Post # 1
Can anyone give me advice on whether or not to plan our destination wedding with the help of a travel agent? We have family coming from multiple states and are planning to stay at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean hopefully. Is it financially worth it to get a travel agent? I’ve heard they can get good deals at the resorts, but I also don’t know how much we end up paying the travel agent when all is said and done. And if we should get a travel agent, how do we go about finding someone reliable? Thanks so much for your help!
Post # 3
Ok I don’t know about destination weddings specifically but we booked our caribbean honeymoon through a travel agent. We ended up going through AAA travel and the price we got quoted from her was cheaper than we found online. We did research before we went and had a general idea of the destination, had narrowed it down to two hotels, and got general prices for both online. The first price she quoted us was higher but then she called a different company and they found a cheaper flight which ended up putting us a few hundred under what we had found, so we actually ended up upgrading our room.
Post # 4
I’m in the process of going through destinationweddings.com and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. The TA is very helpful, but I didn’t let him influence my decision on the resort. Right now it seems like the rates he is giving me are higher than I could find on my own. I just wanted to make things more simple for my guests. They charge $50, which at this point I wouldn’t mind taking as a loss if his prices are too high. I’ve read a lot of bad reviews on using this company because of the lack of communication from the TA. I haven’t found that to be the case at all. I hear from him almost daily. He always responds to my questions very quickly.
Im curious to know what other brides used for their Destination Wedding.
Post # 5
@newloves1975: i initially started out destinationweddings.com and i also found their prices really high. The TA i was assigned was really great and was very responsive and always helpful and quick to reply. In fact, i would recommend him as someone to work with. The reason i didn’t go with them in the end though was that he was also really pushing the group package thing which just didn’t work for me and my guests as we were coming in from different cities and not everyone wanted to travel the same number of days. And i couldn’t get people to commit as early as he needed. AND i agree that the prices seemed higher.
so in the end, i went with an independent company/TA who specializes in DWs. She was recommened to me through someone else i knew that had gotten married in Jamaica. The woman i worked with, Kathy Calvert, was great. She helped me with everything initially like setting up a website and putting me in contact with the resort. She also knew how to rate resorts based on their wedding department/services so even though i had to go with a budget friendly 3.5 star resort that was not my first choice (due to my own budget), she helped me find one that had an awesome wedding dept and she was right – they were awesome and I had an awesome wedding there!
Also, with Kathy, she actually recommened i don’t do a group package because in her experience, guests prefer to choose their dates/times to travel and some may have other means for booking airfare (like using airmiles or something – which one of my guests did). So she emailed all my guests with all the info and then when they contacted her, she worked with them individually to book. She also sent them reminder emails with updated info.
And also she guarantees that if you find a better price elsewhere, she will match it and already i found her price similar to booking with expedia or something online.
Basically, i felt like i couldn’t have gotten my wedding planning started without her. And she was super response and helpful anytime i had a question. She could also be a little abrasive at times, but that was minor in comparison to everything else.
here is her email address, if you are interested:
Post # 6
We looked into using a TA for our guests to use, but in the end decided to have them book themselves. We liked the idea of someone else taking care of the question answering and doing the work, but our guests wanted different types of rooms (in cruising we’d have to all book the same category and do it within a 30 days period) and to be able to schedule their own travel and try to find the best deals for themselves instead of what the TA told them. It’s working out so far and no one has had any complaints.
Post # 7
@PurpleUnicorn. Thank you, I will definitely check her out. Without writing a big long story, my TA is starting to make me nervous. Like he got upset because I emailed coordinators at resorts asking questions about wedding packages, prices and vendor information. (he later sent me an email and apologized). Plus since I told him that I will not be doing a 10 room block his whole attitude changed.
Post # 8
I have a TA doing all the booking for our guests, she was able to negotiage w/ the hotel to get us a deal on a certain # of guest that book will give us a free room stay. She also included a dinner/sunset cruise in our package for all of the guests. love her so far. Hopefully she will be able to get us a discounted rate on the booking of the private reception restaurant. Our wedding is 10/20/12 and we have 17 rooms booked so far. Super excited!!!
Post # 9
The TA we are using is able to match 3rd party rates so you have the luxury of holding a block of rooms at a discount, making payments, and having someone else deal with that part of the chaos. TA’s don’t get paid by you, they get paid by airlines and resorts so really it’s a win win idea. I can give you the name of the woman I used if you want. She has been great!