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In the 1960s, the Dixie Cups sang a hit song about the "Chapel of Love". This cherished notion of walking down the aisle hasn;t changed much, but the location of that aisle has. Whether it is a white sandy beach, European castle, picturesque vineyard or a ceremony under a canopy of trees, the popularity of destination weddings continues to grow. And when you decide to become a wedding planner as a graduate of Ashworth College, you also gain membership in the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), giving you access to a host of benefits – including the opportunity to become a Certified Sandals® Resorts Destination Wedding Specialist!
So how would your specialization in destination weddings help your career? For starters, it gives you a lot more opportunities to make the bride and groom’s vision of ‘happily ever after’ come true.
Leading wedding website The Knot recognized that in 2012, 350,000 destination weddings took place; that's about one fourth of all weddings. Compare that to 2009 when it was only 20%. And even though it may seem exotic to jet off to the Bahamas or the Swiss Alps to exchange vows, a whopping 70% of destination weddings take place in the continental United States. Couples are predominately traveling to Florida, California and Nevada for their big day. Those who do leave the confines of America's continental borders are mostly flocking to the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii.
Because of the logistics involved in planning such an elaborate affair so far from home, The Knot estimated that 51% of couples having destination weddings use a wedding planner to help them organize the big day. An advantage of planning a destination wedding is the excitement and challenge of being able to put your creativity to the test. There are certain parameters and opportunities you have while planning this type of affair that you won't have anywhere else.
For example, due to the costs of travel and lodging, most destination weddings are smaller than local affairs. It's estimated that the average destination wedding has just 86 guests. This changes your focus to issues related to space and seating, all the while incorporating the needs of the couple. Also, because guests are travelling from all over, destination weddings tend to be multi-day affairs with 60% lasting three or more days. As a wedding planner, you'll be able to plan not just the ceremony and reception, but the whole weekend!
Choosing to become a wedding planner gives you the chance to experience the thrill of using your imagination to make dream weddings a reality for happy couples. With your training, passion and creativity, you can help brides and grooms have their 'happily ever after' and in turn, your fairy-tale future can come true as well.