How the Annual Destination Wedding Planners Congress Marries Business With Pleasure

Author: Casey Gale       

Illustration by Carmen Segovia

Planning a wedding is complicated enough, but layering on the logistics of a destination wedding — which one in four couples choose — can add to the prenuptial jitters. Enter destination wedding planners, who help couples navigate every detail of their celebration. Planners in turn learn how to master their trade at the Annual Destination Wedding Planners Congress (DWP). Approximately 500 of these “wedding connoisseurs” from 75-plus countries are expected to attend the 7th annual convention in Rhodes, Greece, this April, marking a return to the country that hosted the inaugural DWP in Athens in 2014.

A Match Made in Heaven

DWP delegates cover all aspects of the $300-billion industry, including planning firm owners and creative suppliers like AV companies and photographers to hoteliers, luxury brands, and private islands.

“Each year, destinations from all over the world, especially with a focus on promoting their destination or venue for luxury destination weddings, bid to host DWP,” said Lisa Viegas, director of MICE and luxury travel series at Dubai-based QnA International LLC, a global B2B event organizer. “With its charming old town, long and beautiful beaches, and 300 days of sunshine … the island of Rhodes proved to be the perfect choice as a host destination.”

All Business and Some Play

This year the event will launch DWP BIZ, an educational track with sessions and master classes to help “elevate attendees’ businesses to the next level,” according to Viegas. DWP BIZ is also what’s behind the event’s prescheduled B2B meetings — more than 5,000 appointments and 30 hours of networking are packed into the three-day program.

“Our entire team gets involved in each and every aspect of organizing this platform and personalizing the experience for each attendee,” she said. “DWP has perfected the balance between pre-scheduled meetings between suppliers/exhibitors and wedding planners, shared networking experiences, lavish dinners, and memorable parties.”

Sounds like they know how to marry business with pleasure.

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