Do You Have To Pay For Rooms Not Used In A Wedding Block?

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If you’re confused about the room block process, then you are not alone. There is a lot of misinformation about certain aspects of blocking rooms and we will clarify one of those issues in this article.

Many brides think that if you block hotel rooms, you are responsible for the unused hotel rooms if your guests do not reserve them.

But that isn’t necessarily true.

By the time you finish reading this article, you will learn that there are two methods to reserve a block of rooms at a hotel.

Method # 1: Regular Room Block

If you were to walk into a hotel today and asked to block rooms for a wedding, you would receive a proposal that would require a deposit (10-50% of total rooms booked) and a signed contract.

Within this contract, there is going to be language that if a certain percentage of rooms is not reserved, you will be responsible for the unused rooms (In industry terms, this is referred to as an attrition clause). This is what is referred to as a regular or “closed” room block.

A closed hotel room block generally requires a contract that specifies:

  • How many rooms are being blocked,
  • The cut-off date (i.e. when the rooms will be released from the block.)
  • The attrition rate (“The difference between the actual number of sleeping rooms picked up and the ‘agreed to’ in the terms of the facility’s contract. Usually there is an allowable shortfall before damages are assessed.” – Convention Industry Council, APEX Industry Glossary) and the damages associated with it.

In most cases, this kind of room block is what gives brides nightmares. Many fear that they will not be able to fill up enough rooms. They fear having to pay the hotel hundreds (or thousands) of dollars in fees.

Fortunately, this is not the only method to blocking hotel rooms. There is the courtesy room block as well.

Method # 2: Courtesy Room Block

The other type of room block is referred to as an “open” or courtesy block of rooms. This is the kind of room block where you won’t pay any deposit nor will you have to sign any kind of contracts. It is basically a discounted group rate that the hotel is offering for your wedding guests.

The only downside is that the hotel is not putting aside any rooms (i.e. inventory) for your wedding guests. So if your guests fail to call before the hotel sells out, then they will have to make reservations elsewhere.

We would suggest, in almost all cases, to go with this kind of block and insist on wedding invitations that room reservations have to be made quickly.

How Do I Get A Courtesy Room Block?

In order to block rooms at a hotel, you will have to get group hotel rates. You could call hotels individually or if you are interested in saving both time and money, try our group hotel rates form.

When filling out the form, add some details about what you need in the comments section. Information such as “No attrition clauses please, or we need a shuttle to so and so place” are very helpful.

What should you do next?

Get a courtesy room block by filling out our group hotel rates form.

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