What Should You Do If You Cant Get A Hotel Room Block For A Wedding
This is very unlikely to happen as most hotels offer room blocks. Unless you are planning the wedding with very little planning time or have a low budget during an extremely busy period, there is no reason not to get a room block. However, if for some unforeseen reason you find yourself stuck without one, there are still options. In a case like this, we suggest that you provide your guests with a list of hotels in the area near your venue which they can then book themselves. This is not ideal for a wedding but will still help ensure that your guests have accommodation nearby.
Whats The Best Way To Communicate Hotel Room Block Info To Guests
As important as reserving a hotel room block is, its equally important that you communicate the information to your guests effectively so that they can take advantage of it. The best way to go about letting your guests know about the accommodation options available to them, as well as any room discount provided to them by your booking a hotel block, is to include it all in the invitation and, better yet, the Save the Date. Even if you have limited space, you can simply include your wedding website with the text Accommodation information available at INSERT WEBSITE HERE. On your website is where you can have a separate page outlining the accommodations available, including the room block information.
If you have the room to do this on your invite, youll want to say something along the lines of:
For your convenience, a block of rooms has been reserved at in . When calling to make your reservation, please mention the wedding in order to receive a discounted rate. Please call to make your reservation.
Hogge urges couples to note all important dates or deadlines. For example: Be sure to book your hotel room by in order to receive the discount.
If you dont reserve hotel room blocks early on, you and your wedding guests will have a much harder time finding available rooms and the prices will likely be higher than they need to be. Save some dough, and coordination headaches, before youre in the thick of things.
What Is A Hotel Room Block
A hotel block is a set of hotel rooms that has been set aside for a group or event at an agreed upon rate. The smallest block typically starts at ten rooms.
By pre-negotiating rates at a pre-chosen hotel, youll save loved ones time and money while they attend your weddingand ensure theyll be surrounded by other attendees so the good times can extend before and after the reception. While youll definitely want to coordinate a hotel block if a large segment of guests are coming from out-of-town or youre planning a destination wedding, its also a good idea even if most guests are local.
Everyone today is looking to further their experiences, says Victoria Ayers of Cescaphe Event Group. Sometimes people want to stay overnight and make the wedding weekend an extended getaway.
Meet the Expert
Victoria Ayers is the Director of Client Services at Philadelphias Cescaphe Event Group. Victoria and her team help couples navigate the wedding planning process and book over 800 room blocks annually on behalf of their couples.
Ready to start coordinating a hotel block for your wedding? Read on for everything you need to know, including how to get the best rates and tips for scoring upgrades.
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Questions To Ask During Your Initial Contact
- What is the group rate, including taxes and fees?
- Is there a fee for parking? Does the parking fee include in/out privileges?
- What time is check-in? Could you guarantee early check-in if needed?
- What time is check-out?
- Is there a minimum stay requirement?
- Do you offer a courtesy block? What is the maximum number of rooms?
- If we need additional rooms, can we add to the block? What would the cutoff be for adding rooms?
- What sort of amenities come standard ?
- Is there a bar and restaurant onsite? What are the hours?
- Do you have facilities for hosting pre- or post-wedding events onsite?
Start Your Search Early
The earlier you start looking and booking, the more options you’ll have. When narrowing down hotel choices, consider factors like meeting-room size, parking options, and transportation costs. Online sites such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz can usually provide these details.
If your event dates are flexible, check out trend graphs like the ones on HotelPlanner.com that forecast future rates so you can hone in on low-cost months.
The price of a hotel room hinges on whether your event is at a peak or off-peak time for the hotel,” says special-events manager Joyce Scardina Becker. In cities, weekends are usually off-peakhotels are busier during the week with business travelersso the rates can be relatively lower. But in resort areas and tourist destinations, weekend rates can be much higher, and popular destinations often require a two-night stay.”
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Get An Idea Of Who Will Need Accommodations
One way to get an estimate of the number of guests who may choose to utilize the room block is to attach a Google Form, Survey Monkey, or other polling service link to your wedding website. This will spare the stress of potentially under-filling or over-filling the room block. The wedding website is also usually where couples include room block details after the room block is reserved, so it makes sense to use it as a one-stop-shop for all things room block-related.
Other Questions You May Have
Q: Can we get a free bridal suite? A: It depends. If you have enough rooms in your block, the hotel may be willing to provide a free or deeply discounted room or an upgrade, but they are not obligated to do so. Hotels are more likely to include a free room if you are also hosting your reception with them.
Q: Can the hotel provide a hospitality suite for my family to gather / get ready? A: Yes. For a fee, most hotels will be able to arrange this.
Q: I need a space to host my rehearsal dinner. Can the hotel help? A: Yes! Most of our hotels have meeting spaces that can be configured for a rehearsal dinner and can provide catering. They can also accommodate post-wedding brunches and gift openings!
We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Simply contact us at or call 952-426-4047.
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Important Things To Know
The hotel will set up a courtesy room blockfor you. You do not need to put down a deposit. The hotel will hold your room block until a certain cut-off date, usually 3-4 weeks prior to your wedding. If there are any rooms left in the block by that date, they will be released. You will not be financially responsible for any rooms left in the block.
Be sure to let your guests know about your room block. Include this information on your wedding website and/or with your invitations.
Do Your Homework On Rates
Before you call the hotels on your list, research the best rates they offer online. Once you know their rates, call the hotels and ask for a group sales manager,” says Becker. If the hotel is part of a national chain, call the local number, not the national reservations number.”
Ask the group sales manager for the best rate that he or she can offer. If it’s higher than the web rate, ask if you can get a better price. Assuming they can quote a price that beats web offerings, also ask if they have a comp policy where they provide a free room if a certain number of rooms are secured,” Becker says. At many hotels, you can get a complimentary room for every 50 rooms picked up by your guests.”
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How Do Hotel Blocks Work
A hotel room block is something to consider when you are having a destination wedding where more than a handful of out of town guests are attending. Room blocks are a certain number of hotel rooms that are blocked off to save them for the group that will be attending the wedding. A standard rate is negotiated for these blocked rooms and that price will not fluctuate. This ensures that wedding guests are guaranteed accommodation and that everyone pays the same standard rate.
How Many Nights Should The Block Be Set Up For
Most couples set up a block for at least the night before and the night of their wedding. Most guests who are traveling will need a room for those two nights and extend their stay before or after with the hotel, as needed, when theyre booking.
Keep in mind that most check-in times are in the afternoon around 3pm-4pm. Most guests, and ESPECIALLY you and your VIPs, will need access to their room sooner, so make sure guests are aware the hotel cannot guarantee check-in before that time.
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Reserve Your Wedding Hotel Room Blocks With Us Today
Are you getting married in the Harrisburg, York or Lancaster area? Warehouse Hotel offers a fantastic home base for your wedding guests. In addition to being conveniently located off Route 283, the hotel sits adjacent to the Spooky Nook Sports Complex, where your guests can enjoy fun downtime participating in games and enjoying the great food at the Forklift & Palate.
Contact us today to book your rooms or ask a question.
When Should We Work On Setting Up Our Room Block
Setting up your room block as early as possible is the best way to ensure the hotel has enough room availability.
Some hotels have restrictions as to how early you can set up a block, but most will allow it up to 12 months in advance.
This is really important if youre getting married around a popular time of year or an event that is very popular in the area that youre getting married.
Photo by Meg Brock Photography of Lauren and Matts Union Trust Wedding
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How Far In Advance Should I Book
As soon as you have booked the venue for your wedding, you should begin researching hotel options. Narrow down your choices to the best geographical locations and the ones you think your guests will enjoy the most, and then contact the hotels to discuss wedding block options and rates.
Most hotels deal with these types of situations every day and can quickly answer your questions. You may even complete this task in just a few days, crossing one more thing off your long to-do list.
Other Tips And Tricks
Dont answer the budget question up front, because if you provide a number, thats where the hotel will start. Let them know youre not certain, and that you plan on talking to a few hotels to determine the best option. Use the offers that you receive as incentivedont be shy to let each hotel know what you like about their competitors offer and give them the opportunity to compete for your business.
Once youve settled on a deal that both you and the hotel are pleased with, youll want to get everything in writing. Be sure to read the contract and be on the lookout for phrases such as these:
Double check that any verbal agreements made during the negotiation are included in the final agreement . Dont sign anything until youve read all of it and are comfortable with it. If you ask for changes to be made and the hotel is not cooperative, you may want to look for another option. Ive come to find that when a hotel is not willing to be flexible at this point in the process, it can often lead to an even worse experience down the road.
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Ask The Right Questions
After determining the best type of property, its time to ask questions! When settling on the best accommodations available, its prudent to use your client as a resource.
Ask about the guests do they have any special preferences? Are there dietary needs or limitations to be aware of? Will they need handicap accessibility or a place that welcomes pets?
In addition to a guest profile, consider what your client will need from the property as well. Do they plan to have welcome bags at the front desk to greet attendees? Will they need a hospitality suite for preparations or for winding down between events? Be sure to have a full understanding of your clients needs before deciding on a property.
How To Manage Your Hotel Room Block
The ink has dried and the room block contract is complete what next? Before assuming all is said anddone, there is still a list of to dos that need to be checked off while managing the hotel blocks for your clients event.
But there are also a number of considerations to take into account after they have signed on the dotted line. So what exactly are the next steps to managing your clients hotel room block?
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Gathering For A Wedding
In a past not so long ago, it was normal for a person to grow up within a few blocks of grandparents, aunts, uncles and assorted cousins. One could attend local schools, seek work in the area, and perhaps settle down with a hometown sweetheart. In this world of the past, weddings could take place nearby and the reception might be held at a favorite family restaurant within a short commute of friends and family.
This situation still exists today. However, it is more likely that your friends and family will be coming from long distances. While you plan every aspect of your wedding experience, take a moment to recognize the special effort made by those guests who will be arriving from far off places. They will come by planes, trains, and automobiles. And they will come with heavy bags, gifts and individual needs. With that in mind, you will want to plan the perfect ‘thank-you. But without breaking your budget. Need custom suits or tuxedos?
First, you want to reserve rooms at a nearby hotel for your out-of-town guests. What you do not want is for your guests to call around town looking for a hotel room a few months before your wedding only to discover that all the rooms in town are $500 per night. And you certainly do not want for your guests to find that all the rooms in town have been taken by a large convention, concert, and/or sporting event.