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Blocking Hotel Reservations for your Guests

8 Months Before your Wedding: Blocking Hotel Reservations for your Guests

One of the things you need to plan for if you are having a destination wedding is where the guests will stay. The best way to do this is to get a ‘block hotel reservation’. A block reservation is an agreement made between you and whatever hotels you choose to have your guests reside in for your wedding.

In most cases, a hotel will give you a section of the hotel, referred to as a block. The hotel will not give these rooms out to anyone else but the people from your wedding party. Reserving a block will not only help guarantee your guests have a place to stay, but also save them money, as many times hotels offer discounted rates for blocked rooms.

Determine the Hotel or Hotels you are Reserving

There are a few points to help you determine what hotels to decide on.

Keep the distance to your wedding venue, outside amenities, and pricing in mind as key factors. If your chosen venue is in a hotel, a good place to start may be that same hotel. Not only will this help your guests with many issues such as transportation and scheduling, but the hotel may offer even further discounted rates than the current block reservation discount since you are also utilizing their venue!

Keep an eye at prices however, as if your chosen hotel is too pricey, even with the block discount, some of your invitees may decide not to attend. To help solve this issue, find some hotels which are cheaper, but not too out of the ways so as to not inconvenience your guests.

Ensure whatever hotel you decide on has appropriate amenities as well. For example, if you’re having your wedding in the Bahamas, your guests will definitely want to hit the beach, so don’t get a hotel block reservation somewhere far away from the beach. If hosting in a city such as New York or some other major metropolitan center, see about hotels close to places tourists may want to visit. These simple accommodation improvements will not only make your guests happier but also help them remember your wedding and their trip much better.

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How to Get a Block Reservation

Get in touch with your selected hotels. Many times you will want to speak to the manager, if you are reserving a block at the hotel which is also hosting the venue, then speak to the venue manager about further block discounts. When reserving you will need information such as the dates you expect your guests to arrive and stay for, special requests such as transport or hospitality bags, and special accommodations such as dietary restrictions or handicap access.

Be careful when reserving the number of rooms in a block, as unutilized rooms in a block will result in you being charged a penalty fee. This penalty is usually determined by percentage, and the amount paid is also usually determined by percentage. A 10% unused penalty means that if 10% of your block’s reservation goes unbooked, you will be subject to the penalty fee, and if the penalty fee is 90%, then you will be subject to 90% of the booking fee for any rooms that go unreserved.

A good tip is to start will a smaller block reservation, then increase it as necessary.

Inform Your Guests About Your Block Reservation

Getting a block reservation is great, but only if your guests utilize it. Tell your guests about your reservation everywhere you can, include it on your wedding invitations, on any social media posts you do, mass-texts, mass-emails, if you have a wedding website then post it on there in big print, everywhere and anywhere! When informing, include important information such as the location of the hotel, their contact information, different room rates (if applicable), and how to access the block reservation.

Most times your guests will have to reserve by calling, and when reserving the hotel will not know the difference between guests. To solve this the hotel will ask you to inform guests planning to reserve in the block to provide a piece of information to help categorize them. This information may be as simple as your last name, or as complicated as a ‘passcode’. Be sure to detail this information wherever possible, as a confused attendee is an attendee that may not come at all.

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