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How to get TA's to help select location/hotel

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We have put together the following list to send to TA's. What we want to do is see who can give us the most out of this list and go with them. What do you think? Are we missing anything?


-Preferred wedding date Apr 16,2011

-Alternate wedding dates Apr 2,9 2011

-Caribbean Island or Central America,

-not Grenada, Mexico, Jamaica

-possibles costa rica, bahamas, aruba, st martain, bermuda, panama,st thomas

-price somewhere around 1200-1500 per person

-free flight deals ex every 12th person is free

-approx 40-60 guests

-beach resort

-beach wedding

-All inclusive

-flight, hotel, airport transfers, food, drinks

-You must be TICO certified

-7 day packages (higher priority)

-4-5 day packages (lower priority)

-4 to 5 star

-Wedding and Reception at Resort

-Wedding coordinator or choice of non Resort wedding coordinator

-Resort to have wedding package

-free but upgradeable

-reception, decorations, tables, serving staff

-A Formal Beach Wedding

-have a backup indoor wedding area

-outdoor wedding sound system


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well that's a good list to have. but most TA probably won't be able to give you that much info if you are not going to use them. I'm sure for them to put in the work to find your "perfect" resort you would actually have to book them by putting down some kind of a retainer fee.

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I would also add to the list how many children or if children will be attending. Adults only AIs are more pricey. And a TA will tell you that for your budget you will not be able to get a true 5 star resort. (Just want to set your expectations, as I'm going through the same process this week).

As for retainer fee (?) I wasn't asked for one and I contacted 2 TAs and let them each know that I was looking at one other TA. Perhaps it's different in the US...

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Sorry but this just rubs me wrong- you expect "a large list" of professional TA's to put in hours & hours of research for you for 7 different destinations and use the knowledge that they spent years learning without any commitment or compensation as that is "unfortunate" that they would have a retainer? Sorry but TA's are not public libraries or the internet-they are real live people who have bills to pay and families to take care of just like everyone else.


It floors me that you would expect so many people to work for free for you.

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TA Jennifer and CourtneyV thanks for your responses. My apologies, I did not really look at it that way and please take it as ignorance about the profession before an attempt to insult it. My fear in this situation comes from two others who mentioned getting burned after putting down a retainer even with people who were referred to them. My hope here was that although many would ignore my request, a few would take it seriously realizing that we are serious and understand (or trying to) the full value of a TA.

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When searching for a TA I didn't have to put down a retainer but I also wasn't as specific as your list (which is a great list by the way!) Instead, I gave some general VERY important information such as I want an AI for a wedding in November, what do you recommend.

The TA I selected was able to provide a reasonable rate and was very helpful answering my questions so we decided to go with her. Unfortunately, after we put down our deposit & started to work more directly with the resort, did we realize how little our TA knows. It's unfortunate because we did a lot of research on our own before selecting our TA and worked closely with her at the beginning but once we started to run into a little issue with the resort our TA became "hands off" and did little to help us. I guess the story is you do your best to select the right person but sometimes it doesn't work out the way you want. But you still try.

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