You’re likely to have at least one out of town guest, even if you’re getting married locally. A hotel room block isn’t just for out of town guests, though; weddings are a ton of fun, usually ending late with lots of drinking going around. A hotel room block is a necessary accommodation for your guests who may choose to stay the night rather than drive home tired or after drinking.
Booking a Wedding Hotel Block
Here are the basics of how to book a wedding hotel block for your guests:
Find the Right Hotel
If there’s a hotel at the venue, that’s the one you should use, because it’s the most convenient for your guests. Our hotel was at our venue and it was great for everyone, including us – no rushing around between the ceremony and reception. If that’s not an available option, scout out hotels within a mile or two and choose one that has reasonable rates that’s still nice. (You should always be offered a discount for your block of rooms.) You can locate hotels in the area here.
Ask if they have a shuttle to your venue and what the schedule is like/how late it runs. Shuttles are the easiest option to get to and from for your guests so they don’t have to drive, but if you get a nearby hotel that doesn’t have one, it’ll be easy and cheap for your guests to uber over.
Book as Early as Possible
Once you’ve secured your venue, you should be on the hunt for a hotel. You’re asking for a large number of rooms to be set aside, so the earlier, the better. You want to make sure there are enough rooms for everyone, and the rates will probably be better so far in advance…especially for holiday weekends or if special events are taking place in the area that day.
Is There a Free Suite in it For You?
If you’re going to be bringing the hotel business, they may be able to give you your room for free, or at least give you a nice upgrade.
Courtesy Block Versus Guaranteed Block
Some hotels have a minimum booking percentage rate and/or deposit requirement. This means that you’ll be required to have a certain percentage of rooms booked under your block- it’s called a Guaranteed Block. For example, if you’re required to book 60% of your block, that means that if you block 30 rooms, you are guaranteeing the hotel that at least 18 rooms will be booked. Be sure to read anything you sign carefully to see if this clause is anywhere in the contract so you’re not on the hook for paying for hotel rooms that aren’t booked.
You can usually avoid deposits and minimums if you don’t need many hotel rooms in your block with a Courtesy Block, which means that you can get 10 – 20 rooms under your block with no obligation. If you’re not sure how many rooms you’ll need, you can always start low and add more once the rooms start to get booked.
Let Guests Know Where You’ve Booked
On your wedding website and under the ‘accommodations’ section of your wedding invitation, give the name and address of the hotel and their contact information. Be sure to include what name the hotel block is under so they will receive the discount.
Get the hotel block out of the way as early as possible. You’ve got bigger things to worry about, and you can cross this off of your to-do list!