As a wedding planner or travel advisor, have you ever been approached to plan a destination wedding and found yourself turning down the business because you didn’t know where to start?
Maybe you’ve had that happen several times, or maybe you get leads for destination weddings and hand them off to a travel professional you know who specializes in them.
If you’re reading this article, it is likely because you’re wondering, “How do I become a destination wedding specialist?” or “How the heck can I start benefiting from the destination wedding industry?”
Travel Advisor Specializing in Destination Weddings
Here’s the scoop… What I coach the members of my community to do is to partner with the right travel suppliers, resort brands, and host agency and you’re off to the races!
As a travel advisor who specializes in destination weddings, I have enjoyed amazing perks like travel for pennies on the dollar and 20K paydays. More than that, my family’s life changed. We were able to help our daughters graduate college without debt, retire my husband from his full-time teaching career so that he could work our business, and give thousands of dollars to ministries and charities… the list is endless.
Become a Destination Wedding Travel Agent
Let’s jump into what you need to do to get started as a travel advisor who does destination weddings.
STEP 1: Partner With a Host Agency
A host agency is basically the umbrella company an independent travel agent works underneath to have the credentials needed to sell travel, get higher commissions, and have access to tools to operate their business.
- Host agencies have partnerships with different travel suppliers in all areas of travel, offering you the ability to sell anything and everything in the world of travel the moment that you sign up with them.
- Host agencies have educational training available to help you learn more about how to book and manage travel.
- Some hosts will offer familiarization trips (fam trips) so that you can get more in-person experience and knowledge. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to Jamaica to work?
- Your host agency gives you the travel credentials needed to make money on the travel you sell, and because of their collective sales volume you will get the highest paid commissions and then there will be a commission split with your host. So, if you’ve ever wondered how travel agents get paid for destination weddings, now you know!
- Your goal in this business should be to eventually not have a host agency but to have your own travel credentials and high sales volume so you can make 100% of everything you sell.
STEP 2: Partner With a Travel Supplier
Working with the right travel supplier will make your life easier and allow you to have instant systems and processes to manage group travel.
- A travel supplier is a company you work with to book the wedding group/travel arrangements. They are your partners who will negotiate contracts with the resort, and they have a team of people available to help you through the process of managing a group as well as help with situations that could arise during travel.
- The travel suppliers I recommend my planners work with have technology available like a wedding group website. This allows the wedding guests to book and pay for their own trip, making your life easier and increasing the number of guests who will book with the group.
- It is vital to partner with a company that has your back and who values your business. Using a travel supplier instead of working directly with the resort will give you support during during-travel emergencies, changes to reservations, submitting requests that the wedding guests have, and more.
STEP 3: Partner With the Best Resort Brands
Partnering with a brand that values you as a travel advisor and takes good care of your clients is critical to the growth of your business.
Resort partnerships will determine how much money you make, how many perks you receive, and if you get referrals or repeat business, and planning the destination wedding will be easier for you and your wedding couple.
- Generally speaking, the couple will host their wedding at the resort. Good resorts have an amazing team in place that is responsive, helpful, and easy to work with. In the end, they make you look like a rock star which results in rave reviews, repeat, and referral business!
- Some resorts will offer a commission on the wedding itself… Woo-hoo! This means if your bride spends $25,000 on her wedding, you will earn 10% of that, giving you an extra $2,500 for recommending the resort.
- Resorts will have bonus commission opportunities and/or ways to earn free travel for yourself. You simply register the bookings and voila, you are earning perks to take your family on an unforgettable vacation or getting a bonus check so you can go buy that new designer handbag, or if you’re like me, use the bonus to pay for college tuition!
As you can imagine, there are other factors and things needed to add destination wedding services to your wedding or travel business, but this is an overview of the critical pieces needed to get the ball rolling so that the next time someone asks you, you can say, “Yes, I do destination weddings!”
While what I shared is geared more toward planning a wedding in The Caribbean, Mexico, or Costa Rica, it can be done for U.S.-based destination weddings as well. What I find is that weddings at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, The Caribbean, or Costa Rica pay the best and simply have the processes to make this super simple!
What amazes me about this business is truly how easy and inexpensive it is to start and do.
I hope this was helpful! Please stay connected and let me know how I can help you build your own thriving and successful destination wedding business!
Ready to start getting destination wedding leads?