Whats The Best Way To Hand Out Welcome Bags
There are two common ways to get welcome bags to your guests:
You can call a hotel at any time ahead of the wedding to review and/or update your rooming list. Guests may have booked using credit card points or a third-party website instead of directly with your block, so they might not be on the list to receive a welcome bag.
How To Block Hotel Rooms For A Wedding
One of those is determining where to block hotel rooms for a wedding. You undoubtedly have a slew of guests arriving from out of town, and some locals may even want to spend the weekend at the hotel with the rest of their friends.
You need to offer them the best options at a reasonable price. Read on to learn all the wedding hotel block information you need to help get your guests the rooms they will love.
Questions About Complementary Services And Amenities
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What To Look For When Booking My Hotel Block
Proximity to your venue and rate are usually the most important factors but some other things to consider would be their suite options, some hotels may only have one suite and if you need two, that property wont work for you. Also consider whether you want a bar area for guests to get together after the wedding? Do you need it to be a pet friendly hotel? Do you want a hotel with outdoor public space, a pool, nearby parking? If theres anything that stands out to you as a special request.
When To Book Hotel Rooms For Your Wedding Guests
The short answer is simple: Book the hotel block as early as you can. Hotels tend to book up in popular areas quickly, so its best to get your event on the books well in advance of your wedding day. Bear in mind that the earlier you reserve your room blocks, the better the rate might be and the more time your guests have to book a room before the reservation cut-off date.
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Be Clear On Your Agreement
Go with a courtesy block whenever possible. A courtesy block is just as it sounds, says Ayers. A courtesy that the hotel is offering you. With a courtesy block, you wont be financially liable for any rooms in your block that dont fill. After a certain cut-off date, the hotel will release the unsold rooms from the block and make them available to other guests. If you ask to reserve a number of rooms well above the hotels allotted block sizelike, say, 50 when the standard block size is 25the hotel may ask to sign off on an attrition rate. In this case, you will be financially responsible for any rooms up to a certain percentage of that larger block that doesnt fill.
Attrition rates vary, but, per Ayers, they typically hover around 80 percent. For a requested block of 50 rooms, that would mean your party would be required to fill 40. If your party only fills 35, you, as the creator of the block, would be required to pay for the remaining five rooms. Courtesy blocks typically do not require a hard contract, but a hotel may opt for a contract or they may take down your payment information if an attrition rate is involved.
How To Book Hotel Room Blocks: Getting Started
How do I start making a hotel block? Get a map and pinpoint all the hotels within a one- to two-mile radius of your reception venue. If your reception is being held at a hotel, you should start here to inquire about reservations. Otherwise, figure out the hotels within stumbling distance so that your out-of-town guests dont have far to navigate after the wedding.
Next, check out hotel prices online. There are several hotel room comparison price websites, including Hotels.com/Groups, Skipper, Jetaport, Kayak, and Trip Advisor. No matter what site you choose, make sure the online search tool has an actual map so that you can see where the hotel is located in comparison with your reception venue.
The next step is to make a call to the hotel. An email will not get you the best rate. Rather, you need to speak to an actual human most likely titled the Group Sales Manager to negotiate the best rate for your guests.
What do I ask the hotel? Here are a list of questions to ask the Group Sales or Reservation Desk manager, in order of importance:
What hotel perks can I request? If you are going to be booking all these rooms, then you should be able to ask for a few perks. You are never going to get everything, so I recommend that you pick the top perks that benefit your guests the most and concentrate on getting these amenities included in your deal. Here is a list of what you can ask for:
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Where Should We Set Up The Hotel Room Blocks
Your hotel room blocks should be set up as close as possible to your wedding venue. If your ceremony and reception are taking place at two different locations, focus on a hotel thats close to both with a preference of being closer to the reception venue vs. ceremony venue, if needed. If youre providing transportation, doing this will allow you to easily get your guests back to their rooms after the party.
Depending on your location, its helpful when a hotel is also close to other things to do in the area. Can your guests walk to a cafe? Or drive to a nearby shopping area? Are there places to eat?
These amenities might not be possible in some locations, but where they are, that should be a deciding factor for you. If youre having a majority of guests travel or hosting a destination wedding, you can think of these amenities as best of highlights to share with your guests. Making it all convenient to your wedding is the best bonus.
What Is A Hotel Block
A hotel room block or a hotel block is the reservation of ten or more hotel rooms to serve as accommodation for important guests for your wedding. While it is not entirely necessary, securing a hotel block is more common for out-of-town wedding ceremonies where the events location is relatively far for most guests, thus making it ideal to rent a room for the big day.
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Understand The Different Types Of Room Blocks
There are two main types of room blocks: Guaranteed blocks and courtesy blocks. Understanding the differences between the two is incredibly important.
Guaranteed room blocks require a contract, and those contracts often include additional fees or penalties for cancellations. And, most importantly, couples will be on the hook for some or all of the rooms that dont book.
In an email to Wedding Spot, accredited wedding planner Lynne Kennedy of The Gilded Aisle Weddings Inc. said, The contract will state what percentage of the block must be booked which typically ranges from 90% to 100%. For example, a contract for 10 room nights with a 90% guarantee requires 9 rooms to be booked. If only 8 rooms are booked, the client will be responsible for paying for that ninth room.
Courtesy blocks, on the other hand, are a no-commitment option the sales representative may offer. NYC wedding planner and founder of Modern Rebel Shack Egan told Wedding Spot that a courtesy room block is anywhere between 10-20 rooms that are set aside for your guests usually until a cut-off date. You are not responsible financially if none of them are booked, it’s just a courtesy!
The tradeoff? The hotel will most likely release the unbooked rooms to other customers 30-60 days prior to the date, said Beaman. So if you dont mind taking this risk, consider maximizing your flexibility using this tactic.
Whats The Difference Between Courtesy And Contracted Room Blocks
As youre researching hotels, you might hear the terms courtesy and contracted tossed aroundbut what do they mean? Well, it’s all about the amount of rooms you need to book. A courtesy room block is a group of rooms that are held for your guests for a set period of timeyou may or may not have to sign a contract and you don’t have to put down a deposit to reserve these rooms. After a predetermined cut-off date passes, the rooms will be released to the public. Courtesy blocks are often reserved for smaller groups of under 30 rooms.
If youre hoping to reserve more than 30 rooms at a single hotel for your wedding, youll probably end up with a contracted room block. This means that youll sign a contract and put down a deposit guaranteeing that your family members and friends will book a certain number of rooms for a certain number of nights. If you fall short, you can lose your deposit and/or be charged for unbooked roomsthat’s why we recommend starting with a small number of rooms, and adding more rooms if needed.
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How To Book Hotel Rooms For Your Wedding Guests
Check out our comprehensive guide on how to book hotel rooms for your wedding guests to learn the ins and outs of this sometimes-tricky task.
If youre having guests travel from out of town for your wedding, its a nice gesture to help them find a place to stay throughout the festivities. Couples often put together a list of suggestions for places to stay in the area or work with local hotels to reserve a room block on behalf of their out-of-town guests. Check out our comprehensive guide on how to book hotel rooms for your wedding guests to learn the ins and outs of this sometimes-tricky task.
What Are The Average Savings When Booking Hotel Room Blocks
On average, group rates are 15% to 25% lower than standard rates, or around $30 to $50 off each room each night, so its also a nice perk to give your guests who are likely already spending a lot to be part of your special day. You might even be able to save more if you use a wedding planner they may have a partnership with the hotel and can score you a greater discount or a suite night comped for your wedding night.
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What If I Reach Out To A Hotel Get Frustrated And Then Decide To Book A Hotel Block With A Service
This is tricky, sometimes the hotels will say I already have this group and not allow a service to work with you because they dont want to be caught giving someone else a better rate and thats okay if there are other hotels nearby, but generally your best bet is to reach out to a service like Kleinfeld Hotel Blocks first and then go from there. If you dont like the service, you dont have to use it, but it puts you in the best position to get the best deals, plus its free so theres no downside.
Also feel free to check out the reviews.
How To Block Hotel Rooms
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A reservation of 10 or more hotel rooms counts as a block. Block reservations come in handy for weddings and other large events where lots of people will be travelling from out-of-town. To create your block, youll want to pin down the number of rooms youll need as well as your reservation dates. Then, call the hotels that youve chosen and discuss the reservation terms. When everything is arranged, send all of the details out to your guests so that they can make their reservations. Your guests will probably thank you for saving them money and time by making block arrangements.
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Booking Hotel Room Blocks For A Wedding: A Planners Guide
You think getting a good rate for a top-notch hotel room is tough? Try booking for 50 couples all at one time.
For most wedding couples, the dream is to invite guests to a luxe hotel where the rates are reasonable and everyones on the same floor. Nice idea, but you need to plan early in the wedding-planning process and not just to get the best deals. By having one single hotel where all guests stay, you make it easier to plan transportation throughout your wedding day and to communicate wedding information in general.
Reserving hotel room blocks is the best way to ensure your guests have a place to stay near your reception plus, its more fun for your guests to be near other wedding guests, explains Robin Hogge, Director of Sales at Hotel Weyanoke in Farmville, Virginia. A room block saves you time, money and ensures that all of your guests will have a place to stay during your event.
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