in the dark at 1 a.m. trying to navigate DC roads and bridges, no one drives drunk and everyone can relax. Mr. NationalHarbor and I got a great deal with the Gaylord National at the harbor for room blocks and we blocked off rooms at the Marriott at the harbor as well.
Unfortunately, very very few of Mr. NationalHarbor's out of town relatives want to stay at the hotels where we have room blocks. They are scouting for their own hotel deals on the Internet and in some cases are finding very cheap hotels in which to stay. Mr. NationalHarbor's mom is now calling asking where certain parts of the city are because his relatives want to stay in the cheaper hotels and drive in. Almost all of their choices however are in sketchy areas that I would not recommend them staying in. I know they want the savings and I realize we are in tough economic times but as I said his relatives are from a very small town and I just don't think it is a good idea for them to be driving in certain areas of the city late at night after the reception. Mr. NationalHarbor and I are the only ones who know the city and after the reception we will be....."occupied" so I am not sure what they will do.
Additionally, of the relatives who are electing to stay near the Harbor-- very few want to stay at the Gaylord for the weekend. Everyone wants to stay at the Marriott even though it is only $20 cheaper than the Gaylord. I think they are looking at the pictures online and are steering clear of the Gaylord and opting for the Marriott thinking the Gaylord will be just too expensive. Now we have exhausted the room blocks we set aside at the Marriott and although the Gaylord has plenty- Mr. NationalHarbor's mom wants us to choose an additional hotel or get the Marriott to set aside more rooms- which they won't. I already called and asked. The other hotels in the Harbor are even more expensive than the ones we chose for the wedding. DC is a very expensive town and I am sure there is sticker shock for his relatives when they see how much the hotels are per night- but we can only get so much of a discount.
I am unsure what to do in this situation. We of course appreciate their coming to our celebration and we are looking forward to sharing our day with them and I am very excited that so many of them are coming. I like all of his cousins and love his childhood friends. This aspect of the planning though is just becoming way more involved than I thought it would be. I know that the economy is putting a strain on everyone but I also want everyone to be safe and sound after the reception.
Anyone else have difficulty in this area? Any suggestions?