Room at the Inn: How to Block Hotel Space for Your Wedding Guests

Whether you're planning a wedding in your home town or in a faraway and exotic locale, you may have to deal with finding accommodations for all your out-of-town guests. If you're planning this part of the wedding weekend, here are three tips for reserving the right hotel blocks for your big day. 

Know When to Block

You may or may not need to reserve a block of hotel rooms depending on several factors. If your wedding is in an area with very limited hotel and lodging options, it may be wise to guarantee some rooms... even if you may have to lose some money. Similarly, if there's a big entertainment, meeting, or sporting event (like the Super Bowl, for example) in the area on the same weekend, consider reserving early. If there are lots of hotel options available, on the other hand, it may be best to just offer recommendations and help guests make their own reservations. 

Decide How to Block

There are different ways to block out a group of hotel rooms. The most risky is to contract with the hotel to rent a certain number (and types) of rooms. In this scenario, you may be at risk to have to pay some -- or all -- costs of unused rooms. Use this type of reservation only if you're seriously concerned with not having lodging for everyone, and make sure you get confirmations from guests before booking. 

Alternatively, you may be able to simply arrange with the hotel to hold a number of rooms until a certain prearranged date. Guests would then make their own arrangements, and any rooms not booked before this date would be rented out as normal. This type of block usually does not call for a contract, and you won't be out any money. 

Ask for a Block Discount

Even if you don't need to reserve rooms, you may be able to negotiate a discounted rate for your guests if you do. This can be particularly true if you are using the hotel or resort -- such as at a destination wedding venue -- for your wedding, rehearsal dinner, or reception. If you want to seek out a discount, get a head count of potential room guests and their special needs before starting. Whether or not you can get a group discount, be sure to ask for extras like shuttle transportation, meeting rooms, or welcome gifts. 

By following these easy tips, you can successfully arrange for your guests' comfort, have happier wedding attendees, and make your own life simpler. And then, you can forge ahead with enjoying your big day.