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13 Tips for Booking Hotel Room Blocks for Your Wedding

photo Lisa Homsy
Oh wedding planning, sometimes you can be so rough. Pinterest overload, opinion overload and so many rapid fire questions from excited family members. Reserving hotel room blocks for all of your wedding guests who need a place to stay, can sometimes feel like the tip of the wedding stress iceberg. We’ll call it the room block woes. Your co-workers, your bestie and your grandma have such different taste and budgets. How will you ever please them all like you did with your chocolate and vanilla layered cake? Chin up, buttercup, we have 13 tips to make booking room blocks seriously easy. 

If you don’t like reading, just click here to enter your location & budget and we will take it entirely off of your wedding cake plate. 
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Room Blocks, Explained

The basics: A hotel room block is a reservation of 10+ hotel rooms. The perk of a room block is that they save you time, money & ensure that all of your guests will have a place to stay during the event you are hosting. On average group rates are 15% to 40% lower. This deal is already sweeter.
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It's OK, Guesstimate Your Room Count to Block

photo: Brogen Jessup
Worried about how many rooms to block for wedding?
Good news, you don’t need to know the exact amount of rooms that you will need. A rough estimate will do just fine. Bonus: Overestimating is even better, phew! 
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3-8 Months is the Magic Number

The best time to start booking or reserving room blocks is 3-8 months ahead of your event. This gives you and your guests enough time to decide, plan and most importantly, get excited. If you are just starting the search, you can message multiple venues at once requesting room block information. See? Easy! Start searching here →
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But What Hotels Should You Choose?

Feeling a little confused on just what hotels to choose for your guests? Our new platform, COCO, will allow you to enter in the location, your dream budget and guesstimated number of rooms and then hotels in the area will compete to match your price. All you have to do is accept! You don’t need a specific location, you can set your search for hotels near your venue. Start searching here →
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Spread the Love for All Budgets

photo: Tezza
For those not paying for their guests rooms: All of your family, extended family and friends don’t have to be at the same hotel (insert sigh of relief here). You are able to request hotels with different price points so that your guests have options based on how much they are able to spend on rooms. Can we get a hallelujah? 
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Don't Veer Too Far Away From the Venue

photo: Gather Events
Out-of-towner's may not know the area very well and are trusting you about where to stay. Try to make sure they are not more than a 30 minute drive from the venue (the rule of thumb is no more than 10 miles). Bonus: Find hotels within walking distance and your guests will love you even more. Still haven’t chosen your venue? Search our curated venue directory by location where you can message venues and request room blocks in one spot.
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Choose No More Than 3 Hotel Options

Fun fact: If you keep it simple, it will stay simple. Selecting too many hotel choices will not only confuse your guests but also put more unnecessary strain on your wedding planning to fill those room blocks. Additionally, the more rooms you request per hotel, the larger the deal you will score. Score!
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Are You on the Hook for Paying?

Short answer… Maybe. Some hotels don’t penalize you for unbooked rooms (remember over estimating your rooms?) – called a Courtesy Room Block – but not all hotels offer this. Some hotels will hold you responsible for unfilled rooms that you originally reserved. Don’t fret, there will be an attrition clause in your reservation agreement (read it!) that typically allows for 20% - 25% attrition, give or take. 
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Watch Out for Room Rate Hikes

photo: Lee Litumbe
Check for any large events in the area that may increase hotel prices on or around your event date. Conventions, concerts, high season travel times or small towns with limited accommodations are all red flags for room rate hikes. Good news, COCO our fun group bidding platform does all of this for you.
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Check-In Times

Make sure you take into account the check-in time of the hotels you choose so it doesn’t conflict with the starting time of your wedding. After all, there's nothing worse than your out-of-town friends having to get ready in the lobby bathroom or Uber parked outside of the ceremony. Tip: Ask the hotels if they would allow earlier check-in for a certain amount of rooms–there's strength in numbers! 
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Don't Forget to Tell Your Guests

photo: Minted
Put all of the relevant information in one easy to find (and remember!) place. Custom wedding websites are a great tool to relay information about the event, hotel, transportation and more. While there are a slew of really cool wedding websites out there, we especially love Minted's beautiful and easy-to-use options where you can put links to your hotels and travel information.
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And Don't Forget to Remind Your Guests!

Important: There will be a cut-off date for your guests to be able to nab the group rate room deal. Make sure to set yourself a reminder to send out a final friendly reminder via text or email to any guests who are late to secure their rate. Hotels are  strict about those cut-off dates (they will be outlined in your agreement) and typically range between 21–60 days prior to your guests arrival.
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