You know how we like to dive into the most glamorous of Wedding Planning topics, so here we are bringing you some words of wisdom from our friends over at Where Will They Stay. Room Blocks don’t generally come to mind as part of wedding planning, but after booking a venue this is one of the first things you should check off the list. Many couples have a large group of guests traveling in nowadays. Opting for room blocks allows you to simplify logistics such as transportation or pre/post wedding events by keeping all of your guests together. Luckily, we have the Where Will They Stay team on speed dial and they help us pull together hotel options for many of our couples. We are so thankful to have them sharing some of their wisdom on our blog today!
- How soon should guests reach out about room blocks? Does it differ based on the location of their wedding (as in, are some cities harder to find room blocks for than others).
We recommend starting the hotel booking process a year in advance, but our average client contacts us 9 months in advance. The important part is that the ceremony/venue location has been decided on, as that is often the key factor in where you’d like your guests to stay.
Different cities have different challenges- college towns may be impacted by graduation dates or football games; mid-large size cities could be hosting conferences, and popular tourism cities can be impacted by their high or low seasons. Your wedding venue representative or the local tourism bureau can often be helpful in double checking your desired dates against what may be going in the city that could make it harder to find hotel rooms or drive up the pricing to higher than normal.
- How many hotels do you suggest guests reserve? Is there a number per overall guest count?Feedback from our clients over the years has been that the couple and wedding guests have the best experience when everyone is at the same hotel. That way friends and family get the chance to reunite/get to know each other before the big day comes! Whether it’s hanging out at the hotel bar, at the pool, or just running into friends in the elevator- those experiences offer the chance for memorable meet-ups. In cases where pricing needs of family/friends might be different, we see clients offering two hotel choices- one at a higher price point and one at a lower.
- Are there ever reasons you don’t suggest a couple does a contract block? It really depends on the specific scenario, but to answer a slightly different question- if the best choice of hotels is a contracted block, we recommend being really clear with guests about the importance of staying at the chosen hotel on the Save the Date card, invite and on the wedding website. Also- extras like offering shuttle service to/from the wedding venue from there or hosting a supplemental event there like a rehearsal dinner, or brunch will help encourage family and friends to stay there and minimize any risk of not filling a block of rooms contracted.
One Final Room Block Tip from me!
Creating a Contract or Courtesy Block allows you to pull a list of which guests are staying at which hotel. If you are doing Welcome Bags or Notes this is an important thing to have. You can label all the guest bags with their confirmation numbers and arrival dates making it that much more likely that every guest will get their bags.