Have you ever been to Starbucks? It’s this little chain of restaurants that sells coffee. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.
Go to one (or actually, most coffee houses), order a drink, have a seat, and before long, you’re bound to overhear a conversation that goes like something like this:
“Ohmygosh, Brit, you have GOT to see the honeymoon hacienda Trevor and I booked. Yah, remember? We’re getting married in Peru. Machu Picchu. No, Trevor’s parents are paying for everything. His Dad is, like, a CEO or COE or something.”
One advantage to being a wedding professional in 2017 is there are a lot of destination weddings at beautiful, luxurious locales far, far, from home.
But marketing, negotiating, and pulling off a wedding in a foreign country is a bit different than doing it stateside.
Let me show you how to do it.
MARKETING: Be Worldly On Social Media
You already post conversation pieces about weddings on Facebook to make sure people keep you in mind about that kind of thing, right?
Well, amp up your savior-faire by linking articles about destination weddings. Here’s an example. Just Google; they’re easy to find.
By doing so, you will place yourself in the back of the minds of people looking for destination weddings.
NEGOTIATING: Don’t Be A Pushover. Charge More.
Not to be Captain Obvious, but there is so much more time involved in destination weddings.
So many more logistical issues and headaches.
So much more education and work to do to prepare.
As we’ve said it before: charge more. Suggested rule of thumb: Take your normal average rate, add the travel and accommodations cost, and go up 15% from there.
This, sorry to say, won’t be a vacation for YOU. This is work.
While you may get to see the sights on your downtime, if you reveal to the wedding party that you would be hugely stoked to go to Panama to ride jet skis, you’ve given them the upper hand in negotiating.
So don’t do that. In fact…
EXECUTING: It’s About the Work
My favorite travel writer is Tim Cahill (look him up).
His advice to burgeoning writers who want to get into travel writing has stuck with me through the years:
“It’s not about the travel. It’s about the writing.”
If people see writing as just a way to pay for all the traveling they want to do, they will fail. They have to love the writing even more than the travel.
They have to travel to write, not write to travel.
Same with you, amigo. The beautiful locale is merely a great canvas for you to paint your wedding pro masterpiece with.
By all means, when you have no work responsibilities, go have fun.
But keep it on the downlow and away from the wedding guests (unless they’re already pretty good friends of yours). Maintain your professionalism.
You are traveling to work, not working to travel.
GIVING: Consider Giving Back
Hopefully this isn’t news to you, but a lot of destination locales, once you peel back the luxury surface, you find it can be a pretty grim place for the locals.
A lot of people ARE oblivious to this, as expertly satirized in The Onion article, “Woman Who ‘Loves Brazil’ Has Only Seen Four Square Miles Of It.”
Besides poverty, violence, oppression, and non-existent health care and infrastructure (besides for wealthy tourists) a lot of casinos, resorts, and beaches in developing countries don’t even allow locals to enter as guests. Imagine that.
It’s good to be mindful of that phenomenon when working in such a destination.
By which I mean, a) don’t be an obnoxious tourist and b) consider giving to a charity that helps alleviate some of these problems in the county in question.
What are your best tips for booking your first destination wedding?