Booking a wedding room block can be daunting and often times our focus is on the rate. We all want a good value and as a free service that books room blocks, we specialize in finding those deals but we’ve also been guests at many weddings and that collective experience has helped us develop a list of additional questions most couples never think to ask until AFTER they’ve booked a room block but may help them determine which hotel is right for them.
Again, this doesn’t happen with our service, we preemptively address all of these questions but since a lot of our customer reviews reference how much they love the detailed information we provide, we wanted to share it with everyone.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you book a wedding room block:
1. Does the hotel have a bar? What are the hours and if it’s not open late, can you pay to have it stay open?
Whether you plan on formerly hosting an after-party or letting your guests form their own if they’d like, it’s nice to know whether or not the hotel can host it.
2. Does the hotel offer shuttle?
This depends on the wedding location. A hotel in NYC is never going to offer shuttle but in New Jersey some hotels will. That being said, there are additional points to consider. Some hotels advertise their free shuttle, but it only runs on a certain route or only holds 8 people, or they won’t reserve it for a wedding. If you booked a hotel because you saw “free shuttle” online, it would be really disappointing to have your guest’s check-in only to realize they can’t use it. We like to address the shuttle situation up front.
3. How far is the hotel from the venue?
If your ceremony and reception are in different locations this may be tougher to answer but, in that case, most of the couples we work with, book near the reception venue so it’s easier for guests to get to bed after dancing and eating all night.
4. Is the hotel pet friendly?
We don’t include this for every wedding group because it’s not a common question but if you have pets you intend to travel with, ask this upfront. It’s important to also consider the hotel’s policy regarding fees, weight of pets and the number of pets.
5. Is breakfast included in the rate? If not, what are the options?
If you’re hosting a post-wedding brunch it’s important to get this information up front. Not to say that you have to book it right away, most couples don’t, but just get a feel for the pricing so you can see which option works best for your budget. Similarly, if you don’t plan on hosting a brunch perhaps having a hotel that includes breakfast in the rate would be a deciding factor for you, so it’s definitely nice to have this information up front.
6. Wedding packages?
Hotels often have wedding packages to encourage couples to book at their hotel over other hotels. These packages can change depending on the time of year your booking your wedding but they can also be negotiated so see what the hotel offers up front as it could be a major deciding factor in which hotel you end up booking.
This is major but not every hotel has suites or some hotels may only have one or two, so if you know you’re going to need a space to get ready in or your parents want a suite- ask upfront. Similarly, if you have a large wedding party with 15 people, you’re going to need a hotel that can accommodate that so it’s best to mention this upfront as well.
8. Does the hotel offer overnight parking and is there a fee for parking?
This depends on the location of the wedding but it’s something guests will want to know so it’s definitely nice to add this to your wedding website if you plan on building one. If you’re wedding is happening in a city with parking garages, we always like to recommend sending guests to websites such as Spot Hero for reserving discounted parking rates. It may not be parking at the hotel, but it’s typically more affordable than the hotel valet rates.
9. Are you doing welcome bags for your guests and if so, will the hotel hand them out at the front desk without a charge?
This question gets into the nitty gritty on how hotel’s work but basically some hotel policies do not allow them to hand out gift bags at the front desk. Instead they require the bellman to deliver the bags to the rooms which is often accompanied by a fee that ranges from $3-6 per bag. Depending on how many guests you have this can add up quickly so it’s nice to know this upfront v. finding out a week or two before your wedding when your coordinating bag drop-off.Also there are hotels that will hand out bags at the front desk but limit the number they can do due to space restrictions so while they might be able to offer it for a wedding that books 10 rooms, perhaps the wedding with 60 rooms would require a different delivery method.
10. Will the hotel be undergoing a renovation over your wedding dates?
Some hotels don’t think to disclose this information or may not realize your wedding coincides with the renovation dates they have scheduled so we like to ask ahead of time because maybe those amazing rates are amazing for a reason. That being said, it’s rare to have a renovation interfere with a wedding on property but it never hurts to ask.
11. Insert question here.
We’ve addressed some of the more common questions that come up while wedding planning but if anything is important to you, ask up front. For example, maybe you prefer a hotel with a gym or a pool, maybe you want a rooftop bar or patio space because you’re having a summer wedding, maybe you need connecting rooms for families, etc. Whatever is important to you, feel free to mention it upfront.
If you do use our service, we’ll let you know if a request can’t be accommodated by the hotels in your preferred area and suggest some alternatives.
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