You've booked all the major vendors on your wedding to-do list: the venue, caterer, photographer, and florist. But there may be one thing you've overlooked: making sure your guests have somewhere to stay. What's the best way to reserve a block of rooms at a nearby hotel? Our etiquette experts are here to answer your hotel reservation questions in our daily post.
What's the best way to reserve a group of hotel rooms for our out-of-town guests?
If many of your guests will be traveling to attend your wedding, it's important to provide them with a few recommended lodging options that are located nearby. Here's the best way to reserve a block of hotel rooms for your celebration:
1. First, look at your guest list and figure out approximately how many rooms you will need. Then do your homework: research room rates online for local hotels and check for events like conventions, graduations, and sporting games that may be happening the same weekend, which can affect room rates.
2. Once you've narrowed down a potential list of hotels, call the properties directly to inquire about prices. Be sure to mention you're interested in discount rates for large reservations—some hotels might offer a cheaper rate for a block of rooms. Choose at least two hotels in different price ranges to accommodate guests with higher and lower travel budgets.
3. Call the selected hotels once again and inquire about the rates for a large booking. Don't quote the rate you were originally given; instead allow the reservation agent to provide you with another rate quote. If the second rate is higher than the first, inform the agent of the rate you were given during the previous call. Most hotels will honor this original rate, particularly for a large block of reservations. Inform the agent that you want to block off rooms for your wedding guests.
4. Consider the make-up of your guest list when blocking rooms. If several of your guests have children, be sure to book rooms with double beds as well as king or queen bed rooms.
5. Reserve the rooms for at least one day before the start of your wedding events and one day after the last event. For example, if you are planning a rehearsal dinner on Friday and a post-ceremony brunch on Sunday, reserve your room block for Thursday through Monday. This ensures the hotel will have rooms available for your guests. Guests can change the dates to fit individual travel arrangements upon making the actual reservation.
6. Ask about any rules and restrictions for reserving room blocks, including cancellation requirements and fees, deposits, and occupancy level requirements. Be sure to note the last day guests will be allowed to make a reservation and then make it clear to guests when they must book by. Late reservations aren't guaranteed to be available at the same rate or available at all.
7. Ask about a comp room for the night of your wedding. Many hotels will offer a complimentary room for the wedding night if you book enough guest rooms or hold your wedding in the hotel.
8. Consider if you want to add shuttle service to and from the wedding. Some hotels may offer this option—if your budget allows, offering transportation is a way to ensure your guests arrive on time to the wedding and safely return back to the hotel at the end of the night.