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Cabo Wedding Cancelled Twice - Advice Needed!


MissMarissa
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My fiance and I were originally scheduled to have our wedding of ~100 guests at the Hilton Los Cabos on October 25, 2014.  Unfortunately Hurricane Odile hit 5 weeks before our wedding date, and we were forced to cancel it.  As added insult to injury, we found out our wedding was officially cancelled from our guests who had received cancellation emails from the Hilton, before we were even notified.  

 

After much deliberation, we decided to keep everything the same and just push out the date.  We did this both to ease the burden on us as well as the people of Cabo who were displaced and their livelihoods largely compromised from the impact of the hurricane.  We worked with the Hilton to schedule a new date: May 9th, 2015.  We had all of our vendors switch the dates, informed our guests and had a new reservations site for them to book their stay, which many of them already have along with their flights.

 

Today, we just received an email that now the reopening of the hotel won't be until June 1st, 2015, meaning they can not host our wedding.  We're beyond devastated and heartbroken, a second time around.  What was supposed to be a lovely, quiet Christmas is now a somber scramble to figure out how to put the pieces back together.

 

I'm still reeling from shock and completely at a loss for what to do next, so I wanted to post here to hopefully get some feedback and advice from others who can probably think more clearly right now.  Our thinking is we have to keep the same date and location of Cabo, since so many guests have already booked their flights, and unlike previously with the Hurricane, will not be able to get refunds for their tickets, and many of our wedding party also has had to make huge sacrifices to be available on these dates.  Also, we expect now that this cancellation is the result of the resort and not a natural disaster, people are going to be much less flexible in terms of moving things around.  I'm hoping for the advice of all / any of you on some of the following:

  • We had chosen the Hilton because it was elegant, but the cost / room was still reasonable for our guests.  We had a group rate of $169/night.  Does anyone have any advice for other resorts that are of a similar standard?  Looking online it seems that any other resort that is on par with the Hilton as far as quality and and beauty costs at least $300/night.  (We're also very aware that many of the Cabo resorts will likely be booked already for a Spring wedding, which only adds to our complication)
  • We have all of the vendors booked (and rebooked) but I'm concerned that alternative resorts may not allow us to keep the same vendors because they have 'vendor lists'.  Has anyone had a similar experience as this?  Are resorts willing to waive these types of constraints in the face of extenuating circumstances?  I'm concerned a lot of the money we've put down for deposits may be lost for good, but am hoping that's not the case
  • Though previously I wasn't planning on using one, I'm entertaining the thought of hiring a wedding planner to help us navigate some of the ambiguity.  Any thoughts / experiences with this?  If you think it's a good idea, any recommendations?
  • Any alternative thoughts / ideas / etc. of what we can or should do?  Any ideas are welcome

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer, and my apologies for any typos as my eyes are swollen half shut from all the crying  :-(

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Wow! what a nightmare...First of all, I'm very sorry all this has happened to you. Have your guests already booked with the Hilton? I am hoping they have refunded your guests fully (for the hotel part) because for them to confirm a second date and then cancel is just so unprofessional in my opinion! I was supposed to travel (just for fun, not to look at wedding venues) to Cabo in November 2014 but was also cancelled because of the Hurricane.I am rescheduled to travel at the end of January 2015 to Secrets Puerto Los Cabos. Have you considered this resort? I got a great deal for about 880$ (airfare+hotel) per person for 5 days 4 nights and I believe they usually have similar booking deals available even more so if it is for a wedding party, i suppose. If this is a place you decide to research and possibly consider, I would be willing to take pictures of the resort when i go in January and email them to you  so you can get a feel for the place and my opinion as a future bride to be like you. I just feel so bad for what you are going through! Best of luck!!

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@@Lissie88 Thank you so much!  I will definitely look into that resort and if they're available and in our consideration set, I'll reach out to you.  I'd love to see photos to get an idea of what it would be like, if that's the route we end up going.  Thank you so much for offering!

 

To answer your question, many of our guests have booked their rooms already and they will be fully refunded.  We specifically requested that the Hilton wait to inform our guests of the change in venue until we have a new one secured, because last time when it was cancelled, they notified our guests that their rooms were cancelled and so we found out through our guests that the wedding was cancelled!  

 

What really adds to our frustration is the fact that when we were planning to reschedule the wedding with the Hilton, we went back and forth with them so many times to get 100% reassurance that they would be open by May to host our wedding.  We didn't want there to be any chance things could change again once we informed our guests of our new plans.  They assured us it would be, and so we made all of the vendor changes and let all of our guests know.  This was back in October.

 

If they had even told us there was a 20% chance they wouldn't be able to host our wedding, we would have found another venue at that time.  And we potentially could have had the wedding earlier!  (We only wanted to push it out until May to ensure that the Hilton had adequate time to be fixed).  I had followed the news of the hurricane closely and was really blown away by the generosity and selflessness of the staff at the Hilton and so, if possible, wanted to keep our wedding there to support them.

 

Overall, this has been hugely unprofessional on the part of the Hilton.  I understand they have a business to run and if they think there's a chance they can host a large event like a wedding, then they'd rather potentially get that money and risk having to cancel, but this is 100 of our closest friends and families time and this is our wedding, what is supposed to be the best time of our lives which has become a complete nightmare.  The hurricane was tragic, and no one could have predicted that.  A huge part of our reason of wanting to keep everything the same was to be able to invest that money in the community there.  Their handling of it by alerting our guests before us of the cancellation was upsetting but forgivable.  What has happened since has been demoralizing.  Though I truly believe this property was amazing and had so many good staff, the way the situations have been handled has made me question ever staying at one of their properties again, and alerting all of my friends and family to considering doing the same.

 

Anyway, rant over!  Sorry to write a novel.  I am still somewhat in shock and can't believe this is actually happening.

 

Thank you again for your concern and I'll follow up with you when I find out more about the availability of the Secrets property!

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I can't even imagine all the damage control you have had to do and the headaches this has caused you and your guests. I understand what you were trying to do by staying with the Hilton as your venue but unfortunately, they don't deserve this consideration from you :( I am surprised it is taking them this long to rebuild as I have noticed most resorts in Cabo are back up and running again, thankfully. They have surprised me in how quickly they were able to rebuild after such a devastating hurricane. Once again, good luck to you and let me know if you will take me up on my offer. I travel January 23-27 :) 

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This is one good reason why it is so important to have a travel agent that specializes in destination weddings assist you.  We had many weddings affected by Hurricane Odile and were able to get them all moved successfully.

 

If you would like, contact us via my link in my signature and we can assist you.  I got married in cabo so am very familiar with all of the resorts :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh my, I'm so sorry you have had to go through all of this! I can't even imagine how I would handle this. That's so kind of you to want to stick with the same resort to help the people out! I live in an area that we get frequent hurricanes and in the 90's we were hit by so many, some just weeks after each other. It takes a lot to rebuild!

 

I don't have any real suggestions for you regarding what to actually do in this situation. But I know in the past when I've had issues with companies(none as big as this), I've looked on the companies website and contacted their corporate office. With Hilton being such a large company, you may get some help this way. Sometimes the local place can't do much but the corporate office will. I've also turned to social media. There have been a number of times that my finance and I can't get anything resolved and once we posted things on their Facebook page, suddenly they are bending over backwards to fix the problem. TripAdvisor may be another rout to take, I've seen hotels respond very quickly to negative/ not favorable post and suddenly once the issue has been made public the resort offers a quick solution. 

 

Is it that the resort will not be open for guest during your dates, or they aren't doing weddings yet? Sorry, I'm sure you said this earlier, I just can't remember. If it's that they aren't doing weddings yet, then I would most defiantly contact the corporate office, social media and TripAdvisor.

 

I don't know Cabo at all, but is there another Hilton property in that area? I know in the states, Hilton  has many hotels under their brand name (Marriott, Fairfield Inn, and so on). Maybe they can offer you another resort under their brand name, in the same area, that flies into the same airport for the same pricing?

 

Good Luck!

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