How do hotel room blocks work?

Wedding hotel blocks aren’t required to be booked, but it is a nice courtesy to the guests for a few reasons. If you book a room block at more than one hotel it gives your guests options without having to do the research themselves. This is also an easy way to keep your out of town guests centrally located. Most couples try to book their hotel blocks close to the ceremony, reception site, or somewhere in between the two locations. Room blocks are also a great way to make sure your guests have a guaranteed place to stay in case all the hotels get booked the weekend of your wedding.

How do room blocks work?
Generally they work like this: You will be given a minimum number of rooms to start. This is usually around 10 rooms. Once those are filled, they may give you more rooms, most likely in increments of 5. This will continue until you reach their limit on the number of rooms they will block off for your wedding. You will also be given a date that all rooms must be reserved by. If someone does not book their room in the appropriated time-frame then they will lose the block pricing and guaranteed room and any unbooked rooms will be released to the public. This date is usually a  couple of weeks before your wedding.
Do my guests get a discount with a room block?

This varies by hotel. Most likely your guests will receive their rooms at a discounted rate. However, not all hotels will do this and may charge regular rates. A hotel may choose to give the bride and groom a free nights stay in a “bridal suite” once a certain amount of rooms in their block have been reserved. Other hotels will give a free shuttle service for guests to the ceremony and reception once a certain amount of rooms in their block have been reserved. What it really comes down to is shopping around and finding the best deal out there for you and your situation.

Will I be charged a fee if I have unbooked rooms in my block?

This is important as some hotels will include in their contract whats called an attrition clause. Attrition fees are compensation to the hotel for the rooms that might have been sold at rack rate (or otherwise) had they not been removed from the market by contract. Make sure you ask this question before you sign a contract.

Do I have to reserve the rooms with a credit card?

No. There is no deposit or credit card needed with a courtesy room block. But you should always call and ask before you book the block.

Will I be kept “in the loop” when my guests book rooms?

Yes. You can ask for a point of contact at the hotel to email you whenever a guest books a room. This is a great way to keep track of how many rooms you need to get your free night or shuttle.

Will I get a signed contract?

Yes. Be sure you have a contract. Nothing is official until it is in writing, signed, and both parties have a copy. Hotels will fill up quick, especially if there is a special event in town other than your wedding.

Questions to ask the hotel

-Is there an attrition clause? (If yes, ask for it to be removed)
-Is there a penalty for cancelling the entire room block?
-Can we add more rooms at the same discounted rate when the initial block is filled?
-What is the cutoff date for the block?
-Can guests get the discounted rate if they want to stay a little longer?
-Is parking included in the room rate? Is it free? Is it negotiable?
-What is the maximum number of rooms that can be blocked?
-Can guests book online with a code or do they have to call to book their rooms?
-Can we block a certain wing or floor of the hotel for our block?
-Will you deliver “welcome bags” to the rooms for free?
-Is there complimentary WiFi?
-Is there a free breakfast for my guests?
-What are check-in and check-out times?
-What amenities does your hotel have?
-Do you have handicapped accessible rooms?
-Do you have a shuttle? Is the fee negotiable?

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