Saturday, February 25, 2012

Which is Better for a Destination Wedding – a Group Reservation or an Individual Reservation?

When a couple plans a destination wedding, the questionalways arises as to what is the best way to book flight travel andaccommodations for their guests coming to the wedding. In an attempt to helpyou better understand what is the best route for you to follow, we feel it is importantto let you know the advantages and cons for each option.

Group Reservations:

  • Group reservations allow for flexible payment options with low deposit amounts required to secure the space and rates whereas the vast majority of individual reservations require full payment up front.
  • Hotels and resorts offer a guaranteed confirmation of space to groups so that you are guaranteed to not be ”bumped” and in most cases, group space is reserved in one area of the hotel and resort.
  • One of the advantages of a group agreement in planning for your wedding guests is that you will be able to guarantee that all of your guests pay the same resort rate. Room rates usually get higher as the room availability decreases. Most wedding guests will often make their reservations three or four months prior to the wedding date. Group bookings are often negotiated for a couple as much as a year before the wedding, assuring that their rate will be the lower rate which is often confirmed 9 to 12 months before your wedding.
  • Each group is different. Generally a group is considered to be 10 people or more. A minimum of 10 deposits are requested to secure the space and price depending on the supplier. Some suppliers  ask that you quote the total number of adults and children in your group and allow the group size to change up or down by 20%.
  • Requires a signed agreement.
  • Requires an non-refundable deposit which can be offset by your guests deposits.
  • Frequently recommended if your wedding is at a small resort that may become sold out prior to all of your guests reserving their room.
  • Definitely recommended if your wedding is taking place during the busy season, a holiday or a time when the children are out of school.
  • Definitely recommended if there is only one or two flights flying to the destination on a daily or weekly schedule.
  • Group reservations can be made for just flights, resorts, and combinations such as all-inclusive  vacations packages which include the flight and the accommodation.
  • Best group travel deals are offered in early January, late April, May, June, September, October, and early November.
  • Every group is different with no set dollar amount or percentage. The rate is based  on the time of travel, the resort requested, and the room category. However, most group quotes strive to provide you with the best price possible including Early Booking Bonuses, free flight and accommodation for a certain number of  paying adults in the package, and the latest promotions.
  • Usually there is a travel representative and the  travel agent who are available to help your guests solve the problem if there is an emergency such as extreme weather conditions, flight cancellation, or medical emergency such as H1N1, etc.
  • You can have fun travelling as a group.
  • Often the bride and groom will get upgrades for their flight and/or their room at the resort.

Individual Reservations:

  • Not recommended if your wedding is taking place during the busy season, a holiday or a time when the children are out of school.
  • Not recommended if your wedding is taking place during the busy season, a holiday or a time when the children are out of school.
  • Does not require a signed agreement.
  • Does not require a huge upfront financial commitment, but each guest will  be required to pay a deposit  or full payment when booking.
  • With the busy schedule that people have, it is difficult for everyone in the group  to be able to leave and return at the same time.
  • There is no guarantee that the flight or the resort will sell out prior to your guests reserving their rooms.
  • Youare often able to get a better price when you are looking at a lesser amount ofseats and packages. In the cases of some flights, the rates we find may behigher than those shown online. Airlines sell flights in blocks of 9 – 20 seats,depending on plane size and their policies. Once the first block is sold out,the next block becomes more expensive. The airline will give a percentage discountoff the average of all the seats required for the group. This means that therate may be higher that what you see currently for smaller amounts of thespace, but the overall price will benefit the entirety of the group.
Muriel MacRae plans destination weddings, exciting getaways and customized vacations for discerning travellers, honeymooners and families. As the owner of Del Sol Travel, she offers romantic vacations with personalized service and unique itineraries. Getting to know and understand her clients is critical in helping turn their ideas and vision into a unique and memorable masterpiece when creating their customized vacation. Located in Calgary, Alberta, she plans weddings, destination weddings, and honeymoons for couples in and around the Calgary and Banff area and throughout North America. For more information about planning your wedding, honeymoon, or romantic getaway, please contact her at or phone 403-477-0643.

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