Altar Alternatives

Speaking of Instagram-worthy weddings, does social media really have that much of an impact on millennial destination weddings?

"Big time," Wiseman said. "Many agents get their leads from referrals and testimonials from other brides. Social media also helps direct brides to the new hot spots and creates the buzz that helps to sell the wedding. Word-of-mouth has become even more powerful with the exponential influence of social media, and reviews and user-generated content from one couple can easily spread like wildfire and even go viral."

Millennials want their destination weddings to create buzz, which is where social media plays an oversize role.

Ivy Jacobson, senior editor at the Knot, said there are several reasons that destination weddings offer "huge social media opportunities."

"The location and scenery is gorgeous, and guests will want to document the event on social media the whole time they're there," Jacobson said. "And having a hashtag is a must."

Photography becomes even more important in millennial destination weddings, as these clients want to share studio-quality photographs in real time, not wait for a photo album to emerge months later.

Screen grabs of the Veri by the Knot photo-sharing app.
Screen grabs of the Veri by the Knot photo-sharing app.

"Most of the weddings I've worked on have been really captured uniquely through their photographer," Lockard-Furry said. "Usually a photographer is flown down with them and captures the whole trip, not just the wedding."

Since photo sharing has become one of the largest parts of weddings, many millennial couples are urging destination wedding attendees, and even those who might not be able to attend, to download Veri, a photo-sharing app focused on weddings and events that automatically shares photos from the user's mobile device.

Destination weddings mean that inevitably some guests will not be able to travel, so it's important to be able to set up live streaming video of the ceremony.

Wiseman called out Breathless and Secrets resorts as being two top brands for social media bragging rights, when it comes to millennial destination weddings.

"The first as an exhilarating hot spot, and the second as a romantic luxury one," he said. "Both feature contemporary decor throughout all their properties and high-tech features, which further appeal to this demographic."

Mexico's Unico 20.87 hotel also gets a good amount of social media chatter, thanks to its free spa treatments and to the locally influenced details woven into its modern style. It has become quite popular very quickly, especially for destination weddings.

Poling agreed that social media plays a big part for millennials.

"Other social elements include the creation of personalized Snapchat filters, live-streaming the wedding for those who can't attend to tune in and having photo/GIF booths on-site for guests to instantly post photos to their social platforms," Poling said. "It's all about authenticity and capturing moments in real time."

Source : http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Travel-Agent-Issues/Altar-Alternatives-How-millennials-are-changing-destination-weddings

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