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Organizing your group, booking tips and advice needed!


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#1 svetayasofiya

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    Posted 10 June 2009 - 04:57 PM

    Hello everyone,

    I was hoping some of you experienced brides could shed some light on the whole group booking situation. I am scheduled to get married in February of next year. I have always been a bit of a last minute traveler but I understand with a group (and a wedding!) you can't exactly be... However, how soon must one really book? I see some people have booked over a year ahead. Why? My experience has always been the closer to the date the better the deal. We are currently 8 months off and my TA is pressuring me to book now. I will book soon, but how do I convince my guests to book so far in advance too? Is it better to just forgoe the group booking (and therefore potential freebees) and let everyone book on their own at their own leisure? I mean, what are the advantages of booking as a group so early in advance and paying rates that I feel are higher than people could get as a couple if they waited until November.

    Please shed some light on this for me, as I am trying to figure out what to do. Feeling a little frazzled and stressed. I want everything to work out, but I am not in any rush...... my fiancĀ© doesn't even have a passport! LOL

    Advice, tips or any kind of help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

    #2 michp

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      Posted 10 June 2009 - 05:06 PM

      Im curious to see what pple think about this as my sister and I have talked about this a lot lately. She is feeling the same way as you and we still cant find any real advantages of booking as a group!?!?!?!

      She did put a deposit down for 10 pple so likely all the immediate family will take these rooms but we cant help thinking that pple who wait a bit more will get better deals so those who book early are the ones who get stuck paying more.

      #3 akbeach

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        Posted 10 June 2009 - 05:08 PM

        We used a TA and had about 1/3 of our group book early with her. She was helpful. The other 2/3 waited and got a way better deal but it's always a toss up. The early birds gave us more peace of mind! So, it just depends. you have to book early because you HAVE to be there. :) Good luck!
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        #4 *Heather*

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          Posted 10 June 2009 - 05:10 PM

          I think the advantage is blocking the space. It would really suck to wait until a month before and then find out that they only have 10 rooms at the resort left and you need 30. Plus, my TA told us that if the rate went down between the time we booked (over a year before the wedding) and 60 days before our travel, they would honour the lower rate. So that takes some of the risk out of it.

          If you want to gamble, sure you can maybe find it cheaper by waiting. But I'd never gamble that much for our wedding. That's just me though!

          #5 KarenM

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            Posted 10 June 2009 - 05:56 PM

            I agree, booking w/ a TA ensures the peace of mind of knowing you have a set amount of rooms for your guests. If people wait & book on their own, they may get a better deal or they may not get a room at your hotel at all. We're getting married next May & we have to have final payment in by January. Hope that helps. Good luck!

            #6 MissyR

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              Posted 10 June 2009 - 07:29 PM

              Another thing to consider is the extra perks you may get through booking a group rate. FOr example, some tour companies offer every 15th or 20th trip free - group seating on the flights - group transportation to and from the hotel etc. It depends a lot on whether or not you think most ppl will travel on the dates arranged by the TA...

              #7 Ginalyn

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                Posted 11 June 2009 - 05:11 PM

                Most of our guests booked through our TA. My wedding is next week and most of our guests booked as soon as we gave out travel agent information (which was February/March). Because of the swine flu stuff that happened last month, cost to travel to Mexico went down. Because we had travel insurance, our travel agent was able to give us a bit of a refund. I think she cancelled and then rebooked us.

                #8 amybermuda

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                  Posted 15 June 2009 - 07:18 AM

                  When you book with a good TA, they will lower the prices if they go down after you book. Also, my TA is making sure we get all of the good rooms, closest to the beach and with water views.

                  You can also get extra perks from the hotel for booking so many rooms - like a free welcome reception, etc etc.

                  Right now we are in a recession, so of course booking last minute is not as risky, as people are cutting back on vacations. But this is your wedding!!!! Don't you want the best room!?

                  #9 svetayasofiya

                  svetayasofiya
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                    Posted 15 June 2009 - 04:38 PM

                    Oh wow... I never thought of it that way at all....... for sure I want a good room! Closest to the beach as possible!!
                    Well... we'll book soon, because like people said before, we have to be there, it's our wedding! All I can do is let the rest of our group know the details and not stress over who decides to book now and who doesn't. I really don't think the price will go down. She has quoted us 7 days/nights from Montreal at the Barcelo Maya Beach $1880 CAD tax in. It's expensive and makes me wonder how people afford the Barcelo Maya Palace! but I also know this is a decent price for a week from Mtl.
                    I guess the whole reason to book as a group is to try to get a free trip... but all the carriers seem to want us to fly from the same city in order for this to apply... impossible for us to have the numbers add up... we are flying from 5 different cities. I am hoping maybe we can get some sort of deal on the wedding itself... if everyone comes who say are coming, we should have 20-25 rooms booked...... is this going to get me anything? The cost of this wedding is starting to keep me awake at night.

                    #10 Ashleykmorgan

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                      Posted 18 June 2009 - 05:50 PM

                      I know you have already recieved alot of responses, but I will post anyways. It really stressed me out too, the room blocks, travel agents all of that, but trust me that hotel is not going to be so full that last minute guests can't get a room. We just had our wedding at the Grand Palladium last week, not too far from the Barcelo. What we did was got a travel agent, put her information in our invites and encouraged people to book early (mostly so we could get an accurate guest count) and then let it go from there. Guests totally varried, some booked right away and some were last minute, we did send the occasional "reminder email" to get people moving. The travel agent did have a cut off date of 30 days prior to the wedding. I know the costs can add up, and everything seems so expensive, but people expect to pay when they go on a trip, no one thinks it will be cheap or free, so don't stress, your guests will make it.
                      Ashley...The bride that cannot make decisions!




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