GETTING THE BIG DAY JUST RIGHT

The “romance” travel market outpaces other group bookings

The global wedding industry is estimated to be worth over 300 billion dollars and growing bigger every day. Tim Hentschel, CEO at HotelPlanner.com and Meetings. com tells us that 20% of his organisation’s bookings are weddings, and 25% of those are now destination bookings.

In terms of destinations, tropical paradises such as Thailand, Bali, Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Costa Rica still top the list of hot spots to tie the knot, with Iceland, Canada and Italy emerging as popular locales for couples looking to go off the beaten path. Meanwhile, France – and in particular the French Riviera – are staple classics, for good reason.

Wedding tourism is especially popular among young people who are all seeking to make this celebration the most vivid, massive and unique of its kind. In the past, couples would get married at home, then go on a honeymoon, but today, the role of the travel consultant is increasingly important in organising group travel to exceptional destinations for the wedding itself, followed by a magical honeymoon for the newlyweds.

WHEN IT COMES TO CLASS, THE FRENCH RIVIERA TOPS THE LIST

The French Riviera is probably the most prestigious destination in the world for weddings, offering an incredible diversity of settings. So, what is the secret of a perfect destination wedding? Marie-Christine Lescure, director of Prodiam – an event and wedding organiser based near Nice – says location is evidently a key factor: “From cocktails on the beach, the ceremony in beautiful hotel gardens overlooking the sea, or a refined dinner in a château in Provence, I honestly believe this region is the best in the world for very high-end destination weddings. But excellence in every detail is absolutely vital in order to have a beautiful, breath-taking result.”

CREATIVITY IS A MUST, BUT SO IS MASTERY OF LOGISTICS IN EVERY DETAIL.

Ms Lescure says source markets are very diverse. “Of course, there are some French, but we receive many clients from countries such as Russia, America, China, India and even Australia.

The key differentiator when it comes to offering premium service is really knowing how to listen to the clients, to not only understand what they want, but also to surprise and delight them with concepts and ideas that they may not have even considered, based on the synergy we develop with them.

Marie-Christine Lescure

Marie-Christine Lescure – PRODIAM

Creativity is a must, but so is mastery of logistics in every detail. Artistic content, integrating classical orchestras and dancers, is at the heart of this kind of offering”.

Ms Lescure says source markets are very diverse. “Of course, there are some French, but we receive many clients from countries such as Russia, America, China, India and even Australia. The key differentiator when it comes to offering premium service is really knowing how to listen to the clients, to not only understand what they want, but also to surprise and delight them with concepts and ideas that they may not have even considered, based on the synergy we develop with them. Creativity is a must, but so is mastery of logistics in every detail. Artistic content, integrating classical orchestras and dancers, is at the heart of this kind of offering”.