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Samantha

Appropriate Cost for Guests

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Hi all,

 

We just got engaged and are starting to plan our wedding for July 2010! Most of our guests will be traveling from Canada and we're hoping to have a 4 night stay at an AI in the Caribbean (Bahamas, St. Lucia or maybe Jamaica). The problem is that I'm obviously wiling to shell out more dough for a great 4 days, but I'm worried I will "out price" some of our guests and end up with a lower turn out. We would like to be considerate to our guests but I have no idea what a appropriate price range would be! Any advice out there?

 

Sam

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Hey I'm from Toronto area as well and had a similar issue when we started to think about places to go. We actually ended up changing our original idea of Punta Cana to Cuba because the cost was a little better for our guests, and to us it was important to have as many family and friends with us as could make it. Also, when we were looking we all booked for one week, but I had one uncle to couldn't get the full week off work and asked me to check into four day rates and the price difference was next to nothing...just a thought that you might wanna see if it's just a few extra bucks to go for the full week. Good luck!!

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I also changed from my original resort because as you said, you're willing to shell out more money, but your guests probably aren't!

 

As I was researching, I started to have really bad anxiety about telling guests the price of the trip. My TA kept assuring me that they were good prices, etc., but even when I ran the numbers by my MOH and BM's they were pretty shocked and said they might not be able to afford to come.

 

That's when I decided that price was really important to me and luckily found a 5 star resort for a decent price.

 

Even still, some people thought it was too much money - you have to remember, that most people are used to booking last minute trips, which with a wedding, you just can't afford to do. But I consider our rate to be really good for the quality of the resort and those who really want to come will be there.

 

Oh, and most likely 1 week will be almost the same price as 4 days from Canada.

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Thanks for the tip! I've been looking at the prices and they are fairly close for the one week versus four days. I guess it ends up being how much vacation everyone can afford to take and hopefully we get a good group rate!!!

 

How far in advance did you book to get a good rate? I'm looking at a resort that is 5 star and a great price for March... but almost doubles in July!

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I had the same problem...I really wanted Costa Rica, but booking a year in advance was making the price tag a little uncomfortable. So i changed...to what I thought was pretty reasonable. A lot of people still did not book, and are waiting for the last minute deals...(3 weeks to go, and still no crazy deal) I am not sure if they will book or not, but really frustrating with all the planning and not knowing who is coming.

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It's really stressful when you first start planning and the prices are so much. We are used to always booking our vacations last minute so having to book over a year in advance caused me a lot of anxiety. I was stressed the prices would drop 6 months in and my guests would all be pissed. We hunted down a really good travel agent who secured us an awesome rate. We talked about the prices with all of our guests beforehand. We're getting married in 2 weeks and the turnout is pretty good - 42 guests attending in total! can't wait and good luck to you

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The most stressful part in the DW planning process was finding a nice place for the wedding that was still affordable for guests. I think we managed that. You will never be able to please everyone, and there will always be people that won't be able to attend. I made sure our families were able to attend and everyone else will be a bonus.

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We looked around and found what seems to be the most reasonable price for a 5 stars when booking a year in advance. It's about the same price as most other 5 stars in the same country, and cheaper than resorts in other countries. Yet when we talk to our guests, they all think it's really expensive for Cuba because, as other people have said above, they are all used to booking last minute. Hope we can convince them it's a good deal and not to wait until last minute to book...

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Hmm well I guess it depends. We asked our guests if a few hundred dollars would make them or break them, and they said they'd rather spend the extra money for a great week then to save a few hundred and risk having a not so great time. I think if you give people enough time to save, the ones that want to be there will. In my case, it was the people that I knew couldn't really afford to be there that ended up making it to the wedding, so it just goes to show that people can find a way if they really want to.

 

Oh and a really important note - you'll NEVER please everyone. Someone will always have something to complain about!

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This was by far the most stressful part for us. We couldn't believe the prices we were getting at first. My best advice would be to discuss it with your closest friends and family, your "must haves" at your wedding and determine what a reasonable range would be. That's what we did and we found a great resort that everyone is excited about.

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