As early as possible.
In fact, it can never be too early to block hotel rooms for a wedding, says Rachel Wexler, a bridal consultant.
“I had a bride call me completely distraught last year. Her wedding in Albany N.Y. was only a month away and happened to coincide with a large city wide event.
Most hotels were sold out
“She could not get group rates from any of the hotels near her wedding venue. The only hotels available were ones that her guests would never stay at. Had she booked a block of rooms ahead of time, she would not have had this problem. She ended up calling all her out of town guests individually to tell them that they were on their own for hotels.
“Some of her guests ended up paying over $200 a night for a hotel that normally charges $89. I always tell my brides to book as early as possible. In fact, the day you set a wedding date, get group rates for a block of hotel rooms”.
Blocking hotel rooms early provides many other advantages and we have listed the most important ones below.
Group Hotel Discounts
The further ahead you book a hotel, the better the chances that you’ll be offered group discounts. If you wait till hotels fill up, then they will be reluctant to offer discount group hotel rates to wedding parties. The advantage clearly is to book ahead as it increases your chances of getting discounted group rates from the hotel of your choice.
You’re Getting This Year’s Room Rates For Next Year’s Wedding
If the wedding is more than a year out, then by booking ahead you are locking in this years room rates for next years wedding. If you wait too long, rates are bound to go up and you will have wasted a great opportunity to save.
If you are paying for out of town wedding guests, then this can result in significant savings. If your guests are paying for their own rooms, then they will certainly appreciate the effort on your part to make sure that they got a good discount (Group rates are around 22% less than regular room rates)
No Worries About Not Having Enough Rooms
There are only a limited amount of hotel rooms in any given area. By booking early, you remove the risk of a big event or convention taking up all the rooms in your desired city.
While you may think that this is not going to happen in your city, you’d be surprised at how hotels sell out due to large city wide events. Book early and remove the risk of being sold out at a hotel near your wedding venue.
Use The Hotels Eagerness To Get Business On The Books
Hotels want to reduce their risk of not selling out by selling blocks of rooms as early as possible. Booking your room block a year out will place a piece a business “on the books” at the hotel of your choice.
Knowing that you are blocking a good amount of rooms ahead of time will increase your leverage when you negotiate for additional amenities such as a free shuttle, or free breakfast for your guests. Use this advantage to gain some additional freebies.
Shop Around For Group Hotel Rates
Take advantage of the fact that you are looking early by getting group rates from more than just one hotel. It’s easy to do nowadays since you don’t actually have to call every hotel to get rates.