What are the latest destination wedding trends and honeymoon trends as we head into 2019? Wedaways’ co-founders Renée Strauss and Pamela Strauss-Goldman have their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the industry and they are sharing their latest findings on trends with Wedaways.com readers.
Here’s what you should know…
This is one trend we are keeping an eye on. One of the top initiators of a destination wedding today is what is known as “heritage return”. The wedding will often be the first opportunity a couple has to return to their land of origin (or the land of ancestry for one of the partners). This is why Ireland and Italy are incredibly popular for destination weddings which is a trend in and of itself.
Most Popular Wedding Destinations
The most popular wedding destinations are Tuscany, Italy; Amalfi Coast, Italy; Provence, France; Paris, France; County Kildare, Ireland; County Waterford, Ireland; Marrakech, Morocco; and Napa Valley, California.
Honeymoon Destinations Gaining In Popularity
Wedaways is seeing more and more requests for honeymoons in Marrakech, Morocco; Santorini, Greece; Algarve, Portugal; Swiss Alps. We’ll keep you updated on other trending destinations as well.
Couples are starting the booking process for a destination wedding approximately 15 months out and only five months out for the honeymoon. The trend is definitely for shorter lead times when booking a honeymoon.
Guests Attend Based Upon The Destination
Guests often decide to attend based upon the destination versus if they actually want to see the couple wed! This was a trend that surprised us too!
Pre-Wedding Planning Trips Are On The Rise
Couples take the time and spend the money to visit the destination and venue prior to the wedding date. They want to see and feel the overall venue experience so they can plan around it accordingly.
Wedding Guests Are Booking Pre- And Post-Wedding Stays
Because guests are traveling great distances to attend a wedding, they take advantage of the opportunity to build their own travel into the trip. Wedaways is seeing many guests either departing for the destination earlier or staying on after the event. Guests are timing a cruise to coincide with the wedding, going from the wedding to a safari, or a scenic road trip in and around the wedding destination. It’s a great trend for all those involved in travel.
Fewer Couples Want Pre-Packaged Anything
Even though a couple might be going to a hotel or resort that specializes in destination weddings and offers a wedding package, most don’t want a “cookie-cutter” experience and tend to stay away from a hotel’s “wedding package.” They seek out preferred wedding planners in the destination to ensure a truly bespoke experience.
It’s Not Just A Wedding, It’s A Multi-Day Celebration
A destination wedding is much more than just the actual wedding day. Couples are now including itineraries in the guest’s welcome bags which include details on all of the events the guests can participate in as well as suggestions and options of activities guests can do to best experience that particular destination over a few days for the wedding celebration.
Authentic Destination Guest Gifts
Couples are after authentic guest gifts which represent the destination of the wedding versus something generic. For example, for a recent wedding in Japan, one couple gave away gorgeous Japanese silk fans for their guests as a keepsake.
Delayed Honeymoon Trips
Couples are not in a big hurry to depart on their honeymoon immediately following the wedding. They don’t mind planning an extended honeymoon for months after the wedding if it might mean they can get better deals in shoulder season and then take longer trips using accrued vacation time. They also delay a honeymoon in order to travel at the time of year they prefer or that is most popular for a specific destination like an October safari, an early April cherry blossom visit to Japan, a December ski holiday in Aspen, Vail, or St. Moritz, or the September wine harvest in Tuscany.
Honeymoon Savings and Splurges
Couples want to travel farther and stay longer at exotic destinations and therefore might stay at an more affordable property in a region they’ve not been to like Thailand, in order to reserve their funds to splurge on a few days at a $2,500 a night five-star plus resort in the Maldives.
Millennials are determined to get the better Instagram pic than their friends. They recognize destinations their friends post in photos of noteworthy hotels, famous sites, etc. and often will go to great lengths to select a destination wedding or honeymoon location that will offer them the best photo options to post on Instagram.
Destination Bachelorette Parties Are Getting More Popular
Destination Bachelorette parties continue to grow. Wedaways is seeing brides and their friends depart on a Thursday afternoon and return on Monday, flying for up to 8 hours to the destination. East Coast brides are choosing Cape Cod, Montreal, Nova Scotia, Ireland, Scotland, and even as far as Croatia for their getaways. Activities typically include spas, wine tasting, and even golf.
Look to Wedaways.com to be your guide to the latest trends, tips, and news regarding destination weddings and honeymoons.