Get a Room! What to know about Room Blocks for the Big Day
Are you needing hotel rooms for guests, family and your bridal party the weekend of your wedding? Read on for some helpful tips and practical information about arranging room blocks at hotels. The perk of a room block is that they save you time, money and ensure that your guests will have a place to stay during the event you are hosting. On average, group rates are 15% to 40% lower than standard rates.
The Presidential Suite, Hotel Crescent Court, Uptown Dallas
What types of room blocks are there? It's important to know the type of room blocks you (or your planner) will be negotiating. There are primarily 2 types:
Courtesy Room Blocks: A courtesy room block is defined as a number of rooms held for your event with a cut-off date (usually 30 days prior to check-in). On that cut-off date, the hotel releases any unbooked rooms in your hotel courtesy block back into their inventory without financial obligation for you. Courtesy Room Blocks will usually contain a maximum number of rooms (commonly 10) that will have a discounted and locked in room rate until the cut off date. You can either reserve all of the same type of room (2 Queens, Doubles or a King) or a mix of both. Once you have filled up the allotted reserved rooms, many hotels will allow you to add additional rooms to your courtesy block.
Premier Room, The Joule, Downtown Dallas
Contracted Room Blocks: This type of block is used for an agreed upon number of rooms that you will need to sign a contract to guarantee. Your group will be required to pick up a percentage of the rooms, usually 70-90% of those reserved. If these rooms are not booked by a cut-off date, again usually 30 days prior to your event, you may be responsible for paying a percentage of the room rate (usually 80-100%) for unbooked rooms. Though you will usually get a better rate for a contracted block of rooms, sometimes it is more expensive for the host if these rooms are not reserved by guests.
Note, some hotels will only offer contracted room blocks, especially in peak season.
Executive Suite, The Omni Downtown Dallas
How many hotels should I reserve? You don't need to find a plethora of hotels for guests! Two to three hotels in different price points are always a good number. You also need to decide if you would like your guests staying at the same hotel as you on wedding night. If you are having your ballroom wedding at a certain hotel, it might be nice to do a room block there for your families and wedding party. Additionally, guests might like to stay on premises as well so they don't have to find transportation to a different location. You may also want to reserve a block at another nearby hotel in a different price point for guests not wanting to spend in the same range as your hotel is guaranteeing, whether it is higher or lower. That doesn't mean guests can't book their own accommodations at other hotels if they don't like the choices you have provided or belong to a travel rewards program with another chain.
Luxury Suite at The Ritz-Carlton Dallas
Other things to consider. Are you planning your ceremony at a church or ceremony and reception at a single venue that only allows you a limited time before your wedding? Many of our brides book a suite at a hotel of their choice in which to get ready the day of the event. This allows plenty of room for your Hair and Makeup team, your bridesmaids and those other important women in your life to get ready before heading off to the venue. Hair and Makeup tends to start early! It is a good idea to book the suite for the night before your wedding and even the night of your wedding. This way, you don't have to worry about retrieving all your belongings from the venue, putting them into your getaway car and changing rooms or checking into a different hotel after the celebration is over.
Some hotels where you have booked a suite for multiple nights may give you a guest room block at less expensive rates or offer you other perks such as taking wedding pictures in spaces you might not normally have access to, or would have to pay extra for. Dallas has hotels with amazing skyline views and others with picturesque gardens and courtyards.
Rooftop at The Joule The Courtyard of Hotel Crescent Court
Another thing to remember is that many hotels who offer travel rewards (Hilton, Marriott, etc.) will give extra points (sometimes double or triple) to the wedding couple for booking a block at their hotel if the couple belongs to the reward program. That could actually pay for a honeymoon stay at a sister hotel!
Grand Deluxe Room, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas
Where should I book my room blocks? It is probably a good idea to reserve rooms within 10-15 minutes of your venue. This way your guests will have an easier time finding the way to your celebration. If you are getting married in a heavy traffic area, it might even be wise to have these hotels closer to your venue...you don't want tardy guests! Downtown Dallas has plenty of options in many different price points, as does Uptown and even the Las Colinas area. There are even hotels who will offer complimentary shuttle service to a venue within a certain distance (likely 2-3 miles).
Whatever your accommodation needs are, we at Two Girls in Pearls Events are here to help clients who have contracted with us for partial or full planning make these arrangements! We will gladly research hotels for you and negotiate blocks and rates, taking the stress off
of planning and helping you get a good night's sleep... wherever that may be.