Post # 1
I feel dumb but I don’t know what I am supposed to do. I am reading online and on my online wedding planner tool that I am supposed to “reserve a block of hotel rooms for out of town guests”.
What, exactly, does this mean??? Almost ALL of our guests will be from out of state, as we are marrying in Iowa and we are from Texas and our friends/family are from Texas and some from Colorado. About 3 or 4 people are actually from Iowa and even those are from far enough away in other Iowa cities that they might want to not drive back home after the reception.
Are we expected to pay for everyone’s hotel?? I don’t think that’s the case, so how could I reserve a “block of rooms” and why?
All I have done so far, regarding the accomodations, is to list five or six options with the website and contact info and rate range on our wedding website. We (me, Fiance, and our 3 kids) are renting out a house for the week, and the house sleeps 20 people (three stories, tons of room). The place rents for a set price for the first six people then $20 per person per night above that, up to 20 total.
So we are planning on offering that as an option to some guests, especially those who we know will have a tough time affording anything else…
But as for this block of room things I have no clue!
Post # 3
Look up great hotels on tripadvisor and google maps. Find a couple at different price points. Call hotels – they will save rooms for you (sometimes at a discount) until 6-4 weeks before the wedding. You won’t pay anything. That way your hotels won’t sell out before your guests have a chance to book.
Post # 4
No, this does not mean paying for everyone’s rooms! It usually means contacting a hotel or two and reserving some rooms – most hotels will do this for without requiring a deposit. I personally would not reserve rooms anywhere where a deposit is required and you want to make sure you are not responsible for paying for these rooms if they are not filled. If you have a lot of hotel options nearby, I would not worry about this too much and go ahead with listing some options and their prices on your website.
Some hotels will offer a group discount (cheaper room rates) if you block off rooms with them, so that may be an advantage at some places. Typically, any rooms that are not booked by your guests at a certain time period prior to the wedding (often 1 month) are released and then the hotel can fill them as they need to. I would say this is only a big priority if there are limited accommodations available near your venue and you want to ensure people have somewhere to stay or if you can get a discounted rate for your guests.
Post # 5
The other thing I was going to note that I didn’t see the other two say is that people will then just call said hotel and ask for a room under the wedding party name. I set this up and got a great deal for our guest plus we ended up getting extra comps like a free drink at the bar for each guest and one free night at the hotel.
I know other people that have done like you have though and just said these are some good local places and leave it up to them. I don’t think it is a big deal unless you want to have guests all at one location or if you are hoping to try and save them money.
Post # 6
you block off (reserve) a group of rooms with a hotel chain in your town so that your guests have the chance to reserve a room under that block. It prevents things like big conventions that may come into town from stealing all the available hotel rooms. Your block of rooms will usually be available to your guests until two weeks before your wedding, at which point it will be released to the public. The rooms under the block are usually at a discount too, so guests get a better price. I wouldn’t reserve a block with any hotel that won’t give you a discounted rate. You are bringing them a large group of guests, so they should offer a discount room rate per night!
Don’t do blocks with those hotels that require you to meet a minimum number of reservations. That happened to my friend. She reserved more rooms than her guests book and she ended up having to pay for the ones that weren’t booked in the block. Some hotels do that, but a lot don’t. So make sure you read the contract carefully!
Also, usually the bride and groom get a free night stay when they reserve the block of rooms. And we even got a $100 visa gift card from the hotel when 20 people booked under the block.
Post # 7
A room block is when you reserve a number of rooms at a hotel for out of town wedding guests. The main reason you do this is that hotels will give a discount when all the rooms are blocked at one hotel.
Room blocks are nice because sometimes the hotel will give you a free room with 10 rooms booked. So you can get your room for free. Some will give free tickets to use at their restaurant for breakfast. Finally some will provide a free shuttle with 10 rooms booked. That way your guests can have transportation if they are big drinkers
Plus, wedding guests tend to like to stay with other guests so they can hang out.
When blocking rooms, most hotels will let you block up to 20 rooms a night without any deposit or formal contract. They will “hold” these rooms till about three weeks before the wedding and any unreserved rooms will be released to the general public for sale.
Here is a set of articles that you can read to get more information about blocking rooms at a hotel for a wedding: http://grouptravel.org/wedding/frequently-asked-questions-faq-about-blocking-hotel-rooms-for-a-wedding/
If you need a larger number of rooms to be blocked, hotels will ask you to sign a contract and may charge you for rooms that are not reserved.
As a general rule, you want to book with a hotel that does not charge you for rooms. When booking, ask the hotel for an open or courtesy room block. They will usually put aside ten rooms for you and when those ten are reserved, then they will add another ten rooms to your block.
Just make sure that you send invites six months in advance so guests have time to plan and book. Hotels do sell out fast during wedding season so the earlier you can get wedding guests to book, the better.
In your letter, rather than saying, we have blocked/set aside rooms at these hotels, you can say: “We have arranged special rates with the X, Y, and Z hotels. Please make your reservation by X date to ensure you receive the special rate. Here is the group code you can use when calling to make the reservation”
Post # 7
What ever you do, DO NOT USE hotelweddingblocks.com as I have never experienced such terrible customer service like this ever before. After being in email contact with 2 different consultants, neither one got back to me with hotel/price options. I sent several more emails that were ignored. I waited 2 months- calling multiple times and leaving a few voicemails, until I finally got a ahold of one of the consultants via email. She stated that she did not find any options in my price range. No further explanation or options given. Of course when emailed back for further help with an expanded budget I got no reply. Complete waste of my time.
Post # 8
- Wedding: November 2015 - The Victorian
I HIGHLY recommend Jetaport. You pick your hotels, they contact them on your behalf and then you say yes or no. Just be sure to read the FAQ, as there are courtesy blocks and guaranteed blocks, so you want to know the difference. They were great for me, I hope they can help you! I don’t know if they only operate in certain cities or what but it’s worth it to check. And it’s all free too. They make a commission from the hotel off the rooms.