You are planning a wedding and anticipate a lot of out of town guests. As a host of your wedding, it’s nice to be able to “block rooms” with local hotels so that your guests will: 1. Know where to stay that is convenient to the location of your wedding reception and 2. Take advantage of a reduced rate.
The challenge arises that most people do not know how hotels operate. They are in it to make money. Blocking TOO MANY rooms thinking that all your out of town guests will come, does not help the hotel … make money. They frown upon that idea.
So here are few quick tips when blocking rooms:
- Do not over estimate the amount of rooms you may need. You can always go over the block, but it can get sticky when you go way under.
- Negotiate the cut off date for the room block. Some hotels it is 30 days in advance (period). This is because they can fill ALL their rooms every single weekend at a full rate.
- Tell your family to book their rooms early. Don’t want to miss the reduced rate you negotiated.
- Read the contract carefully. Does it say that YOU have to pay for rooms that aren’t booked by guests? It shouldn’t.
- Do not expect the hotel to be able to block all the rooms on the same floor. I understand that this is convenient for you, but with so many other public people booking rooms, this is often a request that a hotel cannot guarantee.
- Talk to someone LOCALLY at the specific hotel. Do not leave it up to a customer service representative from a 800 number. The information will not trickle down. Seriously. NOT trickle down to the local hotel.
- Check, Double Check and then Check again. Again, statistically with so many employees of the hotel, it is very likely there will be confusion and mistakes. So always, always … double check.
I learned of a horror story of a wedding that my favorite hair stylist was a part of in Louisville. While there were many problems along the way, the short story is: on the day of the wedding (while the family was AT THE RECEPTION), their rooms were booked to the public. The hotel staff took all their belongings, dumped them into trash bags and left their stuff at the front desk. Thinking, they simply did not “check out”. They strolled in at midnight with no rooms, wadded up clothing and feeling helpless.
Should I mention this wedding did not have a wedding planner? I suppose there is no need.
ps You can see more about this subject and about how increased gas prices may effect your wedding on today’s Fox 7 Wedding Planner. Do you watch? It’s on every Wednesday at 6:55 am!