Yesterday I went to a fabulous Celebrate Romance event sponsored by Destination Wedding & Honeymoons. It was at New York's Plaza Hotel (yes, its just like in Bride Wars) and there were dozens of representatives from luxury hotels and tropical destinations showing off their honeymoon and destination wedding offerings.
Randy from Say Yes to the Dress, Darcy from Martha Stewart Weddings and celebrity wedding cake designer Ron Ben-Israel were all in the house. Here's Ron about to cut one of his colorful creations with Susan Moynihan, editor in chief of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons.
After lunch, there was a "State of Romance Market" panel discussion where I learned about the latest trends in destination weddings and honeymoons. Here are some interesting findings from the Destination Weddings & Honeymoons reader survey:
- Despite the recession, destination wedding budgets are on the rise (up from $19,800 in 2006 to $20,600 in 2009).
- Destination couples marry sooner! Average engagement is 10.8 months vs. 14 months.
-Warm-weather locales top the list of wedding and honeymoon destinations. For international weddings, the Caribbean (51%) and Mexico (21%) are most popular while Florida (17%), Las Vegas (11%), Hawaii (9%) lead domestically.
- The average number of guests at a destination wedding is 48.
- More than half of destination couples pay for their own weddings.
- The average total honeymoon cost for destination couples is $8,200 vs $6,124 for traditional wedding couples.
- Honeymooners consider location (hello beachfront room!) and weather most important.
Stay tuned for some tropical destination wedding and honeymoon suggestions over the coming weeks...and be sure to visit Destination Weddings & Honeymoons for planning tips and ideas.