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Forced to ask for a deposit before guests even receive invites...is this normal?


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#1 Billisa

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    Posted 08 May 2009 - 10:59 AM

    We chose our invites just last week, but they won't be ready to be sent out for at least another month (we're getting married January 6, 2010). The invites include the Travel Agent info to call to book a ticket.

    My FI is really embarrassed because this week, out of the blue, our TA told us we had to call 10 of our guests (we barely have even that many ppl!) to give their deposits ASAP because SunWing is only holding our fly dates until this Monday, the 11th. FI hates asking people for money, as do I, but I guess this is the downside to having a DW?

    Anyone else think this is strange, or is this normal procedure? i.e. tell people verbally to put $200 immediately before they even get an invitation in the mail...

    #2 DanielleNDerek

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      Posted 08 May 2009 - 11:04 AM

      I think that is really short notice. Is there anyway she could get an extension for at least a couple of weeks. And than you could send all of your guests a quick letter saying if they want to guarantee them a spot to send a $100 depsoit down. I had a month to get my guests to put down deposits so i sent out a quick letter with my Save the Date magnets. nothing special just a letter explaining the costs and a description of the resort.
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      #3 Jess

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        Posted 08 May 2009 - 11:09 AM

        they should have told you beforehand first of all...but our guest did have to put down room deposits before our invites went out also - but our TA told us this at the beginning...we just sent a Save the Date back in January

        #4 BachataBride

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          Posted 08 May 2009 - 11:10 AM

          We only had a week to get our deposits in to guarantee the group rate. We need 10 people from one gateway to get a group rate - it was so stressful!!!
          If you feel comfortable that you will have 10 people then you could always put the deposits in for them. But that's a lot of cash to put out if you don't know for sure other people will be booking!
          I would send out an email letting people know that this is what's happening and see if you can get a bit of an extension on the date. Also, I can almost guarantee that if in a week (or two) you called to get group pricing it would be the same!
          I would say it's not crazy for people to book before they received an invite - I wouldn't send out the invite until I had it booked for sure - you know how things change with the airlines!!

          #5 Billisa

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            Posted 08 May 2009 - 11:12 AM

            Thanks ladies - well, we've already called and sent out emails, and if everyone follows through we should be okay. It just came as a surprise and I wondered if it was normal or just some SunWing thing.

            #6 jk1101

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              Posted 08 May 2009 - 11:21 AM

              I put the deposits down on 12 rooms myself, and then as they get booked, that money will go towards the payment of my trip. I think your TA should have been more upfront with you in the beginning about how the rooms get held. It always stinks to have to ask people for money!

              #7 Virg

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                Posted 08 May 2009 - 11:42 AM

                We were in the same boat as well, however they gave us a month. We flew with Air canada vacations, as our Tour operator, but booked with Itravel2000 - HIGHLY recommended. Luckily it was not an issue for us, I believe they ask for 10 deposits, as it the minimum # to have a group rate.
                1 week - or 1 weekend is EXTREMELY short notice for anyone to handle.

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                #8 sunsetbride1

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                  Posted 08 May 2009 - 11:46 AM

                  We had a week as well to get our 10 rooms to secure our group rate... I basically hit up the wedding party via email and phone; those that couldn't afford it quickly, we paid for them and they paid us back. It worked out fine, but yes - it was a bit stressful at the time.

                  Immediately after, we sent out STD's - as the TA could only hold the rates for for sure until Dec 1st... so guests had the options of booking when they received STD's (we included a very detailed letter) to get the best rate or wait and take their chances.

                  As of now, everyone booked on time ... fingers crossed.

                  #9 Ottawa Bride

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                    Posted 08 May 2009 - 08:17 PM

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by jerseykitten
                    I put the deposits down on 12 rooms myself, and then as they get booked, that money will go towards the payment of my trip. I think your TA should have been more upfront with you in the beginning about how the rooms get held. It always stinks to have to ask people for money!

                    Ours was a similar situation... we had to come up with 10 deposits and then as other people pay, the money comes back to cover our trip.

                    #10 moult_22

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                      Posted 08 May 2009 - 08:25 PM

                      From talking to our travel agent it's a bit of both- in that Sunwing is the most stringent on their group rates policies (ie most companies will let you just put down deposits without a name attached but from what we were told Sunwing makes you put the names with the deposits which makes it a bit trickier)- but they tend to have the best prices so it is a trade off. Congrats on getting your wedding booked! Ours is in December 2009 and hoping to book ours in a couple weeks once the travel companies are back flying into Mexico.




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