Post # 1
My fiance and I are getting married in Sonoma, Ca next May. Prices for rooms are astronomical-think $400 for a standard Best Western. I’d like to avoid asking my guests to pay that much, and have found a FEW cheaper options, but no where less than 200. That being said..how many rooms did you brides block/plan to block?? I am thinking around 20 but maybe that’s too high?
<br />Any thoughts?
Post # 2
I think it depends on how many people you are inviting to your wedding. Don’t fret too much about this though. I have always been abe to get a better rate by myself either online or by booking directly with the hotel than any room block rate I have been offered.
Be sure to check the language of the contract. Some hotels charge you for the rooms if you don’t meet the minimum.
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
We were only allowed to have 20 rooms at a time, we knew most of our guests were from out of town so we took 20 rooms. There were no penalties for not booking the rooms. The rooms needed to be booked a month before our wedding or else they were released from our hold on them. Our hotel actually sold out, so I was glad to have those 20 rooms! All of them got booked and we told our guests they could either book another hotel nearby or keep calling our hotel as rooms did open up closer to our wedding date from other cancellations. I don’t think anyone had a problem getting a room. Our rooms were comparatively less expensive ($120/night) but even then I had one of my bridesmaids book at a motel nearby because her husband refused to pay over $100/night. So I’d pick what you think the best options are and go with it, if people don’t like it they can look for something else on their own.
Post # 4
I am actually a DOS at a Marriott hotel property, So I get to help lovely brides alot 🙂 Is your wedding a destination wedding? If all of your guests are coming from out of town you have a better chance of more rooms being picked up. Have you called the hotel sales managers or director of sales to put together a special block/rate for the group?
Typically for wedding brides overestimate what they need. If not all guests are coming from out of town there is usually only a 50% pick up rate for the hotel rooms blocked. Like PP said definitely make sure to read ALL of the contracts, because often they will charge YOU if enough rooms aren’t picked up or if you have to inevitably cancel the block.
I have been dealing with a company nightmare of needing to cancel my hotel block SEVEN MONTHS out from my wedding, only because we needed a hotel within walking distance in Ft. Lauderdale. Well, the hotel had a very uncertain cancellation policy and wants to charge me $3000 for cancelling 7 months in advance. It is INSANE. December is the busiest time for vacationers in FL, and I know woking in sales, if they cannot find a group/people to fill those ten rooms they need a new sales manager. Its been a nightmare!! So always read between the lines. I would NEVER do this to an already stressed out bride, but some people dont seem to mind.
Post # 5
Other PPs have had some good advice here. I’ll echo some advice relevant to my experience with this and add a few other points.
– Figure out if you are contractually obligated to pay for any/all unfulfilled rooms. In our city, many of the hotels would set aside 20-25 rooms for your wedding that you have no obligation to fill. If you want more than that, you are responsible for filling a certain percentage of those rooms. Many places quoted me 70%-80%, which is very high. The hotel we ended up booking with only requires 50% of our total rooms be booked. We blocked 50 rooms, but we are having a large wedding with many out of town guests. We haven’t even sent out our STDs and we already have 21 rooms booked.
– Are you offering an open bar? If so, some guests (even ones that are local) might choose to stay. I know that whenever Fiance and I go to a wedding for a close friend/family member that has an open bar, we tend to book hotel rooms for that night so that we don’t have to worry about drinking or driving, and so that we can attend any after party that might happen in the hotel!
– Are you throwing an after party in the hotel? If so, more guests might want to stay!
– Are you providing transportation for your guests from the hotel to the ceremony/reception and back? If so, this might also incentivize more people to stay.
So overall, I would consider the size of your wedding, the amount of your Out of Town guests, and any of the other smaller factors above when determining what’s right for you.