One thing that you may consider doing for your wedding is reserving a block of hotel rooms for your guests. This is a nice idea for those traveling from out-of-town or those who do not know the area.
A few benefits of reserving a block of hotel rooms are guests may receive a discounted room rate and it also helps guarantee a room is available. All the guests will be in one location, making it easier for transportation and socializing. Another benefit is that some hotels offer incentives to the engaged couple for example, if you book all of your reserved guest rooms, you may receive a free hotel night or be upgraded to a suite.
The first thing you want to do is locate a few hotels close to your reception venue. Ask your venue if they work with or recommend a particular hotel. Your wedding planner can also assist with recommending hotels. It’s nice to offer your guests hotel options in two different price ranges, if it is possible.
When deciding on hotels here are a few questions to ask:
-Does the hotel provide a shuttle service to the reception venue? Keep in mind some hotels can not guarantee the shuttle for your group alone. However, this service is a nice option for guests who are running late or want to leave early. If the hotel is located near an airport, find out if the shuttle runs to and from the airport. This way hotel guests do not have to worry about transportation during their stay.
-What type of rooms does the hotel offer (King, Queen, Double, Suites)?
-Is the hotel planning on doing any major construction during the time your guests will be staying at the hotel? You don’t want a major renovation to be going on during their stay.
-Does the hotel off a complimentary breakfast with the hotel stay? If you are interested in holding a brunch the day after the wedding, find out if they have any banquet space available.
-Does the hotel have a bar or area for an after-party at the end of the night? Ask what time the area closes.
-Will the hotel off any incentives to you (engaged couple) for booking a certain amount of rooms?
-Is there a fee for distributing out-of-town bags?
Once you have decided on a hotel, contact the sales department and let them know you are interested in booking a block of rooms for your wedding. You will need to have an estimated number of rooms that will be needed. Think about any out-of-town guests, bridal party, you and your fiance, any family members that may stay at the hotel.
You want to make sure you block a variety of rooms (King, Queen, Double, Suites), after you negotiate a room rate. Make sure to get a room rate for each variety of rooms. If you need more than 10 rooms, you will most likely need a contract. Read the contract carefully. Sometimes room contracts contain an attrition clause. An attrition clause means that you need to fill a certain amount of rooms or you will be charged for the rooms you do not fill. You do not want to get stuck paying for any un-used hotel rooms. You are simply blocking the rooms for your guests to reserve and pay for. If your contract has an attrition clause, make sure it includes a date that allows you to release any extra rooms without penalties.
Once the contract is signed, be sure to keep in contact with the sales representative. You want to keep track of your rooming list and any deadlines. Also, ask the hotel to contact you if the room block is filled.
When all the details are finalized, be sure to include the hotel information on a separate card with your invitations so guests can begin booking their hotel room. Make sure to include hotel address and telephone number, room rate, a reservation code or group code for your hotel block, cut-off date for room rate.
Just to be sure to remember any cut-off dates and you can cross “booking a room block” off your list!