(Closed) How and When do you block rooms for guests?

posted 10 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
Member
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

You don’t have to pay for the rooms when you book – you are just blocking off a group of rooms for a specific price. They will give you a date that your guests would have to book by and if all the room’s are not booked up they will be released at that time.

All you have to do is call up the hotel and let them know you are having a wedding in the area and would like to book some rooms!

I would go with a major hotel chain so that you know the quality and service and then you wouldn’t have to visit the location!

Good Luck!

Post # 4
Member
2066 posts
Buzzing bee

Reserve the rooms before you send out your save the dates (if possible).  Since your wedding is Labor Day weekend, I’d make sure to reserve rooms 6 months in advance.  

Ditto what the previous poster said.  Just read the fine print and make sure that there is a clause that the unbooked rooms are released a certain amount of days before your wedding and you aren’t charged for unused rooms.  

If you are doing Out of Town bags, inquire if they have a delivery fee for this, and if so, negotiate that it is waived BEFORE you book the rooms.

Post # 5
Member
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Funny you should mention this, because I signed my hotel room block contract today! Smile

I happen to be getting married at a resort, so they called to remind me that I needed to block them off and recomended that I do it now – so I did. Hotel room blocks sound confusing, but it really just means that you are reserving a large group of rooms at once, and far in advance, to receive a discount. 

My wedding is Sept 4 2010 and I am not sure if there will be a lot of other  people in town that labor day weekend.

– Yes, I would guess that travel will be slightly higher that weekend because of the holiday, so you may want to get on it a little earlier than normal.

I have a few hotels that look good from reviews but I am supposed to visit them to check?

– You probably don’t have to visit. I think as long as you’ve done your research (read reviews etc), you’ll be fine. 

  How far in advance to I do it? 

– Start making calls in the next few months. I recommend calling the hotels you are specifically interested in and asking someone in the sales department some of your questions. They’ll be upfront with you about how it works.

I think I will need about 20 rooms maybe.

– This is the only place I will caution you! The contracts vary from place to place. At some hotels, if you reserve a block of rooms and don’t fill them all, you are still responsible for paying for them. Read the contracts carefully and choose accordingly!

Do you have to pay when you call to block them? 

– No, you shouldn’t. But you will most likely have to sign a contract.

How do I talk to the hotel, just say I need to block rooms for a wedding? 

– Yes, tell them when and where your wedding is and that you are looking to reserve a block of rooms at a few different places, and ask them what they can offer you… then let them do the talking.They’ll know exactly what you are talking about and will be intimately familiar with the process.

Best of luck!!

 

Post # 6
Member
542 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Absolutely check what the policy is for unused rooms.  Since everyone is coming from out of town for our event, I wanted a hotel in the area of the venue.  The hotel I want to use requires us to pay 80% of the unbooked rooms.  However, that hotel is also the least expensive option, and I chose to my guest’s wallets over me having to potentially pay.  So I just blocked a smaller number of rooms with the possibility of adding more rooms if need be. 

Post # 7
Member
1514 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We booked about a year ago for our wedding in August.  It’s never too early, especially with the holiday weekend. 

Post # 8
Member
165 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Not that you have to, but I might recommend looking at the hotels. That is what I am doing only because I was at a wedding a couple weeks back and the hotel they reserved rooms at ended up being a dump…regardless of any good reviews. I just don’t want my guests to walk into their room and find it dirty or that it smells. If your getting married around where you live, and the hotels are near by, I don’t think it would take more than 10-15 min to stop in, look at a room and the hotel, and know if it’s okay for you. If you are getting married further away, then I would just make sure you read any negative reviews to make sure they aren’t huge issues.

Post # 9
Member
1523 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Go ahead and find a hotel that you like and call them. I owuld make sure that the hotel is nice since you are basically reccomending it to guests.

We just set up a room block at a courtyard by Marriott. I did not want to be contractually obligated to rooms, so we set up a room block that did not require a contract.

My wedding is Sunday, September 5, 2010. We have blocked 20 rooms for Friday, saturday and Sunday of that weekend. If people book all of the rooms blocked for one night, Marriott will release 5 more rooms to us at a time. If we fill those we get five more etc… I think it’s a pretty good system and I have never had a bad experience with a Marriott otel.

Post # 10
Member
3997 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I blocked off my rooms way ahead of time because there are several colleges in the area and they told me that graduations might be the same weekend (they’re not) but all I had to do was sign a contract saying that if no one books a room by a month before the wedding date, we’d be responsible to pay for the cost of one room.  No biggie!  I’d say to do it as soon as you can, nothing is too early if they let ya.  Originally I was going to do this at a couple of hotels, to give them a choice, but the prices were so varied I figured the guests would most likely want to stay at the same hotel together.  If not, they can find another one on their own but it would be silly because this is the closest one and its the nicest.

Post # 11
Member
2403 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

“blocking rooms” in a hotel was so confusing to me also Embarassed…  thanks ladies for such thoughtful / detailed responses!! so helpful.

Post # 13
Member
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

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.

There are 2 types of reservations you can make for blocks…

1) you get a group rate and the hotel holds it for you up to 3-4 weeks of your event, while your guests book for that rate… afterward the rate discount is over

2) you get a group rate you have to guarantee 80% of the rooms… meaning if you ask for 10 rooms and only 5 of your guests stay there, you have to pay for the other 3 yourself

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/

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”

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