How to Book Hotel Rooms for Your Sydney Wedding
By Darcy Allen /Melbourne Venue ExpertWed 8th Feb 2023 Wedding Venues
Ovolo Woolloomooloo Hotel
Stuck with booking your Sydney wedding accommodation? Our handy guide walks you through everything you need to ensure a comfy city stay for your friends and family.
Whether you’re throwing a contender for Sydney wedding of the year or a stylish harbourfront affair, having somewhere for guests to stay after hitting the dancefloor (and the wine) is essential.
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Why Room Blocks Are a Great Idea for Your Sydney Wedding
What are room blocks? Well… they’re a reservation of 10 or more hotel rooms, made to give out-of-town guests (or anyone really!) a place to stay before, during and after your big day. Did we mention room blocks come with a ton of advantages too?
The first. It takes the pain out of planning. Instead of pre-arranging different hotel stays for different people, you’ll have a selection of rooms ready and waiting for your guests.
The second. Hotels often offer a reduced rate for multiple bookings. These rates are negotiable too, putting you in the driver’s seat and giving your guests a locked-in discounted Sydney stay.
Getting The Best Deal on Sydney Hotel Group Blocks
Due to the amount of business you’re bringing to your chosen hotels by block booking, they may be open to lowering your overnight stay rates or offering additional extras like discounted spa services or free valet parking.
Of course, this isn’t guaranteed, but asking the question can’t hurt. Especially when it comes to potentially saving you — and your guests — money.
Choosing Your Local Rooms and Rates
When you’re planning your big day, you want value for money all around. That includes hotels.
Be sure to check the rates of multiple hotels in your chosen area before committing. Hotels often price rooms based on local events around the date of your booking, so if you were looking at staying in Darling Harbour — an area with plenty of great accommodation — you could score a great deal just by shopping around. The great news? Our hotel block booking tool does the homework for you and guarantees the best rates.
Now, as wedding people, we know there can be complications. Like guests who may prefer luxury accommodation, while others just can’t afford it.
Don’t worry. As well as those handy discounts you’ll get from block booking your hotel rooms, many couples tend to block book across multiple hotels. This means those who prefer extravagance are catered for, while other guests can stay somewhere that doesn’t break the bank.
Knowing who’s going to need accommodation can be a head-scratcher too. An easy way to figure this out is by noting down the number of out-of-town guests you have. You’ll then know who needs one room, if they need more than one or if any guests are comfortable sharing.
When blocking off rooms, most hotels offer courtesy blocking – a set number of reserved rooms, where rooms can be added once the set number is taken. An easy win if you’re a little uncertain about guest numbers.
Remember To Check Your T’s and C’s
Of course, as with anything that seems suspiciously too good to be true, always read your contract. Block booking and courtesy blocking may seem convenient, and they are, as long as you understand the terms of your agreement.
When block booking, your hotel will give you a cut-off date. This is the date by which all bookings must be made.
Each hotel handles group block bookings differently in terms of the capacity they expect you to fill. In some cases, if you decide to book a block of rooms, any rooms that aren’t booked by the cut-off date will be relisted as available to the public with no penalty to you.
However, some hotels will apply what’s known as an attrition rate to their bookings policy. This means you’re financially responsible for booking the majority of the rooms you’ve set aside, which must be booked by a specific date.
The attrition rate, which is usually between 15 to 20%, is like a forgiveness policy that allows wiggle room for 15 to 20% of the rooms not being filled. Some hotels will also provide a step-method approach to their attrition rate so that the attrition rate changes over time (i.e. 15% attrition at 90 days out, 10% at 60 days out, 5% at 30 days out, 0% after 30 days).
You’ll find that some hotels are generous with their cut-off dates, giving a shorter window of 30 days before the wedding. Others may have trickier windows of 60 or 90 days.
Depending on when you mail invites, these windows become important to track. We usually recommend sending save-the-dates as soon as you have your hotel block arranged to encourage guests to lock in their discounted room rate well in advance of the cut-off date.
Check-in with Your Guests
Your guests probably have busy lives, so giving them a nudge around room availability and cut-off dates is a must.
It’s okay to send a reminder a week or two before the cut-off date. In most cases, a venue rep will reach out and remind you of the cut-off date and provide a list of the bookings your guests have made, but we usually recommend setting a notification in your calendar to be on the safe side.
Once you know your block is available, reach out and let them know how to book their Sydney hotel room.
Remind them that they need to book by the agreed cut-off date to avoid missing out on a room, or worse – having to pay a much higher rate than your original group booking.
Think Location, Location, Location
When scoping out potential hotels, looking close to your venue may seem important. While that’s true, if you’re block booking over several Sydney hotels, booking them within walking distance of each other makes a lot of sense too.
It means that should you or your guests arrange transport to your wedding, they can arrange a ‘mutual pick-up’ point between hotels. As well as saving money on multiple transport bookings, your guests will thank you for not having to walk too far for pick up!
Hotels near Circular Quay tend to be really popular with weddings because there are so many convenient meeting spots for guests.
Book Your Stay with Our Group Bookings Tool
Of course, if you’re looking for a super easy way to make your booking, our handy group booking tool is free and easy to use.
All you need is your availability and the number of rooms you require, and our tool will sort the rest.
Let us handle your group booking, leaving you free to focus on your wedding day!
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