Today’s guest post is written by Rebecca Hochreiter, VP of Marketing & Customer Engagement for Destination Weddings Travel Group.
Want a change of scenery? Where wanderlust meets hopeless romance you will find today’s new brand of destination weddings, and the generation of couples who host them.
Not obligated to take their vows ocean side, wear flip flops, or adhere to cookie cutter templates, couples choosing today’s destination weddings seek personalized adventures off the beaten path that reflect their cultures, values, and unique love stories. In this emerging market, “typical” has changed. Business leaders who want to enter or grow their share of the destination wedding market need to know a few important things about this evolving niche.
First, millennials make up a majority of this market, and are often tech savvy and globally-minded. Promotion should be geared to appeal to their needs. They are seduced by the ease of planning a destination wedding, and reassured by growing flexibility in both available locations and opportunities to personalize their celebrations. They grew up seeing destination weddings as exciting – and not out of the ordinary, which explains in part why these events make up more of the market today than you probably realize – 25% to be exact!
It is imperative to recognize that destination weddings aren’t the same events that traditional couples hold, typically within 100 miles of their homes. Yet there are features of the customary celebration that couples are unwilling to sacrifice. Many still want to honor their cultures and values, and venues worldwide are starting to catch on to this. Savvy ones offer specialized menus, décor, and services. You can now find Hindu wedding packages, eco-friendly accommodations and Kosher kitchens at resorts around the globe.
The destinations themselves have also evolved. While island escapes continue to be popular, even more exotic locales are chic. Popular spots include Tuscan vineyards and private castles, along with countries such as Spain, Ireland or Iceland, and epic backdrops like the South of France.
Perhaps the best news for many events professionals is that couples are starting to bring their vendors with them on the road. Budgets are continuing to increase, and as a result, we are seeing those willing to bring favorite event professionals from home rise in number as well. If you are eager to travel, make sure to emphasize this on your website and in your marketing materials.
If destination weddings are part of your target market, make a point of cultivating an intimate understanding of the motivations, resources, and habits of the couples that love them. The time and attention you invest will most certainly yield success.
Rebecca Hochreiter is the Vice President of Marketing & Customer Engagement at DestinationWeddings.com, the world’s leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. DestinationWeddings.com has worked with over 20,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings. DestinationWeddings.com is one of the award-winning brands in the Celebration Travel Group collection.