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melmed

How to organize group rates for your guests for a destination wedding.

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Hi everybody,

 

I'm a newbie on this forum.  So far, the information from all you guys have been incredible! I'm planning on having my wedding in May 2011 at Gran Bahia Principe.  The wedding planning is a little late.  I'm not sure how to go about organizing group rates for my guests and how to communicate these plans quickly without waiting for invitations to be printed, mailed etc.  I'm so clueless with all of this.  Did you guys organize group rates and then send out invitations with the information?

 

Any advice on this issue is greatly appreciated! 

 

Thanks!

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Hi Melmed, are you working with a TA? Sometimes I think alot of ladies work with a TA and then once the TA has given you the group rate etc you can then forward this info on to friends and family via email. I didn't use a TA, so I basically worked out a group rate with the airline myself and then worked out group rates with the WC at my hotel. Once I had all the info I forwarded it to my guests, I placed it on our wedding website and I made sure with my invitations to put a card insert which reiterated our website page where all the discount rates and codes could be found. 

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Hi Melmed.

 

I agree. If you were to get a quote from a Travel Agent you'd be looking at only a few business days before you'd have a reply and be able to send it out to your guests to see how many you can get confirmed.

 

You should also email the Wedding Coordinator at the hotel to make sure that your preferred date is available in May 2011 and perhaps get them to put it on a courtesy hold while you decide if this property is going to work for you.

 

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Thanks TABecky and JaninneA.  I completely forgot about the wedding website.  In your own experience, did you find it easier to organize a group rate for your guests or let your guests book individually? I have friends and family coming from all over the US and Vancouver.  I'm guessing that 60 people will be coming to the wedding.  

 

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Hi Melmed, for me I couldn't get a group rate that would allow my guests to book leaving from several different airports different days etc. I have guests that were coming from all over the US as well as Europe. The group rate from the TA I checked with was only valid if everyone traveled on the same day from the same airport....that didn't work for me. So I called American Airlines, explained I was looking for a discount rate for my wedding to T&C, I was transferred to group sales where they set up a group discount code for me where anyone booking on American Airlines got 5% discount on each leg of their trip (so 10% total roundtrip...its not much but its something). This worked out well for me since American is the major airline that services Turks & Caicos with the most flights. Once I had the discount code I sent this out to all my guests via bulletin emails and via the website. Most guests booked for themselves, I did have quite a few guests(mostly family) who were just too lazy and so they called and gave me their credit card info and their dates and I booked for them and I am a softy so I vented in frustration to myself but booked it for them.

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Melmed,

 

For you, because you're travelling from Vancouver (which is where I am too) to Mexico, you're best bet is to get a travel agent to help you out. You're more than welcome to ask me any questions if you're not currently working with someone.

 

What you can do is have the full all inclusive package (flights, transfers and all inclusive accommodation) quoted through a Canadian tour operator, and then you can have land only pricing quoted as well which your U.S guests can use.

 

Most of my Brides have their guests contact me, and I take care of all the bookings for them. For May 2011 you would need to have your guests pay a deposit of anything from $150-$200/person to hold their spot and then final payment will be due around 45 days prior to the departure date. That is unless you get an early booking bonus built into the pricing, which may ask everyone to pay earlier if they want the deal. There's also going to be other promotions that the tour operator will offer you (upgrades on flights, free rooms, resort credits,extra baggage, etc). This is something that a travel agent can negoiate for you, so you're getting the best deal, best flights and best promotions possible :)

 

 

 

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JanineA - that's interesting to hear that you managed to get a group booking discount even though people weren't travelling on teh same day. I'm getting married in Australia and, as it's the other side of the world (literally!) a lot of our guests will be taking a holiday of a lifetime and including our wedding in that. So, they may be going out a month before, stopping off in Hong Kong etc on the way, so it wouldn't be practical for me to arrange a group booking as people won't be going out teh same day. There are a couple of major airlines that fly to Australia, so it's worth looking into. Thanks for teh tip!

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Our travel agent is working this all out for us. I will just need to pop a brochure she will do up with all the info on flights, accomo, price and her details

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Originally Posted by JanineA View Post

 

Hi Melmed, for me I couldn't get a group rate that would allow my guests to book leaving from several different airports different days etc. I have guests that were coming from all over the US as well as Europe. The group rate from the TA I checked with was only valid if everyone traveled on the same day from the same airport....that didn't work for me. So I called American Airlines, explained I was looking for a discount rate for my wedding to T&C, I was transferred to group sales where they set up a group discount code for me where anyone booking on American Airlines got 5% discount on each leg of their trip (so 10% total roundtrip...its not much but its something). This worked out well for me since American is the major airline that services Turks & Caicos with the most flights. Once I had the discount code I sent this out to all my guests via bulletin emails and via the website. Most guests booked for themselves, I did have quite a few guests(mostly family) who were just too lazy and so they called and gave me their credit card info and their dates and I booked for them and I am a softy so I vented in frustration to myself but booked it for them.

 

 I've experienced the same problem.  Unless everyone books the exact same trip, I can't find any deals.  One TA quoted me $100 more per person than to book through Expedia!  When I told her this, she said to book through Expedia (THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP!!!).  I'm having my guests book themselves.  Putting info about Expedia and Apple on our wedding website.

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