Room Block Types: courtesy vs. guaranteed

There are two types of room blocks: courtesy and guaranteed.

A courtesy room block affords you and your guests the most flexibility. There’s no required financial commitment to book enough rooms, or penalty if you don’t. Generally, the only restriction included in the terms is a cutoff date, or the date until which your guests may book rooms.

After the cutoff date, any rooms that don’t get booked by your guests are released from the block, opening them up for general booking. If all the rooms in the block get booked, the hotel will usually allow you to add more rooms to the block to accommodate any remaining guests.

With that in mind, be sure not to request more rooms than you actually need, as many hotels limit the number of rooms they are willing to offer as part of a courtesy block.

If you’re unsure of how many rooms to reserve, use Skipper’s Room Calculator for a better estimate. If your wedding is during a period of particularly high demand, the hotel may not be willing to offer a courtesy block at all.

Guaranteed room blocks require you to formally agree that a certain percentage of the rooms in the block (often 90%) will be booked and used. If the rooms are left unsold, you will be responsible for covering the cost of the unused rooms.

Sometimes the hotel will also require a deposit to secure the room block. While you lose out on flexibility with a guaranteed room block, you may receive lower group hotel rates for the added insurance on the room block. So if you’re relatively positive as to how many guests you’re expecting, this could be your best option.

Booking agreements: sealing the deal

Once you’ve decided to accept an offer, the hotel will send you a booking agreement.

The purpose of this is to make sure both parties agree upon the terms and discounted rates. Be sure to read the agreement carefully to avoid any surprises down the road!

Sharing the savings

If a room block is set up, but nobody knows about it, is there a room block?

You need to share the room block info with your guests so they can take advantage of these deals. We’ve heard too many stories of guests booking rooms at the hotels separately, completely unaware that they could get a special rate for rooms by booking in your block.

Guests really appreciate it when you give them one or two options and detailed instructions for booking rooms, whether it’s a phone number to call or a booking code to type in online.

You can share this information on your wedding website or email it out in a reminder to your guests.

How to get a block of rooms

Just because you understand the ins­-and-­outs of room block planning doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Even with all this information in hand, setting up a wedding room block can be a tedious, drawn­-out, and frustrating process.

Phone tag with multiple sales managers, negotiating rates, terms and amenities, even faxing documents­­ it’s a pain. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be. Skip the hassle with Skipper!

Skipper’s hotel search makes it easier than ever to find the perfect hotel. Select up to four hotels from which you’d like to receive an offer for your wedding room block. And don’t be shy­­ along with your request, you can include details on all the things your unique group of guests needs.

Your personal Skipper Booking Advisor will take it from there, and will be available any time you need help or have a question. Within 48 business hours, all of your offers will be organized neatly on your Skipper Trip Dashboard. Accept or decline an offer, with just a click.

You can even sign a booking agreement electronically. How cool is that? Let the room block experts at Skipper do the legwork.

After all, it’s a free service. Your time is best spent on more important things. You’ve got a wedding to plan!

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