Blocking rooms, for those that aren’t familiar, means that you are asking a hotel to put aside a certain number of rooms so out of town wedding guests can call and make their reservations at one hotel.
The advantages of blocking hotel rooms are many including:
- Hotels offer you group rates that are a lot cheaper than what you can find online.
- Out of town guests and family members stay at the same hotel, giving them a place to hang out after hours. Plus, it helps that they can all have breakfast in the morning too.
- You can get perks like a free room or even a free shuttle
While the advantages are many, there is still the matter of blocking the rooms, and that takes four simple steps.
Step 1: Figure out how many rooms you’ll need to block
There is a simple way to figure out how many rooms you’ll need. Count how many people (kids and adults) are coming from out of town and block half that number. You can get into more complicated ways of figuring it out here, but for most people this little trick works.
Step 2: Get group rates from multiple hotels
Don’t bother calling hotels individually because you’re just going to waste time. Fill out one form and have the same hotels email you their lowest group rate. It’s really simple and you’ll have group rates in less than five minutes.
Tip: Make sure to ask for a courtesy room block in the comments section. This is the kind of room block where you aren’t responsible for unused rooms and there is no deposit.
Step 3: After locking in your rate, ask for a freebie
Take a look at the hotels that you have group rates from and contact the ones you’re interested in. Some things you want to ask about are:
- Do they offer a free room to the bride and groom for blocking rooms at the hotel?
- Can the hotel offer early check in (11am) so guests can get ready at the hotel and them drive to the wedding?
- Will the hotel hand out wedding gift bags for free at check in?
- Will the hotel offer the same group rates to guests who stay a day or two before or after the wedding (this is commonly referred to as shoulder dates)?
- If your guests will need transportation to/from wedding, can the hotel provide free shuttle service in their airport shuttle?
While you may not get all of the above, we would definitely ask. Even if they agree to one or two, you’re better off than not having asked at all.
For more information, read about the perks hotels offer when you block rooms for a wedding.
Step 4: Sign room block contract
Hotel contracts for a wedding room block should be fairly straight forward and short, especially if you’ve got a courtesy room block. It should have, at the minimum, the following:
- Number of rooms blocked and rate information,
- How guests can make reservations and whether each guest is responsible for their own room
- Cancellation policy,
- Cut-off dates (try to get a three week cutoff)
- And make sure that you are not responsible for unused rooms (commonly called an attrition clause).
As you can see, blocking rooms is not as difficult as it is made out to be. Just follow the four easy steps outlined and you’ll be just fine.
What should you do next?
Block hotel rooms today by filling out one simple form. In less than five minutes, you’ll have group rates from hotels without the hassle of calling each one individually. Get started now.