Choosing the right hotel for your out of town guest will add to their experience during your wedding weekend. I am very particular about the hotels I stay in and you should be too! Here are some tips on how to book a hotel room block for your wedding.
1. Choose a hotel near your venue: The one thing you do not want to do is to have your guests driving here, there and all over town especially if your wedding weekend will be their first time in your city. Check with your venue to see if they have relationships with nearby hotels. The hotels will recognize the relationship and possibly provide a discounted rate.
2. Ask for a courtesy block: When you’re talking to the sales person at the hotel and after finding out if space is available for your out of town guests, ask for a courtesy block. A courtesy block is a block of rooms (typically 10 to start) set aside especially for your guests to reserve. *bonus tip – please verify that the room block is indeed the courtesy block. Some hotels will hold you financially accountable for rooms that are not booked and this can definitely dig a hole in your wedding budget if you are not prepared to pay for rooms that you are not using!*
3. Discounts- Hotels are gracious when you choose their hotel for your guests for your wedding weekend. The typical reward for this is a discounted room rate and sometimes, a free room stay in a special suite for the happy couple if all or more of the rooms are booked. Take full advantage! Also, find out if breakfast, parking (if applicable) and wi-fi are included in the cost of the room. If not, negotiate those things with the sales rep and have them added to the contract. The goal is to provide the best experience possible for your guests and that includes minimizing the amount of money they could potentially spend during their stay.
4. Add the hotel information on the save the dates and send quickly! The go live for a hotel link is typically one year out. As soon as you receive the reservation link, send it out to your guests immediately so they can book! The more rooms booked early, the better chance you have of getting more rooms added to your block. This will allow all of your guests to enjoy time with each other in the same hotel.
5. Cut – off dates: If by chance, all of the rooms are not booked by the cut-off date given by the hotel, the hotel will then release the unbooked rooms back into general reservations. This is a disadvantage for your guests because they risk missing out on the discounted rate that was provided. Send reminder communications to your guests and reiterate how important it is to book early!
6. Lastly, give a wedding weekend welcome package: What better way to greet your guests and welcome them to your wedding weekend than with a specially curated gift from the happy couple? Create a gift bag or basket that includes a map of the city, a list of things to do around town, bottled water, something yummy to snack on like mixed nuts, potato chips or a staple that will remind them of the city. (For instance, in Chicago we may use Garrett’s popcorn! That’s usually a huge hit!) Also, add a special note from the two of you welcoming them to your weekend and thanking them for taking the time to celebrate with you. The personalized touch will mean so much. Leave these bags at the desk for them to receive upon check-in.
I hope these tips help you in your planning journey! If you are planning your wedding or special event and need help, we’re here for you! Contact us today to setup a consultation and get started!
M.E. Events Team