The Ins and Outs of Wedding Room Blocks

With Virginia Beach being the lead beach wedding destination in Virginia and Williamsburg being a very popular wedding hotspot for local and northern Virginia couples, we have people coming from all over to say their vows with their closest loved ones! That's why I'm so excited to have my friends and leading hotel experts Amy and Melanie of Where Will They Stay? share their insight and expertise on the A-B-Cs of hotel room blocks. It's not as easy as one may think, but thankfully these tips will get you on the path of making your wedding weekend a memorable for all of your out-of-town visitors!

With guest experience becoming an increasingly popular priority, couples are making a point to hone in on creating an unforgettable wedding celebration for all those in attendance.

One distinct touch that adds to a guest's experience is the accommodations that are pre-selected for them, often done through a hotel room block. Saving guests the trouble of coordinating their stay is much appreciated, especially for those coming from out of town, and your guests' experience will be off to a great start.

Selecting a hotel seems like easy work, which explains why it's often relegated to the bottom of the to-do list. However, booking a hotel room block isn't as simple as calling up the nearest motel; in fact, there are a number of considerations when selecting the property that will host your guests for your wedding weekend.

Start off on the right foot.
Before sitting down at your computer, be sure to chat with your partner and figure out an estimate of how many people will be coming from out of town. Consider the people who will be booking your accommodations – take their ages, personalities, and budgets into account. Are your friends and family the type to enjoy a quirky boutique hotel or are they simply looking for a no-frills place to lay their head? Do you need to find accommodations that are handicap-friendly? Once you determine your guests' needs, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of properties to start researching.

Do your research.
Once you have a good idea of your must-haves for your guests' accommodations, start off by doing your due diligence when researching properties. Review what others have to say about the location, as well as what is immediately accessible in the nearby area. In addition to online reviews and information, be open to asking your local wedding vendors for suggestions. Don't hesitate to ring up the hotel while you're researching to inquire about any concerns you may have.

Dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
Once you have reached an agreement with a hotel sales representative, it's time to sign the dotted line and start notifying guests. However, before penning your name on the contract, read through the document at least twice. Understand what you are liable for, as well as what the property has promised to you. What is the policy if they mix up the room block and there are no rooms when guests arrive? Are you accountable for any costs incurred by no-show guests? Is there flexibility if you need to expand the reservation to include more rooms? Only when you are completely satisfied with an agreement should you sign the contract – if you feel uncomfortable for any reason, address the issue and don't be afraid to walk away and find another property.

When your room block is confirmed, you can add the information to your invitations and rest easy knowing your guests are taken care of!

Feel like you already have an endless to do list staring at you? Consider bringing in the experts to help guide the process! Either way, you'll be glad you did.

Amy Green and Melanie Marconi are the founders of Where Will They Stay?, a free service which offers custom room block procurement for engaged couples.

Photography: Maria Grace Photography | Hotel: Embassy Suites Hampton Hotel Convention Center | Embroidered Shirts: MyPIC via Etsy