Wedding Planning 101: Hotel Accommodations

Whether you have the majority of guests coming in from out of town or not, it’s always a good idea to make your guests feel comfortable by booking a block of hotel rooms.  As planners, we regularly help our clients in setting up these blocks by utilizing a online service which puts the hotels in a competitive bidding situation.  Even without this tool, you can still be prepared. Process:

  • Go through your guest list and identify which guests you think will book a hotel.  Will they want two beds, one king?  When will they check in and out?  Just because your wedding is Saturday, doesn’t mean you ignore the nights leading up to and following the wedding.  Tally the room nights by room type to come up with a good estimate of your needs.  Try to be as accurate as you can.  If the hotel is booking up as you run out of rooms, they may not be willing to add more rooms at all or at the same rate.  That doesn’t mean you purposely overcommit. There may be revenue commitments.  To avoid overcommitting, hotels often won’t block more than 10-20 rooms at a time to ensure they are not stuck with the excess inventory in the end.
  • Select several hotels from which you want bids. Consider price points and quality of hotel – you want to give your guests options.  Also consider location and proximity to wedding activities and outside activities and services.
  • Give your dates, and room tallies by night.  Ask about guest transportation, financial commitment on your part, and amenities.
    • Location
      • Proximity to wedding activities
      • Proximity to outside activities and services
  • Transportation Options
    • Free/greatly reduced transportation options are not available at many hotels and not at all in the heart of downtown
    • Need to consider what is more important – location or transportation
  • Commitment and Flexibility
    • Some hotels require that you meet revenue commitments, generally 80% of the room block, or you need to make up the difference
    • Be sure you set realistic block sizes for these hotels so you are not left paying out
    • Cost to hand out welcome bags or information to guests
  • Amenities
    • Some hotels offer perks if a certain number of rooms are booked under the block – be sure to ask about these
    • Ease with which you can manage the booking – do they have an online account you can log into to check status or do you need to call hotel?
    • Make your selections

If this seems too daunting, or you’d rather someone else take the reins, we are happy to provide this service to needy brides.  Check out our list of wedding planning services and give us a call!

{Photo: Photogen, Inc.}