(Closed) Courtesy blocks for hotel rooms, how do they work?

posted 11 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
1229 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Most hotels will create a “block” of rooms  – reserved specifically for your guests.  Your guests must call the hotel and state that they are with the “Smith/Jones” wedding party.  These hotels usually provide a discounted room rate for your guests that book rooms under your wedding party name.

Some hotels require that the bride/groom are held financially responsible for any rooms not booked in the block.  For instance, if you reserve 40 rooms in the block, but only 20 rooms get booked, you will be responsible for the other 20!  In this case, it is best to only create a small block (10 rooms, say) at first.  Then, have the hotel call you when the block is nearly filled.  You should be able to add rooms to the block as the wedding nears closer (like 5 at a time).  Make sure you ask the hotel if this is possible before you sign the contract. Otherwise, this could be a risky proposition! 

I blocked rooms at 2 hotels and neither of them held us financially responsible. Our guests just had to state our names to book their rooms at the discounted rate and had to do so by 1 month before our wedding.  Both had great customer service and called me when one block was almost full, so that i could add more rooms in case more guests called to reserve rooms at our discounted rate.

Post # 4
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Pretty much exactly what MrsK2be said.  But there is an option (at least was for me) where if you spend a certain amount on catering (we are doing our rehearsal dinner there) then the room block is a courtsey and we don’t have to pay for the rooms if they don’t get booked.  So if you are interested in that (or need a bridal shower or rehearsal dinner or post wedding brunch place still) that’s something you should be able to negotiate.

Post # 6
10216 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

I agree with Mrs. K. I am in the process and only booking 10 rooms for each of the hotels i am requesting.  Basically I have to give one my credit card and it won’t be charged if I cancel within 48 hours.

Post # 7
512 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I called around and most hotels asked for 80% responsibility ( so if you ask for 10 rooms, you are responsible for 8 and anything booked below that you have to pay) however I got one hotel to block 10 rooms, no obligation – however the rate was only available until the hotel was booked at 80% capacity. I signed a two page contract – they were great and simply advised guest of other hotels in the area which I didnt have contracts with but still offered a decent rate.

Post # 8
2680 posts
Sugar bee

I did my wedding block at a Hilton and it was similar to what you received.  We had to book a minimum of 10 rooms and guarantee that 80% of those rooms would be booked.  If they werent we had to pay the difference. We had a lot of out of towners coming in so we werent concerned that we wouldnt reach the minimum.  We booked the minimum 10 rooms and added more as they were needed.  If we added more (say called and said up our rooms from 10-20) we were still only responsible for the 80% of the rooms we contracted for which were 10.

Post # 9
806 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Depending on your area you may not need to pay anything… I set up blocks at 2 hotels and neither required me to have any liability. 

Both gave me a discounted rate for guests.

One will hold a block of rooms until 60 days before the wedding… then the block is released… but guests can still get the discounted rate if rooms are available in the hotel.

The other does not block rooms, but guests can get the discounted rate (as long as rooms are available in the hotel) up until 30 days before the wedding.

Post # 10
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

try hotelplanner.com–the hotels will bid on the room block you need. The ones I used didn’t need any money from the bride and groom.

Post # 11
671 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2021

I had to give my credit card # for our block but I am only responsible for my block of rooms if not enough people book to meet the minimum.  Luckily, at my time of year, there is a two room minimum which we have already far surpassed.  I’d check around at some other hotels just to compare. 


Post # 12
3342 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I set up three hotel blocks and didn’t have to give my credit card, and am not liable for unbooked rooms.

Post # 14
132 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Like folks have been saying, some hotels do have the policy that they will make “no commitment” room blocks for you (for under 10 rooms is a common number) but my experience is that they don’t necessarily make this the highest priority, to put it mildly. I have had to call some hotels back like 5 times to get through to the person who does this, and then they say they will send confirmation emails to me, and they don’t, and I have to call back again …. etc etc. ahhh

If they are hemming and hawing about it, try to make it seem like you are planning to steer MOST of their guests to their hotel. They may ask if you are also blocking rooms at other hotels, and while I wouldn’t lie, I would definitely tell them that you are encouraging most of your guests to stay at their fine stablishment 😉

Post # 15
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Traditional room blocks
Traditional room blocks require the hotel to put aside a set of rooms until a certain amount of time before your wedding. The hotel will “block” these rooms from being sold just so your guests can make their reservations. For the privilege of blocking these rooms, a hotel will require a guarantee in the form of deposits or attrition clauses in your contract.

A courtesy room block is a bit different
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.

Why A Courtesy Room Block Is Better?

  • You Don’t Need A Deposit

  • Unlike a traditional “closed’ room block, arranging a courtesy room block at a hotel requires no deposit so it won’t cost a single red cent to get one.

  • There Is No Financial Risk

  • Generally speaking, hotels won”t require a contract when you get a courtesy room block since none of the rooms are being “held” for your group. There are no attrition clauses or cut off dates for you to worry about.

  • You Still Get All The Perks (free bridal room etc.)



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