Budget Weddings

Hotel Blocking Budget?

Hi all,

I am planning my wedding for October this year and am unsure about how many rooms to block?  One hotel is having us contractually obligated to 90% of total rooms booked over the course of the 2 day period (I wanted to reserve the day before and the day of for wedding guests.)  We will have some out of town guests but the venue is also atleast 40 miles away from most in-town guests so wanted to be sure anyone who didn't want to make the trek home had a place to stay, especially after a couple drinks possibly.  Our guest list is around 70-75 people.

Thanks in advance,


Re: Hotel Blocking Budget?

  • Personally, I would never use a hotel that required me to put up any money for a room block or required that I guarantee a certain number of rooms be reserved.
    Ditto.  I think this is way too risky.  See if you can negotiate out of that.  Are there other hotels in the area?  

  • Thank you guys!  Fortunately, I haven't signed any paperwork here.  Just exchanging emails at this point.  Yes, being obligated like that really threw me for a loop :/
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I'm also with the Marriott.  Our coordinator is great, we would have to pay a guarantee for anything exceeding 20 rooms, so per her advice, we booked 20 rooms for our block and as they fill up she will share with us who made the reservation and we can up it in groups of 10 at no cost, space allowing.
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I went with a Hyatt and they didn't have any requirements either. I wouldn't agree to that.
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  • If there is not other hotels in the area see if you can still use the room block but change the terms. Mine was 15 rooms for our wedding (at a special rate) and if they are not booked 30 days in advance we lose them. I sent out my invitations 7-8 weeks in advance and no one that wanted a room had any issues (or so our family tell me)

  • We reserved blocks at two hotels, since out of our 135 guest list, only less than ten people live nearby. One hotel did not require anything more a phone call and talk to say "May we please reserve a block of rooms for our wedding?" It's a bit further from the venue, but also costs a bit less, so I got a bigger block there. 

    The other hotel did require a deposit of $20/room/night, but if we have 70% of the rooms we blocked (7 rooms, since I blocked 10 rooms), we get the deposit refunded. I was only comfortable with this because the hotel is actually attached to our reception venue, and I already have had both sets of parents, grandparents, and two sets of aunts & uncles personally express that they would like to stay there rather than drive elsewhere afterwards (making up 8 rooms). I can add a few more rooms later if the original 10 fill up (the hotel availability is wide open so far that weekend), but keeping it small for now. 

    I don't think I would not have been comfortable if I had to be fully contractually obligated for the full room price vs. a deposit, and if I would have had to be 90% certain. 

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  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Unless you're in a small town or a mostly resort town....are there not other nearby hotel options?

    We did three blocks - the Doubletree, Hampton Inn, and La Quinta and none of them required any sort of deposit or guarantee of booked rooms because it was a courtesy block (in most cases they release the rooms to the general public if not booked before a certain date, usually 2 weeks prior to your event). I'd look around some more and avoid this hotel if at all possible.

  • Our room block is with Sheraton, we also do not have to pay. I'd do some further research on other options.

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  • Our hotel told us we had to do an attrition block. When we discussed these options and called them back, I just said "my fiance is uncomfortable entering into this contract" they replied "we can do an open room block, if you like". We ended up getting the same room discounts for our guests. They just don't reserve x number of rooms, and our guests need to make sure they make the reservations soon. I'm fine with that. Try asking what the other options are.
  • Only one time did we ever use the block hotel and that was because it was an 8+ hour drive from home for all of us on the guest list.  Otherwise, we've got a number of corporate type discounts that often are better pricing than hotels usually give for blocks.  If a hotel expected me to put $$$ down for the blocks, I'd move on.. 
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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree with the others.  We made use of two hotel chains, and neither required any type of deposit or monetary commitment.  What they DID do, however, was offer perks dependent on the number of rooms that were booked with them.   Some of our benefits included shuttle service to the reception venue, use of a banquet/conference room, or a discounted/free room for the bride and groom.
  • I would look around at other hotels, I wouldn't want to get stuck paying for a bunch of rooms. Our wedding is at a lodge with limited rooms, they allowed me to block as many as I wanted without charging me anything, they just released them 2 months before the wedding, any held after that I was responsible for.

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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Our hotel held 10 "courtesy" rooms - we wouldn't be charged if no one booked them.  If we wanted to block 15 rooms and no one made reservations, we would be responsible for 5 rooms to pay for.  If 3 rooms were booked, we would be responsible to pay for 2.  

    In the end, we initially only blocked the ten courtesy rooms, and as rooms were booking up, we called and they added rooms to the "courtesy".  I would never block rooms that I could be responsible for paying for.
  • Thank you so much for this thread!  :o I'm not at a point where I need to block rooms yet but I was worried about having to estimate how many people are coming and would need them! Marriott is my FFIL's preferred hotel when they come to town, so it's great news to hear that they have a good policy. One less thing to worry about. 

    How early can you/should you block rooms? I took a peek at the Marriott in town and since the wedding is 13 months away, I can't even see how available that weekend is. When should I check back?
  • Is it a holiday weekend or is there something big happening in your city/area where rooms fill up quickly? We were married Memorial Day weekend and we did our room blocks in July/August and by then many hotels were already full. There is a big marathon in the city that weekend so rooms were going fast.

    Check with the hotels you're interested in and if they have any other events that weekend. But you're probably fine not doing room blocks until 9-10 months out if there isn't anything else happening. Are you doing STDs? I'd suggest doing the room blacks before then so you can include hotel information on them.
  • I would also not pay for a room block.

    We had blocks at 2 hotels. We were able to book as many rooms as we wanted, knowing they would be released a month prior. 

    I think we booked around 6-9 months out (but our wedding was also in the winter).

    I'd probably book around the year mark. Even if you can't see dates online, the hotel should still be willing to book something for you- clarify that the price they are giving you now will hold for your wedding date. 

    It's also something that is easy to do, so getting it done sooner rather than later ticks one more thing off your to-do list. 

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