There are a lot of moving parts when planning a New Jersey wedding. One important detail is booking a block of hotel rooms to accommodate out-of-town wedding guests. But where do you start in the process? Here are six basic tips to book a block of hotel rooms for your New Jersey wedding:
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1. The Magic Number. Typically, hotels may extend discounts off their regular room rates to guests who reserve a large group of rooms. The bulk rate usually refers to a minimum of 10 rooms. The more rooms, the less the rate per room is, reducing the cost for you and your wedding guests.
2. Contact Group Sales. The group sales representative is the appropriate department to make a plan and negotiate rates. Call several hotels you are interested to see their proposal. Of course, let them know the amount of rooms, date range and that you wish to reserve a block. If you are using the hotel for your ceremony or reception, make sure to mention that as they may have an additional special or promotion that will benefit you.
3. Account Setup and Arrangements. Discuss with the representative whether guests will pay for their own hotel rooms, or if they should be charged to a master account. In case it's the latter, specify exactly which charges are authorized for this account. Arrangements..decide whether guests will secure their own reservations or whether you will personally book them.
4. Code. Obtain a group code from the customer service rep for your guests who make their own reservations. This code can be placed in a card in your invitation suite. Let them know the reduced rate, if interested in booking rooms and the deadline to reserve them.
5. Contract. Request a signed group sales contract that specifies all of these details in writing. Read it over thoroughly to ensure it accurately matches the group rates and details discussed.
6. Follow Up. Keep close communication with your guests and update the sales rep with any changes in your group reservations. Just like your catering company, most hotels will require a guest count right before your wedding, and some may expect payment for any reserved rooms in your group that are not booked.