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Off resort guests--RSVP wording & guests inviting themselves


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#21 EVKnowsitall

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    Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:10 AM

    Originally Posted by karyc 

    i've been nervous about this issue, as well. i'm worried that just having the day pass info on the website isn't really enough to let people know because, let's face it, those websites get skimmed no matter how m uch time we put into them.
     

    You're right which is why it ends up coming down to a conversation of having the information on the invitation. I had to tell my guests face to face. Before booking they asked if they could stay somewhere else or they flat out told me they would stay somewhere else and that's when I had to sit down and have the conversation. Put it back on the hotel. I told my guests the hotel would not allow them access to the resorts without having a guest pass and they got the hint that this meant they would have to pay to get on to the property. I wholeheartedly feel that that expense should not belong to the bride and the groom. We also had an issue because my fiance is Dominican and his family who lives in DR wanted to just come for the day and we explained to his mother that if they were to do that they would have to pay for their own day pass. That can get out of hand.


    Happily married to the love of my life- since July 5, 2013

    #22 karyc

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      Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:24 AM

      that's good to know! i definitely hope people are upfront about it and it's not something i find out about after they've already booked other accommodations. glad to hear it worked with your guests!
       



      #23 Cherina

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        Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:19 AM

        This thread has been awesome! We have chosen sister properties a villa resort and a hotel resort that don't require day passes to go between the two. The villas a a bit pricier but not for the level of service and accommodations that you receive. I am so hoping people choose one I those two. I have instructed my TA to not help or support other accommodations. We have a resort buy out for the villa property so the whole property is ours and we have arranged for travel between properties. The resort day fees are $75 per person. That would add up fast fast. Plus for us the purpose of a DW is for us and our families to be together and get to know each other and spend time an a joint family unit. So we are looking at daily day pass dues of $75 because we have events planned daily. Plus an additional $125 for the wedding day. That's not going to happen. I keep trying to explain that a resort with no meal plan will in the end be more expensive think every bottle of water $$$. And once they visit us they will not want to return to where they are... I will not be paying those fees. People are angry ALREADY and we are 15 mo out

        2.14.14 I can not wait to marry my very best friend ... Again!


        #24 melmelly

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          Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:46 PM

          We had quite a few guests that told us they were coming, but not staying at our resort. We didnt feel that if they chose to stay at another resort that we should be responsible for their resort fee since it was their choice to stay at another resort; however, we did let our guests know that there would be additional costs that they needed to take into account should they choose to book elsewhere. After seeing the resort fees, they realized that the savings they would get staying at another resort would almost be eliminated if they had to purchase day passes to take part in the activities we had planned throughout the week. Rather than try to explain everything on an RSVP card, we sent an email to all of our guests. Below is an exerpt from our email. It may seem crass to some, but I think everyone was very understanding and had no idea that we would incur quite a bit of additional costs if they chose to stay elsewhere and they didnt want us to have to pay the extra money. Dear family and friends,

              We would like to thank those of you who have already put your deposit down and committed to joining us on our special day! We have had conversations about the excitement surrounding our destination wedding, as well as answered questions and concerns. It has been brought to our attention that some of our guests would love to join us for our special day, but are looking for other living accommodations to possibly save money. We understand the temptation to "bargain" search and try to make the trip as affordable as possible, but we want you to know that we have performed extensive research and looked for the best value for our guests. The idea behind our choosing to have a destination wedding is to share more than one busy night with our guests, and we hoped that over a couple of days, many of our closest friends and family from the Midwest and East Coast could get better acquainted. Having guests staying at various other locations prevents everyone from taking advantage of this opportunity. 
 Also, we wanted to share a couple of reasons we chose to host our wedding at the El Dorado Royale…

          ·         ALL-INCLUSIVE - Our resort provides premium alcohol and a variety of cuisine options at the 10 restaurants on the property. (No runny guacamole or watered down drinks here!) All-inclusive also includes 24-hour room service, beach and poolside service, unlimited premium alcoholic beverages, and as many meals as you can pack in. Because it is all-inclusive, any guest staying at another resort will incur fees associated with entering the host resort. A $72 fee per person is assessed for guests wishing to attend the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception dinner; and a fee of $95 per person, per day is assessed should you want to attend any other functions we have planned throughout the week on resort property.

          ·         ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK - Another great thing about a destination wedding is that Nikki and I can plan fun activities and socialize throughout the trip with our closest friends and family. (We realize this trip will be a lot of guests’ vacations, so we don’t want to take up too much time!) We are still working all of the festivities out, but here is an example of what we are planning thus far:

          o   Wednesday: Black and White Themed Cocktail Welcome Party

          o   Friday: Rehearsal Dinner (everyone is invited!)

          o   Saturday: obviously the big day! Ceremony is set to start at 5pm

          o   Various daily activities at resort: sand/pool volleyball, breakfast/lunch/happy hour/dinner gatherings, happy hour gatherings, poolside lounging, dancing, nightly band/shows, oh, and did I mention happy hour gatherings! 

          ·         DISCOUNTED ROOM RATE - We have reserved a block of rooms at a special discounted rate for our guests (20% off!) To lock in the discounted room rates, Nikki and I are currently holding a block of rooms, but unfortunately, if we do not get a majority of these rooms booked, Nikki and I will incur additional expenses.

          Very helpful!! I am having the same issue.. I have only 4 1/12 rooms book Need ten for group rate.. Everyone saying its pricey and feels that there is a hidden cost with the travel agent.. They feel they going save by booking somewhere else.. But the day pass is 95 per person. So yes online you save 100 per person. But with the day pass they don't realize they paying the same thing... Whatever... Very stressful. Plus I have already sent the save the date.. I will have put the info on the invite And they are going have paid the day pass... happy planning... May 11.2013 beach palace bride Mexico

          #25 JessiTaylor

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            Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:06 PM

            Thing is, at a lot of resorts its not always just an issue with non-resort guests having to pay to get onto the property, often the bride and groom have to pay  extra

             

            for example, i emailed grand velas asking about packages and i loved the pictures. they said a wedding for 80 people with private plated reception, open bar and what not - and it would be around 7.500 dollars which i thought was fine. Then i asked what would happen if non-resort guests attended and got this response: (copy and pasted from an email)

             

            "for guests not staying at Grand Velas Riviera Maya,there will apply a set up fee per person for ceremony and reception, plus the charge for wedding dinner and the open bar, this all together is around $429 usd per person to attend the wedding event,"

             

            I was very shocked - it apparently wasnt a typo. and id only been worried about guest passes! i nixed thst idea as id have been in a terrible position



            #26 TishaJules

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              Posted 01 November 2012 - 12:08 PM

              Originally Posted by EVKnowsitall 

              That's actually a great way to handle it. Granted people want to save money and stay at a resort they think is less expensive- and you can't collect money the day of like the troll at the bridge- but just because your guests want to save a buck shouldn't mean it should cost you! I have been grappling with this myself and my Fiance has no bones about telling people to pay their own way- but I was on the fence about it. I too, searched for a way to word the invite that let people know they should book through our travel agent. I saw some suggestions on the site from where we ordered our invites. "strongly encouraged to book through our travel agent" etc. 

               

              As far as people inviting themselves-the ther bride here who suggested patience is right. I think people huff and puff but in the end, they weed themselves out. At first everyone said they were coming- we actually worried we would be over the guest count. Then so many people gave us grief about how expensive it was and we were worried no one would come. Now we have a few people booking so I'm going to take it easy and see what happens.

               

              One dilemma I ran into- was people deciding to turn the wedding into their family vacations and inviting their whole family. Case in point- I invited a coworker/friend. She invited her mother, her sister, her sisters husband and their 5 kids, and her other sister and her two kids, and her brother... I only invited her... When I sent the Save The Dates- her mother asked how come she didn't get one. I was hoping she would have the sense to realize bc she wasn't invited and spare me the awkward conversation but hat didn't happen. I flat out told her we had a strict limit on guests and we simply could not go over. I wanted to tell her my wedding wasn't her family reunion/ free-for-all, but how do you tell people- your family can't stay at the resort? You really can't. As luck would have it- it costs too much and they all decided to stay elsewhere and she is just coming as a guest to our wedding. Awkward convo spared and friendship intact. 

               

              Sometimes it just takes waiting it out a bit.

              I haven't even sent out my save the dates, and there is talk about making my wedding the the family vacation.  I'm a year away and that has gotten me all in a tizzy!!!



              #27 TishaJules

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                Posted 01 November 2012 - 12:12 PM

                Originally Posted by TheWolferts 

                We had quite a few guests that told us they were coming, but not staying at our resort. We didnt feel that if they chose to stay at another resort that we should be responsible for their resort fee since it was their choice to stay at another resort; however, we did let our guests know that there would be additional costs that they needed to take into account should they choose to book elsewhere. After seeing the resort fees, they realized that the savings they would get staying at another resort would almost be eliminated if they had to purchase day passes to take part in the activities we had planned throughout the week. Rather than try to explain everything on an RSVP card, we sent an email to all of our guests. Below is an exerpt from our email. It may seem crass to some, but I think everyone was very understanding and had no idea that we would incur quite a bit of additional costs if they chose to stay elsewhere and they didnt want us to have to pay the extra money.

                 

                Dear family and friends,

       

                     

                We would like to thank those of you who have already put your deposit down and committed to joining us on our special day! We have had conversations about the excitement surrounding our destination wedding, as well as answered questions and concerns. It has been brought to our attention that some of our guests would love to join us for our special day, but are looking for other living accommodations to possibly save money. We understand the temptation to "bargain" search and try to make the trip as affordable as possible, but we want you to know that we have performed extensive research and looked for the best value for our guests. The idea behind our choosing to have a destination wedding is to share more than one busy night with our guests, and we hoped that over a couple of days, many of our closest friends and family from the Midwest and East Coast could get better acquainted. Having guests staying at various other locations prevents everyone from taking advantage of this opportunity.

                


                Also, we wanted to share a couple of reasons we chose to host our wedding at the El Dorado Royale…

                ·         ALL-INCLUSIVE - Our resort provides premium alcohol and a variety of cuisine options at the 10 restaurants on the property. (No runny guacamole or watered down drinks here!) All-inclusive also includes 24-hour room service, beach and poolside service, unlimited premium alcoholic beverages, and as many meals as you can pack in. Because it is all-inclusive, any guest staying at another resort will incur fees associated with entering the host resort. A $72 fee per person is assessed for guests wishing to attend the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception dinner; and a fee of $95 per person, per day is assessed should you want to attend any other functions we have planned throughout the week on resort property.

                ·         ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK - Another great thing about a destination wedding is that Nikki and I can plan fun activities and socialize throughout the trip with our closest friends and family. (We realize this trip will be a lot of guests’ vacations, so we don’t want to take up too much time!) We are still working all of the festivities out, but here is an example of what we are planning thus far:

                o   Wednesday: Black and White Themed Cocktail Welcome Party

                o   Friday: Rehearsal Dinner (everyone is invited!)

                o   Saturday: obviously the big day! Ceremony is set to start at 5pm

                o   Various daily activities at resort: sand/pool volleyball, breakfast/lunch/happy hour/dinner gatherings, happy hour gatherings, poolside lounging, dancing, nightly band/shows, oh, and did I mention happy hour gatherings! 

                ·         DISCOUNTED ROOM RATE - We have reserved a block of rooms at a special discounted rate for our guests (20% off!) To lock in the discounted room rates, Nikki and I are currently holding a block of rooms, but unfortunately, if we do not get a majority of these rooms booked, Nikki and I will incur additional expenses.

                I hope you don't mind, but I will be "stealing some of this".  My FI and I know that the guests that have timeshares may opt to stay off property.



                #28 TishaJules

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                  Posted 01 November 2012 - 12:14 PM

                  Originally Posted by EVKnowsitall 

                   

                  Excellent! That is exactly my dilemma. My fiance and I plunked down $1,000 for a room block and now we are having trouble getting the rooms off of our hands! I keep trying to let people know that we indeed found them the best deal and searching online will not yield a better deal. I am going to take some of your ideas and edit my website accordingly. Thank you for this well thought out and phrased "nudge" in the right direction for guests.

                  My FI and I blocked 20 rooms ($4000) but we negotiated that this block will only be held for 30 days.  At the end of the 30 days, we have the option to let go of any of the rooms that havne't been booked.  There is not guarantee on how high the price of the room is after that - so that's our selling point to get everyone to at least leave a deposit on a room!



                  #29 DP1andDP2

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                    Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

                    Originally Posted by maridr2012 

                    Hi there.  I think most of us brides on this site have dealt with the same or similar situations, including myself.  And what you will find, is that most of those people will weed themselves out eventually when they realize what the costs will be to them, and you just need to have alot of patience.  First, have your Save the Dates gone out yet?  If they haven't, here is what I would suggest, send your Save the Dates only to those people who you know for sure, 100% you want to invite - e.g. your immediate families, your closest extended family & friends, and bridal party, and that's it.  Those are the folks that you know for sure must be invited and need to book their flights/hotel sooner than others.  Then, when you get ready to send out your invitations, create an A list, and a B list.  Your A's are the same folks you sent the Save the Dates to, as well as other folks that you really want to invite - with a given RSVP date.  When I sent mine out I did not ask where they would be staying, b/c I was hoping everyone would stay at our resort which we already negotiated group rates for..but of course you need to give people the option to stay where they want to.  So my workaround to that was I had created a wedding website, and on the page for travel info, I typed a note telling folks where we would be staying at with rate info, AND letting them know if they wanted to stay at another resort we understood however there is a $X fee they would need to pay for a one day pass into our wedding resort.  Thats it..I put the ownership on them.  And, don't worry because most people get it..they know you're already paying for a per person fee for your ceremony/reception.  I had a few folks that wanted to stay at another resort and when they told me I explained that was totally fine, but I also pointed out that between them paying for the 1 day pass (for my resort its almost $100 per person), PLUS a cab ride to my resort and back, and they would be missing out on all the group activities, they quickly changed their minds, lol.  

                     

                    As far as your B list invitations - that would be for the folks that you will invite if you get enough declines from your A list.  Obviously, the RSVP date for your A list has to be sooner than your B list, and you'll need 2 different RSVP dates.  

                     

                    And if anyone gives you crap about not inviting them, explain as nicely as you can that you have a very tight budget, and are only able to invite your closest family and handful of friends.  

                     

                    I got really worked up during  the initial planning & invitation sending started and trust me it'll work itself out.  ALOT of people will say they're coming, whether you invite them or not because everyone wants to feel included.  But you will find that those people who you do NOT invite hush down the talk of travel booking when they realize they did not get an invitation..they figure it out and most are understanding and actually relieved.  

                     

                    PS - You shouldn't feel its a tacky gesture to have guests that are staying at another resort pay for their own day passes.  I think you'll find you will feel very differently once all your costs start adding up, lol.  It all adds up very quickly, and $35 per person can make a difference in your budget. 

                     

                    Good luck!

                    Dear MariDr2012!

                     

                    I hope you and your family are safe after the Hurricane Sandy disaster.

                     

                    You are a genius!!! My FI and I have carefully read through your post and are going to use your A and B list strategy and post the off resort guest fee to the website. Luckily we sent out the STDs to our A list only a few months ago--whew!!!! You have really calmed my fears. Congrats your big day is almost here!!!



                    #30 DP1andDP2

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                      Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:35 PM

                      Originally Posted by TheWolferts 

                      We had quite a few guests that told us they were coming, but not staying at our resort. We didnt feel that if they chose to stay at another resort that we should be responsible for their resort fee since it was their choice to stay at another resort; however, we did let our guests know that there would be additional costs that they needed to take into account should they choose to book elsewhere. After seeing the resort fees, they realized that the savings they would get staying at another resort would almost be eliminated if they had to purchase day passes to take part in the activities we had planned throughout the week. Rather than try to explain everything on an RSVP card, we sent an email to all of our guests. Below is an exerpt from our email. It may seem crass to some, but I think everyone was very understanding and had no idea that we would incur quite a bit of additional costs if they chose to stay elsewhere and they didnt want us to have to pay the extra money.

                       

                      Dear family and friends,

       

                           

                      We would like to thank those of you who have already put your deposit down and committed to joining us on our special day! We have had conversations about the excitement surrounding our destination wedding, as well as answered questions and concerns. It has been brought to our attention that some of our guests would love to join us for our special day, but are looking for other living accommodations to possibly save money. We understand the temptation to "bargain" search and try to make the trip as affordable as possible, but we want you to know that we have performed extensive research and looked for the best value for our guests. The idea behind our choosing to have a destination wedding is to share more than one busy night with our guests, and we hoped that over a couple of days, many of our closest friends and family from the Midwest and East Coast could get better acquainted. Having guests staying at various other locations prevents everyone from taking advantage of this opportunity.

                      


                      Also, we wanted to share a couple of reasons we chose to host our wedding at the El Dorado Royale…

                      ·         ALL-INCLUSIVE - Our resort provides premium alcohol and a variety of cuisine options at the 10 restaurants on the property. (No runny guacamole or watered down drinks here!) All-inclusive also includes 24-hour room service, beach and poolside service, unlimited premium alcoholic beverages, and as many meals as you can pack in. Because it is all-inclusive, any guest staying at another resort will incur fees associated with entering the host resort. A $72 fee per person is assessed for guests wishing to attend the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception dinner; and a fee of $95 per person, per day is assessed should you want to attend any other functions we have planned throughout the week on resort property.

                      ·         ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK - Another great thing about a destination wedding is that Nikki and I can plan fun activities and socialize throughout the trip with our closest friends and family. (We realize this trip will be a lot of guests’ vacations, so we don’t want to take up too much time!) We are still working all of the festivities out, but here is an example of what we are planning thus far:

                      o   Wednesday: Black and White Themed Cocktail Welcome Party

                      o   Friday: Rehearsal Dinner (everyone is invited!)

                      o   Saturday: obviously the big day! Ceremony is set to start at 5pm

                      o   Various daily activities at resort: sand/pool volleyball, breakfast/lunch/happy hour/dinner gatherings, happy hour gatherings, poolside lounging, dancing, nightly band/shows, oh, and did I mention happy hour gatherings! 

                      ·         DISCOUNTED ROOM RATE - We have reserved a block of rooms at a special discounted rate for our guests (20% off!) To lock in the discounted room rates, Nikki and I are currently holding a block of rooms, but unfortunately, if we do not get a majority of these rooms booked, Nikki and I will incur additional expenses.

                      Thanks so much for posting the letter. It's a good point that in order to fully participate in the wedding activities people have to be present at the resort! Adding this to my bank of bride wisdom.






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