Luxury Coach & Transportation

April 2015

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 17 of 75

16 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR APRIL 2015 WWW.LCTMAG.COM SPECIAL EVENTS: DESTINATION WEDDINGS Brides Ready To Bring A Lot Of Baggage Traveling to U.S. and international cities and resorts for ceremonies is a growing trend for bride and groom, friends and families. By Tom Halligan, LCT East Coast editor Not your typical wedding — but not out of the ordinary anymore. In fact, unique global destination weddings are the hot- test trend in the industry that includes traditional weddings, commitment cer- emonies, and vow renewal events with family, relatives and friends all coming together for a three-day to full-week combination wedding, getaway weekend or weeklong vacation. "We handled all the airport transfers and transportation for the Indian wed- ding group," said Cliff Wright, President of Royal Coach and Limousine in Orlando. "The wedding business here has always been good because of Disney, but it's booming right now. Every weekend we're doing three to four, sometimes up to six weddings every weekend. Wright said his white Lincoln stretch limousines are still the go-to vehicles for weddings. We've used the Rolls Royce a few times, and the Hummer stretch is popular." Wright noted that he books a good bit of wedding business from English couples who often want to get married in Cocoa Beach about 60 miles away. "We take them there and they get married in a church and then go to the beach for pictures." In fact, destination weddings make up 24% of U.S. weddings, accord- ing to, and international destination wed- dings are the hottest growth segment, says Rebecca Hoch- reiter, vice president of mar- keting and customer engage- ment at Destination Weddings Travel Group, Wayland, Mass. The company focuses on in- ternational destination wedding planning for U.S. and Canadian cou- ples, but the company is eyeing U.S. locations to add to its destination port- folio, such as Florida, Arizona and Cali- fornia, says Megan Velez, vice president product development. Hochreiter notes that domestic des- tinations sometimes appeal more to couples than international ones because older relatives or friends may not have a passport or fnd travel diffcult. So a short domestic fight is a better option. "The stereotypical cookie-cutter destina- tion beach weddings have been replaced with more customized weddings, where peo- ple bring their own personalized touches to their event," Hoch- reiter says. For example, a couple may opt for an eco-themed wedding, a kosher wedding, an action-packed adventure in Costa Rica, or other life- style theme that represents their taste and style. Hotels have noticed the growing customization trend and are more eager to accommodate unique wedding events. Weddings are also getting bigger, which bodes well for limousine companies that can offer an array of mini-buses and coaches to meet any and all transporta- tion needs. In addition, invited guests with children can all attend des- tination weddings together because all- inclusive resorts often provide supervised children's activities and events, which T he Indian wedding in Orlando, Fla., ran from 6 p.m. straight through to the next day. In addition to full airport, hotel, wedding and event trans- portation services during the weekend, a Hummer stretch limo was rented and parked at the outdoor reception just so the wedding party and guests could use it as a backdrop for photos. The wedding also included a 15-foot above-ground pool that was con- structed just for the day, and oh, elephants, tigers and other exotic animals were brought in to add more pizzazz to the festivities. r Percent of U.S. weddings that are d e stination weddings Source: U.S. WEDDINGS 2.1 million: number of weddings $25,200: average wedding cost $54.3 billion: market value Source: The Wedding Report Megan Velez

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