Destination Weddings: package deals for runaway brides

Fri May 7, 2010 7:12am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Here comes the bride, there goes the bride, along with the groom and a small group of family and friends.

Many are opting to tie the knot far away from home and the hassles of the traditional catered affair.

And travel experts say whether couples choose a beach in the Caribbean or a castle in Spain, combining wedding, reception and honeymoon can be kinder to their nerves and their wallet.

"It's one stop shopping! Wedding and honeymoon and no problems with tuxes, caterers and flowers," said Jeff Krudop of Travel Leaders in Fort Wayne, Indiana. "I would say about 50 per cent of our leisure business is somehow related to a destination wedding or vow renewal."

Krudop says it's a niche market that keeps growing.

"It's most popular with young couples in their 20s and 30's who want to make a big vacation with family and friends. It's also very popular with repeat marriages."

He said Mexico, Hawaii, Florida and the Caribbean remain the most popular destinations, although recently more clients are requesting Europe or South America.

Sandals Resorts in the Caribbean has been specializing in destination weddings for 30 years.   Continued...

<p>A wedding photographer takes pictures of newlyweds on Furanafushi Island in the Maldives May 23, 2009. REUTERS/John Goh</p>