Travel arrangements were a big item on our checklist of wedding things to-do. Most engaged couples just worry about hotel blocks for their wedding guests but being the overachievers we naturally are, we decided we would coordinate hotel and flight arrangements for all of our wedding attendees. Crazy right? This seriously turned out to be a heck of a lot of work.
Because my mom is also a travel agent, in addition to many other things, she worked tirelessly to provide group flight options to all 60 of our guests that traveled to Maui from their various home locations. We had a large amount that came from Chicago (over 40) so they all ended up the same flight but there were also 20 that came from places such as Boston, Atlanta and St. Louis.
To plan this quite ambitious feat, Fred, my mom and I had to do the following:
- Secure an accurate count of everyone planning on attending the wedding (much easier said than done). This was difficult because we did have a lot of people that decided at the very last minute that they wanted to come, and we had to make magic happen to get the exact same rates previous guests secured.
- Gather full government names, birthdates, social security numbers, credit cards, identification photos and completed forms to return to our travel company for all 60 guests. This was even more difficult than getting the accurate count!
- Prepare and send flight itineraries to all guests.
- Find replacements for those who booked flights but had to pull out at the last minute, including a full family of FIVE and another couple of TWO that were friends with the family of FIVE!!! Because we signed away for these flights, we had to figure out who would replace them or we would be on the hook to pay for those flights!
- Finalize details with the hotel to offer our guests three room options including garden view, ocean view and ocean front.
- Make sure everyone booked their hotel rooms by the cut off date and didn’t have problems with getting their discount code to go through. We also had to sell a certain number of rooms to keep this discount or we would be on the hook to pay for whatever we didn’t sell. That was definitely another panic moment as guest numbers fluctuated through this process.
- Troubleshoot and field questions 24/7 leading up to the wedding about flights and hotel accommodations.
In the end, I would not have had it any other way. It ended up being incredibly convenient for our guests, and we didn’t mind losing our minds to do this because we appreciated our guests coming such a long way to see us get married. It was also awesome for so many people to be on the same flight because they had a great time and developed new relationships as well. If you dare to do something similar, remember this is no small feat! I would suggest only considering this method if you have a smaller group of travelers, definitely not the 60 we had. Until next time!