What does a Honeymoon and Destination Wedding Specialist do anyway? A lot of couples that we meet have this exact question from the start.
With many of our couples growing up using the internet and so many travel sites out there today, you are probably asking why do you need a planner/agent/consultant (whatever term you want to use, we prefer consultant)? Or even, what is a travel consultant? And what can we do for you that you can’t do for yourself?
You have questions and we want to answer those. Let’s start with the “why” and the “what” to help give you more insight?
From this point on I’ll talk specifically about how we at Honeymoons Designed operate, and cannot comment on others in the travel industry.
“Why” do you need a travel consultant?
1. We aren’t saying that everyone needs to work with a travel consultant, or even wants to. Some love doing hours of research on their own and completing a simple transaction with an online travel site. For the very simple itineraries it can be fairly easy to do if you know what you want, don’t have specific questions, are confident in your choice and trust your travel plans to the site you are booking with.
2. Then there are those more complex itineraries that can drive you absolutely batty trying to put together, understand what is available, how to get there, the logistics once you arrive, how the options available are different and the pros/cons of each. Or if you aren’t sure which destination would fit you best and how it relates to the type of experience you want. And there are some who don’t have time, want the security of knowing they have a professional on their side, and want to know that every detail is taken care of for them. These are the couples that should work with a professional.
3. This special “vacation” is probably the more important one you will ever take in your entire life. Whether you want to admit it or not, it is. It’s your honeymoon, not a regular vacation. You don’t want to be dealing with last minutes changes/cancellation, etc. the day of or day before your wedding do you? Or come home with some lame pictures of a so-so hotel and ugly beach, that looked gorgeous on their website, or some horror story to tell your friends and family. AND what do you want to tell your children? Years from today, I want you to be just as excited to go through pictures with your children and tell them your story, as you were when you had the actual experience.
What is it that we do, and how does that help you?
1. First, you need to be comfortable with what we do, the services we offer and trust that we are your advocate. This is YOUR honeymoon (or destination wedding) not ours, and if you don’t trust our personal experience, expertise and recommendations, then we probably shouldn’t be working together. I don’t mean to offend, just being honest. That is what the initial consultation is for. Let’s get to know each other and determine if we are a good fit to work together. Don’t you do this with you other wedding professionals?
2. Second, we want to make your experience unique and not like Amy & Joe who just honeymooned in Mexico, or Mary & Ed who honeymooned in Jamaica. I am not saying there is anything wrong with those destinations. They are very popular and will continue to be for many years, however, you want your “own” honeymoon and not someone else’s. Every itinerary that we create is customized for you.
3. Just like websites, hotels, and destinations are not all the same, neither are travel consultants. Honeymoons Designed is not a simple “order taker”. We are not here to conduct a simple transaction via a phone call or quick click of the mouse. Anyone can do that with the stroke of some keys and a credit card to pay. For us, it’s all about creating (or designing) your complete travel experience. It starts with us getting to know you as a couple, your likes, dislikes, wants and needs, and matching those along with your personalities to the right destination, the right resort, the right room type (or category as well call it). We ask a lot of questions from the start. Why? How else can we understand what is important to you?
4. How do we know what to recommend? There is nothing better than real-life experience. We travel to various destinations each and every year, physically, not virtually. We stay at various resorts, participate in local activities, get to know the area and surroundings, meet with hotel staff and build very valuable relationships with them. We tour many, many properties during our visits, sample the dining, explore the rooms/suites and different types available, take note of their location, view, and what amenities are included, what the resort grounds look like, the layout of the resort, quality of the beach and ocean, activities included with your stay, etc. So many little details that you could not possibly discover via a Google search or via pictures. The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is still true, but a photoshopped or enhanced picture says more words than it should. There is NO better way than to see something in person, and that is WHY we do this, to ensure resorts live up to the standards we (and our couples) expect.
There are many, many more items that we do to help our clients. Too many to list here. I hope the above helps to clear up some of your questions. You may have more as it’s impossible to address everything in a blog post. Feel free to contact me to learn more and get started designing your amazing adventure and Happily Ever After.
Stephanie Cannon is a Honeymoon and Destination Wedding Specialist in Oklahoma. She offers a unique service in assisting busy couples arrange their ideal honeymoon by collaborating to design the perfect match for each couples’ wants, needs, lifestyle, personal interests and budget. Honeymoons Designed believes in offering a very personalized client experience and goes miles beyond the faceless, voiceless internet sites.
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Stephanie is an avid world traveler. Eager to assist others in exploring the world as a local using insider tips. Always looking for that perfect option for the couples she works with, Stephanie is very detail oriented and devotes her attention to ensuring your travel experience is one of a kind, each and every time!