It’s no secret that choosing between contracted vs. flexible groups can be a big deal for many couples when it comes to planning their destination wedding. Many wedding couples have asked, “what’s the difference between a room block and a flexible group?” With so much misinformation floating around it’s no wonder so many are confused and end up leaving precious money and benefits on the table.
Usually, couples aren’t given all the pertinent information needed to make an informed choice. You need to take into consideration details like location, accommodation, number of travelers, and schedules. That’s why we always suggest working with an expert, who will help you plan your dream wedding and will make the process easier for you.
Today we will to break down everything related to these two options. That way you can make the best decision based on your wedding, guests, and budget.
Contracted Room Block
This option is the most common reservation for destination weddings. This is because many wedding companies only provide contracts. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always the best option.
But what it means to have a contracted room block? These contracts require a minimum of 10 rooms and set the rates for all. This means that your resort may offer a number of rooms to be canceled and refunded up to an agreement and it’s usually above 10 rooms.
So, if you are having a large wedding room blocks may be the perfect option for you. First of all, you’ll ensure room for every guest on your list. Many resorts offer discounts or special prices with large groups of people. You’ll have a prime pick of resort suites while inventory is still high. No matter when they book, your guests will have access to your wonderful negotiated rates and a good suite.
Among other perks, we must highlight that some resorts offer room upgrades for every 10 rooms, cocktails hours, private transfers, and resort credits. But, of course, it all depends on the resort you have chosen.
Wedding and group perks are available for both types of group bookings, though typically a contracted room block will have a greater perk or inclusion. Such perks include free room upgrades for every 10 rooms sold or cocktail hours based on a number of rooms sold. Luxury resorts often offer FREE WEDDINGS for those with a certain number of rooms sold. It is easier to achieve a free wedding when your guests are booking into a contracted room block. There is often a cash-back incentive for wedding couples in contracted room blocks, based on the contract, which saves wedding couples hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. If you choose to have a contracted room block it is highly encouraged that you hire a professional to ensure the contract accurately reflects your needs and rooms are dropped in a timely manner if necessary.
Key details about Room Block:
- Ideal for a large group of people ( more than 20)
- Minimum of 10 rooms
- Resort accommodation packages
- Set price for all travelers
- Payment arrangements allow for everyone to be locked in at the same rate no matter when they pay or how they pay
- Access to online payment systems allow guests to book when convenient for them
- Accrued perks, discounts, and cashback is usually given to the wedding couple based on their contracted group terms
- Allows for premiere selection of suites from a reserved inventory
As its name explains, this type of contract is more flexible than the block room. It a great deal for small groups of people. This booking method allows guests to pay for their accommodation on their own time, but without the guarantee of a fixed rate. A lot of the time there is no rush to book until 30 days before the travel date, although rates are generally much higher the closer you get to travel.
Some of the perks we must highlight are that your guests can sometimes find better discounts for rooms than in a room block contract. There are often other benefits in the all-inclusive resort that you may have access to although those benefits are based on the number of rooms and nights booked within the group.
Unlike a block room contract, the room rate is only guaranteed when the deposit is received. That can be a tricky situation when you are coordinating a wedding in excess of 20 guests! If your guests are too slow to pay, the hotel will sell out the rooms. So, there may not be rooms available. If the resort sells out your guests may be unable to attend your onsite wedding. They may have to pay a resort per diem of at (usually) least $100. Your guests may also be excluded completely if they don’t stay onsite based on the resort rules, so thoroughly read and understand your contract terms fully before you agree to them if you choose a flexible group contract.
Key details about Flexible Groups:
- Ideal for small groups ( 5 rooms)
- No need for contract or minimum of rooms
- Little or no deposit
- You need to book with at least 6 months in advance
- You can sometimes find cheaper rates (but always compare apples to apples)
- Guests can book from any origin
- The resort may sell out of rooms before all guests pay their deposit
- You can customize every booking according to your guest’s needs
If you would like to discuss the pros and cons of a room blocks and flexible groups in real-time, join our Facebook Community today.