New to Wedding Hotel Blocks? What You Need to Know About Courtesy and Contracted Room Blocks

9 March 2017
 Categories: , Blog


Guests are a significant part of every wedding. Therefore, if you have some, especially those from out of town attending your wedding, you will want to find a comfortable place for them to stay for a day or two during the wedding period. Hotels are always the ideal solution. If you are having a lot of guests who would be needing accommodation, you can always negotiate a favourable price on their hotel rooms. This often involves the hotel setting aside a number of rooms or a 'block' for the guests at a cheaper price.

Close/guaranteed/contracted and open/courtesy are the major forms of hotel room blocks you may have to choose. Before making your decision, here is what you need to know about these types of hotel blocks.

Cost Effectiveness

Courtesy blocks tend to be more cost effective. Hotels are businesses. For this reason, they may not be willing to hold their rooms without a guaranteed revenue. Therefore, before they block certain rooms from being sold, they will require a deposit. If you are booking a guaranteed block, you will have to pay this deposit.

On the other hand, courtesy blocks won't require you to pay any deposits. This is because unlike their guaranteed block counterparts, all rooms contracted do not have to be booked. Usually, because of issues such as travel delays, you may not know the exact number of guests that will make it to your wedding.

If you book a given number of rooms in a guaranteed block arrangement and some guests fail to show up, you will be financially responsible for the unsold rooms. This is because guaranteed blocks are subject to attrition fees or clauses. That is, if you book the block for a minimum commitment, for instance eighty per cent, you will be owing the hotel damages for up to eighty per cent of the block for all the unused rooms. Courtesy blocks are not affected by such fees. Therefore, make sure every room will be filled up before you go for a guaranteed block.

Number of Rooms

While the financial risks associated with courtesy blocks are relatively fewer compared to guaranteed blocks, the hotel may not be willing to hold a large number of rooms because of the nature of the blocks (no deposits, you won't be charged for unoccupied rooms).

For instance, if your guests need about thirty rooms, the hotel may limit you to only ten in a courtesy block arrangement. This will be a disadvantage because you may have to book the remaining rooms individually or as a guaranteed block, either of which could be relatively more expensive. Fortunately, there is a way around this. You can book courtesy blocks at more than one hotel. This is why it's always important to consider the proximity of the hotel you want to book for your guests to other hotels.