Imagine booking a group of hotel rooms for your guests, having your grandma & grandpa or other loved ones fly in, ONLY to discover there are no rooms available?
That’s exactly what happens to a lot of Brides who have used a Group Booking Site and discover their bookings have magically disappeared. And whether you get a deposit back or not, your guests are still left out in the cold.
This happens with group planning sites all.the.time, so here are a few things we suggest to help you book out hotel rooms for your Wedding guests.
Virtually all hotel websites include the room rates. Search for hotels that are the closest to your wedding location and shop for the best rates.
Next, call 2-3 hotels near your venue!
Getting a REAL LIVE person on the phone gives you ample opportunity to ask questions & negotiate (more about that later). It also means you have a direct contact person to verify your booking (especially if something goes wrong).
There are two ways that hotels will create room blocks. The first type of block is when one party is responsible for paying for all of the rooms. You would use this type of block if you are covering the expense of your guests' hotel rooms. Typically, the block holder gives the hotel a list of guests and number of rooms needed. If at all possible, don’t pay a deposit on your block (many Brides got burned in the last few years as regulations about travel changed so often). However, most hotels typically ask for payment information upfront and hold the block holder responsible for payment if the guests don’t book or show up.
What you do want to ask for is a “courtesy block” which is where the hotel will set aside a few rooms (say 10) for you, generally without a deposit, which shouldn’t eat into their other bookings too much. If your guests book those out, the hotel can set aside a few more. The hotel typically sets an expiration date, and drops the hold if the rooms are not booked.
But if your guests don’t use them, then you aren’t out the booking deposit.
Here are some must-ask questions when booking a hotel block for your wedding:
What happens if you don’t fill out the block? (you may not have to pay a deposit but you might be charged for rooms that aren’t booked)
What if we need to add more rooms?
What’s included in the room rate? (sometimes a reduced rate will mean reduced services or amenities, too)
Will the rooms be close together? (if this is important to your guests)
What is the cutoff date to reserve a room in the block?
Should reservations be made by phone or online with a special code?
Does the hotel provide shuttle services especially from the airport? (this can save you money)
Are there any perks for you? (you may get an upgraded room or a discount!)
As you can tell, we really care about making your day incredibly unique for you!