How to Avoid the Fyre Festival of Weddings
The Need For Accredited Destination Event Professionals
“We were promised a romantic getaway and full wedding service, including legal documents and our own private wedding coordinator at our beck and call…but the place resembled a rowdy 18 to 30’s resort with foam parties in the pool and women twerking on the bar. It resembled a 3-star hotel rather than a 5-star. The [resort’s] wedding planner that we had originally been liaising with had disappeared. It was sold to us as paradise, but in actual fact, it was a nightmare.”
Sound like a real life wedding horror story? That’s because it is.
An astonishing 1 in 10 couples have to cancel their wedding after being scammed, and 17 percent have been victim to a wedding-related scam,
according to a recent article by This Is Money.
This specific unfortunate couple recently shared their story with UK’s Mirror, detailing how their $60,000 dream destination wedding was actually a total disaster.
This couple is not alone in wanting a destination wedding experience, celebrating in a new locale where they can extend the festivities with their friends and family over multiple days for memories that everyone will surely remember.
In fact, 1 in 4 American couples are now opting for a destination wedding.
But what if you spend that $60,000, gather up your besties and fly across the world, or maybe just down the coast, for the big day...except you arrive to so-called ‘paradise’ to find drunken debauchery from the resort guests; a wedding service that was rushed and had to be stopped multiple times for interruption of overhead planes flying by; a reception with scarce food and rude hotel staff; and to top it all off, a marriage license that was improperly filled out, meaning your marriage wasn’t actually legally binding…
On the website, this particular couple’s Jamaican resort was listed as ‘perfect for your wedding day,’ all arranged by a travel agent and the resort’s onsite wedding coordinator.
And sadly, they’re not alone in believing what’s presented to them.
Approximately 1 in 5 Americans have been scammed or nearly scammed when booking a vacation or destination event online,
according to McAfee.
One of the biggest issues contributing to these scams are the lack of standardization in the destination wedding and events industry. Couples believe that travel agents or onsite wedding coordinators can manage the entire destination wedding process, and those professionals might honestly believe they can handle it as well.
But in actuality, travel agents are only responsible for getting you there. They can negotiate a group hotel rate, discounts on group air travel, score upgrades, and advise on luggage fees or passport and Visa requirements.
And then what? They often don’t correspond with the onsite wedding coordinator, who is usually not properly educated to handle luxury destination weddings and events.
Have they planned onsite activities for you and your guests? Did they arrange a pre-wedding site visit for you? Are they experienced with event logistics and management? Are they familiar with the legalities of your marriage and religious customs? Can they properly coordinate an operation of vendors, from photography to videography to florals to catering to event design and production to rentals and more?
The questions you need to ask are endless, as they might also double as the catering or banquet coordinator and not be familiar with unique experiential, and emotionally-invested, events.
Weddings are such a niche ballgame, there are so many details and foresight you need to be aware of for a smooth, successful multi-day destination wedding that is supposed to be the ultimate, joyous start to the beginning of you and your partner’s life coming together. So we recommend doing your due diligence and research on who you’re entrusting to plan, design and execute one of the most special days of your life.
Accredited destination wedding and event professionals such as LLG have years of qualified experience and countless successful case studies of handling such an important day. They are your safety deposit. They are your liaisons between the travel agents, the onsite wedding coordinators, the vendors, you, your guests, and more. They are the specialized experts who will be there every day leading up to, and throughout the entirety of your celebration - with the knowledge and background to ensure that if something goes astray, they’ll handle it before you even notice.
And if you can’t afford a destination event specialist?
Still do your research.