Entering a Hotel RoomFor some couples who are getting married, reserving a hotel for both holding their reception and lodging guests can be a smart move. Its effectiveness as a cost-savings strategy depends largely on the size of the guest list and prices for products and services, but using the same establishment as a venue and a place tp rest for out-of-town invitees can afford you some key conveniences. You should carefully vet your options before you book, but here are a few basics you'll need to know before you sign any contracts or pay a deposit.

Research Your Options

If you're tying the knot close to where you live, you probably know a little bit about the available hotels in your town. Maybe some establishments have been local favorites for a long time, or perhaps you're eyeing a decades-old hotel with a unique history and plenty of famous guests. Even if it’s just a major chain with amenities you love, it pays to do your research and find out what each one offers. Be sure to get the lowdown on:

  • Banquet room rental rates
  • Available catering options and prices
  • Types, prices and availability of individual hotel rooms
  • Deposits needed to reserve banquet areas
  • Reservation procedures for hotel room blocks
  • Any honeymoon-related perks the establishment provides
  • Special policies and clauses, such as no outside food or pets
  • Accessible facilities for disabled guests in both common areas and private rooms

What You Need to Know About Room Blocks

Depending on your circumstances and guest list, reserving hotel room blocks may be useful. A Practical Wedding contributor Meg Hotchkiss offers some great information to help you plan smart. Open, or courtesy blocks, are ideal for setting 10 to 20 rooms aside and require that guests reserve their rooms by a set deadline. Closed, or guaranteed blocks, typically need a deposit to book and you’ll have to pay for any unsold rooms yourself.

So do you choose an open or a closed room block? Hotchkiss recommends reviewing your guest list, finding the number of out-of-towners, and dividing that by two to arrive at the probable number of invitees who will come to your wedding. Pick the open block option if you don’t anticipate many long-distance travelers to your special day. Also, remember that you can select more open blocks with other nearby hotels to provide more choices for your guests. Closed blocks can be tricky to deal with, and Hotchkiss only advises them if you’re in an area with only one hotel and want to guarantee that friends and family have places to stay overnight. 

Be Mindful of Holidays or Other Major Events

As you’re doing your homework on hotels, keep in mind that certain factors can impact price and availability for both your banquet spaces and room blocks. Writing for the Huffington Post, Sherri Eisenberg cautions future honeymooners to watch out for holidays and special events. Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s Eve, Easter and local seasonal happenings can jack up your rates. Moreover, if you’re getting hitched around the same time as a major conference or convention, you should consider booking early to avoid getting squeezed out or consider selecting another date . . . unless, of course, your whole point was to marry during Yule or Comic-Con.

A hotel can be an appropriate venue, offering plenty of features along with convenience for both soon-to-be-wed couples and their guests. Landing the right establishment with the best mix of services takes some research and careful decision-making. Be sure you fully comprehend your chosen hotel’s policies and fee structures for both banquet areas and rooms and let the size of your guest list and the number of out-of-town attendees dictate whether you block off rooms for the night.

Category: Wedding Planning

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