One of the parts of wedding planning that few people talk about? Booking the block of rooms for guests traveling for your wedding day!
While securing a block of rooms can seem scary and complicated, we’re going to break everything down so that you know exactly what to do.
Room Block Basics
A block of rooms is a number of rooms set aside at a hotel for your guests so that they can book at a set rate. Typically, there will be a minimum number of rooms that a hotel will allow you to reserve depending on the size of the hotel.
We recommend having a block of rooms at two different hotels that are both near your chosen venue. This way, guests will be able to go to and from your ceremony and reception without needing to factor in time for a long uber or taxi ride.
Another benefit of having a block of rooms is that they sometimes come with additional amenities like early check-in or late check-out, and typically, the more rooms you block off, the more amenities you’ll receive.
Make sure to ask about these during the early phase and before signing the contract so that you know what you and your guests can expect!
The most important piece of information to know before calling local hotels is how many guests you’re expecting who will need to stay in a hotel.
This early in the wedding process, you don’t need to worry about counting locals who may want to stay near the venue. You’ll want to focus on our-of-town guests who will likely need to stay in a hotel.
Now we have a little bit of math to do, but don’t worry! It’ll be quick and easy.
Divide the number of out-of-town guests you expect to have by two since you’ll likely have two guests per room. So if you’re expecting 50 guests who will need to stay in a hotel, you’re now at 25 rooms.
Now, you’ll calculate 80% of that number since it’s likely that some will not be able to make it. For example, if you’re expecting 50 guests and divide by 2 to reach 25 rooms, 80% of 25 is 20, so you would need 20 rooms included in your block of rooms.
We mentioned earlier that we recommend reserving a block of rooms at multiple hotels. That is key if you are having a large wedding (140+ people), planning a destination wedding where the majority of guests will need to travel in order to be there, or reserving a block of rooms at one hotel that is particularly pricey or upscale.
This way, your guests can have options of what will work for them best, and you won’t have to worry about guests not having a place to stay.
Make sure to check a hotel’s cancellation policies, deposit requirements, and mitigation clauses carefully before booking! This will ensure that you know what happens if your block of rooms isn’t filled and what fees you may be responsible for.
Pro-tip: If you’re looking to be able to book a block of rooms without a commitment to fill all of the rooms, ask for a courtesy room block.
You’ll want to book your block of rooms about a year in advance of the big day or by the time save the dates are sent out. This will ensure your rooms are set aside even if a big event in the city you’re getting married in falls on your wedding week or weekend.
And don’t forget to include all the booking information on your wedding website! This will allow all of your guests to have the information they need in one place and will cut down on the amount of questions you receive leading up to the wedding day.
If your rooms are likely not going to be filled, consider offering them to local wedding guests especially close family, friends, or the bridal party. This will make sure your nearest and dearest feel like the VIPs they are.
Lastly, if you know ahead of time that your block of rooms will not be filled, let the hotel know. It’ll make the process that much faster and easier for everyone.