1. Determine how many blocks you’ll need
Obviously, this varies with how many people are on your guest list. You’ll need to determine the approximate number of people who are traveling from out of town and then match the percentage of guests to hotel rooms. Then give yourself a room “buffer” by adding in a few extra rooms to that estimate, …for those “just in case” moments. Block sizes vary from hotel to hotel, but they’re usually between 10 and 15 rooms, or as high as 20-30 rooms with large or privately owned hotels. Remember that guests’ budgets vary, so try and offer both deluxe and budget-conscious room block options for your guests.
2. Find the most aggressive rates and lock them in early Rooms prices are variable and fluctuate based on the season and the demand. Don’t be afraid to call around and do comparison shopping, the same way you would for an appliance, cell plan, or a fabulous new dress. The sooner you do can this, the better. Most hotels allow you to create your blocks approximately one year out from your wedding date. Don’t wait… lock in those rooms and those rates asap!
3. Understand what you are signing
Read your hotel contracts. Then read them again. Then read them one more time before you sign them. Make sure you understand any hidden fees or minimums you need to hit. Make sure you won’t be liable for any rooms on the block that you don’t fulfill. You don’t want to be stuck paying for an attrition rate.
4. Get the info to your guests
If you have emails for your guests or preferably a wedding website, make sure you get the information to your guests early and accurately. Nothing is more frustrating to a guest than a broken website link or wrong phone number when it comes to making room reservations. Urge your guests not to wait to make their reservations since most blocks are only honored for a specific period of time.
5. Use a travel agent
If anything about this makes you nervous or if you feel overwhelmed, have a travel agent manage your room block. Most of them have great relationships with hotels and can bring their knowledge of the industry to help you secure the best rates and better understand those confusing contracts. It costs you nothing to use an agent, as the hotels pay them a commission on the rooms, not you!
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