Three key Ways to Encourage your guests to stay overnight
on your wedding night (and maybe the night before too)
There are three key ways to encourage guests to stay:
1. Reduce the tariff for their one-night stay, by having the Bride and Groom subsidise the Room Rate (see below).
2. Encourage guests to stay two nights, as they get the night before the wedding at half the mid-week tariff (or half the weekend tariff at a weekend). In most cases at weekends there is no possibility to do this as there are always weddings on Saturdays and there are mostly weddings on Fridays, though any Fridays not booked are available for a Saturday wedding to have guests stay the night before. Some Saturday Weddings can still accommodate guests in the en-suites the night before, as a few of our Fridays sell under the Last Minute Wedding Package - where accommodation usage by the wedding may be lower.
Where a Bride and Groom can really maximise on the savings made the night before their wedding is when their own wedding falls on a Friday, as then the Thursday can be offered to guests at half price. This is often very attractive as it allows a group of guests to arrive the night before the wedding and have a get-together in the bar and an evening meal maybe at one party table, or separately. You may want to arrange a pre-wedding get-together for close friends and family the night before your wedding.
More usefully, staying the night before (as opposed to staying locally which they might otherwise arrange) saves any guests living far away having an early start and a long tiring drive on the day of the wedding. You can make a mini-weekend break of the wedding event over a Thursday and Friday.
It makes more sense for Friday weddings to encourage guests to stay on the Thursday as there will tend to be good availability. It also makes sense for weddings who have many guests living further away to opt for a Friday wedding, so guests can get here the night before and save a journey on the wedding day. A two-night break with one night at half price offers far better perceived value than one night at full weekend tariff.
3. Use the suggested Invitation Letter to Wedding Guests which advises guests of the difficulties and costs of securing taxis, the benefits of supporting the bride and groom to get accommodation usage up for the discount on wedding venue hire, and the risk of being caught by the police who sit outside the castle on occasion to catch drink drivers heading back down the valley to their B&B in local pubs. Yes, local pubs are cheaper, but not when you factor in the cost of a couple of taxi journeys, the risk of police intercepting drink drivers, and the general inconvenience of not being on site where the wedding is taking place.
Add in having to leave the party maybe a bit too early (or too late) than the guest might personally prefer, on such a special occasion, maybe when they are in deep conversation with friends and relatives, just to fit in with taxi bookings (assuming they can even BOOK a taxi at a weekend in our quite remote location in the Brecon Beacons), and the option of staying locally, even a couple of miles down the road, begins to look very unattractive indeed.
There is no pavement on the road down to Penycae and a couple of miles walk on a dark night on a winding country lane with no street lights and no pavement (especially if they forget to bring torches) is most unwise. Then there's the inconvenience of forgetting something in your room 2 miles down the road, and having to cadge a lift to go back for it. No, you should be able to persuade your guests that staying elsewhere is not an attractive option.
Let's now look more closely at the option of subsiding the guests B&B, which some Brides have done though it is not overly common.