Wedding Wednesday: Hotel Accommodations

This post is the first in my new series of wedding-inspired posts, to be posted on Wednesdays. Because Wedding Wednesdays! Easy to remember, right? My goal is to post Wedding Wednesday topics every other week, but eventually you’ll get wedding ideas, tips, and stories every week!

Today we’re talking about hotel accommodations and specifically room blocks.

I know this isn’t the sexiest or most sparkly topic for Wedding Wednesday, but I feel the need to impart the wisdom I’ve been learning in my new role as an event coordinator. Trust me, knowing the right questions to ask when considering hotel accommodations for your guests will make the process that much easier, comfier, and cozier. Stay with me, people.

The first thing to know is who you need to speak to when contacting hotels. The sales manager will likely be your main contact person. At some hotels, you may speak to the general manager depending on staff responsibilities, but start with the sales manager and let them know you’re looking at room blocks for your wedding guests. If you’re getting married and/or having your reception at a hotel, you may already have this covered!

Questions to ask when setting up a room block:

hotel-breakfast

A Few Basics

  • Is breakfast included?
    • Of course I start with food and label it as a “basic” question. Many hotels include this in your room block, so if you come across one that doesn’t, think about checking out your other options before signing a contract. You may also be able to negotiate to have breakfast included in your contract.
  • Is WiFi included?
    • Again, in my experience most hotels do include this, but make sure to ask just in case.
  • Is parking complimentary?
    • Parking availability will really depend on the location of your wedding. For instance, in major cities there could be an extra parking fee in addition to standard room rates.
  • Is transportation available to your event (i.e. shuttle)?
    • Some hotels have shuttles available 24/7 to transport guests to and from your event, other hotels have shuttles available during specific times, and a few hotels will only have a shuttle available to and from the nearest airport. However, you may be able to specifically book a shuttle for an additional cost.

hotel-room

Many More Specifics

  • What is the room block rate?
    • This is technically a basic question considering you’ll want the best rates for your guests, but it is somewhat subjective. This rate should be slightly lower than the typical rate for the hotel’s rooms; however, it could depend on the specific dates of your wedding, how many rooms you’re setting aside in your block, etc. This question is another reason I would recommend researching your hotel options before signing a contract. Also, keep in mind that the rate most likely excludes applicable taxes.
  • What is the reservation due date?
    • This date is the cutoff date for your guests to be guaranteed rooms within your room block (unless all rooms are already booked by other guests). After this date, the rooms in your block will be released to the general public, but your guests may still be able to book rooms at the room block rate.
  • Will you be responsible for rooms that are not booked?
    • To me, this is a very important question to be clear on. Hotels may use the term attrition in their contract. The best way I can explain this is in scenario form. For instance, if you are responsible for rooms at 80% attrition, and you have a room block contract for 30 rooms, then your guests must book 24 out of the 30 rooms, otherwise you will be responsible for up to 80% of the 30 rooms. Does that make sense? This article on The Knot does a great job of explaining attrition and other terms used in room block contracts.
We should all get to stay here at least once, am I right?
We should all get to stay here at least once, am I right?
  • How many rooms will be set aside per night?
    • The answer to this question is a little subjective and it depends a lot on the details of your wedding and guest list. For instance, consider the following:
      • Is your wedding on a Saturday?
      • Do you have out of town guests coming in on Friday evening and/or staying in town Saturday night?
      • How many people are you inviting and expecting to need rooms?
    • Once you confirm those details, you can select an appropriate, approximate number of rooms to be held. If the hotel allows the rooms to be dropped after the due date with no charge to you, then it’s not a huge deal if your numbers are slightly higher than necessary, so try to aim higher rather than lower. You should also consider whether or not you’ll set up room blocks at multiple hotels, because then your numbers will be slightly lower at each hotel.
  • What type of rooms and how many of each type will be set aside per night?
    • Again, the answer to this is pretty subjective and depends again on your answers to the above questions.
  • Are there other events going on in town during your wedding weekend?
    • The hotels anticipate large events well in advance, so they should be able to tell you if say, a large amount of high school students will be staying in the same hotel as your wedding guests. I would recommend requesting that your guest rooms be situated close to one another, so your wedding guests can easily connect while also avoiding any possible disruptions.
  • Can the hotel set up an online code or link for people to use when booking reservations online? Or will guests be required to call and mention the room block to book their reservations?
    • This information will be helpful for communicating hotel accommodations to your guests on your save the dates, invitations, wedding website, etc.

Hopefully you find some of this information helpful as you plan your wedding or other life events! What questions are at the top of your list when selecting hotels? Are there any specific accommodations you can’t live without?

Happy planning!
Sara

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