One of the biggest mistakes brides make when planning their wedding is not blocking hotel rooms for wedding guests. Many couples feel that guests can find their own accommodations whereas others (wrongfully) assume that the bride and groom will be financially responsible if the rooms are not used.
What many couples don’t realize is that blocking hotel rooms for your wedding guests is a great way to keep everyone in one place before the wedding. It affords guests the opportunity to car pool, and catch up during downtime.
In addition, planning activities, providing transportation, and greeting guests becomes that much more simple when everyone is at one hotel.
And those aren’t even the best perks of blocking hotel rooms. Read the list below and let us know what kind of perks you were able to score in the comments section.
Free Room For Bride and Groom
How do hotels influence the buying decision of some couples when they are shopping for rates? By offering the bride and groom a free room at the hotel during the weekend of their wedding.
This “comp” or complimentary room is given under the condition that a minimum number of rooms are reserved under the room block. In most cases, you can get one free standard room at a hotel for every 25 that are consumed. The more room’s guests reserve, the more free rooms you are entitled to.
And if the hotel is not able to offer you a comp room, then ask them for points (Hilton honors, Marriott rewards, Best Western Rewards etc.) for all the rooms that are booked under the room block. The points accumulated will be good enough for a really nice suite.
Discounted Group Rates For Guests
By getting group rates, you can ensure that wedding guests benefit as well from the room block. On average, group rates at a three star hotel are about 24% lower than standard room rates. That is a significant discount and is much lower than the typical AAA rate or other specials online.
You can get group rates for hotels by calling each hotel individually, filling out a group booking request form online, or calling a travel agent.
When booking group rates, make sure there is language in the contract that states that if a lower rate is found online before your group checks in, the hotel will match it. This way, none of your wedding guests book outside the room block.
Shuttle To Wedding Venue
Even before you book hotel rooms, consider asking your wedding venue if there are any hotels nearby that offer complimentary shuttle service for wedding guests. You’ll be surprised as to how many hotels will provide this service either for free or at a minimal cost (usually $50 per round trip for up to 10 people).
Wedding Gift Bags
If you have guests coming from out of town, then you will more than likely provide welcome gift bags. Many couples stuff these bags with a locally popular treat, an area map, wedding agenda, directions to/from wedding, some water, and snacks.
Imagine having to track who is staying where and then traveling all over town to drop the bags to wedding guests.If you block rooms at one location, the hotel can take care of delivering these bags for you, usually at no additional cost.
Rooms Near Each Other
Regardless of whether you book rooms at a hotel that is small or large, you should ask them to reserve all guest rooms near each other. This can be a big benefit when a lot of your family is staying at the same hotel.
Having rooms near each other will particularly benefits bridesmaids that want to get ready together and parents who need to drop their kids off to a nearby room so they can get ready as well. In addition, having rooms nearby makes it easier to just hang out with family and friends during downtime.
If the hotel cannot offer you rooms near each other, then consider asking for a complimentary hospitality suite instead. This can be a meeting room where wedding guests can get together anytime during the duration of the stay. It serves as a place where you can have snacks, play board games, or just hang out. Since meeting rooms are not always booked during the weekend, your hotel may agree to this provided you have a lot of rooms reserved under your wedding block.
As you can see from above, blocking hotel rooms for a wedding has some significant advantages over letting guests choose their own hotel. Not only are the perks great for you, but they also provide great benefits for your guests, and additional revenue for the hotel. It is a win-win for all involved.
Tip #1: When selecting a hotel for wedding guests, try to pick one that offers free Wifi and a free breakfast.
Tip#2: When looking at hotels, consider giving preference to one that offers a refrigerator and microwave in each room. Having these amenities makes things a lot easier for wedding guests traveling with kids.
Author Bio: Nusair A Bawla operates GroupTravel.org, that provides an easy way to get wedding group rates for hotels.