Post # 1
Hi everyone! Please I need help with a typical destination wedding timeline!
Our wedding will be October 23rd 2018, we want the “trip” to be from October 20th to 27th. Now the complicated part: My Fiance and I are out of the country from end of September this year until January. I wanted to have everything booked and have save the dates out before we leave. The travel agent we were going to book with just gave us the prices which sound great and we have to put a deposit to hold the rooms which we expected but she said that our guests have to pay their deposits within 90 days or we lose the spots. Is it just me or does that seem super early? It’s just the deposit and the travel agent said many prefer it because then they can pay for the trip in instalments and have time to save up – but I’m not sure.
We want to send save the dates but either we can just say Oct 20 – 27th, 2018 in Punta Cana more info to follow OR book the hotel now and have people pay deposits within the 90 days. If we wait we would book everythhing when we are back in the country in January and people would have 90 days from that point (although prices may go up by then). What do you think? Is January too late for people or is now way too early? Also with either option when do we send formal invitations?
I’m super confused any help would be appreciated!
Post # 2
How many people are you inviting? Is it a small destination wedding with family and close friends? If so, I would honeslty just ask the people closest to you what their preference is before deciding for them.
Post # 3
December is always an expensive month for people but if prices typically go up, April doesn’t seem ideal either.
What happens if guests don’t pay the deposit within 90 days? Does the deposit just guarantee the current price? And if they choose to go on the trip at a later date after the deposit, can they still go albeit with a potentially higher price tag?
I’m going to assume they can still go so in that scenario, I would book everything now and let people know the price of guaranteed through December but after that, there may not be rooms left and/or the price might go up.
Post # 4
So first, I don’t think you should dictate the days people are there for. Pick the date for your wedding, and let guests decide how long they want to spend. If your wedding is on a Saturday, some might only want to come for the weekend, some might want to fly in on Friday-Friday, some might want to Fly sunday-sunday.
That said, your travel agent kind of sounds like they suck. That seems VERY early, but a deposit is just that, a deposit. What is the point of YOU paying a deposit and then having them pay a deposit as well? Sounds like s/he is trying to double dip. That said, guests don’t HAVE to use your travel agent either. Many times I’ve found better pricing on my own. So you can always give them the option of putting their deposit down ASAP but if they choose not to they can still book later.
I would probably try to secure the better pricing, and give guests more time rather than less. If the pricing goes up in january – historically a really bad time for finances – then earlier sounds better. I’d send out your STD/all this info before you go, and send actual invites out 2m prior. You will already have a pretty good idea of who’s coming by then, so its just gathering final numbers.
Post # 5
Amazing thanks everyone for the advice! So I think we will have about 50 people total – my family all live in Canada and my FI’s in the UK so we thought a mutual destination for all would be a lot nicer! I originally thought it would be 30 people but it has gone up since then lol. Anyway, I’m sure they could still go even if they book a few weeks before.
We were thinking of having the actual wedding on the Tuesday so that people can stay Saturday to Wednesday and it would give us a few days when we are there to organize everything – haven’t booked this yet though – do you think another day would be better? The Saturday to Saturday is a holiday for our UK guests so we figured that would be what most people do – I like the idea of giving people the option now of booking and then they can always book later if they want.
Post # 6
I think a tuesday for a Destination Wedding is totally fine. I mean personally, if I’m shelling out to goto a Destination Wedding (assuming AI?) I wouldn’t be going for just the weekend (since its like an extra $200 to go for a full week), but I would still leave that option for people.
I’d plan your events as close to the wedding as possible, so as to not monopolize peoples time too much. Ie if youre doing a catamaran trip, do it on the Monday evening, post wedding brunch on the Wednesday.
Post # 7
Thanks that was I was thinking! Yeah we will do probably a catamaran or at least a welcome dinner on Sunday or Monday and leave it at that so people can enjoy the rest of their trip. And yes it will definitely be an AI but I agree I’ll leave the option in case people cannot take that many days off work. Thanks!
Post # 8
I am having a desintation wedding in Jamaica in February 2018.
We booked our wedding date at the resort in Dec 2016 and sent out Save The Dates in January 2017.
We sent a note along with the Save The Dates with approximate prices of the resort, and that we would be looking into getting a group booking together in the spring/summer.
We arranged our group booking at the end of April, sent out notifications to everyone via email. they had until June 22 to put down a deposit – with the remaineder due in December. So anyone coming with the group was putting down their deposits 8 months in advance of the wedding.
I sent my formal invites in the middle of August (just a couple weeks ago)
So doing your group booking NOW I would say is too early. Have you sent out Save the Dates yet? Your wedding is still over a year away, so I would send out STD’s in October and then arrange a group booking in the New Year.
I don’t know how many people you are inviting, or how close they are to you – but you will probably have a lot of people on the fence about coming or not. i know I did, and asking them to make a deposit a year in advance is too much commitment for some people when the wedding is still 14 months away.
Post # 9
Thank you so much! I agree it is too early and I know a lot of my family will definitely be on the fence. The only reason we are doing save the dates now is because at the end of September my Fiance and I are out of the country for 3 months (back in January) I love the idea of a note though saying what hotel and approx prices and then arranging a group booking a lot closer to the actual wedding with definite prices.Thank you so much for the suggestion! Can I ask what info was on your save the dates? Did you tell everyone what resort or just when the wedding itself would be? How much detail was in your note? Thanks again! I think you just solved my problem!!
Post # 10
My save the dates had the wedding date and hotel name with a note that there was a formal invitation to follow:
And my letter said the resort we were having the wedding at, with a short description (it’s 2 resorts in one), the dates we were planning to go for. Then I had a section about transportation and accomodation, saying the general prices of booking (I got quotes from a travel agent and just used that as a price estimate) and that we would arrange a group booking at a later date. I then stated that people were free to book on their own or through their own travel agent – there is no obligation to book with us, they could also stay off the resort if they wished, but to let us know if they did so that we could arrange day passes for them.
I ended with our contact info.