Happy Monday, darlings! I hope you all had a great, restful Turkey weekend. As per usual, the holiday shopping has been kicked into high gear, and since finding a killer bargain is essential to any Broke-Ass wedding, I’d be remiss if I neglected to share these awesome Cyber Monday deals with you. Since Black Friday was a mashup of all the things, Cyber Monday’s deals are concentrated on Weddingland. From dresses to bridal party gifts to freaking HONEYMOONS, there are deals like whoa in here. Happy shopping!
Top Row, from left: Chinese lanterns, table runners, candle holders and more decor: Get $15 off purchases of $99 or more at Luna Bazaar with code 15PERCENT99 || Stationery, Thank-You Notes, Bridal Party Gifts: Save 30% off all gifts at Tiny Prints with code TPGIFTS30 || Designer outfits that you don’t have to buy: $40 off orders of $100 or more at Rent the Runway || Neckties, bowties, pocket squares and more: Take 40% off sitewide at Ties.com with code CYBERMONDAY
Second Row, from left: BHLDN is holding their biggest gown sale yet || Canvas prints, frames and other wall displays: Get 45% off + a $50 voucher toward a future order at Canvas on Demand with code JOLLY45AFF || Bridal party gifts, toasting glasses and koozies: Save 20% site wide at Swoozie’s || Shapewear and intimates: 20% to 60% off sitewide + free shipping at Hourglass Angel
Third Row, from left: Honeymoon or destination wedding: Huge sale at Sandals resorts || Dresses, shoes, accessories, decor … pretty much everything: Take 20% off your purchase from ModCloth with code CYBERMONDAY || String lights: Buy two, get one free on all Philips string lights from Target || Bridal party gifts: 30% off + free shipping at A Gift Personalized with a purchase of $30+
Bottom Row: Beautiful, sexy lingerie: 20% off orders $150+ and get a free lingerie wash at Journelle || Bocce ball, cornhole, croquet: Deals on tons of outdoor games at Amazon || Wedding dresses, bridesmaid attire, accessories: Save 50% at Ann Taylor || Necklaces, earrings and accessories: Save 20% off your purchase at BaubleBar with CYBER20
Bonus: Get 35% off any Wedding Stationery order at MagnetStreet. Enter code WETHANK35.
This is the first post in a series written by our amazing partners over at Bliss Honeymoons, who specialize in planning seriously amazeballs honeymoons and destination weddings for people with even teensy-tinsy budgets.
If you’ve spent any time at all trying to plan a trip online, you probably know how confusing travel pricing can be. There are hundreds of websites all claiming to have some special offer or lower price than you can get anywhere else. And there are literally as many myths about travel pricing as there are people selling travel. So today what I would like to do is dispel some of the myths, and give you the scoop on how travel pricing really works.
Myth#1-Using a travel agent means I am going to pay more than I would if I booked it myself:
Fact- While it may be true that some travel agents do charge fees or mark up the prices; for the most part the price you get from your travel agent should be the same as the pricing that you find online on the hotel’s or airline’s site. Agencies also have relationships with preferred suppliers which may give them access to specials and promotions that you may not be able to find on online sites. Just last week we saved a client over $800.00 just by being able to give him a free upgrade certificate we received from a hotel’s sales rep.
Good to know-most hotels guarantee they won’t offer a lower price on their site than an agency is able to secure.
Myth #2:I can get discounts online that I can’t get from an agent:
Fact: Many hotels and cruise lines have a very strict no discounting policy because they want all agencies, both online and offline, to compete on service rather than price. One online giant was recently issued a stop sell by Sandals because they were illegally discounting Sandals’ pricing. So if an agency offers you a price that sounds too good to be true, it may very well be. And the hotel may not honor that deeply discounted price upon arrival, as one couple learned upon check-in for their wedding in St Thomas. They had to cough up over $1200 to cover what they thought was a travel deal they had purchased online. Again special pricing is offered to agencies and suppliers based on relationships, and in some cases, sales volume.
Myth #3-If I shop around, I can get a bunch of agents to compete for my business.
Fact: Your trip has four parts to it-airfare, hotel, transfers and insurance. Your travel agent doesn’t own any of those four companies, or set their pricing. However, your agent should know how to put your package together in a way that offers the most value and the best price.
Good to know-I actually had a guy yell at me once because he called the hotel and got the same price I had given him. The hotel shouldn’t cost more from a travel agent that it does from the hotel. But again, be concerned if it’s significantly less.
Myth #4-You can find everything you need to plan your trip from Trip Advisor and an online site.
Fact: While there is a lot of good info online, there’s also a lot of misinformation online. Online review sites in theory are a great idea. But unfortunately they’ve fall prey to all kinds of abuse; such as favorable reviews written by staff members, to unscrupulous shoppers who didn’t get a discount they thought they deserved. Here’s the thing to remember-no online reviewer is basing their professional reputation on the outcome of your trip. Your local travel consultant is. Who are you going to trust?
Ok, so now that we’ve cleared up the pricing misconceptions, why wouldn’t you use an agent?!
Fact #1: The average couple spends 30 hours doing research for their trip.
That’s like having a part time job! Do you have that kind of time? Probably not! Using an experienced travel consultant can save you a lot of time and stress!
Fact #2: Agents can see red flags that most consumers miss.
Here’s a great example. Last week Bernie had a couple call her about a “great deal” they found online.
This “fantastic” deal would have had the clients staying at 3 different mediocre hotels in a 7-day period! The other thing the “incredible” deal didn’t reveal was that the clients would have to overnight in Rome on the way back from Naples. So that would add another hotel stay, bringing the total hotel number up to 4. Due to the flight schedule they would not arrive home until the day they were supposed to have returned to work. Another “perk” of the package was the rental car that was included. Navigating the cliffside hairpin turns on the Amalfi Coast is not for the faint of heart, especially when one isn’t used to driving a manual transmission car or driving in a foreign country. After realizing there was more to the “fabulous” online deal than she’d anticipated, the client had us take the reins to plan their dream trip. Now they are scheduled on a relaxing trip where they have private transfers, a single 4-star hotel with amazing sea views for the entire time, and sightseeing excursions in which they will not have to do any driving.
So while a “cheap” trip may look like a good idea initially, there are almost always other factors to consider. We’re confident that Gretchen and Bill will return home with many fond memories of the time they got to experience “la dolce vita” for themselves rather than all the time they had to spend checking in and out of hotels for that “great deal” they found online!
Fact 3: A travel consultant’s role is to advise and create a great experience.
There are two different business models in the travel industry-those who sell travel as a commodity based on price, where you do all the research and hope for the best; and those who regard your trip as an investment, and treat it as such. Here at Bliss, our belief has always been that being cheap is easy-anyone can come up with a lower price if they’re willing to spend countless hours doing it. Consistently creating honeymoons and anniversary trips that people are still raving about six months after they get home is much more challenging. We’d rather be known for the latter.
Editor's note: Carrie hasn't actually made it to the altar yet, so her declaration that "the honeymoon is the best thing about the wedding" is not founded on actual facts or experience. We felt the need to tack on a legally irrelevant disclaimer alerting you, the reader, (henceforth referred to herein as "the reader") of that fact. As you must have realized by now, Zach…
When we started talking about our Honeymoon, Mr. Officer told me we should go to an all-inclusive resort.......because that's what people do on their Honeymoon. I went to an all-inclusive in Mexico with a few girlfriends a while back though, and I wasn't sold. I'll just say that the trip involved a tropical storm, a moldy room, some lost luggage and a terrible staff production of Cats. Also,…