Early last week, BRIDES.com published an article entitled Why You Shouldn’t Try to Book Your Guests’ Destination Wedding Travel. The title seemed innocuous enough. When I first read it, I thought it was suggesting that a bride and groom should not book travel for their guests—solid advice for the most part. But as I delved into it, it was anything but. The gist of the article was to leave your guests stranded and allow them to make the arrangements on their own. It was horrible, misguided advice, and boy did travel professionals let them know.
The article was written by Sandy Malone, who is a “Do-It-Yourself Consultant” (which seems like a contradiction of terms) and a Washington, DC-based wedding planner. But she also claims to handle the travel for destination weddings… so is the advice to “do it yourself”? I am pretty confused, as were many agents who took to the BRIDES Facebook page to voice their concern.
The Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association organized an effort to let BRIDES know. The Executive Director of DWHSA contacted BRIDES without a response (at this point). The group asked that interested agents post rebuttals to their Facebook page since the original article did not allow for comments. Feel free to add your own!
Some of the comments were very forthright:
The woman who wrote this article has done everything possible to disparage [sic] the value of travel agents. It’s a shame that Bride’s magazine has given her a platform to do so. I hope that Bride’s magazine isn’t counting on revenue from ad dollars from travel agents.
As a destination wedding professional who has worked with many Travel Agents, I find this article filled with incorrect information! Our job as a wedding planner is to get involved and coordinate for our clients! Working with a Travel Agent to establish Group contracts can save you Money & Headaches! I can go on and on! Brides Magazine, I’d consider modifying this article to provide truthful advice and tips!
A recipe for disaster! When you end up with some of your guests at the wrong resort (really happens!), not enough space at the resort for everyone you want there and everyone paying a different price, you will be stressed. Very stressed! And so will all your guests. Not to mention that because your guests did not book as a group you will not be eligible for any wedding group promotions or free wedding packages that the resort might offer. This is the worst advice I have ever seen!
We have a challenging industry for sure; and when someone with little to no knowledge presents herself as an expert, it does a lot of damage. But I might suggest that the damage done is not mostly inflicted upon legitimate travel professionals; but for the readers of BRIDES magazine that will take this advice as gospel. When we get something wrong, we correct it. Unfortunately, it does not look like BRIDES is looking for a correction. As a result, there are probably many brides casting their guests to the wind for their travel arrangements. Maybe they will arrive on time. Maybe they will arrive at the right resort. Maybe they will get on the property for free. Maybe their room rate will be the best rate. Maybe the bride will receive her perks. Or maybe not. Scratch that—likely not!