5 key trends in the Destination Wedding Industry

5 key trends are set for destination weddings which continue to be the fastest growing segment of the US$300 billion worth global wedding market. The 5 key trends are set to take the industry by storm in the coming months according to experts. Those 5 key trends are:

  • the gravitational pull of Asia as a destination;
  • the emphasis on culture;
  • the importance of experiential dining and authentic flavours;
  • the need for exclusive experiences; and
  • the increasing preference for longer stays.

“We are seeing more enquiries in Asia, and I think that well become the next hot destination in 2018/2019. Mexico is becoming increasingly popular too, especially with the peso being devalued currently”, said Joe Blackman, CEO, Collection 26.

Popular destinations in Asia cover a vast range of exotic destinations from Thailand, to Japan, to Bali, Maldives and the United Arab Emirates.

Kathy Apostolidis, Director, Events by Nightingales, Australia said, “Clients are looking for European and Asian locations that are luxurious but removed from the hustle and bustle of popular destinations but at the same time they do want a high level of luxury products and services that they would ordinarily expect in a major city.”

The décor and even the entertainment selected for weddings in now being chosen on the basis of the culture of the land. Narelle Williams – Director, Global Weddings, Australia commented, “From props, to furniture, lighting, table décor, there is a focus on tropical themes, metallic, and innovative gifts for the guests with cultural theme borrowed from the destination”.

“Some clients are also turning to the other end of the spectrum and seeking a “local” village experience filled with the traditions and customs of the local destination,” adds Kathy.

“We also see more of a non-traditional approach to ceremonies combing Jewish and Christian or Hindu and Muslim religious traditions to make the ceremony a more authentic reflection of their family heritage and religious beliefs”, points Alison Hotchkiss Rinderknecht, Creative Director, Alison Events, USA.

With the appeal of experiential dining growing expeditiously, there has been an interesting turn of events when it comes to the food served at weddings, “We find that guests are more open to experimenting with new cuisines, such as game meat, which definitely enhances their entire experience,” said Aleit Swanepoel, Founder & Chairman, The Aleit Group, South Africa. JoAnn Gregoli, Owner, Elegant Occasions, USA, feels that there is now more of an emphasis on food and wine pairings along with the concept of “farm to table” also being preferred by many couples on their big day.

Experiential travel was the “travel trend” for 2016, and it has had a ginormous impact on the destinations now being chosen for weddings. Echoing similar views Aleit Swanepoel added that many couples are embracing “experience” weddings, with an African theme for example. What I love most about these weddings, is the wonderful energy that builds amongst the guests when they travel together. Weddings become a three-day event, with pre-wedding BBQ’s, cocktail functions and excursions.

Longer stays continue to be a growing trend. “People are paying for guests all-inclusive experience so that all their guests can stay in one place; meaning they cover airfare and hotel rooms“adds Alison. The guests usually tend to increase their stay at the destination and explore the destination at leisure pre and post wedding.

Luxury destination wedding specialists will gather at the 4th Annual Destination Wedding Planners (DWP) Congress which will take place from 2nd to 4th May in the Land of Smiles & Hospitality – Phuket, Thailand.

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