Over the years hotel room blocks have become a customary wedding feature. They’re a nice addition for out of town guests and make the process of finding a place to stay for your wedding a breeze. You can’t just reserve a block anywhere at any time though. There are certain things you need to consider when booking and pay close attention to when signing the contract (yes, there’s a contract.)
#1 – Always reserve less rooms than you think you need. This might seem counterintuitive to book less, not more than you think is needed. However, you have no idea how many guests will actually need rooms. Additionally, guests using hotel reward points to book, aren’t counted towards a block. Some guests may choose to rent an AirBnB or stay at another hotel where they’re a rewards member. Lastly, see #2 for the biggest reason.
#2 – You have to pay for unbooked rooms. Yep, any room that doesn’t get booked before the deadline, you’re responsible for paying the full or a partial rate (depending on the hotel). You can generally add additional rooms if your block fills up quickly but it’s better to have less than you need so you aren’t stuck paying for unused rooms at the end.
#3 – They can only alot so many rooms for a block. Each hotel is only allowed to sell so many rooms per night at a discounted rated. This means that if there is another block at the hotel, you could get shorted. If you know you’re going to need a lot of rooms, it’s a good idea to select a couple hotels and reserve blocks at each.
#4 – Guests have to book early. I tell couples to encourage their guests to book their hotel room as soon as they receive their save the date if they know for sure they’ll be attending. One, it guarantees the guest a discounted room. And two, it allows you to add additional rooms if needed when it fills. Plus, depending on what else is happening in the area that weekend, the hotel could sell out.
#5 – Call and check on your block monthly. It’s always a good idea to check on your block monthly or bimonthly. By doing this you can find out when it’s full and guarantee that guests are actually being added to your block. There have also been instances where the block is lost or the receptionist isn’t informed about it and doesn’t book your guests correctly.
#6 – Be aware of all other events happening in the area. Is there a sporting event nearby or a local event that would draw out of town guests? Things like this will affect the availability of not only blocks but rooms in general.
#7 – Choose a hotel that is close to your venue. This is an obvious one, but you’ll want to choose the closest hotel to your venue. Not only is it close for guests when the reception is over, but it means that you don’t have to worry about a group from another venue also utilizing the hotel for blocks.