(Closed) How far ahead need Hotel Blocks? Courtesy Only?

posted 5 years ago in Logistics
Post # 2
Member
2967 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

i think it’s too early to book a hotel block (unless there is some sort of event going on during that time that would cause hotels in the area to fill up fast or if you’re getting married in a very touristy area, etc). i think i booked my rooms 4 or 5 months in advance and i just estimated how many people would be needing a room if they came and booked enough to cover that.

i booked, like, 40 rooms for my wedding and only a few guests actually used them, so i was like, “why did i even bother?” i should have just provided a list of hotels in the area and let everyone figure it out themselves, since that’s what they did anyway, lol

 

Post # 3
Member
1754 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

How big is your guest list, and how busy/popular is the area?

My wedding isn’t until May 2016 and I went ahead and secured a “wedding discount” under my name at a hotel because it’s a very touristy area AND there’s a big event that same weekend (most hotels there won’t even do blocks for that month!).

I wouldn’t get actual hotel blocks this early if there’s nothing crazy happening (because you wouldn’t want to be tied into anything), but if you want them to stay somewhere specific (like if the hotel is also the venue or something), it doesn’t hurt to at least call around and get information about options!  I’m glad we called hotels early because it helped us eliminate some hotels, and I’m compiling a list of other hotels with good rates for guests if they don’t want the one we’re staying at.

Post # 4
Member
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

My wedding is in October and I blocked the hotel last month. Mainly because we want a suite for the night before, night of and night after. By blocking the rooms we had a discount and we had to reserve the suite that early. Besides, it will be on the wedding website and I want that thing done as early as possible before anyone else looks at it. I don’t want to tweet the transportation, hotel or registery and cause confusion later.

Post # 5
Member
597 posts
Busy bee

I believe we did our block right before we sent out out Save-The-Date Cards so people would be able to see all of the information listed on our wedding website. Our hotel was also a very popular wedding hotel so I knew I wanted to get blocks in early. When our weekend came, I found out the hotel was completely sold out and there was a total of 4 weddings thay used them! 

Post # 6
Member
3035 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

I set up my block pretty much as soon as we figured out the venue/date and put a desposit. I looked at my guest list and counted the couples that i thought would stay overnight – based on where they live or how drunk they tend to get… heh. I counted ~30. I contacted the hotel and told them that number and they offered to block of 20 rooms and said that if we needed more they can always add them. I’ve had the info posted on the website ever since… but i doubt anyone will actually book until after I send out invites. 

Post # 7
Member
1440 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I set up a block last month (January) and will be sending out Save-The-Date Cards by the end of this month (Feb) for my September wedding. The STDS have the website on them, which lists the block plus other hotels in the area. It’s just a courtesy block, people are able to book wherever, but the majority of the list is out of town so it is just to help them. I dont’ think it’s every too early, but at 8 months I’d do it soon. Check out what’s happening in town the weekend of your wedding. I waited too long to book for a friend’s wedding in Austin, only to find there was a national motorcycle convention happening, and rates were crazy high everywhere due to demand. 

Post # 8
Member
9281 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

i got engaged 7 months before my weddings, so we blocked rooms when we booked the venue.  my wedding was october and any rooms that were not booked by the date they gave us in september were released.  no cost to us to block them.  i suggest you block rooms now.

Post # 9
Member
758 posts
Busy bee

I set mine up over a year in advance, because there are a lot of popular events happening the same weekend as my wedding. 

I’d actually recommend contacting the hotel, and finding out if they have any annual/recurring events that would cause them to recommend you reserve a block now.

Once you have the block reserved, you don’t even necessarily need to share it with your guests for another few months (assuming they’ll hold it for an extended period of time — I think my block is held until a month before the wedding, so there was no harm in booking way ahead).

Post # 10
Member
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Well, I would say book them, but that’s only because I’ve had a HORRIBLE experience with hotel blocks.

At about the one year mark, I started sending out emails to hotels near our venue…and almost every single one responded that they were full for our wedding weekend. A YEAR in advance. 

It turns out, there’s some HUGE international medical conference the weekend of our wedding and they booked virtually every hotel room in our city. The rooms that weren’t booked had ridiculous, jacked up prices. It has been such a hassle, and the blocks we were able to secure are so overpriced. I feel terrible – especially because I knew our date/location at the 17-18 month mark. If I had started looking then, I probably would have gotten a much better deal/hotel.

So, don’t get screwed like me – at least send some emails. You never know, there could be some crazy event going on in the area that you don’t know about. Also, there’s really no downside of blocking the rooms off early – any unused rooms get released at a certain date (about a month ahead of the event, usually).

Post # 11
Member
5154 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

sarahbeths:  We did ours a year before. I don’t think it’s ever too early – especially if its during wedding season / another event in your town or area. Another bride just posted about how her the hotels she wanted to use are all booked up and now she doesnt know what to do. I’d say get it done – there’s really no reason not to. 

Post # 12
Member
1099 posts
Bumble bee

I actually just signed my room block contract this morning. My wedding is almost a year away but it’s in the washington, dc area and it’s on new years eve. It’s not costing us anything to do it early so why not?

Post # 13
Member
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I don’t think its too early to do room blocks. How many out of town guest will you be having at your wedding? Is there going to be a fee when you block rooms if someone doesn’t book at that particular hotel?

I would ask my guest who i sent the save the date to who will need a room block and plan accordingly. My venue is giving us a month before the wedding if they haven’t reserve a room by then, they will then open up those rooms to other people.

Post # 15
Member
3225 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

sarahbeths: My room block was also on an 80% guarantee contract. I didn’t really have a choice because there is a huge event in my city on the same weekend so I had to do a block and courtesy blocks (10 rooms) wouldn’t be enough for me. What I did was count up how many rooms I knew we would use from guests who would definitely come: a room for me and Fiance, a room for my parents and his parents, my siblings and his siblings, my grandparents and aunts/uncles who I knew would come. That was my 100% and then I added another 20% to that so I knew I’d book at least 80% of my rooms and not be stuck paying for rooms that didn’t get booked. Our block has already sold out twice (I haven’t sent invites yet) so I’ve had to keep adding, but they didn’t make me sign a new contract for that, they just add a few rooms at a time as I need them. We also got our suite for free since our block sold out, so that’s a perk. 

ETA I blocked my rooms in July for a May wedding, so 10 months ahead of time. 

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  carolinabelle.

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