Post # 1
My fiancee and I have booked a semi destination wedding (ie you can drive there that day, but you are probably staying overnight). My fiancee is a little weary of how this will be recieved by his family (who is cheap but they also spend money on weird things, so I don’t think it’s a real issue with anyone affording to stay overnight). Anyways I’m looking at trying to find the cheapest hotel within a reasonable distance that will just shuttle our guests (or at least his family) to the wedding. How does one block off rooms? I’m a little early because I don’t think they typically do it until 9 months prior, but I also know its in a larger city when a convention is going on so I want to get it done as soon as I can. Do you have to prepay for these rooms? I’m not really sure how the whole thing works and what money is involved?
Post # 3
I was a little late doing this for my own wedding, but it wasn’t too tough. I just called around to different hotels and asked about rates. I think blocking off rooms way in advance is a good thing because a lot of the hotels I called about a month and a half before my wedding were already filled up! When I finally did find one to use, they just asked me how many rooms I needed, and I had to give them a credit card number to hold the rooms. They gave me a confirmation number that our guests had to use when booking their room. They also told me that I had up until the day before to cancel any rooms that would not be used, or else my card would be charged. I was able to do this all over the phone. I did go there a couple of days before just to double check that all of the guests had reserved their rooms. It was actually pretty easy! I only blocked off 6 rooms, so we didn’t have a “contract”. I think if you have a higher number of rooms to block off the process might be a little different. Good luck!
Post # 4
Just call and they will set aside rooms. No you dont prepay, there will just be a cut off date. So if people dont reserve the rooms by a certain date, they release them to the public and then you run the risk of no vacancy.
Post # 5
We did this and we just emailed the hotel and they put us in touch with a woman who handles the blocking of rooms. At our hotel we were only able to block 20 rooms, and as those rooms fill up we have the option of getting more rooms if they are available.
I would suggest asking the hotel if you can book a combination of suites (for families) and standard rooms.
Post # 6
We worked with an events coordinator at the hotels who blocked off rooms for us in ten room increments. As those ten were filled, ten more were released into our block. You generally do not pre-pay for the rooms. you are given a cut-off date (you must book by X date) – typically a month before your event – that guests have to be booked by. Any rooms not booked at that point are released to the general public for sale.
Post # 7
Also, be careful – hotel blocks are not always the cheapest price. We’ve run into that a couple times when reserving rooms for weddings. Definitely try for a block where you aren’t on the hook for the leftover rooms!
Post # 8
@kl1987: I just did this and used hotelplanner.com. It made it really easy. I got about 12 hotel bids in a day and then just picked the best options. We chose 2 different hotels with blocks of 20 in each (we have a lot of out of towners) and wanted to provide a cost choice for our guests.
Post # 9
Struggling with this now. Our wedding is OOT for 90% of our guests and there is a convention in town, so we blocked 50 rooms almost a year ago. (Enough for most guests.) We blocked at 2 different hotels (30 at 1, 20 at the other.) Both hotels made us sign contracts indicating that we are responsible for 80% of the blocked rooms– so if they are not booked, they will charge us. I felt like we had no choice, because otherwise our guests would likely end up with nowhere to stay.
Now, one block is full but the smaller block is barely booked.. I think we have 12 rooms left to meet our minimum. Lots of people have not booked yet, so hoping that it will work itself out, but it’s giving me a headache.