Taste and Tell
Sometimes when you’ve been doing your job for so long, you forget that people may not always know how to do something that you do so often you assume that everyone knows how to do it. Opps! Securing a room block is one of those things that I do so often that I often forget it isn’t second nature to everyone. So, here are a few tips on securing your own room block.
1. Yes, you can get a cheaper rate at hotels for your guests by booking a certain number of rooms in advance.
2. No, these are not the same rates you are going to find online.
3. Call the hotel where you wish to book rooms (I suggest that it be as close to your venue as possible) and ask to speak with someone in group sales.
4. When you speak to the sales person tell them you need a wedding room block (yes, it is ok to say the word wedding, 16th birthday, wedding, bar mitzvah, it doesn’t matter, I promise!) check in date X, check out date X for X number of rooms.
5. They are likely not going to give you more than 20 rooms tops
6. Book at least two hotels if not 3 in order to give your guests a range of prices and in order to get the number of rooms you need if necessary
7. DO NOT PAY ATTRITION! This is a big one! THE biggest one. Make sure, ask, if this is a courtesy block. If it is not, then simply say no thank you. Attrition means that you will be charged a percentage of the rooms that you do not fill. There are plenty of hotels out there that will offer you a courtesy block, you need not pay attrition.
8. They may ask you if you are looking at other hotels. Tell them! Tell them that the hotel down the street is offering you a courtesy block for X and can they beat that price? They very well may try.
9. You still need to sign a contract even though you are not paying, it just locks in your room rate.
10. Ask them if they will give you a free suite for the bride and groom or at least a discount if you fill a certain number of rooms.
11. If you fill your rooms, make sure that they will give you more at the same rate (assuming they have them of course).
12. Ask if there is any leniency for guests checking in a day early or staying a day late. Can they extend the room block rate to them?
You will be pleasantly surprised how lovely many hotels are to work with and how easy they make things for you. Now that you have the tools, go out there and get a good rate!
Have you heard about Simply Bridal? I hadn’t either until just this week. It is an online (they also have an LA based brick and mortar warehouse) discount made to order wedding and bridesmaid dress shop that cuts out the middle man in order to offer you amazing discount prices. Simply check out their gallery, send them your measurements, they sew your gown, send it to you in 3-7 days and you are all set! The prices are unbeatable and the dresses are beautiful. This is an excellent option for the practical bride who does not want to spend an arm and a leg on something she is going to wear once. This is also a fantastic option for bridesmaid dresses.
Of course you are going to have to get a local seamstress, but you always need to get a local seamstress when ordering a dress. Simply Bridal is especially ideal for last minute brides. Gone are the days of you cannot have a dress if you did not order it 6 months in advance. You can have a beautiful made to order dress.
I particularly appreciate that these dresses are made in the USA, so not only will you look amazing, you can feel good about it as well. Check out Simply Bridal if you are looking for your wedding or bridesmaid dresses!
Washingtonian Bride and Groom Unveiled event is Saturday, January 20 11:30-3:30 at the Mandarin Oriental
The Dandelion Patch is offering free membership and 10% back when you purchase your invitations January 16 – 21
Hitched is having a styling night on Wednesday, January 18 5:00-8:00pm
Entertainment Exchange invites couples to check out their lives bands at the opening of their showcase theater on Tuesday, January 17
Hitched is also hosting a Lela Rose trunk show on January 20-21
Win a spa day for you and your bridesmaids at Nectar Skin Bar
Hitched is having a sample sale, Thursday Jan. 12
Chesapeake Bay Beach Club is having a bridal show Jan. 7
Post holiday blowout sale at Urban Chic Fairfax through Jan. 14
The Atrium at Treetops is offering 10% off ala carte items in the month of January
Follow La Prima on Facebook and be entered for a $100 gift card
Bayside Bride has a $1200 giveaway with High Cotton Ties
Sprinkles Cupcakes has a Hanukkah box through Dec. 28
Chesapeake Bay Beach Club is hosting a bridal show Jan. 7 from 12-5pm
Love these free holiday wine labels from Better Homes and Gardens
The Wedding Chicks have new free printables that are so cute
Washington Bridal Showcase will be at the Washington Convention Center Jan. 15 and the Patriot Center Jan. 29
Pajama Party at The Dandelion Patch Dec. 19 and 20.
Sprinkles has Joy boxes that make the perfect holiday gift
Love these DIY brick table numbers from Sparkle & Hay
Hitched has a Modern Trousseau trunk show Dec. 16 & 17
Postcards & Pretties is giving away hammered leaf crystal earrings from Pree Brulee
Kimpton Hotels has holiday packages including 2 cocktails and 20% off in room spa treatments for $1 more
Georgetown is holding 12 days of merriment in georgetown with $2 parking, events and specials Dec. 8-20th
The Nifty Fifties
Hitched is having an Anne Barge trunk show Dec. 2 and 3
Randy Fenoli from ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ will be at Hannelores Dec. 17 and 18
Shabby Chic Bride is giving away cheesecake minis from English Cheesecake Company
The Southern Aisle is giving away a La Gartier Custom Garter
Sarah’s Stands has free ground shipping on all stands Cyber Monday only (Nov. 28)
The Dandelion Patch is offering 20% off for their holiday sale!
Glamour & Grace is giving away a dress from LuLu’s.
Fabulously Wed is having a DIY contest in celebration of their anniversary.
Postcards and Pretties is giving away custom wall prints from Papermints
Hitched is hosting more styling nights May 19th and June 23rd. RSVP: 202.333.6162 or firstname.lastname@example.org
with which date you will attend.
Sparkle & Hay is giving away wedding jewelry from Edmoure Ralph
Elmira Catering is offering 15% off your next catering or bar order when you mention the Spring Promotion through May 31st.