Wedding Hotel Room Blocks: Everything You Need to Know
What is a wedding hotel room block and do you need one for your wedding guests? We’re sharing the details on what you need to know.
When it comes to planning your wedding, there are so many minute details that have to be decided upon, figured out, and settled. From choosing the color palette to picking between bubbles or sparklers for your exit, there’s an incredibly long list of decisions required in the wedding planning process. One of the many things you’ll need to take care of is reserving a block of rooms for your wedding guests. This can be a daunting task, but don’t worry – we’re here to help!
Although many of the decisions and choices you make while planning your wedding will be for your own gain (as they should be!), this wedding planning task focuses mostly on your guests.
In this blog post, we will answer all of your questions about wedding hotel room blocks. What are the benefits? What are the risks? How do you reserve a block of rooms for your wedding? Are you financially liable for any unsold rooms? Below, we’ll also get into the most basic definition of a hotel room block, why they matter, where you should book, and what to do once your hotel room block is secured. Let’s get started!
What is a hotel room block?
At its most basic, a hotel room block is a series of rooms at a chosen hotel (or a few — we’ll get into this more below) that are set aside by the hotel for your guests to book. The key thing about hotel room blocks is the rooms are typically offered at a discounted rate as a perk for helping the hotel to potentially up their occupancy rate in a big way. But hotel room blocks don’t last forever. You can open one up for your guests to begin securing their rooms up to a year in advance, but it will close roughly one month prior to your wedding. To put it simply, your guests need to take action!
Why do I need a hotel room block for my wedding?
The most common reason to reserve a hotel room block is if your wedding will largely be a destination event. This means if the vast majority of your guests will be traveling to your wedding’s location, they will need a place to stay. But even weddings that are happening in the area in which the majority of guests reside can benefit from a hotel room block. While there isn’t the potential to need nearly as many rooms as a destination wedding, you will likely still have a handful of guests who are traveling in for your wedding (not to mention those who may opt for a night away as a staycation!) The bottom line is hotel room blocks are a nice gesture and a way to help your guests to save money on their accommodations.
When should I make my hotel room block reservation?
It’s a good idea to secure a hotel room block contract in advance of your wedding date, well before your wedding invitations are mailed. To be on the safe side, no closer than 3 months prior to the wedding day, but ideally you’d have the details listed on your wedding websites by the time you’ve sent save the dates.
How many rooms should I reserve for my hotel room block?
Once your guest list is set, you will want to run through your list and check off those who are traveling for your wedding. From there, you should be able to see how many rooms you will need to include in a hotel room block. Keep in mind, hotel room blocks are booked by the room rather than by the individual, so take note of which guests will be staying together. Calculate the number of rooms you will likely need before contacting the hotel(s).
Where should I reserve rooms for a hotel room block?
Once you’re ready to reserve your hotel room block, you will want to keep the distance guests will need to travel to get to your ceremony and reception location(s) in mind. Plus, cost is always a factor!
If you’re getting married in a city, many guests will appreciate the ability to walk to your ceremony or reception locations. If it’s not possible for guests to stay that close to your venue, try to keep a cab or rideshare rides within a 15-minute window. On the flip side, your wedding venue might not be located in a super happening area. If that’s the case, it might be more beneficial for your guests to stay in an area that offers a bit more to do during their downtime in between events.
Consider the location of your other wedding events as well, especially if you’re hosting a large rehearsal dinner or day after wedding brunch.
Should I keep cost in mind when selecting a hotel for my room block?
When you’re choosing hotels for your hotel room block, remember cost is paramount for your guests. Rooms that are $100-$150/night tend to be the most appealing. Many guests will react favorably to blocks at chain hotels because they know the brand and the quality of the rooms. (This is especially nice for anyone who is a rewards member for their favorite brands of hotels such as IHG or Marriott.)
If you find the cost is higher (think: $175-$200+), you may want to offer several hotel room block options to your guests (i.e.: splurge vs. save) so they can make the best choice for their budget. Sometimes, hotels will even offer your guests a discount on their nightly rate as a courtesy if you are able to secure them a certain number of booked rooms. Ask your hotel contact for the best rates for your courtesy room block.
Other considerations for your hotel room blocks?
Keep your guests’ comfort and convenience in mind when selecting your hotels. Choosing hotels with complimentary wifi, or special perks like early check-in or late checkout options, as well as complimentary breakfast or a hotel bar are likely to be appreciated by your guests.
Do I have to pay for my hotel room block?
No, you will not be held responsible for your hotel room block. By securing a hotel room block, you’re confirming the availability and the rate for your guests for a specified amount of time. But it will be up to your guests to book and pay for their rooms, most likely by a specific cut-off date.
With the above in mind, it is so important to confirm a few things with your hotel. Namely, make that you will not be held financially responsible for any guests’ rooms that are not booked from the hotel room block they have set aside. In rare cases, hotels can require that a certain percentage of the rooms in a block are booked. If that doesn’t happen, the couple can be charged for a portion of any rooms that are not booked. However, this will not happen out of thin air. It will be noted on the contract you sign with your hotel, so ask questions and get confirmation about your financial responsibility (or lack thereof) before you sign!
Keep an eye out for words like attrition clause, cancellation policy, and unbooked rooms.
Once my hotel room block is reserved, what do I do next?
Spread the word! More specifically, create a tab on your wedding website that includes information about accommodations. Once you secure your hotel room block, the hotel will typically send you a link or code for your guests to use to book. Publish your booking link or code on your wedding website before you send your save-the-date cards to your guests.
Many people will pop over to your website to learn more about your wedding day, and they will appreciate being able to book their room right then and there. The other thing you should do is include an accommodations details card with your wedding invitation. On it, you will note where guests can stay, the code or link they can use to book, and when they must reserve their room before the rate expires.
How do I reserve a room block at a hotel?
The best way to reserve a hotel room block is by calling the hotel. But the call to make your hotel block reservation should be quick and very simple! Alternately, you could check out the site HotelPlanner.com — it’s completely free and easy to use. Just enter your location and dates and their website will give you options for reserving a block of rooms!
Once your block is in place, it means your guests will officially have a place to stay for your celebration — and there’s nothing better than knowing you’re one step closer to having your favorite people by your side on your wedding day.
Are you securing a hotel room block for your wedding day? Do you have any questions about the process? We’re happy to help in our community!