How to Book Your Wedding Night Hotel Room

If you’re not leaving for your honeymoon right after your send-off, you’ll need to book a hotel room for your wedding night—here’s how.
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After months of planning and a full day of emotions, a luxurious hotel room or suite is just what the doctor ordered for postnuptial R & R. Whether you're eyeing a wedding night nest at the hotel where your reception will be or a hideaway that’s a bit more distant from family and friends, here are some booking tips to help you get what you’re looking for.

When to Book

Book a wedding night room as soon as you've committed to a reception location (and if you’re going to be staying at the hotel with room blocks for your guests, book your room then too). It's not a matter of missing out on the mid-range rooms—those are often last to go—it’s the swanky suites you have to lock down in advance. But consider booking a simple, inexpensive room for your wedding night if you plan on stumbling in at 3 a.m. so you don't waste money on amenities you won't have time to enjoy.

How to Book the Room of Your Dreams

When you call to make a reservation, mention that you're booking the room for your wedding night, then remind the desk clerk the day before you arrive. You may get a free upgrade.

If possible, call the hotel directly for this special occasion instead of using a toll-free reservations number. Customer service reps for an 800 number may never have even been to the hotel you're calling about, and may not be able to tell you which room has the best view or what promotions and packages are offered at a specific location.

Have you been using a credit card to charge wedding expenses? Now’s the time to redeem membership points for the hotel room upgrade of your dreams. Call your credit card company and ask about hotel partnerships, allow plenty of time for the points to be transferred, and remember that blackout dates may apply.

If there's a possibility you'll arrive later than a hotel's check-in time—or don't want to be tied to arriving at a specific time—guarantee your room with a credit card. Get the name of the person who takes your reservation and confirmation number, in case there’s a discrepancy when you arrive.

Questions to Ask

Do you have a "romance" package?

An add-on package can enhance your night and spare you some stress. Not only does it pull together indulgences that you don't have to worry about organizing—like a chilled bottle of champagne and fresh flowers in your room when you arrive—but some also take care of headaches such as tips or airport transportation, should you require it. Evaluate a package based on whether it will save you money (how does the price compare if you'd paid for each item à la carte) and on your interest in what's included. Complimentary breakfast is a waste, for example, if you normally only have a cup of coffee in the morning or you have to leave for the airport before breakfast is served. Be sure to check on the quality of items included—a bottle of Andre may not be the "champagne" you envisioned, for instance. If a meal is included, ask if the menu is limited and which alcoholic beverages are covered, if any.

Issues to Consider

Checkout Time

Ask about the checkout time and whether there's a later option. You'll likely be exhausted the morning after your wedding, and if you’re not having a morning-after brunch with your guests, you’ll want to sleep in as long as possible and then eat before you have to pack up. If your room isn’t booked the following night, you may be able to negotiate a checkout as late as 4 p.m.

The Tub

After a night of celebrating, a relaxing dip is just the ticket for sore feet. Inquire about a room with a fancy spa-style features, like a Jacuzzi-jet bathtub or a deep tub that's big enough for two.

The Bed

For your first night together as a married couple, nothing but a king-size bed will do! Also make sure you're not getting two twin-size beds pushed together to create a king.

Room Service

Is it available? What are the hours? Even though you paid handsomely for that reception caterer, you may be able to squeeze in just a bite here and there between greeting and dancing. Make sure room service is available late or, if you're not hungry, at least reserve breakfast for the next morning the night before.

What to Pack

If you're traveling to your honeymoon destination the day after the wedding, pack for your trip in advance and keep a change of clothes in your carry-on so that you can still have a great first day or night if your luggage disappears for a few hours. Don't forget a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and swimsuit so you can take a dip and freshen up if your room isn’t quite ready once you arrive at your hotel. And if you’re just staying in the room for a night, don’t forget regular toiletries, medications, pajamas, any special lingerie, a change of clothes for the morning, cell phone chargers and other basic items you’ll need.