Special Agents for a Special Day

Travel agents have a lot to gain by working on destination weddings By: Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro

One of the good things about being a travel agent is that you get to be a part of your clients’ happiest moments. That may be grandparents bringing the whole family along on a trip of a lifetime, or family members flying in from all corners of the globe for a reunion. Whatever the situation, agents often really do get to make dreams come true. 

One type of event that belongs at the top of this feel-good list is the destination wedding. As you’ll read in this issue’s cover story, “Love at First Site” (page 14), more couples are choosing to have a destination wedding than ever before, and with the cost of weddings surging, not only are destination weddings a privilege to help plan — they can be very profitable for agents.

What’s more, this type of wedding appears to be very resilient.

“Since Sept. 11, one of the segments of travel that never seems to get hit hard — even through the toughest economic times — is romance,” says Lisa Sheldon, a travel agent and wedding specialist mentioned in the cover story. “Honeymoons and destination weddings seem to weather every storm.”

And just as other types of travel have seen an evolution toward more personalized, unique and authentic experiences, weddings have undergone a similar transformation. Couples don’t want to feel like they are getting married at a “wedding factory” with cookie-cutter options. Instead, they want to be in control of every element and personalize the event to their specifications. For agents, this situation is both a benefit and a challenge. While agents may earn higher commissions, they will need to put in the extra legwork to make sure the couple feels their concerns are being heard. 

Fortunately, success with a destination wedding often means higher commissions in the short term, as well as future business from referrals and from the newlyweds as they grow old together. And seeing these couples mature and start families of their own is yet another perk for agents.