How to Book Hotel Rooms for Your Melbourne Wedding
By Darcy Allen /Melbourne Venue Expert
Fri 3rd Feb 2023 Wedding Venues
Looking for guest accommodation for your Melbourne wedding day but don’t have a clue where to start? Our handy guide provides tips and guidance around hotel booking, helping to ensure your guests have a place to crash after your big day.
If you’re thinking of hosting your wedding in Melbourne, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to unique venues, scenic beauty, and tons of accommodation. For guests who are making a long trip, the latter is essential – giving them a comfortable, budget-friendly place to stay after your celebrations.
Why Group Hotel Room Blocks Make Sense For Weddings
Block booking is a useful option if you intend to book a large number of rooms for your guests. Room blocks are often a reservation of 10 or more rooms that can be booked and paid for by your guests once you make the reservation.
They are often used for out-of-town guests who don’t intend to travel back the same day — but can be utilised by any of your guests.
When block booking rooms, you’ll often find that hotels will offer cheaper rates as a gesture for the number of bookings you’re bringing to them. Negotiating rates is also a good idea if you’re looking for a little extra saving.
When you work with our hotel bookings concierge, you’ll have the opportunity to compare rates and negotiate to get the best room rates.
How To Negotiate Your Wedding Hotel Group Block
Hotels are more open to haggling the more business you bring their way. For example, you’ll likely get a lower rate if you’re booking 20+ rooms or an event as well as 10+ rooms rather than simply reserving 10 rooms alone.
When negotiating, think about things outside the hotel rate, like freebies that might include breakfast or a welcome bottle of bubbly for your guests. Complimentary parking for your guests or late check-out might be an option in your negotiations.
Don’t overlook the power of adding a hosted event to your agreement. If you’re looking for a place to host night–before-the-wedding welcome drinks or morning-after brunch, consider your hotel as an option. If you agree to meet a certain food and beverage minimum, you may have more negotiating power with your guests’ hotel room block rates.
Of course, not all hotels will be open to negotiating their rates, especially during peak seasons, but enquiring is always worth the effort for you and your guests.
What You Need To Know When Selecting Your Guests’ Hotel Rooms
When you’re shopping around for rooms, you may notice that hotels tend to price based on what is happening that day or week.
For example, if you’re planning to book in a busy area of the city like Richmond, it may be a good idea to check if any major sporting events are happening during that period. This would likely result in more expensive room rates due to demand.
Courtesy booking is also an option at some hotels. This allows you, like block booking, to reserve a set number of rooms. The difference is that once those rooms are reserved, you can add more if required.
It’s quite likely that not all of your guests will want to stay in the same type of hotel. Some guests may prefer a little luxury in their hotel stays, while others may be on a slightly tighter budget. As a solution, most couples book room blocks across two to four different hotels, giving your guests a choice based on what they can afford.
Finally, consider which of your guests need accommodation. To do this, simply make a list of your out-of-towners and try to assess whether they might need one room, multiple rooms, or if there is anyone who may be comfortable sharing a room. This should help you gauge the number of rooms you need to block off.
Why The Location Of Your Bookings Is Important
Melbourne offers a range of different accommodation types, from waterfront hotels to country retreats. Wherever you choose, if you’re booking room blocks over several hotels, try to stay close to the venue.
Doing so means when you arrange transport to and from your wedding, guests can arrange a mutual pick-up point between hotels or your shuttles can do multiple stops within a short distance. You’ll save money on booking additional transport and your guests will be thankful that they don’t have to walk halfway across the city to be picked up.
Always Check The Terms And Conditions
For couples who want to keep things simple, hotel room blocks for weddings are a saving grace. However, you could very easily end up paying more than you thought, which is why you should always check your booking agreement. Let’s get into why it’s so important.
Booking a room block means that when your hotel confirms your reservation, they will also give you a cut-off date. This is the date your guests must book their rooms by.
How many rooms will you be expected to fill by this date? Well, that varies from hotel to hotel so it’s important to ask. Often when booking room blocks, any rooms that aren’t booked by the cut-off date are simply relisted as available to the public, at no cost to you.
However, you may also find that some hotels use an attrition rate. This means you pay for a certain percentage of unreserved rooms you’ve set aside if they aren’t booked by a specified date.
Attrition rates are often 15 and 20%, meaning they allow you to release that many unbooked rooms without penalty. Certain hotels implement a step-method approach to their attrition rate, meaning the rate changes over time (i.e. 15% attrition at 90 days out, 10% at 60 days out, 5% at 30 days out, and 0% after 30 days).
Communicating With Your Wedding Guests
Once you get the ‘all clear’ on your room block availability and cut-off dates, it’s time to get back in touch with your guests to confirm the details of their stay.
Your venue rep will usually be in touch during this time, but it’s worth setting a reminder a week or so before the cut-off date. Sticking this date in your phone or on your calendar means you have less chance of missing the date or simply forgetting — you’re busy planning a wedding after all!
When reaching out to your guests, remind them that they need to book their room by the cut-off date to avoid disappointment. They’ll thank you when they don’t have to pay an expensive fee for a last-minute room, instead of your handy reduced block booking rate.
Book Your Stay With Our Group Hotel Block Bookings Tool
If you’re looking for a convenient way to make your group booking, our group booking tool is free and easy to use. Simply fill out the form and you’ll receive quotes that are easy to compare and negotiate online.
All you need is your availability and the number of rooms you require, and our bookings tool will sort the rest of your Melbourne wedding accommodation details.