We had 2 options depending on what airline company we wanted to fly through. Option 1 was for us to put down a deposit of $6,000 ($200 per person for 30 people) to reserve the group rate. Option 2 was for us to put down our own deposit of $300 and then everyone that wants to come has 90 days to pay their own $250 deposit.
It just wasn't feasible for us to pay that huge deposit up front. Plus, we had so many people saying that they were excited to go but I wasn't really sure of their commitment level, so I didn't feel comfortable paying for them and not knowing if they'd back out. It's a good thing we've gone with option 2 because people are dropping like flies now.