What to consider when booking for the Happy Couple and Wedding Guests
Where are you and your family and friends crashing for the night after you and your new spouse spend the day and night celebrating your wedding? It’s a critical decision that needs to be made as part of your wedding planning. Keep the following thoughts in mind before you book your wedding night accommodations.
Oh wedding planning, sometimes you can be so rough. Pinterest overload, opinion overload, and so many rapid-fire questions from excited family members. Reserving hotel room blocks for all of your wedding guests who need a place to stay can sometimes feel like the tip of the wedding stress iceberg. We’ll call it the room block woes. After all, your co-worker, your best friend and your grandma have such different tastes and budgets. How will you ever please them all? Chin up, buttercup, we have 13 tips to make booking room blocks seriously easy.
Choosing a wedding venue is probably one of the essential details when it comes to your wedding day. We’re not just saying this because we offer a superb and elegant Connecticut wedding venue, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Think about it. What is it that your guests are going to remember most from the events of the big day? What will most of the photography have as a backdrop? How much travelling do you want to do from hotel to salon to venue throughout this magical day? All of these details play a critical role in choosing the ultimate wedding venue.
Check out Cosmopolitan events Wedding Venue for your ultimate wedding reception.
Just about every wedding stands to benefit from a hotel block. Beyond just getting your guests a discount, setting up a room block at a hotel near your wedding ceremony and reception site gives your guests peace of mind. Guests travelling from out of town probably don’t know your city very well, and they’ll have no idea where to stay. By setting up a block, you’re giving some much-needed guidance and some well-researched choices. After all, your guests are spending the money and taking the time to get to your wedding; booking a block shows you appreciate the effort by doing as much of the organizational work as you can ahead of time.
Chances are some of your wedding guests don’t live in the city where you’re getting married, and there are some essential things to keep in mind, especially for them. From logistics to tokens of appreciation, these are all the things you need to make your out-of-town wedding guests feel right at home.
HOW MANY ROOMS DO YOU NEED?
Estimate the total guests are coming to your wedding and reception that need overnight lodging. Use that number as a guide to decide how many hotel rooms you might need to block off for friends and family. Hotel staff should work with you on providing discounted hotel room rates for your wedding guests. Additionally, they may also offer the married couple a heavily discounted room rate for the business you are sending their way.
A hotel room block is a reservation of 10+ hotel rooms. The perk of a room block is that they save you time, money and ensure that all of your guests will have a place to stay during the event you are hosting. On average, group rates are 15% to 40% lower than standard rates. This deal is already sweeter.
Two other vital details to consider that we’ll cover in more depth in this blog are the suite accommodations for the bride and groom and the rest of the wedding party.
Yes, your big day is meant for everyone to celebrate and you want your guests to be blown away, but pampering yourselves and those talented people you’ve chosen to participate in the day cannot be a missed element.
Having all your guests stay in one conveniently located hotel also makes everything easier for everyone. Your directionally challenged uncle can pair up with a cousin who will make sure he gets to the ceremony on time. Everyone is sure to be close to the venue and able to ask each other questions, so they don’t have to bother the bride and groom or the wedding party on the big day. They’re all coming to see you get married, but a bonus is that they get to see each other, and a block makes sure they can make the most of that.
FIND ACCOMMODATIONS NEAR THE VENUE
When it comes to accommodations, the closer you can get to the venue, the better. If your site provides accommodations, obviously you should start there. Contact the venue manager and ask about availability, room rates, and discounts. If your site doesn’t offer accommodations — or they are too expensive — pick 2-3 hotels closest to the site and book a block of rooms at 1 or 2 of them. When you’re ready to book, you don’t have to know the final number of out-of-town guests, but you do need a pretty good estimate. A general rule is to cut your out-of-town guest list number in half and book that number of rooms. (So, if you have 20 out-of-town guests, you would block ten places to start and add more rooms later.)
AMBIANCE AND AMENITIES
Is there an inviting lobby? Does your hotel offer an on-site restaurant and bar? If you’re a social couple that likes to spend as much time with friends and family as possible, these types of amenities are a plus for those seeking more social time to eat and drink after your wedding reception. These types of facilities are also great for the smaller events after your wedding, such as breakfast and brunch options with families!
It’s OK, Guesstimate Your Room Count to Block
Worried about how many rooms to block for your wedding? Good news, you don’t need to know the exact amount of places that you will need. A rough estimate will do just fine. Bonus: Overestimating is even better, phew!
If you want big and over-the-top, if you wish to comfort and stress-free moments and if you’re going to feel like royalty, then invest in a venue that offers both a bridal suite and a groomsmen room.
Not just any accommodations will do. If you want only the best, then looking into what venues offer for bride and groom accommodations is essential.
The 5 Ws of Wedding Hotel Room Blocks
- Who: Wedding guests, bridal party, and family who are coming into town for the wedding
- What: A section of rooms, often in the same part of the hotel, that are discounted or given a group rate
- Where: Any hotel you want!
- When: Typically Friday and Saturday nights if it’s a Saturday wedding, but each block can be negotiated to fit your needs
- Why: So wedding guests can get a great discount and have rooms close to each other for convenience/bonding/merriment purposes
The most important thing to note is that hotels vary in terms of how they block rooms. Some hotels require you to prevent a set number, pay a deposit, and be financially responsible for all unsold rooms you blocked. That’s not an ideal situation, but it might be necessary if your wedding is in a town with limited accommodations or coincides with a huge event. Some hotels can be more flexible and offer a discounted rate to guests without blocking a certain number of rooms, but you run the risk that the hotel could fill up before all your guests make a reservation. On the bright side, some hotels can block a set number of rooms without a deposit and will guarantee those rooms and rates until a specific date. Because there are so many possibilities, we suggest you start your search early and encourage your out-of-town guests to reserve their rooms as soon as possible.
YOUR WEDDING NIGHT WILL BE HECTIC
Just remember that your wedding night likely won’t signal the start of your honeymoon. We don’t want to downplay the fact that your first night as a married couple will be spectacular. If you’re like most just married couples, you stay up late with friends and family during your reception. You likely won’t get much sleep because you will be up packing for the honeymoon and sifting through all the excellent presents you received. Pick a convenient place, above all else.
The best time to start booking or reserving room blocks is 3-8 months ahead of your event. This gives you and your guests enough time to decide, plan and most importantly, get excited. If you are just starting the search, you can message multiple venues at once requesting room block information.
Critical Considerations for a Bridal Suite
Will it take some stress away from the day?
The bride is usually most stressed on their wedding day, hoping all of the details play out without a hiccup. One less thing you want to worry about (and it happens often) is timing. Travel delays can occur for several reasons. If you’re going to be on time for the photographer, makeup artist and hairstylist, consider the benefit of a bridal suite where you can gather with your girls for all the private pampering you need. The best part, your ceremony is happening on the same premises.
Finding the Perfect Hotel(s)
Finding a hotel for your guests to stay at can be a daunting venture. Some things you should consider when you’re choosing a hotel:
You want to be considerate of your guests’ budget when picking a hotel. Many hotels will allow you to pick out rooms at a variety of price points (more on that later), which is ideal for making sure everyone has a great experience. (Note: it’s also a good idea to recommend several hotels at different price points, even if you don’t arrange a room block with each one. This will ensure everyone has some options on where to stay that will work with their budget.)
Some hotels provide shuttle service to/from the airport, and some even offer shuttle service to/from specific destinations if they are planned. When you call to reserve your room blocks, ask about any transportations services they can provide, as well. The prices will vary by hotel, so make sure to ask the rate so you can let your guests know in advance. If the hotel(s) don’t have a shuttle, take some time to consider how your guests can get to the hotel and the venue. What is the best form of public transportation, where are the pick up and drop off points, and what are the rates? Is ride-sharing available in your city? Would it be possible to connect your out-of-town guests with in-town guests to set up carpools? Do you have a rental car company to recommend? Most of your out-of-town guests can probably figure those out on their own, but it is nice to guide so they can plan and don’t have to stress about it on the actual day or weekend.
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If you decide to stay at the same hotel as your friends and family, remember that you might not have much privacy if you are staying in the same hotel room floor as your wedding party. If you want some space from your wedding party after the reception ends, ask the front desk to reserve a hotel room for you in a separate part of the hotel away from friends and family.
Room Privacy Tip
Don’t let others know the location of your room if you don’t want them knocking on your door all night. The last thing you want is your new in-laws knocking on the door before bed to wish you goodnight.
You are feeling a little confused on just what hotels to choose for your guests? Decide on the location, your budget and guesstimated number of rooms, and then hotels in the area will compete to match your price. All you have to do is accept! You don’t need a super-specific location; you can set your search for hotels near your venue.
Is there a bathroom?
Yes. Some bridal suites are a room—no bathroom or extras. Be sure to check out the details of a bridal room being offered by a venue to ensure it’s roomy and most importantly that there is a bathroom to access.
While having a bathroom mirror to prepare in is excellent, nothing beats a dedicated area for makeup. Whether you’ve hired a makeup artist for your wedding or your bridal party will be doing their makeup, you need a space where you can lay out all of the tools you’ll need to create your photo-ready face.
When booking something for a large group, your best bet is always a major hotel chain. They’ll have a predictable room and experience that everyone understands, they’re easy to communicate with, and they’re sure to meet expectations.
As close to the action as possible is best! Your guests are in town just for your wedding, and they’ve already travelled to get there. Make things easy by finding something that makes getting to the venue convenient.
Maybe you want a pool for your little cousins or free Wi-Fi for the bridesmaids. Be sure to scan the facilities before you make your final choice.
This is also something you could potentially negotiate but keep an eye on the check-in and check-out times. If you have an afternoon wedding, your guests will likely want to be in their rooms before the event so they can drop off their stuff and freshen up.
While you’re focused on your big day, you’ll want your out-of-town guests to have plenty of things to do once they get into town. So, put together a list of your and your fiancé’s favourite places to eat and drink and activities around the city. You could even do a little research to find out of if there are any festivals, live music, or special events that they might want to check out. Sure, they could use Google to find places to go, but this is a great way to not only introduce your city to your guests but you also get to share little nuggets of your everyday life with them. Anyone can find a Starbucks for their morning coffee, but not everyone will know which coffee shop you and your fiancé love for your lazy Sunday coffee dates. And we bet most of them would love to know that! So, when you’re compiling your list, consider adding a little note about why you recommended those places. It’s that little something extra to connect with your guests and help them feel welcome.
STAY CLOSE TO THE RECEPTION VENUE
Consider booking a room in a hotel near the reception venue when planning your wedding reception. If it’s possible, pick a venue spot that has your perfect wedding reception venue and an on-site hotel. Above all, this allows you to crash in a comfortable hotel room just steps from your wedding reception.
Are you planning your wedding and looking for the perfect venue? Look no further than The Roberts Centre, which is strategically located in the middle of Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus in Ohio.
For those not paying for their guest’s rooms – all of your family, extended family and friends don’t have to be at the same hotel (insert sigh of relief here). You can request hotels with different price points so that your guests have options based on how much they can spend on rooms. Can we get a hallelujah?
What Should a Groom Suite Have?
Is there a separate space for the guys?
While there is undoubtedly a lot of fun to be had on this happy day, the two parties need their own space to get ready and relax. Be sure that the suites offered at a wedding venue location have designated areas for both parties to prepare and relax.
Will there be food?
Sometimes the party starts hours before and hunger kicks in. Be sure you’re bridal rooms will have access to some snacks to hold you over and drinks as needed. Cosmopolitan events is your perfect wedding venue in Melbourne delivering fairytale weddings for the bride and groom.
What fun extras are included?
Nothing means relaxation for the guys more than fun activities. Suites that include things like a poker table, big-screen TV for PlayStation/X-Box, private bathrooms with showers even for getting ready after a great game at the golf course!
Which Hotel Room Block to Book
There’s a little bit of lingo to sift through to make sure you book the right kind of block for your guests. Here are the options and a few more words to know.
Closed Block: This is the most formal and binding type of room block. You’re guaranteed a certain number of rooms, and you’re also bound to them. To be crystal clear: this means that if the rooms aren’t filled, you are liable for the cost. You only want to go for this option if you know for sure how many places will be booked, or if there’s an event or something else in town that will fill up every hotel room that weekend.
Inviting your out-of-town guests to pre-wedding and post-wedding get-togethers is another surefire way to make them feel welcome. Do you and your fiancé love the outdoors? Invite your guests to go hiking or to kayak a day or two before the wedding. Are you beer lovers who spend your weekends enjoying local breweries? Ask your guests to join you for a mid-afternoon pint. We’ve even seen couples skip the traditional rehearsal dinner all together and open up dinner to anyone who is in town. And the party doesn’t have to end with your reception send-off. If you’re a night owl or just don’t want to the party to end, ask your guests to head to your favourite bar for an after-party. We also love the idea of wrapping up your perfect wedding weekend with a day-after brunch to spend quality time with anyone who is still in town and say your final goodbyes in a more casual setting.
The Roberts Centre’s professional wedding event specialists can help plan the wedding of your dreams. Additionally, we offer more than 80,000 square feet of flexible space to create the perfect wedding reception. We also provide an on-site Holiday Inn and an on-site restaurant and bar, making it the ideal wedding venue to accommodate all the needs for your wedding and your guests.
Open Block: This is also called a courtesy block, and it’s a much more casual version of the closed block. You aren’t financially responsible for unsold rooms, and your guests just have to be sure to make their reservations before the cutoff date. After that date, the rooms are released to the general public. This kind of block would work best for most weddings.
Attrition Clause: This is what you’re responsible for paying if you don’t fill a closed block. It’s generally a percentage-based fee. If you’re going with a single block, pay close attention to this. You can negotiate to make it an amount you’re comfortable with.
Allowable Shrinkage: This is the number of rooms that can go unbooked without a fee. It’s usually somewhere from 10-20%
Pro Tip: To avoid charges for unreserved rooms when your wedding weekend rolls around, start with a conservative, smaller number of reserved places for your guests and add more rooms as needed.
One of the best ways to eliminate stress and limit the number of calls to your designated contact is to create a comprehensive timeline of your wedding events. Whether your guests are invited to events over multiple days or just the wedding day itself, organizing everything into a visual schedule is critical. For each event, you should include the following: name of development, name and address of the venue, date, time, and dress code. We even recommend including the ceremony and reception information, so your guests have every detail they need in one handy place. If your out-of-town guests are invited to pre-wedding or post-wedding events, make sure to let them ahead of time so they can pack appropriate attire. Not sure where to start? There are some excellent wedding timeline templates on Etsy to help you create beautiful printables in no time!