Post # 1
Is it necessary to block off rooms for out of town guests at a few hotels? There are quite a few hotels in my area and I can’t see all of them being booked the weekend of the wedding. I don’t want to spend any money or put down any type of deposits…Plus I’m not even 100 percent sure how this should work!
I was thinking about just listing a few local hotels on our wedding website along with some price ranges and amenities they have…just to help people get started.
What do you all think? Btw, about 35-40 percent of our group is Out of Town.
Post # 3
Securing a block of rooms actually gets you a discounted rate that you can offer your guests. I have a block in Baltimore for under $200, but the regular rate is over $400 because of the Baltimore marathon that weekend.
I’ve never heard of having to put down a deposit for rooms, but check with the hotel. Also, ask them if you will be responsible for any rooms that aren’t booked (called attrition), most chains don’t do that for wedding blocks.
So once you secure the block, they’ll send you like a link or a code that you can post on your website and allows for the party to make reservations at the discounted rate.
I work for a hotel, so let me know if you have any other questions. Hope that helps!!
Post # 4
Absolutely agree with @SaraRocks. Reserving a block gets you a group rate and that’s a big benefit for your guests. With so many coming from Out of Town, I’d do a block at at least one hotel. You shouldn’t have to pay anything at all. With most hotels, there is a cutoff date for reservations, and if they don’t fill, the rooms become available again to the general public. A room block is pretty easy to work out – do it!
Post # 5
It’s not necessary, but I wanted to offer it. Since everyone was coming from out of town. Although not that far out of town.
I didn’t spend a lot of time doing it, and got a hotel we love at a great rate. I used hotelplanner.net you put in what you want and the hotels come to you. You aren’t required to book anything if you don’t like what you see.
Post # 6
About 40-50% of our guests are Out of Town and we have 3 different hotel blocks at different price points. As someone mentioned above, you get a lower rate typically by blocking off rooms. Hotels vary in how they do deposits, etc. All of mine will release any unbooked rooms 30 days before the wedding. One of them requires at least 80% of the rooms to be booked, so they will release any unbooked rooms 30 days before the wedding and as long as the hotel books enough for us to reach 80% of our original block, we don’t have to pay. If they don’t sell enough, we have to pay for rooms to reach 80%. We talked a lot with the hotel manager who handles this to figure out the right number to get so we would not wind up in this situation; she assured us that since our wedding weekend is a high demand weekend that they would have no problem selling unused ones. She also said that she has never had to charge a B & G for unused rooms.
So, it really is not that much of a hassle to do this. All it took was a few phone calls on my part and my moms, and we had it all figured out. It would be nice to have your all of your Out of Town guests at 1 or 2 hotels as opposed to spread out all over.
Post # 7
In my case, the block rates are not discounted, and are a bit higher than the AAA rates. The only hotel I could find that doesn’t penalize you if you don’t fill 90 percent of your block has been HORRIBLE at returning calls and emails (really, all of them have been horrible at communication).
Couple this with the fact that FIs family will defintely stay at a Marriot on reward points, my Maid/Matron of Honor and my Out of Town brother will be staying at a Sheraton on reward points, some of my guests have children and only stay in suite type hotels…and I can honestly say that room blocks have been BY FAR the worst part of wedding planning. We finally just nixed it all together.
I did a lot of research on hotels, found the best price at about 5 hotels in town (some upscale, some cheapter, and some suite hotels) and put it on my website. I’ll be providing transportation from one of the Hotels (the one we are staying at) to the ceremony, and I put that info on the site, as well as a reminder that people staying at other hotels will need their own transportation.
I find it fascinating that this was so much easier for everyone else.
Post # 8
Interesting! So far I called one hotel the other day and they never called back…:s
Post # 9
I did my room block through the New Orleans Visitor Center…maybe you area has something like this? I just put in my info and diff hotels emailed me and then I picked 3 places to go see in person and picked from there.
I also wanted to add that some places will throw in extras. My place has a bar in the lobby and have agreed to do a drink vochure for each of our guests. Plus they are giving us a free honeymoon suite for the night of the wedding if 10 rooms book. One of the hotels gave us a free room for one night for 10, two nights for 20 rooms and so on. Ask what else they have to offer.
My place has also agreed to drop the rate lower if it goes lower before the wedding. My fin looked on expedia or something and the rate was lower and called and with nothing she lowered it $15.
Good luck. I am very happy to have this for my guests and love the idea of everyone being at one location for the most part.
Post # 11
I would most certainly block rooms. Wedding season plays havoc and hotels sell out quickly. I’d rather be safe than sorry especially because a room block does not cost anything. There are some cases where a hotel may want to charge you for a room block, but you should only book a hotel that gives you a courtesy room block.
A courtesy room block is a way to block hotel rooms with no deposit. In this kind of room block, the hotel does not “block” any rooms for you. They simply agree to honor a discounted group rate for your wedding guests. Guests can still call and make reservations under a group code just like a traditional block.
Here is more information on the courtesy room block: http://grouptravel.org/wedding/what-is-a-courtesy-room-block-do-i-need-one-for-wedding-guests/#ixzz2hPeJIPui
Also, with that many Out of Town guests, make sure you have wedding gift bags 🙂