Idyllic beaches are part of Mexico’s lure. // © 2013 Thinkstock
Mexico destination weddings and honeymoons are on the rise as all-inclusive resorts make it easier for family and friends to participate, and great airlift makes it a breeze to fly in.
“Mexico is one of the hottest beach destinations for honeymoons and ranks number one for destination weddings right now with good reason,” said Jack E. Richards, president and CEO of Pleasant Holidays. “Travelers can enjoy idyllic beaches and superb cuisine, exceptional accommodations and service, enriching cultural experiences, pampering spas and world-class golf at all-inclusive resorts that make luxury affordable.”
According to Kelly Movchan, specialty sales supervisor at MLT Vacations, destination weddings have been trending in recent years.
“At MLT Vacations, we’ve seen the popularity of destination weddings rise 60 percent over the last five years,” said Movchan. “The biggest driver for our clients choosing Mexico is the choice of beautiful beach destinations. Another factor in choosing Mexico over the Caribbean is the price point — Mexico is less expensive than the Caribbean. Lift to Mexico is also very good year-round, which isn’t always the case in the Caribbean.”
Jim Tedesco, marketing director for Gogo Vacations, sees two major trends within the Mexico honeymoon market.
“One is that couples are more willing to take their honeymoon later in the year if it means they can save longer and take a nicer vacation together,” he said. “They are also more open to booking with an agent since they want everything to be perfect. This is an opportunity to wow them because we all know the honeymoon trip can turn into the one-year anniversary trip, which can then turn into the first family vacation.”
Tips for Getting It Right
Agents should keep in mind that while a Mexico honeymoon should be special as it is the first vacation the happy couple takes as husband and wife, it also comes at the tail end of the couple probably writing a lot of checks to cover wedding expenses.
“An agent’s first question should be when are clients looking to travel and what is their budget,” said Tedesco. “Next, ask if the couple has considered holding off their honeymoon until later in the year so they have some more money saved.”
Richards has some tips for agents booking honeymoon or destination wedding travel with Pleasant Holidays: Book all-inclusive resorts. Pleasant Holidays’ portfolio offers a variety of all-inclusive resorts in Mexico where everything is included upfront. There are no unpleasant surprises — a welcome change from the many unforeseen expenses encountered while planning the wedding. Odds are that clients have a picture in their mind of exactly what they want from their Mexico honeymoon or destination wedding, so have an archive of images that match the clients’ vision in order to make the sale. Book activities in advance — this ensures availability and increases commission income in the process.
Pleasant Holidays has a number of helpful tools for agents, including a tour operator tool on PleasantActivities.com that features real-time inventory and pricing for Mexico’s most popular attractions.
“Another thing agents should keep in mind is that Mexico requires a blood test four days prior to the wedding,” noted Movchan. “One solution we suggest is that a couple wed legally in the U.S. and then have a second wedding ceremony in Mexico.”
MLT Vacations is also a fan of all-inclusive resorts for destination weddings in Mexico.
“The beauty of an all-inclusive is that the whole party is at the same resort,” said Movchan. “We find the larger all-inclusive resorts in Mexico offer a destination wedding party flexibility in cost, since some participants may choose the higher-end accommodations, while others may choose the less expensive room categories.”
MLT Vacations has promo codes that make honeymoon and destination travel even more attractive. For example, when the wedding couple purchases a destination wedding package to Mexico with Delta Vacations Romance, they will receive a promotional code to forward to their friends and family. This code is valid for up to $200 in savings for each flight and hotel vacation, or hotel and ground transportation vacation, that they purchase to attend the wedding.