Room blocks can be tricky business, so we asked our friends over at Where Will They Stay? to share some of their expertise on how to navigate the process. Amy Green and Melanie Marconi certainly know their stuff, so read their guest blog to get all of the insiders’ tips!
With pretty dresses, colorful flowers, and scenic venues on the mind, it’s understandable that setting up guest accommodations can fall to the wayside. While perhaps not the most glamorous to-do on your wedding planning checklist, it’s certainly one of importance as your out-of-town guests must have a place to stay. Whether a local celebration or a destination getaway, it’s always best to book group arrangements at a nearby hotel.
It may some easier to allow your guests to find their own arrangements, but providing those accommodations will ensure things run smoothly on both sides. First and foremost, you relinquish the control of the guest experience – while your wedding might be breathtaking, you won’t want your guests to remember their terrible hotel stay as a major part of the weekend. In addition, having your guests all in one place can make things easier on you, in terms of setting up transportation (if necessary) and providing other amenities.
Enter the room block. A room block contract guarantees a set amount of rooms in a hotel that your guests are free to book. Oftentimes, a hotel will provide a discounted rate for event room blocks, which will certainly be appreciated by your guests.
Selecting the Property
Picking out the right location for your hotel can take some work, but with a bit of research and brainstorming, it’s certainly worth the effort. Determine the number of guests that will need an overnight stay while in town for the celebration. Will you be needing a hotel room or hospitality suite for getting ready? Is there transportation available so guests don’t have to drive to the wedding venue? At the end of the day, you want to choose the property that will make the experience as easy as possible on the guests.
Room Block Contracts
After you’ve chosen the most suitable accommodations, it’s crucial to scrutinize any contract that you receive. Compare the given rates with those found online to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Inquire about attrition – it’s common for a hotel to hold you personally responsible for a percentage of the rooms after certain cutoff dates. Be sure to understand what you are liable for in case guests don’t book the whole block. Get a good idea of what fees entail from parking, welcome bag delivery, Wi-Fi, or any other services you expect to need.
Feel free to lean on your wedding planner, venue coordinator, or the hotel sales manager to answer any of the questions that you have. You may also want to enlist in the assistance a planner or a company with a decade of expertise that specializes in guest accommodations, like Where Will They Stay?.
After all, your guests are taking time out of their schedules to celebrate your nuptials and some may even be coming from out of town. You’ll want to make it as easy as possible on them and provide them with the best wedding experience ever!
Amy Green and Melanie Marconi are the founders of BDI Events, a full-service event planning company based in Los Angeles, with offices in Portland. They recently launched Where Will They Stay?, a free service which offers custom room block procurement for event planners and event venues.