Honeymoon Dreams recently launched dedicated weddings brand Beach Weddings. TTG caught up with founder Lakh Hayer to find out more.
Honeymoon Dreams has added another H string to its bow.
Beach Weddings debuted on 1 August this year, specialising in long-haul nuptials.
Lakh Hayer, founder and managing director, explains the brand was born after the Honeymoon Dreams team saw an opportunity to offer a new USP.
“Lots of companies focus on Europe and it’s hard to find a [wedding] operator specialising in long-haul, which is what we do.”
Beach Weddings is the third brand for Hayer and his team and operates as a call centre based out of the company’s headquarters in Birmingham.
Overarching brand Honeymoon Dreams, an online business, was founded in 2009, with Birmingham-based travel agency Pure Destinations created in 2010, specialising in high-end luxury holidays.
It operates two Kuoni-partnered stores, and is looking to expand its retail network over 2020 and 2021.
Sales are up for Honeymoon Dreams, with the average booking rising from around £6,500 to more than £7,000 within the past year.
“There has been a 20% increase in sales in 2019, with a total of 7,672 enquiries, and our most popular destinations are the Maldives and Bali,” says Hayer.
In the wedding market, Hayer and his team have noticed that many couples no longer want a one-day event, instead opting for a wedding spanning several days, sometimes with an informal beach party on arrival.
Hayer is also seeing a new trend for UK-based Asians getting married abroad.
“Where they might have had a wedding for hundreds of people in the UK, they are instead taking 50 to 100 people overseas and having the whole celebration there.
“A recent example is a couple who had their wedding in Mauritius at Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa with a group of friends and family, followed by a honeymoon to the Seychelles and Dubai.”
While business is strong, running a weddings and honeymoons agency is not without its challenges.
“Customers are price-conscious due to online agencies and the ability to make quick price comparisons over the internet,” says Hayer.
His top tip for other agents selling weddings and honeymoons is to always check what’s included, making sure clients are happy with the level of all-inclusive on offer in a resort, for example.
Resorts that add extra touches, such as “fireworks and pre-wedding parties”, are always popular, he adds, helping their day feel extra-special.