Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: Hotel Room Block

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A by Jamie Chang Destination Wedding Planner of Mango Muse Events

Need a wedding planning pick me up?  We’ve got one right here for you in our Wedding Wednesday Q&A.  Today we’re chatting about hotel accommodations: I’m not having my wedding in my home town, but not far enough away to be considered a destination wedding either.  It’s close enough for most people to drive, but I am imagining that some people might want to make a weekend vacation of it.  Do I need to get a hotel room block for my guests?  Or should I just let them fend for themselves?

Great question!  Hotel room blocks can be quite tricky, so it’s good that you ask because you don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you wished you did a hotel room block or the opposite and you wish you hadn’t.  So, first off, hotel room blocks are great because it ensures that you’ll have rooms for X amount of people and you don’t have to worry about it selling out.  Also, they lock in the price which means you don’t have to worry about prices going up (you can most times also get a discounted rate).

However, the bad side of hotel room blocks are that most have some form of financial guarantee whether it’s a deposit required and/or an attrition rate that you have to hit or you’ll be on the hook for the remaining rooms not booked.  So, before you book any room blocks, you’ll want to make sure that whatever financial guarantee you agree to is something you can cover.  What I mean is that if you don’t meet the required number of rooms, you are ok with what you’ll have to pay.  A good way to cover your butt here is to only get the smallest amount of rooms you’ll think you’ll need.  Keep in mind that most room blocks come in blocks of 10, so you’ll need at least 10 rooms.  Make sure before you sign anything that you are reasonably sure you can cover those 10 rooms.

So, how do you figure out if you need a hotel room block?  First, make a list of who you know will need a room (i.e. yourself, parents, wedding party, people flying in etc…).  Then make a list of people who you think will most likely need a room either because they are invited to the rehearsal dinner or day-after brunch or are just the type that would make it a vacation.  See what that number comes out to room wise.  If you are over 10 rooms, then I’d get a hotel room block.  It will save you some money and then people can stay together.  Keep in mind that not everyone who decides to stay overnight will want to stay at the hotel you got a block at, so you always want to underestimate.

Now, outside of the above exercise, there are two instances when it’s good to get a hotel room block.  The first is if the area you are getting married in is a smaller town that doesn’t have too many accommodation options or it’s high season in that area.  The worst thing would be for your guests not to be able to find a room if they wanted one, so having a reserved room block will make sure they are taken care of.  The second is if you are having your wedding at a hotel or resort and you want your guests to stay onsite with you versus staying elsewhere.  You should be able to negotiate something special with the hotel since you’re having the event there and having a room block will ensure you have the rooms you need there.

Make sense?  You just have to think through your particular guests and then underestimate a little and see how you come out.  From there you’ll be able to make a decision.

Hotel sign.

(Photo credit: Kevin Dooley)

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