By Dana Baasiri
It’s no surprise that weddings are in full bloom. With revenge weddings, postponed celebrations, and grandiose receptions as a follow up to private elopements that happened during the pandemic trickling in, wedding business is seeing a massive comeback. In fact, weddings are having a breakthrough year so much so that The NY Times dubbed 2022 as the “Boom Year” for weddings, while travel advisors are seeing record numbers for destination weddings this fall.
Not to mention, destination weddings, in particular, are having a moment — with travel restrictions having eased up and vaccines available, many couples are once again lusting for an international wedding that makes for a memorable adventure for all their guests.
What does this mean for travel marketers and hoteliers? Endless opportunities to reach those couples and capture the demand for destination weddings by leveraging existing amenities, crafting thoughtful experiences, incorporating lively programming, or simply refreshing their wedding offerings.
4 Wedding Trends The Industry Is Seeing
The dramatic rise in weddings for not only 2022 but 2023 as well, has ushered in new trends that couples and planners are partaking in to ensure the most unique and memorable of celebrations — here are a few trends that hotels and resorts can leverage.
1. Multi-Generational Weddings
Gathering family members of all ages to celebrate love in a memorable way has never meant more than it does now — enter multi-generational weddings. After two years of intimate affairs and private elopements, it’s time for couples to take their friends and families along for the ride. Pandemic aside, over half of wedding couples were reported to invite children to their nuptials, further affirming the need for multi-generational wedding experiences. Thoughtful ceremonies and family-friendly receptions that are tailored to each age group can go a long way in creating a lasting impact and unforgettable memories for all. Family-friendly all-inclusive resorts like Generations Riviera Maya offer love birds and their families a vacation that is exclusively designed for families to play and stay together. From spacious rooms to accommodate groups of all sizes to dedicated programming for kids and teens, and even exclusive access to the resort’s adults-only neighboring properties El Dorado Royale and El Dorado Casitas Royale for couples looking to still have an adults-only escape or honeymoon. Immersive activities like kayak tours, cooking classes, and tequila tasting are just a few of the experiences that are available to couples and their guests.
2. Multi-Day Experiences
Many couples are opting for full wedding weekends and multi-day experiences, as opposed to the traditional half-day ceremony and reception — especially when travel is involved. From welcome parties and beachside barbecues, boat outings and scenic excursions, to “the morning after” brunches and pool parties, multi-day weddings are special because they invite guests to truly bond, spend time together, and make more memories. Multi-day weddings, although trending, are not new and in some cultures are the norm. Southeast Asian Weddings, in particular, traditionally occur over three days. Resort brands like the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels are no strangers when it comes to hosting multi-day weddings. In fact, they even have a weddings program dedicated to Southeast Asian weddings called Ishq Rocks that offers benefits to large groups hosting multiple events.
3. Experiential Wedding Registries
Traditionally, wedding registries were composed of household items, be it fine china, a new espresso machine, or stemless wine glasses. Today’s registries are more likely to have experiential gifts like contributions to their wedding or a honeymoon fund for that romantic getaway to the Caribbean the couple is planning to take. Honeymoon packages are an easy way to attract both couples planning a destination wedding, and those keeping their celebrations domestic but looking to honeymoon across the border. Newlyweds can easily tag on an all-inclusive honeymoon package to their registry to an adults-only resort like Breathless Resort & Spa where they can find extra special touches like breakfast in bed, couples massages, romantic beachfront dinners and more.
4. It’s All In The (Personalized) Details
While this trend is not entirely new, it is seemingly more and more in demand. Couples are ditching the cookie-cutter packages and opting for personalized touches, customized decor, and carefully curated experiences and events. From uncommon venues and seating layouts to menus designed around a couple’s favorite foods, fun food trucks for the after-party, and even “coloring outside the lines” by incorporating bold and bright color palettes showcasing the couple’s personalities — custom is the key to their hearts.
What Does This Mean For Travel & Hotel Brands?
Whether or not wedding sales will continue to trend up or slow down, it’s important for hotel and travel marketers to recognize that the demand is here. Taking a moment to pause and revisit existing wedding amenities, promotional bookings offers and romantic packages to see if they resonate with today’s couple is the first step. If things can be updated, refreshed or completely rebuilt, now is the time to do so. Next step is arming your team members and travel partners alike with the tools and resources necessary to sell your product. From thorough training programs and in-depth certifications, immersive FAM trips, user-friendly wedding websites and booking processes, to updated sales collateral and creative assets — these are all key to having a robust wedding product that is successful and drives revenue to your properties.
Did you know that Alliance Connection can help you design and develop an unparalleled destination wedding brand and product? If you’re interested in learning more, click here.
Alliance Connection works with Caribbean and Mexico travel brands to drive awareness and bookings through strategic marketing partnerships and powerful brand interactions across a highly selective portfolio of brands, media, social influencers and entertainment partners that connect, capture and influence travelers across the U.S.
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