Charleston Hotels: Wedding Group Blocks

You've been planning your dream Charleston wedding for months and have been slowly checking things off your to-do list and it's now time to take care of your guests' accommodation.  Not quite sure where to start?  Let us help with a few pointers and recommendations... 

Things to take into consideration:
  • The best time to begin gathering information on room blocks is about 9 months prior to your wedding.  Most hotels are unable to quote rates for a wedding that is more than nine months away.  At the same time, keep in mind, it is important not to wait too long because hotels usually only offer a certain number of discounted group rooms.
  • To be considered a group block and receive a discounted rate for your guests, you must plan to block 10 rooms per night.

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  • Depending on the size of you wedding, consider booking 3 hotels in varying price ranges to accommodate everyone's budget.  Make sure at least one property is downtown so out-of-town guests are able to enjoy the sites!
  • It's okay to tell the Group Sales Coordinator the price range and amenities (like free breakfast, wi-fi or shuttle service) that are important to you and your guests.  

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  • If you think some of your guests might arrive early or stay a little longer it might be beneficial for them if you extend the block from Thursday-Monday instead of just Friday and Saturday evening.
  • Be prepared to hear higher rates during peak months and especially if you are marrying over a busy Charleston weekend like; Spoleto Festival, SEWE or Citadel/CofC Graduation. 

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  • Be prepared to sign some sort of group agreement or contract laying out all the terms of the group block and the policies of the property.
  • In order to hold the rooms, some hotels will include an attrition clause that will require you to give a credit card number in case some of the rooms are not picked up.  In this case, if all of the rooms are not reserved you will be charged.
It's worth asking for...
  • A Custom Web Page.  Larger chain properties (like a Marriott or Hilton) can offer a custom wedding web page that you can send out to your guests.  It's like your own little Expedia page with your group rate pre-loaded so guests don't even have to call the hotel itself.

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    • A complimentary upgrade or even a room/bridal suite.  Some locations will offer a complimentary upgrade/room depending on the amount of rooms your group books.

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  • When the cut off date will be.  The cut-off date is usually 30 days prior.  After this date, all remaining rooms will be released back into the hotel's inventory.  At that point, your guests will be unable to take advantage of the discounted rate but can still book a room based on availability.

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Work with your Group Sales Coordinator throughout the process to monitor the pick-up over the next few months and determine when and if it is necessary to add more rooms.
When sending out your save-the-dates, be sure to include each properties name, phone number, address and website.  If you are getting hitched during the summer months it might be a good idea to include the contact info of a beach house rental property in case your guests are planning to make a long vacation out of it!  Lastly, don't forget to add the information to your wedding website, as well.