St. Lucia beats Barbados and New York to retain overseas wedding crown

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St Lucia is set to retain its position as the most popular destination for British couples choosing to marry abroad, according to data from leading luxury holiday company, Tropical Sky.

Tropical Sky’s 2012 bookings for overseas weddings so far indicate that 19% of ceremonies will be held in St. Lucia, closely followed by Barbados in second place at 18%. These two locations have held the top two spots since 2010, however, they are now facing increasing competition from other destinations.

Over the last decade, there have been a number of travel trends, including the reduction in the cost of long-haul travel, the rise of the ‘gap year’ (where students or graduates take a year out pre or post-University to travel around the world), and the increased popularity and accessibility of tropical ‘all-inclusive’ holidays. The combined effect of these trends is that many engaged couples booking an overseas wedding in 2012 will have already visited a number of the ‘traditional’ tropical holiday destinations that would, until recently, have been on their wedding shortlist.

The growth of ‘off the beaten track’ locations
These well-travelled couples are naturally getting more adventurous; not wanting to revisit a location they’ve already tried, they’re casting the net wider in their search for something a little more unusual for their wedding destination. The result is that destinations which until very recently would have been considered too far ‘off the beaten track’, such as Cuba, Sri Lanka or even Zanzibar, are making it onto that wedding shortlist today.

However, a recent climber in Tropical Sky’s top five destinations proves that ‘unusual’ or ‘unique’ doesn’t have to literally mean ‘off the beaten track’: New York has climbed from number four in the list for the past few years, to number three in 2012. This year, New York is only a few points below Barbados (beating Vegas hands down, incidentally), and could potentially be in a position to challenge for second place in the last few months of the year. Perhaps all those films in recent years, featuring weddings in New York (Sex and the City and Bridewars, to name just two), have inspired UK couples to make the movie dream into a reality.

Fred Harrison, product development manager at Tropical Sky, said: “I am delighted that St Lucia has retained its crown as the most popular wedding destination as it’s a personal favourite of mine. The diverse choice of hotels and wedding venues - combined with outstanding value for money and free wedding offers - makes St Lucia the ideal tropical wedding location for couples, families and wedding groups.

“I also have a long-standing love affair with New York so it’s very encouraging to see couples are choosing more independent locations for their wedding abroad. With a choice of many venues and exciting locations in and around New York, including Central Park, the famous World Yacht dinner cruise and skyscraper weddings, there’s certainly something different for everyone.”

‘Traditional’ vs. ‘trailblazing’
In 2012, couples marrying overseas seem to fall into one of two camps: on the one hand, you have the ‘traditionalists’ who are looking for a romantic, tropical setting against which to frame their day, complete with the flower-decked gazebo, white sands, blue skies and clear blue seas. On the other hand are the ‘trailblazers’: couples who are seeking something a bit more unique and unusual for their big day, in the hope that they can be the first in their circle to ‘claim’ a specific destination.

In many ways these two approaches to wedding planning can be seen in the choices made by couples who choose to marry in the UK too: those choosing a more traditional white wedding vs. those choosing a more eclectic, personalised day. Whether marrying at home, or abroad, the personality of the couple will always show through on the day.
To learn more about overseas wedding venues, visit http://www.tropicalsky.co.uk

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

Statistics in this press release are based on destinations serviced by Tropical Sky only.

Tropical Sky is a luxury holiday travel company with a difference. The company offers the best service and advice possible to create tailor-made trips that exceed expectations.

Contact details:
Tropical Sky
Kings House,
First Floor North,
13/21 Cantelupe Road,
East Grinstead,
West Sussex RH19 3BE
Telephone: 0843 636 4575
Email: info(at)tropicalsky(dot)co(dot)uk
http://www.tropicalsky.co.uk

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