Originally Posted by lizzieqball
Hi had the same issue and decided on having my guests book through Expedia instead. Booking through travel agents or directly through the resort will allow you to get special wedding perks like earning a free cocktail hour, etc... but I found that the prices were WAY higher than what I found on Expedia. Since Expedia allows you to book flight and hotel at once, they're able to offer a great rate. I found that on average the cost per person was at least $400 more per person! We're expecting 30 people. $400 X 30 is $12,000 more for the resort. That's ridiculous! I feel more comfortable springing for the cocktail hour instead of asking our guests to pay more. It also eliminates the stress of meeting your minimum requirements for room nights.
The downsides of using an internet booking engine like Expedia are:
1. Expedia bookings are usually the first to get "bumped" if the resorts sell out.
2. you are not holding any rooms for your guests so if the resort sells out, they are out of luck. You will read pleas from other brides that decided not to do a group block looking for rooms for their family that did not book in time.
3. Room blocks are locked in at a lower rate. As the resort books up, the rate gets higher for internet booked.
4. They need to pay for the entire package at one time. Travel agents can help with payment plans for your guests.
5. If a problem occurs (ie. someone gets sick, storms/weather problems, couple rooming together break up, flight is delayed, wrong resort booked, etc.) do you think you will be able to get much assistance from the internet companies?
6. You are missing out on group perks and Palace has many of them like: free rooms, upgrades, unlimited private events.
7. If YOU are having problems with the resort and wedding department, do you think Expedia will intervene and assist you? We are an ONYX level agency with Palace and have had the COO of Palace Resorts assist our clients when a problem has occurred.
Lastly, did you know a TA can usually match or beat internet rates? You could have worked with a TA that could have given you the rates online and also worked to qualify that booking towards some perks.