& Honeymoons. Specialist. Destination Weddings

& D estination Weddings H oneymoons Specialist SUPPLEMENT TO Travel Agent, MAY 21, 2012 INSIDE: The Perfect Client • 6 Bali and Thailand • 8 Haw...
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D estination Weddings H oneymoons Specialist


Travel Agent,

MAY 21, 2012

INSIDE: The Perfect Client • 6 Bali and Thailand • 8 Hawaii and Tahiti • 12 Mexico • 16 The Caribbean • 24

The Business of

W eddings and Honeymoons

LGBT Couples • 30

Want to increase your revenues? Think bridal market.

Selling Tips • 31 Become a Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Specialist Take the exam to earn your Specialist benefits. Simply go to www.tauniv.com to earn: * Diploma * Special offers from participating sponsors

Cover photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Sri Maiava Rusden

CUSTOM SOLUTIONS Executive Vice President/Group Publisher: John McMahon Vice President/Editorial Director: Ruthanne Terrero, CTC Vice President of Custom Solutions: Neil Strickland Director of Creative Solutions: James Y. Huntley Managing Editor: David K. Moseder Contributing Editors: Meagan Drillinger, Jena Tesse Fox, Jacqueline Johnson, Joe Pike Associate Art Director: Debbie Sheehan Digital Communications Specialist: Karen Zuegner Project Coordinator: Jordan Cronk Production Director: Marilyn Hiris Questex Hospitality + Travel is a division of Questex Media Group LLC, 757 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017. © 2012. All rights reserved. Although every effort has been made to guarantee the accuracy of information appearing within this supplement, we cannot be responsible for typographical errors, omissions or changes since this publication went to press.


he wedding and honeymoon market is again on the rebound, and you, the travel agent, now have the opportunity to capitalize on this growing travel segment. The steadying economy along with consumer confidence is giving engaged couples the encouragement to finally plan and book their weddings. Will they continue with the high level of negotiating prices? Yes, do expect this, as more couples are paying for the wedding themselves. In previous years when the Jacqueline Johnson parents were paying for this event, the sky www.MarryCaribbean.com was the limit and serious negotiations by the parents were considered almost an embarrassment. It is for you to understand this, and stick to your published rates. What you sell is always above and beyond what they could ever get from the Internet–especially your service. Will they spend to get what they want? Yes, a whopping 70 percent do plan to make it the best day ever, and will spend to make sure this happens. At the end of the day, it is still a milestone in a couple’s life – and therefore the mode of transportation, hotel, cuisine, activities, etc., will be looked at differently from a quick holiday jaunt. Today’s couple will spend approximately $4,000-plus on this trip of a lifetime vs. $850 or so for the average leisure traveler and the average expenditure on a wedding today is $27,438. The above figures come from The Wedding Report, one of the premier research companies, which provides a comprehensive outlook on all aspect of the wedding industry. The information on page 4 will give you a quick overview of the numbers of wedding taking place in the United States on a monthly basis. This does not include those who travel outside the country to get married.

WEDDINGS BY MONTH The most in-demand months to get married appear to be June (no surprise there) and September. The following table provides a breakdown of estimated weddings by month for 2012. Except for a spike in September nuptials this year, these numbers have fluctuated only a few percentage points up or down over the last six




years, so you can expect similar figures for 2013 and beyond. As you can see, there is ample opportunity for you to make destination weddings and honeymoons a yearround business. You have the ability to gain more revenue from one wedding than you can ever imagine: Think group travel for your destination wedding couples and their friends/families, spa events, shopping and dining, before and after parties. And do not forget to forge alliances with luggage and jewelry stores (local and foreign) and such. If you have any questions, e-mail me at [email protected] and I will do my best to answer on a timely basis. Jacqueline Johnson, CTC, is President and CEO of the Global Bridal Group, a media company that provides comprehensive bridal and honeymoon guidance through interactive target marketing utilizing the following vehicles: www.MarryCaribbean.com, www.CaribbeanWeddingAssociation.com and www.MarryCaribbean.com/blog.

Weddings by Month: 2012 Month

% of Weddings

Total Weddings








































Memories that last a lifetime

We vow to honor your romantic imagination, and obey your ever y command. All in the world’s most luxurious all-inclusive surroundings. You just need to say “Yes, I will marry at Paradisus Resorts.”

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Lushly Appointed Suites • Private Pools and Beach Areas with Bali Beds

& Valet Service • World Class Cuisine • YHI Spa ($) • Customized Wedding & Honeymoon Packages • LUXE-CLUSIVE Freedom Fully commissionable wedding packages: Aqua • Fantasy • Chill-Out Chic • Passion (Honeymoon Package) •

Contact your Tour Operator, 1.877.276.0872 or visit PARADISUS.COM C O S T A


( 2013)




A Melia Hotels international Brand.



Riviera Maya is Mexico’s top weddings destination. Pictured: Barceló Maya Beach Resort.

Turn a dream into a reality and your clients will be ready to spend.

Romance Travelers:

The Perfect Client W

e’ll let you in on a little secret: If destination weddings and honeymoons are not part of your business, you are missing out on all of the action. The wedding/honeymoon client is the “perfect customer” for the travel agent. This is a person who is willing to pay full price if presented with the benefits, shops with immediacy and provides agencies with a constant flow of business. These clients are looking for experience and quality as well, meaning they will pay top dollar.

THE BASICS According to The Wedding Report, one of the leading companies providing independent research concerning the destination wedding business, this market generates more than $5.3 billion annually and is approximately 15 percent of the bridal market. About 91 percent of all couples getting married in the United States subsequently take a honeymoon, spending an average of six nights away. No matter the state of the economy, people will still get married, making this segment of the market truly stable and lucrative.

WHO IS THE CLIENT? We took a look at The Knot Market Intelligence: 2012 Destination Weddings Study, put together by The Knot (www. A TRAVEL AGENT UNIVERSITY PROGRAM


theknot.com), which surveyed almost 3,000 people in its wedding network. The study tells us that the destination wedding bride is most likely to live in one of two U.S. regions: Twenty-four percent of destination wedding brides come from the South Atlantic and 18 percent are from the Pacific. There are key differences between brides who choose an international destination versus a domestic one. The international destination wedding bride represents a more diverse clientele; they are generally older and more affluent as well. International destination wedding brides are more likely to come from the mid-Atlantic and Pacific areas. Domestic clients will hail from the South and Mountain regions.

DESTINATIONS According to The Knot, 24 percent of couples had a destination wedding in 2011, which is up from 20 percent in 2009. In 2011, most of these clients chose a domestic destination over an international one. Domestic locales are an average of 670 miles away from home, while international places average 2,605 miles distant, according to The Knot’s study. Seventy percent of couples chose a domestic destination, while 30 percent chose an international one (including Hawaii). The top international destinations will not come as a surprise to experts in the business. The top 83 percent of clients


opt for international destinations in the Caribbean (39 percent), Mexico (24 percent) and Hawaii (20 percent). Central and South America, Europe and Asia all come in at under 10 percent each. When it comes to the Caribbean, Jamaica receives the majority of the business, at 34 percent. The Dominican Republic pulls in 16 percent and the Bahamas holds 13 percent. In Mexico the lion’s share goes to Riviera Maya (32 percent), followed by Los Cabos (20 percent) and Cancun (14 percent). If it is a domestic destination, the top three locations are Florida (18 percent), California (13 percent) and Nevada (9 percent). Honeymoon destinations are often the same as destination wedding locations, as well. Romance is romance. In fact, almost nine out of 10 couples plan to take a honeymoon after their destination wedding. Sixty-eight percent of these couples will honeymoon in their destination wedding location, as well.

CAPITALIZING ON EXTRAS While there is plenty of money to be made on planning the wedding and honeymoon, from airfare to hotel rates to packages, it is in the extras where agents can truly capitalize on the market. Destination romance clients are looking for additional events, regardless of the location. These include a rehearsal dinner, bachelor/bachelorette party, other meal/cocktail events for guests, brunch after the wedding day, sightseeing tours, spa treatments, golf outings and more. The Knot reports that 90 percent of destination wedding couples plan extra events, which is up from 76 percent in 2009. Over half (53 percent) of those who plan a group activity cover the cost for at least some of their guests, as well.

Jamaica is the most popular Caribbean destination for weddings.

Florida heads the list of favorite domestic weddings destinations. Pictured: Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach.




Western-style ceremony at Outrigger Hotels & Resorts’ Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort & Spa in Thailand.

Bali and Thailand cater to couples looking for unique settings.

Romance in

Southeast Asia S

outheast Asia continues to flourish as the new exotic getaway for destination weddings and honeymoons. Couples looking for far-flung romance, with all of the finishing touches, keep turning to Thailand and Bali for romance travel. These destinations continue to raise the bar on travel for enamored clients.

BALI If your wedding clients or honeymooners are headed East, Bali is a classic option. The tiny island in the Indonesian archipelago has been catering to the romance market for years, and appears to have it cornered. One of the best examples of what this exotic land has to offer your betrothed couples is the AYANA Resort and Spa Bali (www.ayanaresort.com). The resort has launched new wedding spa packages for both before and after the big day. The hotel’s 237-square-foot Thermes Marins Thalasso Spa has Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pools and its own, ultra exclusive, “Spa on the Rocks” villa. The new Bride-to-Be regimen starts with a skin treatment focused around the neckline, chest and shoulders. It is followed with a Back Treatment and Flat Tummy Treatment consisting of body scrub, wrap and massage. The Bride-toBe Deluxe expands on these services with a Collagen Facial. Men can get in on the action as well, with the Grooming Time package. This involves both Back and Flat Tummy A TRAVEL AGENT UNIVERSITY PROGRAM


treatments and concludes with a Men’s Facial. On the big day itself, AYANA offers a host of settings, ranging from two glass chapels overlooking the Indian Ocean, to a cliff-edge wedding gazebo and a 350-year-old “joglo” (a traditional Javanese home). One drawback to a wedding in a place as remote as Bali is that the guest list is rather short, as not everyone is able to attend. AYANA amends this with a new “Skype-in” service, allowing couples to broadcast their ceremony live to family and friends back home. AYANA’s wedding planners can assist with the technical aspects of this service. And for those couples who have already tied the knot and are looking to escape together, AYANA has an “Ultimate Honeymoon” offering. This package includes creating a signature perfume at the L’Atelier Parfums et Creations Studio, a thalassotherapy experience and Balinese massage, and a three-course private dinner for two at sunset. For your honeymooners, book a private villa, which comes with its own plunge pool, 24-hour butler service and more. The property recently completed a renovation of over 200 rooms and suites. The renovation has upgraded every category of accommodations in the hotel, from standard rooms through the Club Floor. The design reflects classic Balinese with modern touches, including canopied beds, sofas and daybeds on balconies. Modern elements include marble floors, lighting and bathrooms with rain showers.


Oceanfront Cliff Villa (here) and Spa on the Rocks (below) at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali.

For a truly over-the-top stay, book your clients on The Club Floor, which has 71 Club Rooms and Suites. Special perks include access to the Club Lounge, with complimentary food and beverage all day. The new dinner menu features a different restaurant each night, allowing guests to sample a little bit from each of the resort’s seven dining venues. Other benefits include complimentary laundry pressing; private check-in and check-out; complimentary Wi-Fi in the Club Lounge and more.

THAILAND With secluded jungles, frenetic cities and tropical beaches, Thailand is one of the world’s top destinations for romance travel because it has something to offer everyone. For a unique experience, Thailand’s wedding ceremonies are packed with symbolism. The wedding day begins at sunrise with offerings made to Buddhist monks making their morning alms rounds. Following the alms ceremony, couples A TRAVEL AGENT UNIVERSITY PROGRAM

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are treated to a traditional Thai breakfast and are taken to city hall for the signing of marriage certificates. The newlyweds then go to a traditional northern Thai teak Buddhist temple, where they receive blessings from the head monk. In keeping with the history of the ceremony, a string is tied around the couples’ wrists, symbolizing unity. Thailand is also an ideal backdrop for Western-style weddings. Outrigger Hotels & Resorts’ Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort & Spa (www.outrigger.com), which offers both traditional and western nuptials, is one of the outstanding options for Thailand-bound couples. The traditional Thai wedding is typically outdoors in the morning or late afternoon. The ceremony is about an hour and is followed by cocktails and dinner. The wedding ceremony highlights include a long drum procession, Buddhist monks chanting prayers blessing the couple, sprinkling of jasmine water and the planting of a tree to symbolize their new union. Couples can choose the beach for an outdoor event, the Marlin Restaurant for dancing, the Dolphin Restaurant for bay views or the Ruan Thai Restaurant, which overlooks the pool and islands in the bay. A western set up is also available. Guests can arrange for all of the fixings, from flower arrangements to the wedding cake to the menu options. The bride and groom are entitled to complimentary touches such as a welcome beverage, fruit basket in their bungalow on arrival, breakfast in bed on the day of the ceremony and a bottle of sparkling wine on their wedding night. Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort & Spa sits on 70 acres overlooking the Andaman Sea. Guests have a choice of 112 thatched-roof bungalows. For the most luxurious stay, suggest the hillside villas, which are each equipped with a private swimming pool and free Wi-Fi. The property also has four restaurants, two bars, a spa, fitness center, a dive and activity center and more. For an in-depth look at Thailand as a romance destination, check out the “Thai the Knot Specialist Program” at Travel Agent University, www.tauniv.com.



Newlyweds romp on a secluded beach in Kauai.

Hawaii and Tahiti provide wide range of opportunities for weddings.

Pacific Island Nuptials


he islands of Hawaii are all unique from one another, offering a wide range of opportunities for different kinds of weddings. Those in the mood for a quiet gathering can exchange vows on an isolated Kauai beach, or on a historic estate like Kilohana. (Note: Kauai has its own association of Wedding Professionals. Visit www.kauaiwedpro.com for more information.) Beach weddings are also popular on Maui’s western shore, but the many luxury resorts on the island also make it ideal for an over-the-top celebration. Molokai and Lanai are two of the quieter islands (the whole island of Lanai has no traffic lights and only one established town), and are ideal for intimate escapes. Tip: Molokai and Lanai are both easily accessible from Maui, and can make for a wonderful day trip for guests staying on the larger island. And, of course, there’s the urban energy of Honolulu, where tradition can be maintained with a wedding in Kawaiahao Church (known as the Westminster Abbey of the Pacific) or with something more unique and cutting edge... like a cliffside ceremony looking over the ocean. Disney fans can have Mickey and Minnie at their wedding reception at Aulani (resorts.disney.go.com/Aulani) on Oahu. In Waikiki, historic resorts like the Moana Surfrider (www. A TRAVEL AGENT UNIVERSITY PROGRAM

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moana-surfrider.com) and the Royal Hawaiian (www.royal hawaiian.com) sit alongside more contemporary options like the Trump Hotel Waikiki (www.trumphotelcollection.com) for beachside or indoor ceremonies. Simple civil ceremonies can also be conducted in Oahu’s Town Hall. Wherever your clients choose to have their wedding in Hawaii, they can incorporate plenty of local touches into the ceremony, such as lei exchanges, slack-key guitar accompaniment or even a full-fledged luau reception. Important: To lawfully marry in the State of Hawaii, the couple must appear together in person before a marriage license agent. Once the license has been issued, there is no waiting period. There are no state residence or U.S. citizenship requirements for a marriage license in Hawaii. A marriage license and marriage certificate are different documents. The former permits a marriage to take place, while the latter indicates that a legal marriage has been performed. For more information, visit http://hawaii.gov/health/vitalrecords/vital-records/marriage/index.html .

WEDDINGS IN TAHITI In Tahiti, weddings are legally binding for citizens of the U.S. and Canada. Note: The couple cannot be French nationals or


A grand setting. A grand experience. A grand gif.



Flowers for bride and groom Wedding cake with fresh fowers Champagne toast Wedding dinner in a specialty restaurant Sweets and bottle of sparkling wine on your wedding night FREE room upgrade for the wedding couple Bridal SPA package, plus 10% disount for wedding guests Late check-out for the wedding couple

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso was recently awarded a AAA Four Diamond rating for exceptional service. And, for good reason. At this luxurious, adults-only, all-inclusive destination, personal wedding coordinators take care of every detail and with no more than two weddings per day, you receive all the attention you deserve. Plus, enjoy free unlimited golf with a 7+ night stay.

Riviera Maya, Mexico Book through your favorite tour operator, call 888-923-2722 or visit iberostar.com *To qualify for a free wedding package you must book 5 rooms or more for 3+ nights or a Grand Oceanfront Room for 7+ nights. Complimentary rooms and room upgrades are subject to availability. Any additional food and beverage will incur an extra charge. Book a 7 or more night stay based on double occupancy and enjoy unlimited golf at IBEROSTAR Playa Paraíso Golf Club. Book 5-6 nights based on double occupancy and receive two complimentary rounds per person. Book 3-4 nights based on double occupancy and receive one complimentary round per person. Ofers good only at IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso. All ofers are subject to availability and based on double occupancy. Not redeemable for cash. Blackout dates and additional restrictions may apply. Subject to change without notice. Valid for bookings February 1 - December 23, 2012 for travel now through December 23, 2012. IBEROSTAR does not assume responsibility for errors or omissions within the context of this advertisement.

residents of France, and must be of the opposite sex. A certified copy of both spouses’ birth certificates authenticated with an “Apostille.” (Note: the birth certificates must have been issued less than six months prior to the date of the marriage.) Both of the birth certificates and the “Apostille” must be translated into French by an approved translator and legalized by the French Consulate. Translators can be found on the consulate’s website. The planning for a traditional Tahitian wedding ceremony generally begins at least 45 days in advance. The marriage is civil and is sealed at a city hall with the mayor and an interpreter, if needed. Wedding ceremonies can take place either on a beach or at a resort (some resorts have over-the-water chapels). Weddings are typically followed by a traditional Tahitian feast. There are plenty of variations and options, but here for those who want an authentic Tahitian experience, here is what they can expect, courtesy of Tahiti Tourisme: While the newlyweds-to-be are in their bungalow, the priest’s assistants will come to dress up the bride and groom with white pareu (painted wraps, like sarongs). The couple is adorned with specially created flower crowns and leis. The ceremony includes traditional gowns, a priest, a group of dancers and musicians, and tropical flower arrangements. The couple is then wrapped in a “Tifaifai” (Tahitian quilt) following the ceremony. After the ceremony, a cocktail is

A musical moment from a traditional Tahitian wedding ceremony.


served to the couple. Dinner can be prepared on a private islet, on the beach, or at a restaurant especially for the wedding couple. A professional photographer takes pictures of the ceremony. Best of all, the couple will be presented with a traditional wedding certificate made of “tapa,” with their joint Tahitian name on it in honor of their new lives together.

HONEYMOONS One of the best parts of getting married in Hawaii or the South Pacific is that the honeymoon can be easily attached to the wedding, combining everything into one easy (and profitable) package. Most of the resorts in Hawaii will offer combination packages for weddings and honeymoons, and couples can begin their lives together on a cruise around all of the islands or just staying in one place. The Four Seasons (www.fourseasons .com) brand of luxury resorts has four properties in the islands (two on Lanai, one on Maui and one on Hawaii Island), and are a top pick for romantic escapes. In the South Pacific, couples can stay in overwater bungalows at resorts like the Four Seasons Bora Bora, or can unwind on cruises like Paul Gauguin’s tours of Tahiti’s islands. Encourage your honeymooning clients to visit some of the region’s spas and learn about some unique treatments, like banana leaf wraps and river baths.


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Romance sparkles brighter at Jamaica’s finest all-inclusive, adults-only resort! At The Jewel we have fabulous packages and wedding planners to help you experience the wedding of your dreams (including one that’s absolutely free!), whether it’s just a party of two or includes friends and family. True luxury is as much about experience as it is amenities. And at The Jewel, neither disappoints. From spacious guestrooms to elegant butler-service suites, superb beach casual to sophisticated white glove dining, spectacular pools to relaxing ocean side whirlpools, Radiant Spa to beach-side cabanas, we ensure every element of your stay will be pampering, relaxing and memorable. Let your clients discover The Jewel's luxury all-inclusive, adults-only experience and they will credit you with making dreams come true.



Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraíso in Riviera Maya

Packages and expert planners make weddings easy and memorable.

Love, Mexican Style F rom free weddings to the chance to perform Mayan wedding rituals, Mexico resorts keep enticing clients to tie the knot across the border.

Iberostar’s Free Weddings: Iberostar Hotels and Resorts (www.iberostar.com) offers a “Free Wedding”

package at its award-winning, all-inclusive, five-star Grand Collection properties in Mexico (except Cancun), as well as in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. An Iberostar Grand wedding combines impressive settings with endless pampering and exquisite service and cuisine. Couples can enjoy their day (and stay) in the luxurious Grand Collection properties, while also extending family members the option of staying at the adjacent family-friendly Suites and Beach properties, which cater to every budget.   In addition to all-inclusive meals, premium liquors and non-motorized sports, the Free Wedding package includes minister fees; flowers for bride and groom; a wedding cake; a champagne toast; complimentary room for the groom the night before the wedding; and a free room upgrade plus 10 percent off spa services for the newlyweds. Mayan Wedding Ritual Package: El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels by Karisma (www.karismahotels.

com), a collection of “Gourmet Inclusive” properties located along the beaches of the Riviera Maya, Mexico, has added a Mayan Wedding Ritual Package to its portfolio of personalized destination wedding offerings available at all of its Mexico properties. A TRAVEL AGENT UNIVERSITY PROGRAM

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Recognizing the significance of the Mayan culture (in 2012, in particular), the Mayan Wedding Ritual Package is designed to celebrate a couple’s love for each other in an ancient, spiritual and interactive Mayan ceremony performed on the beach by an authentic traditional Shaman. The package, priced at $1,500, also includes a center altar display of fruits, flowers, seeds, and fire, representing the basic four elements of the universe, crowns of fresh flowers for the bride and groom, and more. Complimentary Wedding Package From Meliá: At ME Cabo (www.melia-hotels.com) in Los Cabos, Mexico, clients can take advantage of a complimentary wedding package that includes a ceremony at the beach with impressive views of the iconic natural arch (El Arco) and Land’s End. Also included is a basic ceremony setup (white cloths, white chaircovers, and torches); a minister; a bouquet for the bride; a boutonniere for the groom; a ceremony table with flower centerpiece; prerecorded lounge music during ceremony; a wedding banner; in-room breakfast for the couple the morning after the ceremony; a romantic nightly turndown for the couple’s room. Also from Meliá, the Romance team at Paradisus Resort (www.paradisus.com) in Playa del Carmen will help you create a unique romantic escape for your clients, whether it’s just the two of them, or a family affair. They will work with you to provide information regarding room rates and availability. They will guide you through the entire event planning


For magnifcent weddings & honeymoons

Te Salamander® Hotels & Resorts family embraces our Founder and CEO’s passion for providing guests with luxurious weddings and honeymoons. Whether your client’s special occasion takes place oceanside at one of our stunning Dominican Republic resorts, or greenside at one of our renowned Florida golf

Sheila C. Johnson Founder & CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts

resorts, allow us to provide the perfect backdrop for those perfect memories.

Contact our Wedding Stylist: Dominican Republic - U.S. ofce - 540.687.3710 Florida: Innisbrook 727.942.5822 | Reunion 407.396.5200 | Hammock Beach 386.447.4633



Honeymoon Garden Ronodoval with Private Plunge Pool at Sandals Grande Antigua






always taken romance to heart. Set on the Caribbean’s best beaches, each of its 14 resorts has its own distinctive personality — all are uniquely romantic. Since newlyweds have their own ideas for their perfect honeymoon, Sandals has created a wide variety of suites to fulfill every possible dream. With a Sandals Love Nest, you’ll be in your own unforgettable world. These are so much more than suites–they are your ultimate honeymoon experience. Scan for more information!




Get the free mobile app at

http:/ / gettag.mobi JAMAICA




BUTLER SERVICE at your beck & call While every resort has a thousand and one entertainment options, you need never entertain the thought of leaving your suite. All of Sandals’ top-tier suites include the services of your own butler certified by the Guild of Professional English Butlers. Always within reach via your personal butler cell phone, your butler will attend to everything from serving tropical drinks to you as you laze on the beach to drawing scented baths. On your honeymoon, you shouldn’t have to think about anything except each other, and with a personal butler, you won’t have to. Swim-Up Suite at Sandals Royal Caribbean

HONEYMOON GIFTS† JUST FOR YOU: • Chilled bottle of sparkling wine will await you upon arrival • Turndown service including tropical flower petals on your bed • Breakfast in bed on a morning of your choice †To qualify for the all-inclusive honeymoon package all you have to do is check-in online at checkin.sandals.com after booking your honeymoon. Sandals® is a registered trademark. Unique Vacations, Inc., is the worldwide representative of Sandals Resorts.

Millionaire Suite at Sandals La Toc in Saint Lucia





CREATED IN THE TRUE SPIRIT OF ROMANCE, THESE SUITES EXCITE YOUR SENSES with details like plush terry robes, hand-embroidered Egyptian cotton duvets, plasma TVs and many with private pools. Comfortable sitting areas with sumptuous décor welcome relaxation and are the perfect place to cuddle. Only Sandals pampers you with divine pleasures like custom mahogany four-poster beds and Carrera marble baths.

Encircled with luxury

RONDOVAL SUITES with plunge pools Honeymooners who want something totally exotic can’t make a better choice than a Rondoval with plunge pool. Luxury has no boundaries in a suite that has no corners. Sandals introduces Rondovals– exotic suites-in-the-round found at both Sandals Grande St. Lucian and Sandals Grande Antigua–that surround you in modern luxury and tropical tranquility. Inside, enhanced natural elements such as 20’ conical ceilings, rich mahogany furnishings and stone details are complemented by 50” plasma TVs and personal butler service. Outside, a secluded garden oasis plays host to a world of pleasures from a private plunge pool and whirlpool to hammocks and an outdoor grotto shower…either steps from the beach or nestled in a palm grove.

Ultra Luxury Ocean Villa One Bedroom Suite with Private Pool at Sandals Grande Antigua

Your own private

SANCTUARY VILLA SUITES with plunge pools Do you imagine having your own tropical villa with every conceivable luxury? You’ll find the answer to your dreams at Sandals Grande Antigua and Sandals Negril. Measuring up to 1,400 square feet, these magnificent villas open onto an extremely private patio with zeroentry pool, stone whirlpool, lanai and outdoor shower. Inside, experience every refinement from French-polished hardwood furnishings to plasma TVs.

The pinnacle of perfection

SUNSET OCEAN BLUFF SUITES with plunge pools Magnificent cliff-side villas are the refuge of celebrities who desire the most rare of luxuries: true seclusion. If you want to spend your honeymoon like a celebrity, you can at Sandals La Toc in Saint Lucia. Sunset Ocean Bluff Suites with plunge pools have been created for uninterrupted privacy. Edging a dramatic bluff, these one and two-story suites feature a sumptuously-appointed living room that opens onto a private sun deck with its own plunge pool and breathtaking ocean views. A Sunset Ocean Bluff Suite is the height of luxury, and your honeymoon shouldn’t be any different.

The allure of water

THE SWIM-UP SUITES Few things are as enchanting as water and for those who want its magic to be part of their honeymoon, Sandals has created the Swim-up Suites of Sandals Negril and Sandals Royal Caribbean. Gracious sitting areas open directly onto the edge of a crystal lagoon pool. Retractable plantation-style louver doors open to invite cool breezes and views of the ocean and the shimmering pool. British Colonial furnishings of mahogany and woven seagrass lend a sense of island ease, while details such as designer fixtures and onyx countertops impart a spirit of contemporary elegance. With a free-flowing floor plan, this suite is open to every romantic possibility.

MILLIONAIRE SUITES The epitome of luxury For those who want the ultimate honeymoon, there are the Millionaire Suites at Sandals La Toc in Saint Lucia. These freestanding villas include private infinity pools, oversized stone whirlpools, and fully retractable glass “walls” opening onto the island’s best ocean views, you will be catered to and spoiled—and always feel on top of the world. The Millionaire Honeymoon Suites at Sandals Negril in Jamaica offer their own luxuries, opening out to secluded walled-in garden patios with sparkling plunge pools and outdoor grotto showers. In both cases, you’ll be catered to and spoiled— and always feel like you’re a millionaire.


Millionaire Honeymoon Suite at Sandals Negril



El Arco is one of many awesome backdrops for wedding ceremonies in Los Cabos.

and will assist with any questions you may have regarding documentation, wedding contracts, event planning/coordination and more. A variety of wedding packages are available. Free Ceremony From Pueblo Bonito: For couples looking to celebrate their nuptials on a romantic an beach, Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts and Spas (www.pueblobonito.com/ weddings.php) is offering a free wedding when a designated number of room nights are booked at any of the company’s six properties in either Mazatlán or Los Cabos. Complimentary ceremonies are offered to clients who book a suite for a minimum of seven nights or who book five rooms for a minimum of three nights each. For couples looking for a shorter getaway, Pueblo Bonito also offers a number of paid packages to suit their every need. All couples receive access to a certified wedding planner, and each ceremony is performed by a justice of the peace or nondenominational minister and includes sparkling wine for the wedding toast, plus bridal bouquet and boutonniere. All Pueblo Bonito wedding planners are accredited through the Beverly Clark Certified Wedding Professional Program, created by wedding and lifestyle expert Beverly Clark to provide the latest tools and techniques to better understand the wedding market as well as the needs and expectations of the bride. Pueblo Bonito also offers couples a bridal and honeymoon gift registry (www.pueblobonito.honeymoonwishes .com), making it easier for family and friends to find and buy gifts for newlyweds traveling to any Pueblo Bonito resort. Couples can create the ultimate wish list with gifts such as a couple’s massage, a private candlelight dinner on the beach and hotel upgrades. Couples who use the wedding registry also receive a free wedding website, announcement cards, a guest message board and more. Newlyweds can celebrate their nuptials in paradise with Pueblo Bonito’s Complimentary Honeymoon Package. For A TRAVEL AGENT UNIVERSITY PROGRAM

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couples who book a minimum of five nights at any of the brand’s resorts, this package includes a bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival, romantic room décor, and a guaranteed king-size bed, as well as an upgrade to the next room category, and early check-in and late check-out, based upon availability. Newlyweds also receive a free night certificate for use on their first anniversary, valid with a minimum fivenight stay. Free Wedding and Honeymoon Packages: The adults-only, all-inclusive Le Blanc Spa Resort (www.leblancsparesort. com) in Cancun offers both a Complimentary Wedding Package and a Complimentary Honeymoon Package, as well as a $1,500 resort credit that can be used toward one of its more elaborate wedding packages: Royale, Zen Garden and Signature. From a small, private ceremony to a gala event surrounded by family and friends, Le Blanc’s expert planners will tailor a wedding to fulfill your clients’ wishes on the most special day of their life. Palace Offers Colin Cowie Weddings: The nine Colin Cowie Wedding Collection packages at Palace Resorts (www.palaceresorts.com/weddings) feature designs inspired by Mexico, including options such as Exotic Peacock, Romantic Red, Sultry Sunset and Pure White. Packages start at $1,500. Wedding specialists will oversee the ceremony location and set-up (chairs, chair covers, floral decorations, aisle runner, etc.), witnesses (if needed), the bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, wedding cake, champagne, dinner reservations at a hotel restaurant for up to 30 guests and a honeymoon package. Couples can add a reception to their package for a cost per table. Palace Resorts has properties in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel. Romance in Riviera Maya: The Romance Manager at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba (www.banyantree.com) in Riviera Maya will work with you and your client to create the perfect wedding or anniversary celebration. Ceremonies can be arranged at various locations within the resort, such as the beach, ballroom, scenic-view terrace, private villa or Sands Beach Club. Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers 107 private pool villas within a private, gated resort development on Mexico’s famous Riviera Maya coast. Free Nuptials in Cancun, Playa del Carmen: At the Real Resorts’ (www.realresorts.com) ROYAL or Gran resorts in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, couples can enjoy a complimentary wedding with a booking of five nights or longer in a Master Suite or Presidential Suite. Included are the services of a wedding specialist, ceremony, witnesses (if required), decorated oceanfront wedding gazebo or beachfront location, sound system for the ceremony (clients bring their favorite music on CDs, iPod or MP3 player), champagne toast, wedding cake for two and late check-out for the couple (up to 6 p.m., subject to availability). There is a nominal perguest charge for champagne and cake. All four ROYAL and Gran resorts also host an array of full wedding packages that add such items as spa services, photography, live musician and “honeymoon breakfast,” ranging from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.



here happy endings begin.

Breezes Resorts & Spas are proud to call some of the most romantic and breathtaking places on earth home. And there’s no better place for couples to exchange their vows than at one of our spectacular resorts. At Breezes, Dream Weddings are complimentary*, but the memories are priceless. Consider it our wedding gift to your clients. ISLAND INSPIR ATIONS Discover our new Island Inspirations wedding collection. Five new wedding themes that capture the beauty of our unique island settings.








To learn more about Dream Weddings & Honeymoons by Breezes and the 6th Room Free promotion, visit our new Breezes Romance website at breezes.com/romance To learn more about our Free 3-Night giveaway for agents, visit our agent-only website at SuperAgentConcierge.com


JA M A IC A · THE BA H A M A S · BR A ZIL Dream Weddings not available in all locations. Restrictions and minimum night stays apply. Information accurate at time of printing. Part of the SuperClubs Collection of Hotels & Resorts. © 2012

Super-Inclusive ® Resorts • The Playful Side of Paradise

Morgan Bay is the newest addition to the Elite Island Resorts collection.



A variety of isles for that march down the aisle


he Caribbean offers a great number and diversity of island destinations from which your soon-tobe-newlywed clients can choose to tie the knot and enjoy their first vacation as a married couple. These same choices are also available to those who wish to renew their vows and enjoy a second honeymoon. Vows can be exchanged in a variety of romantic settings–in a forest or garden, at a historic site, in a festively decorated gazebo or on the beach, accompanied by the sound of waves gently lapping the shore. Some couples have even gotten married on horseback or underwater, complete with aquatic wedding outfits and scuba-diving gear. Whichever island they have their heart set on, make sure you do your homework, beginning with the requirements. These may vary, but can include waiting period (usually a day or two, but ranges from none to a month); registration and license fees; passport or birth certificate (with raised seal) and photo driver’s license; proof of marital status, proof of divorce or death certificate where applicable; and other documents, depending on the destination chosen. For islandby-island details, visit www.caribbeantravel.com/weddings.

RESORT WEDDINGS Following is a sampling of some of the diverse options available to you and your clients at resorts throughout the Caribbean. A TRAVEL AGENT UNIVERSITY PROGRAM

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Rendezvous’ Romance Concierge: Agents should tell clients getting hitched about Rendezvous (www.theromanticho-

liday.com), an all-inclusive couples-only hideaway in St. Lucia. The 100-room boutique property provides couples with a personalized romantic experience and is set on a beautiful two-mile stretch of sandy beach and surrounded by seven acres of gardens. The property features a scuba center, an array of watersports, archery, fencing, tennis courts, two pools, the Piano Bar, a swim-up bar at the main pool, and Terrace Bar.  Rendezvous’ “Romance Concierge” provides services that are customized to the guests’ preferences, so that these experiences are as personalized as possible. This includes creating personalized candlelit dinners, intimate Sunset Cruises, romantic in-room retreats, and Sunset Rendezvous (where guests can watch the sunset while enjoying chilled champagne or wine, exotic fruits or assorted cheeses).  She makes overall recommendations about romantic experiences as well as details such as the best champagne, flowers, desserts, candles, etc., in order to create the desired mood.  She can also help to coordinate a “dream proposal.” One example of this was her arranging for a young woman to propose to her future husband under a waterfall. Renew Vows at Jamaica’s SunSpree: With U.S. divorce rates on the decline primarily due to the persistently sluggish


Say “I do” in Tahiti.

Make their wedding as romantic as their honeymoon.

Visit TahitiTourism.com/Weddings

Islands the way they used to be.

GETTING HITCHED IN NO TIME AT ALL For clients who can’t wait to get married and spend as many days on-island as possible as honeymooners, there are a handful of Caribbean destinations where there is no waiting period for the newlyweds-to-be. Here are three places you can send these impassioned, impatient lovers Barbados: If your clients may have always dreamed of getting married barefoot with the sand between their toes and waves gently lapping at their feet, or to live out an epic romance on the grounds of a gracious and genteel plantation, suggest they tie the knot in Barbados (www.visitbarbados.org). Likewise, if they’re a couple of mystery and daring who gravitate to the exotic allure of marrying in an abandoned sugar mill at midnight, Barbados can accommodate them. And if the couple want more flowers that a bouquet and boutonniere they can be wed in the island’s Flower Forest, Orchid World, Andromeda Botanic Gardens or other floral settings. Cayman Islands: With more than 500 destination weddings a year on the three islands, Cayman (www.caymanislands.ky) represents a large commission potential with the booking of air, accommodations and more for the bride and groom and their guests. Thanks to a range of wedding service companies based in the Cayman Islands, your clients seeking a destination wedding can get the exact experience they want. Whether it’s just a couple looking for an intimate ceremony on the beach or an extravaganza hosting hundreds of people at a luxurious venue or anything in between – including an underwater wedding – the bride and groom will find every service available to them stateside. Plus, the can wed the same day they arrive—there is no waiting period. There are a host of interesting locations beyond the beach for couples not looking for the sand-beneath-their-toes option. Choices include Pedro St. James Historic Site, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, or even underwater in full scuba gear. Puerto Rico: There are several reasons why hundreds of couples (including Grammy Award winner singer Shania Twain and Swiss businessman Frederic Thiebaud) chose to get married in Puerto Rico (www.seepuertorico.com) in 2011. The island is an ideal setting for a destination wedding, combining the exotic appeal of the Caribbean with the ease of getting married that comes with being a U.S. territory. It also offers near-perfect weather and a great variety of venues, including sun-drenched beaches, El Yunque rainforest and two of the oldest churches in the New World. If you want someone with local expertise to help you and your clients plan their big day, Wed Affair (www.wedaffair.com) specializes in destinations weddings, with services that span the entire island of Puerto Rico. A romantic carriage ride through George Town, Grand Cayman



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economy, the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego  Bay (www.caribbeanhi.com/jamaica) is helping  couples celebrate staying together by offering an affordable  Wedding Vows Renewal package. It includes the services of a minister, choice of three tropical seaside locations, one renewal  certificate, one bridal bouquet and a groom’s boutonniere for just $200. Clients may choose ceremony  locations including: the Wedding Gazebo, located at  the end of a dramatic pier overlooking the Caribbean; a beachfront arbor draped in pastel-hued flowers  with an aisle adorned by sand castles and flower petals; or  Cupid’s Gazebo draped  in lush tropical greenery in an intimate, garden-by-the-sea setting. Elite Island’s Newest Resort Offers Four Venues: Morgan Bay Beach Resort (www.morganbayresort.com) is

the newest addition to the Elite Island Resorts collection. Located on its very own secluded cove on the island of St. Lucia, this all-inclusive resort offers an elegant and casual setting that is perfect for an unforgettable Caribbean destination wedding. The resort offers 340 rooms including 65 brand new suites overlooking the Caribbean Sea, four pools, four gourmet restaurants and a comprehensive all-inclusive program that includes water sports, land activities and live nightly entertainment. At Morgan Bay Beach Resort, couples can choose from four unique wedding venues:  Morgan’s Pier, which overlooks the glistening Caribbean Sea; a beautiful, hilltop gazebo that also overlooks the sea; a garden amidst lush and exotic flowers; and, of course, the white-sand beach with sparkling blue waters as a postcard-worthy backdrop. Couples can customize their wedding package with the resort’s onsite wedding coordinator, adding live entertainment, flower arrangements, spa treatments and much more. In addition to Morgan Bay, Elite Island Resorts offers a variety of premier destination wedding experiences at its other all-inclusive resorts located throughout the Caribbean. At Palm Island (www.palmislandcaribbean.com),


a private-island resort in the Grenadines, weddings have a truly intimate and romantic feel.  This exclusive resort offers world-class beaches, elegant oceanfront cottages and a fine dining restaurant.  One of the resort’s most popular excursions, an exhilarating sailing trip to the renowned Tobago Cays, adds a dash of adventure as couples can get up close and personal with nature, even swimming with sea turtles.  Like many of Elite Island’s properties, Palm Island offers a free wedding package for all-inclusive stays of seven nights or more in an island loft or villa category.  This package includes a personal wedding consultant; government fees, registrar cost and ceremony charges; marriage officiate; a certified copy of marriage license; a decorated site for wed-

A heart-shaped tree (above left) sets the stage for intimate, romantic dining at Palm Island in the Grenadines. A couple takes a hammock break (above) during their “Blossom” wedding and reception at Breezes Negril in Jamaica.

ding ceremony; bouquet and boutonniere; a one-tier wedding cake; one bottle of champagne and all taxes and gratuities.  Additional Elite Island Resorts wedding destinations include the adults-only Galley Bay Resort and Spa, the glamorous St. James’s Club & Villas and the eco-friendly Verandah Resort and Spa, all in Antigua; the luxury-inclusive LaSource spa resort in Grenada; and Long Bay Beach Resort, a beach hideaway in Tortola, BVI (note: Long Bay is not all-inclusive).

Call your Preferred Tour Operator or 888 280 8810 karismahotels.com


SUMMER SAVINGS Welcome to our summer promotion with up to 40% off at our award winning Gourmet Inclusive® resorts, which have become synonymous with luxury vacation experiences for adults, couples and families. Book now, and not only will your clients will enjoy huge discounts -kids stay and eat free. Try it.




The difference is. Gourmet Inclusive. Check website for complete details. Sunsational savings promotion is not combinable with any other promotion and may be changed or cancelled at any time without prior notice. Certain restrictions apply. Applicable for US market only. Not responsible for errors or omissions.

Sandals Emerald Bay (here) in Grand Exuma, Bahamas One of the two inviting pools at Rendezvous in St. Lucia (right)

Breezes Resorts & Spas’ New Dream Wedding, Honeymoon Collection: Building on its years of expertise, Breezes Resorts & Spas (www.superclubs.com) is now offering

pairs even more personalized options with the new Breezes Dream Wedding and Honeymoon Collection. With a choice of three wedding packages and five colorful Island Inspirations themes (Aqua, Tropical, Seashell, Flora and Blossom), couples can tailor their big day to best fit their personalities. At the same time, they also keep their budgets in check. In addition to the complimentary wedding option, brides and grooms who have family and friends booking five or more rooms to join the celebration will enjoy the sixth room for free. Here are the three Dream Wedding packages, which are on offer at Breezes Negril in Jamaica and Breezes Bahamas. Endless Love: A complimentary wedding which includes a Dream Wedding Planner who attends to every detail, classic wedding cake, a non-denominational minister, marriage license, bouquet and boutonniere, champagne, music and decorations, four guests passes, online bridal registry website and a few wedding keepsakes. For those who stay six nights or more, Breezes will also absorb the government and administration fees. Timeless Love ($999): Designed as an extension of Breezes’ complimentary package, Timeless Love features upgraded themed bridal bouquet and boutonniere, floral centerpieces and theme wedding cake, private candlelit dinner for two, romantic petal turndown service, in-room champagne and fresh local fruit, breakfast and mimosas in bed, 30-minute couples massage and 15 percent off additional spa services for the entire wedding party, a tote bag, photos and photo album of the special day and a free two-night anniversary stay. A TRAVEL AGENT UNIVERSITY PROGRAM

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Eternal Love ($1,599): This option includes everything from

the Timeless Love package plus more lavish bouquets and centerpieces, extra champagne for the reception, and keepsakes such as his-and- her robes, a knife and cake server set and a free four-night anniversary stay. Hard Rock Hotels Offer Colin Cowie Weddings: Colin Cowie offers nine destination wedding designs at the allinclusive Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana in (www.hardrock hotelpuntacana.com) in the Dominican Republic. These are the same essential packages as those offered at the resort’s sister Palace Resorts properties in Mexico (see page 22). More Dominican Republic Bliss: Grand Resorts at Cap Cana, a Salamander Caribbean Collection (www.grand

resortsatcapcana.com) provides guests with everything they need for a luxurious wedding or honeymoon. Couples can say their vows oceanside or choose another perfect backdrop for that special day. A Wedding Stylist (540-687-3710) is available to help you and your clients plan the ceremony and reception. They can stay in one of the 298 spcious villas at the new village-style Fishing Lodge or in the176-suite oceanfront Sanctuary. Cap Cana is an ecologically pristine, 30,000-acre exclusive retreat featuring ocean, beach, cliffs and forest. Free 12/12/12 Wedding from Sandals: Sandals Resorts

(www.sandals.com) is offering couples a chance to book a “WeddingMoon” to remember by selecting the auspicious 12/12/12 for their special day. Triple digit wedding dates occur only 12 times every one hundred years and hence are hugely popular with engaged couples seeking a memorable date to tie the knot. Last year, Sandals and Beaches Resorts saw record marriages on the momentous date 11/11/11 with more than 150 couples choosing to wed at the 18 Luxury Included resorts across the Caribbean and, as 12/12/12 will be


the last triple digit date until the year 2101, couples should book their WeddingMoon early to avoid disappointment. To help brides and grooms stay within their budget, Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts offer a complimentary Beautiful Beginnings wedding to all couples who stay for six nights or longer in any room category. That means couples can now get married at one of the 18 Luxury Included Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean for as little as $2,517 per couple for seven nights at the new Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. In partnership with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Sandals Resorts offers engaged couples six wedding themes featuring coordinated color palettes and wedding décor designed exclusively by the expert herself. The Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart options can also be tailored to every couples tastes, helping brides and grooms plan every detail

of their celebration from beginning to end, including resort destination, accommodation type, wedding décor, cake and color palette. You can book Luxury Included Honeymoons and WeddingMoons directly with Sandals or through your regional GOGO Vacations (www.gogowwv.com) representative. Precious Gems Wedding Package in Jamaica: The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa (www.jeweldunnsriver resort.com) in Ocho Rios offers a complimentary wedding package for couples staying six nights or longer in a Diamond Ocean View Concierge or higher room category. The Precious Gems package features all the essentials plus a special dinner and continental breakfast in bed one morning for the newlyweds. For a fee, ranging from $750 to $2,500, they can upgrade to more elaborate packages that pile on the extra features. The Platinum Sunset, for example, includes lengthy spa treatments for the bride and groom. New Wedding Planner at The Somerset: In Turks and Caicos, The Somerset (www.thesomerset.com), which hosts more than 20 weddings and bridal events each year, now has its own wedding planner, Rosalind McKensie, formerly with NILA Destinations in Turks & Caicos. Special group rates are available. For couples getting married at The Somerset, the bridal party can opt for a two-bedroom villa with additional bridal party suite for hair/makeup/spa treatments. This third accommodation is attached with a separate entrance and can be transformed into a relaxing spa room for exclusive use during the stay.


Time is so , smart couples steal it

Rendezvous allows you to find time, time to be together, time to relax, time to talk. It gives you time to reconnect and to reflect. It gives you time to concentrate on each other, to refocus. It gives you time to rediscover what matters most – you.

Rediscover life’s pleasures together. Visit www.theromanticholiday.com or call 1 866 371 9555



W eddings Same-sex marriages provide a growing niche for travel agents.


n the last year, several U.S. states have recognized same-sex marriages and civil unions, offering new options for destination weddings. In New York, which legalized same-sex weddings in July of last year, venues all throughout the state have opened their doors for ceremonies. New York City’s Central Park offers a great blend of urban sophistication and romantic greenery, and is a terrific option for a lovely and affordable event. The Conservatory Garden, located at Fifth Avenue and 105th Street, hosts numerous ceremonies each year. The six-acre Garden is made up of three smaller gardens, and weddings at any of the venues cost approximately $400. Other popular places include The Pond, Cherry Hill, Bow Bridge, Shakespeare Garden, East Green, Cedar Hill, the Mall, Hernshead, 100th Street Pool and Harlem Meer. For permits for these and other areas of Central Park (required only for parties of 20 people or more) there is a fee of $25. Visit www.centralparknyc.org for more information. Many hotels in the city are gay-friendly and will help organize and host LGBT weddings. Among them are the Hudson Hotel (www.hudsonhotel.com), the ultra-luxe Pierre Hotel, the W Times Square and, of course, the recently opened Out NYC (theoutnyc.com), the city’s first “straight-friendly” gay hotel. Important: Any couple looking to marry in New York must complete an application and receive a marriage license at the City Clerk’s office before they can legally wed. The City Clerk’s office can perform a civil marriage ceremony at one of its five Above: Grand Wailea offers civil union ceremonies at the Wailea Seaside Chapel and Chapel Gardens.


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locations throughout the boroughs. For general information about getting married in New York, visit cityclerk.nyc.gov. Other states where same-sex marriages are legal are Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermiont, as well as the District of Columbia. Freedom-to-marry bills are pending in Maryland and Washington state, while in New Jersey advocates are working to override the governor’s veto of marriage equality legislation passed by the state senate. In Hawaii, which legalized civil unions in January of this year, hotels have been reaching out to the LGBT community as a new weddings niche. On Maui, the Grand Wailea (www.grandwailea.com) offers several dedicated civil union and commitment ceremonies for a super-swank event. Aqua (www.aquaresorts.com) and Starwood (www.starwood hotels.com) properties throughout the state offer wedding packages that are extended to same-sex couples. At the at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa (www. marriottwaikiki.com/), Chaniece-Nicole Torralba is a Certified Wedding Planner who can help plan and coordinate all wedding, civil union and commitment ceremonies for couples. The Four Seasons Resorts Lanai (www.fourseasons. com/manelebay/weddings) has a License to Wed specialist, who is licensed by the state of Hawaii to authorize marriage and civil union licenses. The specialist can help organize the wedding and help take care of the paperwork, making for a personalized one-stop bridal boutique. Civil unions can also be performed at Aulani, Disney’s Resort & Spa ((resorts.disney.go.com/Aulani) on Oahu, and ceremonies can be customized to unite not just couples, but whole families with children from previous relationships.


The “How To” of

‘I Do’

Some expert tips on making the most of the romance market


e wrap-up our Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Specialist as be began it, with some helpful advice from Jacqueline Johnson, CTC, President/CEO of Global Bridal Group, beginning with the basics of how to become a go-to travel agent in this market: ◆ First and foremost, know your product. Visit the destinations you want to sell. ◆ Develop a relationship with on-site service providers, whether independent or hotels. ◆ Develop an informative and welcoming website. Make it easy to navigate. Today’s couples will not waste time trying to find your information. ◆ If you do not have time to promote your services on all the social media networks, pay a younger person to do so—or if cash is a problem, exchange services/goods, whatever. ◆ Be a friend to tourist boards, hotels and cruise lines. They always have some free training going on; you may also get leads this way. ◆ Attend bridal shows, write for your local paper and promote within your community. ◆ Ask the couple with whom you are working to recommend you to their friends.

◆ For the wedding party, create a special booking code and make sure you handle the group.

◆ If it is a cruise, make sure shore excursions are part of the


SERVICES RENDERED ◆ Take care of your clients. That means informing the hotel

of their arrival and ensuring that the room is ready and a welcome drink or gift basket is in room. ◆ Follow up with the couple to make sure everything is as it should be. Leave nothing to chance. ◆ Have a contact at the hotel. At some hotels, reservations can be a “black hole” with no one to accept responsibility. ◆ If an ocean view is requested, make sure your clients get to see the ocean directly from the room and don’t have to be a contortionist to catch a glimpse of water. ◆ Let the manager of the hotel know that this is the wedding party (or the honeymooners). ◆ Have a nice welcome note from you delivered to the clients’ room. ◆ On their return, send over a bottle of wine or some baked goods to welcome them home.

BRANDING ◆ For the services provided, you will have these clients for

life. But most important, they will gladly recommend you to their friends. ◆ Whatever you send to your clients, always have your logo and contact information displayed on it.

INCREASING YOUR REVENUE ◆ Charge for your services. You are a professional with un-

matched expertise. ◆ Working with the hotel, make sure you not only plan the actual day of the wedding (if it is a destination wedding) but create a full package—arrival drinks/dinner, family gettogether, private dinner at local restaurant, the final “Thank You” dinner/lunch/brunch to thank guests for their participation. All of these should be commissionable. ◆ You could take it one step further and select your favorite jewelry store—get coupons or some incentive from the store to pass on to your clients. Yes, they do shop and nothing says “I love you” more than a nice trinket. You are not only booking a client, you are trying to earn their trust for life. ◆ Do not just take a general coupon: In today’s fast-paced and electronically advanced world, get your logo on the certificate. Branding is important. It sets you apart from your competitors and you can use these for other promotions at trade shows, etc. DESTINATION WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS SPECIALIST

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WEDDINGS AT THE RESORTS MADE FOR TWO PEOPLE IN LOVE The Luxury Included® Vacation Jamaica • Antigua • Saint Lucia • Bahamas This is your time to plan the wedding you’ve always dreamed of and to begin your new life together as husband and wife. Make it last forever in the most romantic places on earth. Sandals® Resorts has earned a worldwide reputation for providing two people in love with the most romantic vacation experience in the Caribbean. Each resort offers: •

Stunning beachfront locations

Up to 15 specialty restaurants per resort

Unlimited premium brand wine and spirits, including an exclusive partnership with California's legendary Beringer® Wines

Luxurious accommodations in a range of categories

Butler service in top-tier suites

Unrivaled watersports including the Caribbean's largest PADI certification program*

Signature Red Lane® Spas, with services and treatments inspired by the region**

Sandals WeddingMoons®

The spirit of an exotic island wedding combines with the pleasures of the Luxury Included® Honeymoon to create the exclusive WeddingMoon®. It’s the perfect start to the perfect marriage where your honeymoon begins the moment you say, “I do.”

Contact your local GOGO Groups Branch New England




North East


Mid West


Mid Atlantic




For more information, contact your local Groups Branch above or visit www.gogowwv.com *Scuba diving included for certified divers. Resort dive course and night dives additional. **Spa services additional. Sandals® is a registered trademark.