Making sure your guests have proper accommodations can be stressful, especially because you want them staying close to your venue and have affordable rates. Luckily there are strategies to follow to get concessions, block pricing or even a free bridal suite! Here’s my guide to negotiating a hotel room block!
ASK FOR A COURTESY BLOCK
A courtesy block is like a free room block insurance plan – you won’t be on the hook financially for any rooms in your block that don’t get used. Be sure to confirm with your hotels if they can offer a courtesy block and carefully review your contract. While not every hotel will be able to offer courtesy blocks, some hotels are flexible and may be willing to revise their terms.
START WITH 10 ROOMS
With most of your RSVP’s still en route to you, how do you know how many rooms you’ll need? I always recommend starting with the minimum for group rates (10 rooms), so you can best avoid the risk of over committing. You can always increase your block later if it starts to fill up!
REQUEST SHOULDER DATES
I recommend booking rooms on the night of your wedding, and also the night before for close family members and the wedding party who will be attending pre-wedding activities. Aside from these two nights, ask the hotel to include shoulder dates. This means that guests who arrive earlier or depart later can book their entire stay at the group rate (subject to hotel availability), and you won’t be on the hook for these extra nights.
21 DAY CUT OFF
The cutoff date is the official deadline for guests to reserve a room at the group rate. After this date, any remaining rooms will be released by the hotel for general sale and group rates will no longer be eligible.
Getting a discounted group rate is important, but an often overlooked opportunity for savings is asking for concessions, like free wifi or even free room nights. Are you and your fiance planning on staying at the hotel? If so, then let the hotel know and ask for a complimentary room the night of, or a complimentary upgrade at the group rate. And whatever you do, definitely ask for a complimentary amenity for the night of your wedding – maybe you’ll have a bottle of champagne waiting for you at the end of your wedding night! Here’s some other concessions to ask for in order to hook up your guests:
● Complimentary guest room wireless
● Complimentary parking
● Complimentary breakfast
● Bonus reward points for the bride/groom (e. G. SPG points, Hilton Honors points, etc.)
● Complimentary gift bag distribution upon arrival
HOST AN EVENT ONSITE
If you’re planning on hosting any pre-wedding or post-wedding activities (ex. rehearsal dinner, after wedding brunch, etc.), then consider hosting it at the hotel in one of their event spaces or onsite restaurants. You’ll have priority over other groups who are only booking accommodations, and you’ll have more leverage to negotiate a better package all around.