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diadiamond

When To Start Booking?

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My goodness ladies! Everyone is so very well informed and passing on such great information!

 

Yes - the US books differently. You book your hotel rooms and then guests are respnsible for finding their own flights separately, or through whatever agent/site they want to deal with and almost whenever they want. You can still do the same thing in canada if you want, but we have become very spoiled by all inclusive full serve packages.

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@@csho I had no idea that it was different in the States than here.  I'm relieved to know that it's not going to cost us much to reserve for ourselves and for about 30 guests.

 

I was also wondering what happens if you reserve a certain amount of spots but more people want to come?  Or if you reserve too many spots?  

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@@diadiamond my experience was with Sunwing, but they held 30 seats for us for 90 day, but once those 30 seats were filled they just gave us additional seats! We had about 38 people come with us. Typically with wedding parties you are booking a year in advance so you don't really have to worry about the seats selling out. I would think you'd only have issues getting the amount of seats you need if you were booking last minute.


You can't reserve too many spots, in the sense that you will get a quote from your agent and they will hold those 30 seats, after the 90 days if you only had 25 people book then they will release the seats back into the system so you are not liable for them! Like @@acw271011 said in Canada we tend to use the all-inclusive package deals because they are the cheapest and easiest option! 


Also once your 90 day period where guests are to put down their deposits ends, the suppliers typically allow you to book additional seats (usually up to 20% of the amount who booked) at your quoted rate up until 60 days before the wedding! For example for my wedding most of our guests put their deposits down by the deadline (we had 32 guests booked by deadline) and then we were allowed to have an additional 6 people book at the quoted rate up until 60 days before the wedding, which is great for those who aren't 100% sure they can make it and want to wait until its closer to the time!


Which you will definitely get stragglers! I think we used up all our "additional" seats for people who booked later then we thought!

Edited by csho
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@@diadiamond my experience was with Sunwing, but they held 30 seats for us for 90 day, but once those 30 seats were filled they just gave us additional seats! We had about 38 people come with us. Typically with wedding parties you are booking a year in advance so you don't really have to worry about the seats selling out. I would think you'd only have issues getting the amount of seats you need if you were booking last minute.

You can't reserve too many spots, in the sense that you will get a quote from your agent and they will hold those 30 seats, after the 90 days if you only had 25 people book then they will release the seats back into the system so you are not liable for them! Like @@acw271011 said in Canada we tend to use the all-inclusive package deals because they are the cheapest and easiest option! 

Also once your 90 day period where guests are to put down their deposits ends, the suppliers typically allow you to book additional seats (usually up to 20% of the amount who booked) at your quoted rate up until 60 days before the wedding! For example for my wedding most of our guests put their deposits down by the deadline (we had 32 guests booked by deadline) and then we were allowed to have an additional 6 people book at the quoted rate up until 60 days before the wedding, which is great for those who aren't 100% sure they can make it and want to wait until its closer to the time!

Which you will definitely get stragglers! I think we used up all our "additional" seats for people who booked later then we thought!

 

That's right on the money and exactly the experience we had as well before all our plans fell apart! We were using Transat Holidays so it's a safe bet that at least those 2 operate in much the same manner.

 

Having said that, you can also work with one of the tour operators' wedding planners. They seem to all be jumping on the bandwagon now of doing weddings, probably because they have all figured out how much money is to be made from them!! I know Sunwing has a wedding department and I seem to remember from a brochure that Transat also advertizes their own wedding packages too.

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They do offer their own wedding planning, but I really don't think they do much in the case of Cuba anyway. I just dealt with my TA and the wedding planner directly at the resort!

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@@diadiamond if I were you I would start with getting a travel agent then have them contact your resort of choice and see if the dates you want for your wedding are available and if so too book them. I am getting married on May 8th, 2015 and I already have the resort booked. Book sooner then later where the dates go fast (if you book in November or even October of this year you should be ok). We put down $150 each so $300 for just the bride and groom. Thats all that was required to book and hold our seats for 90 days, which means that your guest has to put their deposit down by the 90 days. We booked the end of March 2014 put our deposit down to hold the rate, and seats on plane and our guest has to put $150 down by June 23, 2014 then the balance of their trip isnt due until March 16, 2015. Hope this makes sense to you!!!

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Hi @@diadiamond!

We just went through this last month. Our wedding is May 26, 2015, and we first met with our travel agent at the end of March. She was able to get group pricing for about 14 months in advance. She quoted us the per person rate, and that quote would be held for 30 days. To secure the whole thing we only had to put down mine and my fiances deposits ($250 each) and then 90 days from then, is when all the guests need to have THEIR deposits in. The rest of the balance isn't due for anyone until Apr 1st, 2015. We went for a ballpark of 30 seats, so they are sort of first come first serve, and then usually the travel company will allow a certain percentage at the same rate, and then any stragglers might end up with a higher rate. They also have a 1 time price guarantee, so if the price lowers at some point, we can obtain that rate instead.

 

Just to touch on your price expectations.. as this part was the most stressful for me. My sister got married in October 2012 in Mexico, and her pricing was $1290 a person. I'm getting married in May, which is definitely high season for destination weddings, and I was getting quotes at 1700-1900+! I could have died. I had originally said $1500 max and even then I was thinking I'd be getting it much cheaper. Sooo not the case. I think in general, hurricane season or not, mexican weddings are just getting more expensive because they are becoming more popular and desirable. Resort fees for weddings are going up every year, and our wedding is at least going to costs us $8000 for ceremony and reception, not including our flights and hotel stay. Just go in there with an open mind, and try not to get discouraged. I'm in Vancouver so prices could vary in Toronto, but this was my experience. In the end we ended up getting a rate of $1635 per person. Good luck! :)

Edited by nikkicraig10
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Dia luckily you've chosen Cuba and it is MUCH CHEAPER then Mexico, DR, and Jamaica when it comes to prices for weddings. I think ours including our travel costs were about $6000.

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@nikkicraig10 Thanks so much for sharing that with me.  I'm relieved to know that you were able to get rates 14 months before your wedding date.  Thanks also for sharing the prices with me I really appreciate that.  My fiancee and I are recent graduates and I apologize if I come off as cheap on this forum, but for us every penny really does count.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@@csho  oh wow $6,000.00 that's pretty awesome.  We're really hoping to stick around $10,000.00, so hearing that you ere able to do it for $6,000.00 makes me feel really relieved.  

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@@diadiamond - you don't seem cheap at all! Weddings are expensive, and you need to try and save at every corner! Good luck :)

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