Wedding planning has been in full blown high gear lately for me as we are dwindling down to only 4 months left before the big day! It's getting crazy y'all!! Something that we've been looking into recently has been a hotel block and I learned SO many different things that I would've never realized if I hadn't been going through this myself. Going through this season of life and planning our wedding myself (along with Colby, of course) has really opened my eyes and gave me so much insight into what my brides really go through. I'd love to provide some advice to you ladies for some tips of what to ask and what to look for when reserving a hotel block!
One of the first things that I looked into when looking for hotels for our wedding guests was how far away the hotel was from the wedding venue. It seems that for a lot of my clients since I shoot a lot of weddings in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. that the hotels have been fairly close to the venue. I guess that's common for city weddings, however, it is not very common for little town weddings like the ones we have here in Fredericksburg! That was a really big eye-opener because a lot of the closest hotels that I found were at least 25-30 minutes away from our venue. I was so shocked to find that the case, but after asking some local wedding vendors, they reassured me that it's normal for smaller cities to be like that. After realizing that, the next step in the process for us was to, of course, look up reviews about the hotels. There were quite a few larger hotels in the area that most people have heard of, however, quite a few had bad ratings and I moved right on past those. I also asked our venue owner for suggestions because he works closely with a lot of hotels on a weekly basis! He recommended a few and we looked into those.
I gave them all a call and got some rates and asked a bunch of questions and we finally found one that we're going with! Ironically, the manager there has the same name as me so I just felt like it was fate, haha! Some of the questions I asked that I highly recommend you do too are listed below for you:
- How many rooms can they set aside for the hotel block? Ours could set aside about 20-25 (but we only needed around 15) so that was perfect for us!
- When do the rooms need to be reserved by? Most hotel blocks will expire about a month before the wedding so they have time to still sell those rooms to last minute bookings. That makes a lot of sense, but not everyone knows that! :)
- How far away is the hotel from the wedding venue?
- Do they provide a shuttle to bring guests to/from the venue? Apparently, that isn't common for smaller town weddings like Fredericksburg, however, this is very common for bigger cities like Washington D.C.!
- Do they do continental breakfast in the mornings?
- How many days can they reserve the block for?
- Are they willing to honor the discounted room block rate if a guest needs to stay an extra date? Ours is willing to do that, which is so kind of them, but not all hotels are okay with this!
- Do they require a contract? If you're promised a shuttle or other frilly stuff, I always recommend getting this in writing because I've had quite a few brides get promised shuttles before, but never got it in writing and had to last-minute hire transportation companies!
- Do they require a certain amount of rooms to be booked in order to keep the discounted rate?
I hope these questions help you when you decide to reserve hotel blocks for your guests. If you've already went through this process, are there any other questions that you asked when you reserved your hotel blocks? I'd love to hear your advice in the comments below!