Joy Wedding
Joy Baby New
Registry with Free Shipping
Registry with 20% Completion Discount
Registry with Zero-Fee Cash Funds
Registry with Easy Returns
Registry with Free Shipping
Find an Event
Inspiration » Planning » Booking Hotel Blocks for A Wedding: Your Stress-Free Guide

Booking Hotel Blocks for A Wedding: Your Stress-Free Guide

by Joy Editors
Three smiling women in hotel bathrobes pouring champagne

As you plan the wedding of your dreams amidst the whirlwind of choosing flowers and the perfect wedding outfit, one crucial detail that can add unexpected stress: housing for your guests. Thankfully, setting up a hotel block for your wedding is a great way to streamline the accommodation process for everyone.

Securing a hotel block ensures that your out-of-town guests have a comfortable place to stay near your wedding venue. Enabling them to stay in this one common location — often with the benefit of cost savings on the room rates — can help build a sense of community and shared celebration among your guests before your ceremony even begins.

With a few simple tips, booking a hotel block can be a smooth and stress-free experience. Our comprehensive guide will break down everything you need to know, from estimating the number of rooms to navigating the contract terms, so you can confidently set up the perfect hotel block for your wedding guests.

How Do Hotel Blocks Work?

A hotel block is a designated group of 10+ rooms at a hotel, which are reserved specifically for your wedding guests at a pre-negotiated, discounted room rate. Making this arrangement in advance offers a variety of benefits for both you and your guests.

They typically streamline the process of finding accommodations for your guests near your wedding venue. Your guests can avoid the stress of searching for individual rooms and the possibility of dealing with limited availability or inflated prices closer to the wedding date. 

Two women with their luggage at hotel front desk

Hotels often offer group rates when setting up hotel blocks, which can translate to savings of 5% to 20% for your guests, allowing them to stretch their travel budget further. 

Hotel blocks often come with additional perks that can elevate the experience for everyone — including the couple getting married. 

These additional perks may include:

  • Complimentary room for the couple: Enjoy your wedding night with a luxurious freebie!
  • Early check-in or late check-out: Newlyweds and their guests can rest easy with flexible arrival and departure times.
  • Welcome bag distribution: Surprise your guests with an itinerary, personalized treats, and local maps delivered directly to their rooms.
  • Room upgrades or amenities: Guests’ experience can be enhanced through special touches offered by the hotel.
  • Transportation arrangements: Travel logistics can be simplified further with shuttles or airport pick-up services. 

If your hotel block has unbooked rooms as your wedding date approaches, you can often release them back to the hotel.

Types of hotel blocks

Based on the specifics of your wedding location, you may have some options for the type of hotel block you reserve. Understanding the different types will help you choose the arrangement that best suits your wedding needs while also providing the most flexibility for you and your guests.

A list of pros and cons of a hotel block for wedding guests

Courtesy vs. contracted

A courtesy room block means the hotel holds rooms for your guests until an agreed-upon release date at no charge. You’re not financially responsible for unbooked rooms. Because you face no financial risk, this type of room block offers the flexibility of booking at multiple hotels to provide a range of budget options for guests.

In contrast, a contracted room block requires you to sign a contract with the hotel that includes minimum booking requirements. You will be on the hook if 80%-90% of the minimum room quantity is not sold by the agreed-upon room release date. 

However, a contracted room block can include perks. By entering into a contract, you have room to negotiate with the hotel. You may be able to secure a lower room rate, free parking privileges, free Wi-Fi, or other hotel benefits.

Local vs. destination

When your wedding venue is local to you and the majority of your guests, you will usually only need one hotel block in a location near your venue. If parking is an issue at your venue, the hotel can possibly serve as a central location for transportation to/from your venue.

If yours is a destination wedding, you may need room blocks at multiple hotels to accommodate all of your guests who’ve traveled to join you. You will want to consider the diversity of your guests’ budgets when selecting hotels to reach out to.

Complete a Hotel Block for Your Wedding Guests in 10 Easy Steps

Strategically planning ahead for your guests’ comfort and accessibility during your wedding celebration benefits you and them. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps involved:

1. Determine your number of guests

Start by estimating the number of guests who will need somewhere to stay overnight. Consider factors like the number of out-of-town guests, the length of their stay, and whether local guests might also want a hotel room. Block sizes can vary depending on the hotel, so it’s smart to have a general guest count before contacting the hotel.

2. Choose potential wedding dates

Depending on where you are on your wedding planning checklist, flexibility with your wedding dates can be advantageous. This is especially true if you’re planning a destination wedding. Consider potential hotel block availability when finalizing your date to ensure you identify the best options for your friends and loved ones.

3. Research and compare hotel options

Begin contacting different hotels near your venue to ask about group rates, the amenities they offer, and room block availability. Reading online reviews can also provide a valuable glimpse into previous guest experiences at each hotel.

4. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!

Once you’ve chosen the right hotel, it’s time to negotiate the terms of your hotel block. To do so, you should familiarize yourself with the hotel’s group booking policies. Then, work with the hotel staff to agree on the specifics, such as:

  • Room rates: Secure the best possible discounted rate for your guests.
  • Perks: Negotiate additional benefits like complimentary rooms, early check-in/late check-out options, or room upgrades.
  • Contract terms: Understand key contract terms like the attrition clause (minimum number of rooms required to be booked) and cancellation policy.

Once you’ve reached an agreement with the hotel, confirm everything in writing to avoid any misunderstandings.

Joy Tip: To get the best deal on your hotel block, compare rates from multiple hotels, research online offers, put down a larger deposit than required, and consider offering additional business to the hotel (like hosting a welcome reception).

5. Reserve as early as possible

Aim to book your hotel block at least 10 months in advance, especially for peak seasons or popular destinations. Doing it this far in advance gives your guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements and secure their spot within your block. 

Hotels typically process reservations through unique website links or codes provided to you, making it easy for guests to book their rooms.

6. Use Joy to reserve hotel blocks

You can easily streamline the entire process with the Hotel Room Blocks concierge service with Joy. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Exclusive group rates: Enjoy discounts up to 30% off for your guests, significantly reducing their travel costs.
  • Personalized travel concierge: A Joy specialist will assist you and your partner with hotel selection and contract negotiation, and it can even help guests book their rooms.
  • Risk-free/zero money down: No upfront financial commitment is required, providing peace of mind throughout the process.

7. Share hotel information with wedding guests

Once your block is confirmed, you’ll need to clearly communicate the hotel block details to your guests. Include information on the hotel name, location, group rate, booking link/code, and any important deadlines on your save-the-dates, RSVP cards, or wedding website. This guarantees that everyone has the information they’ll need to easily reserve their rooms.

8. Manage bookings/receive updates

Stay in contact with your hotel’s block coordinator to continually track the number of rooms booked by your guests and receive updates on any potential changes or cancellations. If you opted for a contracted hotel block, this will allow you to address questions quickly and help you monitor the progress towards the minimum booking requirements outlined in your contract.

The hotel should also be able to assist you if there are reservation changes or cancellations, the hotel becomes overbooked, or guests need alternative accommodations.

9. Confirm hotel transportation

If your hotel package doesn’t include transportation, explore alternative options to ensure your guests have a smooth arrival experience. Keep in mind that your guests will need transport to and from the airport, as well as to and from your wedding venue.

Transportation options could involve arranging airport shuttles, providing clear directions for public transportation, renting buses to bring guests to the wedding venue, or suggesting ride-sharing services.

10. Send reminders to guests

Be mindful of cut-off dates for booking within your group rate. Joy’s smart RSVP feature automatically sends reminder emails to your guests approaching the reservation deadline. This will help ensure everyone has plenty of opportunity to book their accommodations.

 An example of how to inform guests of a hotel room block set up for your wedding

Using simple wording and providing multiple methods of contact for the reservation process should help make the booking process easy for your guests. We’ve illustrated one wording example above. Here’s another option:

We’re thrilled that you plan to join us! To make your journey easier, we’ve reserved a block of rooms at the [HOTEL NAME] with special group rates for our wedding guests! 

Booking is simple! Just visit [HOTEL WEBSITE BOOKING LINK] and use code [BLOCK BOOKING CODE] when making your reservation. You can contact the hotel directly at [HOTEL PHONE NUMBER] with any questions.

Remember to book your room by [CUTOFF DATE] to receive the discounted rate. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Wedding Hotel Block FAQ

How much do wedding hotel blocks cost?

There are typically no upfront costs associated with securing a hotel block, but most hotels do require a deposit. That money is usually refundable as long as you meet the minimum booking requirements outlined in your contract. 

The overall cost of booking a hotel block can vary depending on factors like location, hotel star rating, and the number of rooms reserved. Remember to negotiate the terms carefully to ensure you’re getting the best possible value for your guests and your budget.

Who pays for hotel blocks?

Traditionally, the couple’s families cover wedding party accommodations, but there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for managing guest room blocks. Couples can choose to cover the deposit for the block itself, negotiate discounted rates, and then allow guests to pay their room charges directly to the hotel.

How many hotels should you block for a wedding?

The ideal number of hotels for your wedding needs depends on your guest count and your preference for various hotel price ranges. For local weddings, one hotel near your venue is often sufficient. 

For larger guest lists or destination weddings, consider two to three hotels to give guests different budget and location options. Remember, you can always release unbooked rooms closer to the date.

How much do hotel blocks save?

On average, group rates offer savings of 15-40% compared to standard room rates. With the Hotel Room Blocks service with Joy, you can potentially save even more, with exclusive discounts of up to 30% off for your wedding guests.

You may also like