Booking room blocks is the best way to ensure that all of your out-of-town guests can make it to you wedding! It’s also a fun way to spend time with your guests and all have the same place to call home for a day or two! Can you say after party?

But it shouldn’t come as a surprise that booking a block of rooms is more difficult than booking one—or that it comes with its own set of rules and challenges. Be in the know when hosting out-of-town guests with this room block guide!

WHERE TO START

Your far-away friends and family want to be there for your special day, and you want them there, too! The first step of providing accommodations for these guests is looking at the options available. Ideally, if you’re getting married at a venue with accommodations, this is where you’ll want to get your room block.

If not, do a little bit of research into the local hotels and both their price and proximity to your wedding venue. You’re not going to feel like driving very far after an entire day of festivities, and neither will your guests. That being said—if there’s a suitable hotel for much cheaper a few extra minutes away, you might not want to cross it off of the list.

KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN

Give yourself two or three options, just in case your #1 choice isn’t available for the dates you need it. Be sure to start the process early, as it will give you the best chance of “beating” other large groups that may want to utilize the same space. Some hotels may also give discounts for reservations made far in advance, so be sure to ask about this possibility, as well as the deadline for receiving this discount.

Once you’ve decided on some hotels that will best fit your guests, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. When you reserve a room block, there are certain rules and agreements you must sign to. So it’s a good idea to have a notepad and pen handy while you call these hotels, just to make sure you get down all of the important information.

SIGNING THE DOTTED LINE

You’ll have to sign an agreement stating the number of rooms you want to reserve, as well as an allowable shrinkage clause. This is the percentage of reserved rooms that are allowed to go unbooked without the fee coming out of your pocket.

Because of these regulations, you’ll want to be as precise in your calculations as possible. Break down your guest list and come up with a list of guests that will likely use accommodations. If you need to contact some of these guests prior to holding a room block, doing so could save you some money in the long run. Most hotels allow between 10%-20% shrinkage, but make sure to ask when you call.

When you send your save-the-dates or invitations, make sure to include the hotel’s information, as well as directions to your wedding venue, or even the number for a local cab service. If you have a website for your wedding information, you’ll definitely want to include this information there as well.

Weddings are a great opportunity to see your loved ones, and booking a room block is a great way to make sure that you get to spend a little bit of extra time with those who live out of town! Happy planning!