Post # 1
Fiancé and I are getting married at a hotel. At first I assumed everyone would just stay there but after communicating with the hotel I’m not so sure. I’ve also read different things about room block policies so if anyone has experience please help!! The hotel we are getting married at offered us a room block at a pricey rate. In regards to the block, it is not complimentary (we have to give a deposit), and we are on the hook if 80% of the rooms aren’t booked. Is this normal for hotel wedding blocks?
I am reluctant to block at the hotel because I don’t think enough people would end up staying and we cannot afford to pay if the rooms aren’t booked. But at the same time people may be willing to pay for the convenience. I feel like if I ask my guests now I’ll get a different response come wedding time(the wedding is in April 2016). I plan to include more affordable hotel options, though not as close to our wedding site. Should I block the hotel and hope that enough people book? Or offer more affordable options; not get a block at our hotel and let guests know they can book but at the hotel’s normal rates?
Post # 2
Since you have to pay if you don’t use the rooms, I would advise to not block any. People won’t know the difference if you didn’t or not, unless they are getting one heck of a deal. Is there a lot of hotels in that area? Offer them more then one suggestion when you send out invites, or how ever you will be doing it.
Post # 3
I have a block of rooms reserved at one of the Marriott hotels- no deposit and we are not on the hook if they do not get booked. There is a deadline (a month before our wedding) at which time, the hotel will release the rooms that were not booked by my wedding guests.
I would have thought since your wedding is at that actual hotel, they would give you a deal on the rooms? But everybody’s policies are different… 80%… sounds risky depending on how many rooms you can block vs how many people you actually think will book the rooms.
Post # 4
- Wedding: May 2016 - Cherry Orchard
I wouldn’t block rooms if you have to pay! Find a more affordable place and offer a block there and let your guests know that the two options are available (via wedding website if you have one). Not worth the risk without a significant discount on the room block.
Post # 5
I have two hotel blocks, a Marriott and a Hilton. If the rooms do not get booked I do not have to pay for them. I don’t have to pay a deposit – basically, I don’t have to pay for anything. But there is a cut off date for your guests to book – about a month before the wedding, as a previous poster mentioned.
I did not contact the hotels directly. I used jetaport.com and they did everything for me. They basically act as a liaison between you and the hotel.
Post # 6
There is no need to book with a hotel that charges you if the block is not filled. Besides the fact that many hotels do not charge such a fee ( your block ends on a certain date and those rooms are then freed up for others to reserve), your guests can book anywhere they want.
I have actually never booked a room that was blocked in any of the weddings I have attended. I can always find a better deal at a hotel I prefer by booking online.
If your wedding is at a hotel, your guests will check the room rates at that hotel and decide for themselves if it is affordable.
You can either book a block in a nearby hotel or simply list a few hotels in several price ranges, and not book a block at all.
Post # 7
I agreee with the PP – I would not book if you have to pay a deposit and/or are on the hook for unbooked rooms. Like a few of the other PP, I have a block of rooms reserved at a Marriott property, and my terms are the same as stated by iheartpenquins. There is no way I would have booked those rooms if I were going to be on the hook for them though.
Post # 8
I have a room block at the lodge where we will be holding or wedding and reception. My fiancé and I are only responsible for 50% of the rooms being filled. At first, we weren’t even going to bother because we didn’t want to risk it (this place is pricey) for just a 10% discount, but when the lodge booked two more weddings the same weekend, we felt like we had to get a block so that the other weddings’ guests couldn’t take up all the space! Haha.
Before determining how many rooms to block off, we spoke with those closest to us to find out if they would be staying. We had around 9 people say they would be staying (trustworthy immediate family), so we used that to determine our room block (we reserved 18 rooms). we are having a small intimate wedding of under 50 people, so it is probably easier for me to determine how many I will need. You can also always add more if your block fills up ahead of time. Anyways, hope that helps!
Post # 9
we’ve booked a block at the Hilton and there’s no cost if it doesn’t book up… we did have to give our credit card number, and it sounds like it’ll be used if a guest defaults on their own payment. All that about how if 80% isn’t booked you’re on the hook and you have to put a deposit etc.. would worry me. I’d probably be very very conservative in the block size if that were the case, and simply try and add more rooms to the block if it fills up.
Post # 10
I would find a courtesy block where you’re not financially responsible for the rooms. If it’s going to be a busy time for that area (e. g. college graduation, etc), you might let your guests know to reserve their rooms promptly.
Post # 11
I have heard of being responsible if 80% of the rooms aren’t booked, glad to hear that not all hotels do that! I have tried to reach out to a few hotels, but they have either not answered or told me it is too early to block rooms (wedding isn’t till 12/2016) and I have to wait till the wedding is a year away. Maybe I will try the website @AMNDAPLZ listed. thanks!
Post # 12
We had mixed expereinces with this. A local, “boutique” (their word) hotel was impossible- couldn’t give us a rate for months, we even gave up ourselves and tried to have a travel agent handle it (blew her off totally and she books blocks of rooms all the time!), wanted us to just have our guests wait to book until the first week of December when they thought they know their winter rate (for a 1/1/2016 wedding!), and when we went in, they wanted us to pay in advance for the rooms and get reimbursed from the guests. The hotel was lovely, the attitude was obnoxious. We live in a beach town- in New England- I just dare you to find a way to fill the hotel in the dead of winter!
We, obvioulsy, gave up on them. We went to another local hotel that has had horrible reviews, but recently underwent a major renovation and has new management. We went back three times, toured multiple rooms, the management deeply discounted the rooms, and they could not have been more accommdating. We didn’t have to pay in advance, they didn’t reuire a minimum stay, and they agreed to extend the discounted rate for anyone who may want to come earlier or leave later. It may be a risk, but we decided to give it a shot.
We also, to accommodate as many people as possible, picked another hotel- a Hampton Inn- that is slightly further away (the other hotel that we eneded up using is walking distance-literally across the street from the venue; the Hampton Inn is a five minute car ride). The Hampton Inn offerred a discounted rate for our guests and set aside a block of rooms.
My best advice is to shop around. We desperately wanted the first hotel, but after actually going in and speaking to the management, I’d never stay there. I think we ended up with two viable options for our guests and I also included information on local B & Bs for those who would prefer that.
Post # 13
This is very normal for a lot of hotels. What you could do before choosing the number of rooms to block is ask your guests who plans to stay at the hotel at the price they quoted. Then block that number of rooms just to be sure they get them. For this to really work well you should ask the hotel what the policy is if more people decide to stay at the hotel than expected (if they are willing to extend the discounted rate beyond the number of rooms blocked, should the rooms be available). If they say that the discount could be extended if the rooms are still available, I would just do it this way and then tell guests that the room block is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis to encourage guests to book as early as possible.
If they won’t extend the reduced rate beyond the number of blocked rooms, I would still block rooms for the definite people but not any extras and then try to find hotels in the area that do a courtesy block OR just list a bunch of different hotels at different price points in the area.
Personally, I would much, much prefer to stay at the hotel where a wedding was taking place than one that involves driving/taxis and I’m sure there are others with the same ideas. However, the price of the room also would factor into my decision to stay there, so it’s nice to offer different options anyway.
Post # 14
Thanks for the info everyone!! It’s sounding like I will not be blocking at our hotel-unless the bridal party decides they want to stay. I’m glad to hear this is not how all room blocks work!