Room Blocks: What's the Deal?

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If you read my latest blog on transportation, by now you know that not all things wedding related are as easy they seem! But transportation aside, room blocks are another point of potential frustrations couples face during their planning.

Spoiler alert: they are not all created equal! There are two main differences to note when starting your search. Today I’m breaking them both down. First up, Courtesy Block Agreements; followed by Attrition Agreements…(stay with me here!)

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Courtesy Block Agreements

If you ask for my planner expertise, courtesy block agreements are the way to go. They’re exactly as they sound— a courtesy hotels give you as a thank you for your business.

With these types of agreements, you reserve a small number of rooms at the hotel of your choice for your guests to reserve. The hotel offers your group (what they call a Room Block) a special code which offers your guests special discounts when they call in to reserve their room.

Sounds great right?! Why, yes…yes they are. But here’s the catch: because the hotel is doing you a favor by placing a hold on X number of rooms for you and your guests, you can only block off a small number of rooms at a time.

Pro tip: Once your block is full the hotel will often extend you another X amount of rooms in addition (availability pending!)

Attrition Agreements

Attrition agreements are binding contracts that you and hotels have together. Hotels will reserve a larger number of rooms for you and your guests (usually two or three times the amount of a Courtesy Block Agreement) which guarantee your guests a room to stay within their hotel.

So, what’s the difference?

Any rooms that go unreserved within Attrition Block Agreements then become your financial responsibility as a couple. Typically, the hotel will collect a percentage of the remaining amount of rooms unoccupied. For example, if you’ve reserved 40 rooms from the hotel but only 12 have been reserved by your guests, the hotel will charge you 80% attrition for the remaining rooms. Meaning, you owe then 80% of the total revenue they would’ve collected had those rooms been fully sold.

More likely than not, hotels that only allow Attrition Agreements over Courtesy Block Agreements are more popular, more pricey, and on any given day guaranteed to sell out without the incentive of deals and discounts.

Pro tip: Take a careful look at your guest list and consider how many out of town versus in town guests you may have. Weigh this into your decision when deciding between an Attrition Agreement or a Courtesy Block Agreement. You don’t want to get financially stuck paying for more rooms than you may need for those just in case scenarios!

Photography Credit: Bethany Snyder Photography

Angelica Laws