(Closed) “Getting people to book” tactics

posted 8 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
1577 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’m sorry you’re going through this.  People, myself included, often like to wait till the last minute to do things… so I wouldn’t get worried just yet.  Perhaps you could find or order some cute postcards of the destination of your wedding and mail out a little “reminder” note to those who haven’t booked yet.

Post # 5
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’ve had a lot of family members back out. There really isn’t anything you can do about it. It seems doable at first but then (like what happened with one family) they realize how much money it is and change their minds. Now that I’ve sent out actual invites I made sure to pass along that my feelings would not be hurt if any one declined I just needed to know. I think it helped soften the blow.

Post # 6
468 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I do think that it is realistic and reasonable for people to plan to do something or attend your destination wedding and then change their minds as it draws closer. Life happens, things come up and the economy (for many people at least) has yet to see the rebound we keep hearing about. Maybe they did save up money, but have unexpected car repairs or medical bills, etc. Understand that those who can make it will and those who cannot will wish you well and revel in looking at the photos.

Post # 7
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

So, this is going to come out all Pollyanna-ish, but try to look at the bright side of both options…..first, your guests still have 1.5 months till the block is up, so really, not having them book yet is not so bad.  And either people will come, and you will have a fabulous time, or they won’t come, and you will still have a fabulous time (it is YOUR GUYS wedding, after all!)  AAAND you have the added bonus of saving a few bucks!

And I think a lot of Destination Wedding brides have heard the same thing (people verbally “confirm” but ultimately don’t come.)  Meh, people have lives, things come up, whatevs.  It happens.  Keep your chin up!

Post # 9
1166 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

Okay, first, take a deep breath and calm down. 🙂  Here’s my advice:

1) Have you collected email addresses for all of your guests? If not, do that and make a “wedding” distribution list. I never sent an STD via mail, but I did start emailing invited guests several months in advance, and would send a friendly “update” every few weeks with a different main message (save the date, introduce wedding website, don’t forget to book your room, things to do over the weekend, tips on what to pack, and my last message was a weather forecast).

2) If you communicate with most of them on Facebook, you can also make a private group on Facebook – and then post the same types of messages every few weeks. The nice thing about FB is that the guests will start to interact with each other and get each other excited.

3) If you haven’t already, make a wedding website. See my link below for ideas of what to include, and you can find other examples from the hive, too. I updated our site every few weeks and that gave me other things to talk about in the emails/FB messages.


4) Finally, don’t stress out over the people who don’t really matter that much! I know, I know, it would be great if everyone could make it, but when you have a Destination Wedding you have to really decide who MUST be there, make sure they can make it, and then consider anyone else who shows up to be icing on the cake.

Good luck!

Post # 10
11 posts

I knew from my sisters experience that people are always excited to begin with then when the rubber meets the road they backout. I told my sons fiance that upfront. Don’t be disappointed when it happens. We have 20 people going and people she thought would come are not. But parents-sisters-brothers etc are coming. It will be amazing either way and when people see the pictures they will wish they would have gone. It would be nice if people know for sure they are not coming just to let you know. the longer it goes and closer it gets with no answers just make it harder on you..

Post # 12
7295 posts
Busy Beekeeper

i went through EXACTLY what you are going through and it was hard. especially because some of the people that backed out were on my VIP list. including my good friend who i asked to co-officiate my wedding AND one of my BMs whose wedding i travelled to New Zealand for.  then there is FIs sister and her 2 kids who were in the wedding party.  so my guest  list is down to 17 including me and Fiance.  then there were several other people who said they were coming and cannot for legitimate reasons (althought they were not “VIP”). so basically i was expecting around 35 people and i have half of that.  its tough, but in the end, it will be amazing, and a little cheaper (since i am doing a private reception). And because of these cancellations, i have decided to do an at home reception this summer.  all i can say is just focus on the people that are there and know that the most important people in this wedding ARE going no matter what – you and your FI!!

also, i started this thread on a destination wedding website and it made me feel ALOT better!  check it out:


(although since writing that thread, FI’s parents HAVE booked, thank god!)

Post # 13
2232 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Don’t worry, you still have lots of time! Like others already said send out a friendly update or reminder just so your guests know that this special rate is only offered until such and such date. 

I was invited to a destination wedding and my response to the bride initially was “I would love to come BUT right now I can’t afford it, I will let you know if things change.” I think she only heard everything before ‘but’ and this turned into a huge issue between us. She ended up having family members email me to guilt me into coming, telling me that there was only a few spots left etc.

As for why guests would back out when they originally said yes, well maybe they just couldn’t say no at the time? Maybe they were excited for you and really did want to come but since then a lot of things have changed in their lives? 


Post # 14
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Either email a reminder to people or make some cheap postcards with Vistaprint and send out a reminder that way.

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