Post # 1
Here’s the breakdown bees:
– Wedding is in late May in San Diego
– Most guests live in California, between Orange County, LA up to San Francisco.
– Also have fam who may fly in from New England. My parents told me not to expect too many to fly in from N.E though.
– Wedding is Sunday afternoon to evening.
– Overall, I’d easily say 100 people will be coming in town.
Now, its possible some guests may drive back the night of. I’m thinking this is more so friends coming in who don’t mind a late night drive back. Fi’s fam will likely stay in town as will mine as they tend to make weddings a big affair with brunch the next day, etc.
San Diego is a pretty big city, tons of hotels starting downtown and going up into the neighboring areas. But with there potentially being a bunch of people staying in town, I thought it be good to do research on hotel room blocks to help get people discounts if they’re staying in.
The wedding is at a hotel, so it offers room blocks, and if we don’t fill those up, we have to pay. The hotel also provided nearby places to contact – some private, some larger chains like Hilton, Marriott, etc.
I’ve heard of some hotels asking the couple to pay for rooms not booked, whereas others just get a code to give guests who then get a discount.
Curious if its easier to just call hotel by hotel, asking for room block info? Or if there are any useful sites online that help you find and manage room blocks.
If you did room blocks, how did you try and gage who would be needing a room or not? Assuming specific couples would or just booking a minimum of like 10-20 rooms, waiting to see how they filled up and add more if/when needed?
Post # 2
You’re going to have to call around to some hotels. We reserved a room block at the Marriott near our venue. The sales associate at the hotels can help you with your specific needs. For our wedding (around 100 guests, 60 individual family/couple units), we started with a room block of 10 rooms with 80% attrition. This is where we would be responsible for 80% of the room block if they were not reserved by the date of our event. We were not responsible for paying for guests rooms. We left our special reservation link on our wedding website and guests could go on and reserve and pay for their own rooms at our negotiated rate. We ended up having to add more rooms to our room block and had almost 20 rooms booked at our hotel. Marriott was great to work with. They sent us roomming lists when we were getting close to our block limit so we could up the room count as needed.
Post # 3
Call around. The hotel(which is right across from the venue)blocked us 15 rooms,no money down. If we don’t fill them a month before the wedding they will just become open and we will just have to pay for our suite.
Post # 4
I contacted a holiday inn to discuss room blocks. They told me that they will hold 10 rooms at no cost to me. If more of our guests try to book rooms after those 10 are full, they can still get our group rate if the hotel has availability. But if the hotel fills up, then everyone is out of luck. I spoke with some friends who found similar situations when they contacted hotels, so it seems to be a pretty common way that things are being done now. I’m having a wedding where the vast majority of guests will be coming in from out of town, so I am concerned about not having enough space at the hotels for everyone. You may have to call around and arrange for blocks of rooms at multiple hotels, if they have this sort of policy.
Post # 5
You have to call around. Not going to lie, getting the hotel block was one of most frustrating tasks we had…. Lots of hotels didn’t call back, or just didn’t do blocks. We did find one that did in our price range eventually. We blocked off the amount of rooms we thought we’d need, and if they weren’t filled 1 month before the date, the hotel released them to the public. We didn’t pay any money down or fees.
Post # 6
Only do courtesy blocks- you are not obligated to pay for unbooked rooms. Your guests will appreciate any information you share, either on a separate enclosure or on your website, but they can also make their own bookings.
There is a site that can help with room blocks
but your guests can also use any travel site like Trivago or Kayak.
Post # 7
I used jetaport and highly recommend it. Saved me from calling around to a ton of hotels. And there is no obligation to actually use any of the quotes you receive.
Post # 8
I used hotelplanner.com. I put up a post with what I was looking for and then local hotels put in bids. I ended up doing a few hotels with 10-15 rooms each, but that’s just the kind of guests I have. Hotel Planner really helped when I was in a bind looking for one more hotel. Ended up finding a hotel that is eco friendly, affordable, and has kitchens in every room. Awesome.
Post # 9
We originally toyed with the idea of a room block but realized that 99% of our guests wouldn’t stay (local brunch wedding). I did call around to all of the hotels in the area early andit was good that I did…turns out we inadvertently chose our wedding date on a weekend that a large, prominent local university had their homecoming weekend so there was virtually NOTHING available. I snapped up three rooms to have on hand in case anyone wanted to stay the night before, knowing I could cancel without penalty up to 48 hours prior to the day. They ended up being used by my parents, grandmother, and a family friend, and no one else stayed.
I’d recommend calling around, and also on checking if there are any events that might make it hard for people to get rooms!
Post # 10
I used Skipper via The Knot. Didn’t have to call a single hotel. Just selected the 4 hotel rooms I wanted to “pitch” me their price, waited for them to come back with their offer, accepted the ones I liked, waited for our contracts, signed, got our room block codes. It was that easy. Hotels.com also offers a service. Both are completely FREE and courtesy blocks. And with the exception of one boutique hotel I received a quote lower than travel sites like Kayak. They both also have a concierge service that helps you through the way with questions etc.
Post # 11
I would keep in mind if the Padre’s are in town the weekend of your wedding and who they are playing if they are. If they’re playing the Dodgers or SF or a popular East Coast team, I know from experience it can be hard to get a hotel downtown. Also look and see what conventions are in town at the time because that also is extra people in an already popular tourist destination. If any of the above applies I would 100% book a block of rooms.
Post # 12
Our venue had a list of Hotels that were close, and offered shuttle service to our venue. We started with 10 rooms, and we will go up from there. We added the info to our website, and sent that out with our save the dates.
ETA: PLEASE make sure you reserve blocks. They are really helpful. I went to an out of town wedding last summer, and the bride didnt reserve blocks. By the time we found out the location of the venue, all the rooms in town were taken by a Soccer tournament that needed big blocks of rooms. Ended up having to stay at an Airbnb 30 minutes away.
Post # 13
Good tip. I’ll check to see if any major events are happening. Its the weekend BEFORE Memorial Day weekend, so that could help or hurt depending on if people would more likely come in town for a long weekend.. going to see though about games/conferences. Thanks!
EDIT: It’s the Arizona Diamondbacks playing Padres at home. I’m semi-familiar with Baseball, but not as much with Padres. Is that a big game usually for SD or not a big rivalry or anything?
Post # 14
For sure — I’ve had the experience too of not having rooms around so we had to stay with family and it got cramped. So that’s why if I can get some courtesy rooms that I don’t have to worry to pay for if we don’t book – doing it for sure! I want people to feel comfortable coming in knowing they got some options for places to stay.
Post # 15
New Question… Did you reach out to your wedding party and/or close family/relatives to see if anyone would need a room? I def don’t mean asking everyone but like checking in with bridesmaids, groomsmen, maybe grandparents, etc…
I’m wondering if I should ask my wedding party if they want to stay at the hotel the wedding is happening at. Some live in the city so I’d assume they’re going to go home, but who knows. Some are def driving down from LA or flying in, and I can imagine staying at the hotel would be convenient for getting ready.