James Whitaker Travel Designers Agent Insight

A perfect match: find the ideal destination wedding for your clients

James Whitaker-Sheppard of Travel Designers shares his valuable insights on organising destination weddings. 

Throughout my travel career, destination weddings and honeymoons have become a speciality. I have been attending local and national wedding shows for almost ten years, meeting newly engaged couples and helping them find either the perfect wedding abroad or dream honeymoon − and I absolutely love it. These trips are no ordinary holidays. They are hugely important milestone occasions in people’s lives so the pressure is on to get it right.

When it comes to marrying abroad, I quickly try to establish just how ‘Bridezilla’ the couple, or one of the couple, can be.

My advice would be that for those that want to be involved in every single, tiny detail, then marrying abroad may not be the right thing for them. I find the beauty in marrying while on holiday is taking the stress out of everything by letting someone else take care of the details.

With a destination wedding, you typically will be marrying in beautiful scenery, and all you really need to worry about, most of the time, is booking the right package, and letting us, the agents, sort out the legal side of things with the tour operator − then all the customer has to do is simply turn up and tie the knot!

I have organised some wonderfully picturesque weddings, from getting hitched on safari in Kenya, to marrying on a Thai beach after sorting the legalities in Bangkok, to pretty much all the Caribbean islands, to Mexico, to New York and beyond.

There are some wonderful packages out there to suit all budgets and group sizes. Agents just need be sure to go through the right tour operator with a wedding specialist team. You don’t want to be lumbered with working out every legal detail − there are companies who can do this for the happy couple.

My preferred wedding partners include If Only…, Beachcomber Tours and Kuoni.

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