Hotel room blocks are a crucial aspect of wedding planning, especially when hosting out-of-town guests. They provide convenience for your guests and can potentially save you money. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process of setting up a hotel room block for your wedding, from understanding what it entails to negotiating contracts and making it easy for guests to book their accommodations. Let’s dive in!
What Are Hotel Room Blocks?
A hotel room block is a reservation of multiple hotel rooms, typically at a discounted rate, for a specific event like a wedding. This ensures that your guests have a convenient place to stay near your wedding venue, and they can benefit from the special rate you’ve negotiated.
How Many Rooms Do I Need to Block?
When deciding how many rooms to block for your wedding, consider the number of out-of-town guests you expect to attend. A general rule of thumb is to reserve enough rooms to accommodate about 80% of your out-of-town guests. Keep in mind that some guests may choose to stay with family or friends or book their accommodations independently.
When to Reserve a Hotel Room Block
It’s best to start reserving hotel room blocks as soon as you have your wedding date and venue confirmed. This is particularly important if your wedding coincides with a popular event or holiday in the area, which can lead to limited hotel availability. Ideally, you should have your hotel room block secured at least 9-12 months before your wedding date.
How to Reserve a Hotel Room Block
- Research potential hotels: Look for hotels near your wedding venue and consider factors such as price, guest reviews, and amenities. Aim to select 2-3 hotels that offer different price points and styles to accommodate your guests’ preferences and budgets.
- Contact hotels: Reach out to the hotels you’ve identified and inquire about their room block policies, rates, and availability for your wedding date.
- Compare offers: Evaluate the hotels’ proposals based on factors like room rates, cancellation policies, and any perks they may offer, such as complimentary rooms or upgrades for the couple.
- Sign a contract: Once you’ve chosen a hotel, you’ll need to sign a contract outlining the terms and conditions of your room block. Be sure to review it carefully before signing.
Negotiating Your Hotel Room Block Contract
When negotiating your hotel room block contract, keep the following tips in mind:
- Request a courtesy block: This type of room block typically doesn’t require a financial commitment from you, meaning you won’t be responsible for any unbooked rooms. Hotels may offer courtesy blocks for smaller room quantities, usually around 10-20 rooms.
- Seek a flexible attrition rate: The attrition rate is the percentage of rooms in your block that you’re responsible for filling. Aim for a lower attrition rate, ideally around 80%, to give yourself some flexibility if not all rooms are booked.
- Look for concessions: Ask for additional perks or discounts, such as complimentary breakfast, discounted parking, or a free shuttle service to your wedding venue.
- Review the cut-off date: This is the deadline for your guests to book rooms at the discounted rate. Aim for a cut-off date that’s about 4-6 weeks before your wedding, giving guests ample time to make reservations.
How Wedding Guests Book Rooms in Your Block
Guests can typically book rooms within your hotel room block by contacting the hotel directly and mentioning your wedding or providing a unique booking code. Some hotels may also offer an online booking link specific to your room block, which you can share with your guests. Make sure to clarify the booking process with the hotel and communicate this information to your guests.
Informing Guests of Hotel Block Information
Once you’ve secured your hotel room block, it’s essential to inform your guests about the details. Include the hotel block information on your wedding website and save-the-date cards or invitations. Be sure to provide the hotel’s name, address, phone number, booking code (if applicable), and cut-off date for reservations at the discounted rate.
Top Tips for a Successful Hotel Room Block Booking
- Be mindful of your guests’ budgets: Offer a variety of hotel options at different price points to accommodate everyone’s financial situation.
- Keep your room block manageable: Start with a smaller room block and request additional rooms as needed. This will help avoid potential penalties for unbooked rooms.
- Monitor your room block: Regularly check with the hotel to see how many rooms have been booked, and adjust your block size if necessary.
- Communicate clearly with guests: Ensure your guests know how to book their accommodations within your hotel room block by providing clear instructions and deadlines.
- Consider alternatives: If your preferred hotel can’t accommodate a room block, explore other options like vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, or nearby hotels.
- Work with a professional: Wedding planners or travel agents can help you navigate the hotel room block process and negotiate the best terms on your behalf.
- Read the fine print: Review your hotel room block contract carefully and ensure you understand all terms and conditions before signing.
- Follow up with guests: Send a friendly reminder to your guests about the hotel room block deadline to ensure they don’t miss out on the discounted rate.
- Express gratitude: Don’t forget to thank the hotel staff for their assistance in accommodating your guests and ensuring their comfort during your wedding festivities.
Securing a hotel room block for your wedding can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and clear communication, it’s an essential part of creating a seamless and enjoyable experience for your guests. By following the tips and advice in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that your wedding guests have comfortable and convenient accommodations for your big day.