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Anyone having a large destination wedding?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseLyn10 View Post
Whoever said that a DW is stress free lied! lol!

We sent out 130 invitations, approx. 175 people were invited, and have a total of 51 booked so far. Here are the biggest stresses that we (really me, my FI is so laid back) incurred.

1. Slow to book. We couldn't book until the flight schedule came out in February which left us only days in turn around time for invitations. I know that some agents can book way in advance but a good friend of mine is an agent and this is the way they do it. So be it. We sent out the invitations (cards & pockets website - amazing job!). 2 weeks later, the flight sold out and no one had booked. My agent scrambled to find us an alternative and we ended up pushing the wedding back 14 days. We called every one of our guests and told them that they had to book ASAP or risk missing out again. Bottom line, with a large group, you can't control when they will book. This was (and is) the most stressful thing.

2. Price. We have a package that with every 16 people there is a group discount. For some, this isn't good enough and they wanted a cheaper price and different flight dates (we offered 3 different departure dates) etc. As a result, there are guests that booked through other agencies, I have no idea what they paid, but I also don't know if they get the transportation from the airport to the resort (an hour away) etc. and it's stressful because we feel (again, me not my FI) partly responsible for everyone getting to the resort safely. We leave in 13 days and 4 more people booked last week, makes for a good party but my agent has no idea of the actual numbers because they aren't all booking through her.

3. RSVPS - we've gotten less than 50 rsvp cars back. Some think that because it's a DW they don't have to reply.

4. Whishy-washy folk. Right now I have 3 guests that still want to book but want to book last-minute...or maybe they won't. Our group is at the maximum count for the restaurant we really want to eat at for our reception and if these last-minute bookers show up, I think we'll have to upgrade to the private venue, which is fine but I want to have all my ducks in a row before we get there and not be scrambling for a venue at the last minute.

I won't really know the total number of guests until we get to Jamaica which makes it hard to plan a wedding that includes everyone in seating etc. We are paying for extra ceremony chairs just in case but I don't know what to do about dinner.

Good luck planning!
I had the same issues with the above.

Travel Agent Vs No Travel Agent

Because I knew the price was going to be too high for some of our guests, in our invitation, we said if you want to book with our travel agent, here is the price and dates. If you prefer to book on your own, rsvp with your travel dates and times. We decided we would forgo the extra discounts/free tickets to save ourselves the hassle.

We sent our invites out in November. I believe the majority of our guests booked in March and April. I had people call me the day before I left for JA to say there were not coming! Wasn't too impressed but whatever.

RSVP

Only received 30% of rsvp's back, most people called or responded thru our website instead. Advice for future brides: use email or phone number as rsvp. save on the postage.

Organized Events

I thought I had to plan a series of events on a daily basis. I organized a day trip to Ochi and a rehearsal dinner at my Uncle's! For the rest of the week...small groups naturally formed and people did their own thing. Don't stress too much on what everyone else is doing. They're fine!

Make friends with a driver and negoiate your group rates. Some will offer to be your driver for the week.

We made friends with the shuttle bus driver to Margurittaville - because our group would take up a full bus - he would arrange special pickup times for us!

Dinner Reservations

If you are staying on a resort, it may be difficult to schedule all guests an a la carte restaurant. Book on the first day and see what you can do. We tried to reserve small groups for all 3 restaurants but by the middle and end of the week - guests didn't want to follow a schedule and did their own thing.

Wedding Day Events

Schedule your day and time accordingly. We had a church wedding and a offsite reception afterwards. This meant longer receiving lines, more times alloted for photos, serving etc. Arranging transportation was a big <expensive> thing but if you are staying on the resort you should be okay.

Have Fun

Everyone that came down to Jamaica had a BLAST! Find time to relax and enjoy!! It will be worth ALL the stress in in the end!!


D

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseLyn10 View Post
I am still doing laundry so we can pack!! I am actually making place cards for dinner right now...so last minute!

I have been trying to do a planning thread but just have no time - I am going to have to do my planning thread and resort review when I get home!

I am such a photo junkie - I'll post lots of photos!
Just started reading this thread. May your wedding day be beautiful and congratulations a bit early.

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We are up to 67 so far. My biggest challenge has been trying to figure out who is coming. We are doing a destination wedding/week cruise. Within the STDs was my travel agents information, unfortunately, some guests felt that they could find better rates on their own (not true) and just found out that they are joining us. We now have to fax release forms to them to have our travel agent access their room # to take care of seating arrangements for dinner on the cruise as well as access to their cabin to drop off the OOT bags. So have I have 5 guests who have booked this way and that has been the biggest stress so far.

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We sent out 135 STD's, so counting kids, we've invited over 300 people!! FI has a huge Polish family, and I have divorced parents, hence my stepmom's and stepdad's families had to be invited as well, total snowball effect. :)

 

We KNOW that the majority will not come, but nobody can say they weren't invited, right?

 

We estimate that we'll probably end up with about 75. But hey if we get 150, the more the merrier!

 

The biggest thing stressing me is that only 14 have booked so far; most of our bridal party has not even booked yet.

 

I've been kindly reminding people that the price of airfare will only go up the closer we get to the time of departure.

 

Ah well, You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink, right?

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Hi!

 

I am getting married at Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall. We invited over 150 people but expect possibly 50 to attend. My biggest challenge has been just finding out who is really coming and getting them to book through our travel agent. We had wanted to book all together so we can be in the same area of the hotel and because we get some comps if we hit a certain number of rooms booked. We ended up taking an initial "survey" of our friends and family to find out about how many people to expect and then actually put down the deposit for this number (on the low side, in case some people backed out, though we knew we would probably also get a few surprise yesses). Now, we just have to hope we hit this number so we don't lose any of the deposit money.

 

The other thing was deciding when to send out invites. According to our contract, people had to book several months prior to the wedding, so we didn't want to send out invitations long after the cut off date for booking (since we would essentially be sending to people who already said they couldn't come), so we just decided to send the invites out way early, about 5 months out. That way, everyone got the invites, and then could tell us though the RSVP/booking with agent, whether or not they were coming.

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I am getting married next August at either Rockhouse in Negril or Tensing Pen. I want to have 80 guests. No more. Less would be okay, too...my problem? I probably have to invite about 150, and I'm scared that at least 100 will confirm. I don't want 100! I've heard horror stories of people inviting the world, expecting only about 60 guests, but being forced to accomodate for well over 100. When I went through my list I felt pretty confident that between us, we'll have 65 guests at the minimum. I know I'm blabbering, but if you have any good ideas, I'm open! I was thinking of having 2 rounds of invitations. Since the wedding is in August, the first round willl go out in February, and the second in April. This issue with this of course, means to whom do I send the Save The Dates ( I'm new and can't yet bear to use the acronym :))?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaAndDreJamaica2011 View Post
I am getting married next August at either Rockhouse in Negril or Tensing Pen. I want to have 80 guests. No more. Less would be okay, too...my problem? I probably have to invite about 150, and I'm scared that at least 100 will confirm. I don't want 100! I've heard horror stories of people inviting the world, expecting only about 60 guests, but being forced to accomodate for well over 100. When I went through my list I felt pretty confident that between us, we'll have 65 guests at the minimum. I know I'm blabbering, but if you have any good ideas, I'm open! I was thinking of having 2 rounds of invitations. Since the wedding is in August, the first round willl go out in February, and the second in April. This issue with this of course, means to whom do I send the Save The Dates ( I'm new and can't yet bear to use the acronym :))?
tricky situation, maybe try looking into a cheaper hotel so you won't have a problem if more people come.... I'm in the same boat, I'm just hoping people can't afford to come lol.

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My problem the resort I want to get married at (Half Moon Rosehall) is an expensive luxury resort. I'm a little concerned that some people wont be able to afford staying there but I'm not willing to change my dream resort just bc some people wont be able to come. Hopefully, the most important people will be there.

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