Another question many of my brides ask me quite often is regarding their hotel room block for their wedding. Should you have one? What’s the process in securing one? Do you need to secure a room block at more than one hotel? This whole process can definitely be a headache, but hopefully with the advice below, some of that will be alleviated for you.
Image: Jonathan Connolly Photography
Should you get a hotel room block?
Yes. If you have any number of guests coming to your wedding from out-of-town, it is customary and a nice gesture to secure a hotel room block. This will ensure a discounted price for your guests, who are likely already spending a good chunk of money to attend. By having everyone at the same hotel, it also helps simplify logistics if you are going to arrange for transportation.
How many rooms should I book?
Many hotels will require you reserve a minimum of 10 rooms, but to determine how many you actually need, take the total number of out-of-town guests you are inviting and divide that number by 2. That’s the most basic, simple way to determine how many rooms you should reserve.
How do I secure a room block?
The easiest thing to do is hire a travel agent or, if your wedding planner offers it as one of his or her service (like we do!), then definitely enlist the help. If you’d rather secure the room blocks on your own, here are some steps to take.
First, choose a few hotels and call around to get quotes. Try to choose hotels that are close to your Reception venue. When you call, make sure you give them any details or requests, such as dropping off Welcome Bags to hand out to your guests. You’re going to want to book room blocks at 2-3 hotels, and I highly suggest they be at different price points to accommodate a variety of budgets. You’re going to want to book a smaller number of rooms first; you can always add more later, but by reserving a small number upfront, you won’t be held responsible for any rooms that are not reserved.
Each hotel is going to give you a contract. Be sure to read each contract carefully. Two common terms to be aware of:
Allowable Shrinkage Clause: This is the percentage of rooms that are allowed to go unbooked. You want to aim for 10-20%.
Attrition Rate: This is the percentage of rooms that must be reserved in order to avoid you paying a penalty fee. You want to aim for 80-90%.
How do I let guests know about my room block?
I suggest putting this info on your wedding website. You may also include it on a “Details” card in your wedding invitations.
Wedding hotel room blocks can be exhausting and confusing, so be sure to do your research or hire someone to take care of it for you!