Travel insights from Blythe Weston and Wayne Taylor, co-founders of Tropical Bliss Weddings

Destination Wedding Secrets from Tropical Bliss Weddings

Is there any better way to learn than to hear directly from your peers in the industry? Hear from Blythe Weston and Wayne Taylor, co-founders of Tropical Bliss Weddings, on their experience starting their destination wedding agency earlier this year – before everything changed.

How long have you been in the destination wedding business?

We actually started our destination wedding business in January 2020. We have done extensive advertising and began gearing up for a huge launch when…you guessed it…COVID hit! Our first bridal show in April and was cancelled along with the fact that all travel had completely come to a halt.

How did you get into destination weddings?

My fiancée and business partner has been in the travel industry for over five years. He and I have wanted to expand our business and with his expertise in travel and my extensive knowledge of interior design and creating budgets, it was a no brainer to move into the destination wedding niche.

How does a destination wedding differ from a regular booking?

Destination weddings are considered a group booking; this means than instead of just one or two guests or rooms reserved, there are more rooms reserved together during the same booking timeframe. A typical destination wedding booking has room blocks between 30-70 rooms depending on the guest size and budget of the bride and groom. Destination weddings are considered basically planning an away-from-home wedding which the bride and groom invite their closest family and friends to an ideal location and make the celebration event a semi-vacation and honeymoon all in one!

What advice do you have for an experienced travel advisor who wants to get into destination weddings?

Our advice is to be diligent, organized and communication is key! You have heard horror stories about working with “bridezillas “in the overall wedding industry…our approach is having direct, open and continuous communication to ensure no detail is left behind and therefore no one is upset throughout the entire planning process. We have a detailed destination wedding checklist and check-in sessions every month to make sure everyone is on the same page. I set up a private Pinterest board for the bride and me to collaborate the vision of how her perfect day will be. We also have a custom Facebook wedding page for each wedding we do so all the guests can access us to answer any questions every step of the way. We also have a custom bride and groom website that allows their guests 100% access to all resort information and booking details. Wayne uses a trip booking software that also organizes and streamlines to make the deposits and final payments easy to monitor for the bride and the groom and their guests.

What is one of the most memorable wedding moments you’ve helped plan?

The most memorable wedding moment we have had so far was helping plan our couple’s destination wedding in Jamaica who, despite COVID, has been very optimistic and understanding while the resorts are mostly still in lockdown and or have had to furlough their employees due to COVID. PATIENCE has been key during these unprecedented times in the travel industry. We have had a wonderful time picking the décor and wedding details with our wedding coordinator at the Sandals resort in Jamaica virtually! Sandals has a new virtual wedding planning experience. This allows us to have a face-to-face interactive call with the resort wedding planner. The wedding planner pulls all of our décor, table settings, etc. we have selected and puts it together for us to see virtually. This allows us to actually see the bride’s selections make sure the bride is happy with everything! This is a plus to COVID and I hope Sandals will continue this experience even after COVID has been eradicated! As a designer, I know the importance of seeing everything pulled together and not being able to see that because of a destination wedding is a downside for some of our brides.

What is your favorite international wedding destination and why?

Our favorite international wedding destination is ST. LUCIA! It is on our top travel destinations list for all travel, especially weddings and honeymoons! It is such a magically peaceful place. Set in the middle of the Caribbean with the Teton Mountains gives Hawaii a run for its money with its lush picturesque background.

What is your favorite domestic wedding destination and why?

We do not offer domestic wedding destinations at this time….Our name is Tropical Bliss for a reason…love begins in a tropical paradise! We want our brides and grooms to experience the ease and value of a destination wedding and start FOREVER BEGINS with TROPICAL BLISS in a beautiful far away location.

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