With all the stress of wedding planning, it’s easy to make planning the honeymoon the last thing on the wedding list. But it’s not the time to procrastinate.
Cruises are a popular choice for honeymooners because they combine plenty of shipboard activities with exotic destinations. They are ideally booked six to nine months in advance, according to Nancy Yoffe, owner of Cruise Planners travel agency in Spartanburg. Read more…
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Hawaii is getting a big chunk out of the $8.2 billion honeymoon business. According to a recent study, Bride’s Magazine reports that newlyweds who escape to Hawaii right after their nuptials stay longer and spend more than other newlyweds who go to other honeymoon destinations. Bride’s Magazine is a publication for soon-to-be brides.
“Especially in a softer economy, anyone seeking to attract the leisure travel sector must identify and target honeymooners as consumers who are guaranteed travelers:’ says Nina Lawrence, the magazine publisher.
Of the more than 2.4 million couples who plan to marry this year, 16 percent will spend their honeymoon in Hawaii, placing the islands second as a desired honeymoon destination right behind the Caribbean, which garnered 25 percent of the votes.
The magazine’s survey found couples stay in the islands an average of 10 days, which is 27 percent longer than the average honeymoon stay of 7.8 days. Also, honeymooners here spend $5,028, or 35 percent more than couples at other destinations.
In comparison to leisure travelers, honeymooners stay 200 percent longer than the average 3.4 days and spend 586 percent more than the average of $885. The newlyweds also visit multiple islands; Maui and Kauai were their top picks, according to the survey.
Year to date, according to the state Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, 77,000 newlyweds came to Hawaii, 37,728 from west of the Rockies and 39,279 from east of the Rockies.
Besides a place to come for a honeymoon, Hawaii’s reputation as a destination wedding place is also growing. Hawaii ranked No. 1 as a destination for weddings with an average guest list of 46 family and friends.
“We are very busy,” says Howie Welfeld, president of A Ala Aloha Above Heaven’s Gate, which specializes in weddings. Welfeld, who is a nondenominational national minister, has been performing weddings for the past 25 years and says business has been steady.
Most of his clients are from the mainland and Canada who come here to exchange their vows in a private, serene setting off the beaten path, Welfeld’s specialty. Weddings cost from $65 to $2,000 – a mere fraction of a regular church wedding with a reception – including a photographer, flowers, video production and limousine service.
Most of the weddings are quaint and not the run-of-the mill weddings, he says.
“We only do one wedding a day, unlike most companies that stack them [weddings],” he says. “We stay away from very popular places like Diamond Head Beach Park where it’s a production [and] you wait in line.”