VENDOR SPOTLIGHT // The Travel Agent Next Door

Planning a honeymoon or a destination wedding can be extra stressful. With a lot more to be considered it is always best to consult an expert. On the blog today we are chatting with Dianne from The Travel Agent Next Door. She specializes in helping couples and families plan unforgettable vacations.

A short description of what you do: I connect and join couples together in some of the most beautiful settings in the world. I am your Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist that also specializes in romance, groups, wellness and adventure travel.

How long have you been working in the wedding industry? 4 years and I am always upgrading my certificates and learning to better serve my couples.

What makes your business unique? What separates me from other travel consultants? Weddings, honeymoons, and groups is my expertise, and I guarantee I can exceed your expectations. I will also ensure your precious travel dollars and hours are spent as wisely as possible!

I understand the importance of tiny details that contribute to this special day, and I will take care of all aspects to allow couples to relax, focus on each other, enjoy and celebrate this special day with style, elegance and grace with the ones you love.

I also have a free Honeymoon Registry that you can sign up for that can be shared to your wedding guests, bridal parties, Stag and Do’s. This can be used for Destination Wedding Packages, money toward your honeymoon, excursions, special meals, upgrades, etc, as well as a virtual wedding/honeymoon website to help you get more information or see that a specific destination.

Favourite part of your business? Building relationships with my couples and knowing I made their experience go as smoothly as possible by creating and planning with them exactly what they have been dreaming about. Also giving the couple a sense of security that all their guests including themselves will get to their destination and all travel arrangements are being looked after.

Who is your mentor/hero in the industry? (your own industry or the Niagara wedding industry) Being a member of Vineyard Bride has introduced me to some of the most talented wedding vendors in the Niagara Region and knowing I can contact them for other special services that can enhance the wedding experience for my couples in destination.

On your day off...where would we find you? When I'm not venturing off in the world for business, you can find me enjoying time with my partner in life and my two children who are also diagnosed with Autism. They are the center of my universe! I also love to dance and explore new hiking trails taking in the beauty of nature.

If you weren't a wedding vendor, what would be your dream job? Travel has always had a big impact on my life and I fully enrich my life through travel! I most likely would explore a career as a travel blogger.

What great wedding trends are you seeing this year? I am seeing that resorts and couples are throwing away traditions and customizing their weddings. The biggest trends for colours this year is Living Coral! Dainty bouquets resurfacing and large floral and greenery installations are on the rise. Destinations : Spain and Portugal are becoming widely popular for destination weddings.

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Do you have any practical advice for couples planning a wedding? Planning a destination wedding can be the best decision you ever make, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful if you don’t know what to expect. Here’s a good list of things you should when planning a destination wedding:

1. The most important thing is to work with a Travel Consultant that specializes in Destination Weddings and Honeymoons. They have inside knowledge of the resorts and destinations. We honestly work with you to create the experience you have been dreaming about and are there to handle all your travel arrangements along with your guests taking the stress off of you which gives you more time to focus on the wedding planning with your coordinator.

2. Do a site visit - most resorts will offer a discounted rate to visit the resort.

3. Stick to your budget.

4. Remember that sometimes less is more and don't over do it on decorations.

5. Be mindful of the destination's climate, especially when choosing a hairstyle and dress. Chiffon works great in hot tropical weather.

6. Negotiate with your resort wedding coordinator - you may get a few freebies added to your package.

7. Give your guests plenty of notice with save the dates, invitations. I recommend about 6-8 months before the departure.

9. Have a hair/makeup trial- your pictures and memories will last a lifetime so you want to be happy with your look. Your wedding day is not a time to experiment and hope for the best.

9. Have a backup - weather can be a factor and always good to have a plan B for those unexpected times.

10. Remember this is your day. Most couples are trying to please their family and guests and this is often the case where the couple will lose focus on what's really important to them. Do what your heart wants and the day will be filled with beautiful memories.