This week I set out to try to arrange a hotel room block for our out-of-town wedding guests. I called many of the nicer hotels in downtown Chicago to ask for information and was shocked by the answers I got. Here we are, sending lots of potential customers to a particular hotel, and the hotels want to thank us…by charging us a fortune in “food and beverage minimums.” Almost all the hotels I spoke with wanted us to sign a contract agreeing to spend a minimum between $500 and $2,000 on a “catered event” at the hotel, just for the privilege of reserving the room block! The managers cheerfully explained that this won’t be a problem of we host our rehearsal dinner or farewell brunch at the hotel. But we already have a special place chosen for each of these events, and it’s not at a hotel. I don’t think I should have to pay a hotel for sending it customers. We decided we’ll just send our guests a list of recommended hotels and their prices and let guests book their own accommodations. They’ll probably be able to find these rooms at cheaper prices online anyway.