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DESTINATION WEDDING SPOTLIGHTS VERSATILITY AND DIVERSE OFFERINGS
Monday 4th July 2011

Love was in the air, at the Blue Waters Resort last Saturday, the venue of the second destination wedding, staged as part of the 2011 Destination Romance promotions. 

Rain showers signaled new beginnings as Daphne Hoytt, a Senior Vice President at a major PR firm and Ralph Dickerson, an investment banker, exchanged nuptials at the Cove Restaurant. Wedding guests were not deterred by inclement weather as the staff at Blue Waters had to relocate the grand beachside event to an indoor setting.

The NY based couple who were introduced to the destination by Tourism Ambassador Michael Warner of Egami Consulting said, “We fell in love with the beauty of the island, the accessibility from the United States and made two trips to the destination to plan our dream wedding and coordinate an exciting itinerary for our guests,” said Daphne Hoyt.

They couple was joined by 50 family members and friends from various cities across the United States, who utilized convenient air lift options that make the Antigua and Barbuda easily accessible. Most guests gave favorable feedback about their maiden voyage to the destination and they had the opportunity to enjoy sightseeing and adventure tours, restaurants, night life, casinos and other attractions.

Derede Samuel Whitlock, Director of Tourism for the United States said" They say love builds bridges and this wedding  turned into a reunion, attracting the largest number of guests to date, as many took advantage of the 4th of July holiday weekend to make this a mini vacation.  The cross section of guests, including children and grandparents, found accommodations and attractions that matched their budgets and tastes.  This year’s promotion showcased the versatility of the destination as a wedding venue that also appeals to families and larger groups. Guests raved about the friendliness of the people, magnificent beaches, music and culture that they discovered here.”

This romantic affair exuded the essence of Antigua and Barbuda with most wedding resources provided by local vendors. Legendary musician, Victor “Babu” Samuel provided accompaniment on the steel pan and Shermain Jeremy serenaded the couple. 
Wedding bands were provided by Colombian Emeralds, photography by Laune Isaac, flowers by Exotic Flowers, hair and make-up by Mingles and music by DJ No Limit. Marriage Officer Ms. Carol Ann Skepple officiated the ceremony and the promotion was supported by the Ministry of Tourism, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) and other key stakeholders.

Now in its fifth year, the wedding will be featured in two US publications, a number of online blogs, and future destination campaigns.  Some 16 percent of all marriages in the US are celebrated with destination weddings, accounting for $16 billion in annual spending.  The average budget for a destination wedding is $20,600 with an average of 48 guests.

Antigua and Barbuda’s is competitively positioned in the wedding and honeymoon market with no residency requirement to get married, unique settings and themes as well as special promotions, including the Barbuda Moons Romance Package. With two islands to choose from, couples can get married on one island and honeymoon on the other.


 


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