Column: Top Tips on Selling Destination Weddings

Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero.
Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero

There’s so much great information in our Destination Weddings & Honeymoons roundtable discussion where top suppliers all express the absolute importance of having a travel advisor involved in the selling process. Here are some takeaway tips I’ve gathered; many are from our attending travel advisor, Andrea Williams of Exquisite Vacations, who truly loves selling these dream trips.

1. Realize that spending is up for destination weddings. Couples will want a signature drink, even a mixologist, at their wedding. They’ll want an abundance of flowers and lavish set ups that will wow their friends and family. Help them get into the mood by telling them how much they’re saving by not having a huge wedding at home.

2. Sell from the top down. Determine the size of the group and customize every aspect of the stay for all the wedding guests. The bride and groom can always eliminate elements they can’t afford or just don’t want. Be ready to justify why they should invest in each option.

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3. Upsell the accommodations. Select just a few room types to present to the client (some resorts have a dozen or more). Do a price comparison to show that an ocean view or suite will cost just some dollars more a day but will provide a much more enjoyable vacation experience.

4. Select a resort that looks like fun so that wedding guests will be convinced to attend the event. The bride and groom might want glamour, but those invited will need to see this as a vacation they’d choose for themselves.

5. Program resort activities for the guests who are using their well-earned money and vacation time to come to the wedding. Convince the bride and groom to invest in activities for them, such as a catamaran ride. If they’re overwhelmed by the cost, break it down per person so they can see the actual value the activity will deliver per head. Paint the memories it will provide to all.

6. Don’t book a resort that is too expensive for guests to attend. The betrothed couple may want to go all out for their big day, but they have to remember that their friends don’t want to have to take out a loan to celebrate with them.

7. Even if the couple is on a budget, don’t hesitate to upsell the suites and ocean views to those guests who can afford them.

8. Work the group. The friends of the newlyweds will likely be getting married soon; be sure you’re the one who does their destination wedding. Realize that they’ll want something completely different from the wedding they’ve just attended.

9. Get creative with the destination. Most engaged couples are Millennials who tend to want to enjoy the local activities. They’ll want to show off on Facebook and Instagram that they’re immersed in a culture on their trip. Research great photo opportunities that show off a strong sense of place.

10. Enjoy the challenge. Your clients, regardless of their demographic or psychographic, will come to you with big ideas they’ve culled from past weddings they’ve attended or that they’ve seen on Facebook. They’ll work you to pieces, but this is your chance to secure clients for life, and all of their friends as well. Have fun thinking out of the box and be sure you select a resort that’s willing to be as creative as you are.

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