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Destination Hotels & Resorts Reveals 2013 Wedding Trends as Observed by its Properties

Englewood, Colo. – March, 2013 – Destination Hotels & Resorts, the country’s fourth largest hospitality management company, today announced the findings of a recent survey of top wedding planners in the portfolio’s collection of more than 40 properties from coast to coast. The survey revealed some of 2012’s most popular wedding trends, and provided keen insight as to what wedding planners and couples can anticipate for 2013.  
“In total, the Destination Wedding Collection hosted more than 1,600 weddings in 2012 – including those in some of the nation’s most sought-after beach, mountain and city locales.  This was a 10 percent increase in the number of weddings from 2011,” said Maureen Callahan, vice president of marketing for Destination Hotels & Resorts.
Overall, the inaugural survey of nearly 30 of Destination’s wedding specialists indicated the most important considerations in selecting a wedding venue are budget, location and availability of outdoor space, with the least important considerations identified as incentive programs, privacy and spa offerings.  Additionally, the survey revealed an anticipated increase in GLBT weddings in 2013 and a shortening of the traditional six to 12 month lead time for ceremonies. Numbers also supported an expected increase in drive-market weddings.
The survey also yielded five key trends for 2013 - and five fads on the way out.
  • In: Quality Over Quantity. While budgets are up compared to 2011, they’ve been redirected compared to years past. “We anticipate small party weddings (50 guests or less) to rise in the next year,” said Jena Dyches of Skamania Lodge. “Couples are spending more on personalizing the individual elements of the reception, rather than on accommodating large groups,” she continued. The average cost per person the portfolio saw in 2012 was approximately $120/per person.
Out: Large Bridal Parties. Echoing the sentiments of quality over quantity, planners expect bridal parties to shrink as well in 2013. “The days of matching dresses and large bridal parties are shifting; smaller parties and bridesmaids choosing their own dress style and even color are becoming more common,” says Abbey Arp of MileNorth Hotel.
  • In: Foodie Fever. The focus on customized food and beverage offerings at weddings was at an all time high in 2012.  While the cost of food within hotels and resorts remained relatively flat for the year, culinary offerings were an area most couples invested in heavily. “Couples are focused on food they love and sharing it with their guests, for an intimate dinner party feel,” said Kimberly Baez of Terranea Resort. From food trucks to gluten free menus, there was a broad variety of dishes served in 2012 reaffirming the importance of a thoughtful, personalized menu for couples and their guests.
Out: Chicken or Fish. Planners are seeing menus without limitations. “We’re seeing a little bit of everything – multiple courses with wine pairings, plated dinners, breakfast for dinner, tapas, cultural dishes, kosher, family-style meals, but each is carefully selected and seems to have a meaning to the couples, their friends and families,” says Baez.
  • In: #GettingHitched. Social media engagement is increasingly becoming a key factor in wedding planning. In addition to the Pinterest phenomenon, couples are incorporating numerous social elements into their wedding. “We’ve had a lot of couples “hashtag” their weddings, making all of the online posts, images and uploads easily available post-ceremony,” says Julie Arroyo of Paradise Point. “This is making it very important for our staff to be up-to-date and savvy on the latest social media trends,” she continued.
Out: Weddings without WiFi. #Obvi. While photo booths were hot in 2011 and 2012, brides are now turning to programs like Snapgram and Instagram to do the photo sharing work, all they have to do is provide the flare.
  • In: Breaking a Few Traditions. Another trend that emerged in 2012, anticipated to really take off in 2013 is the drift away from the traditional elements seen in decades past. “It’s no longer a “faux pas” to have a Friday wedding or open seating,” explained Calais Van Horn of Stowe Mountain Lodge. “We’re getting more and more requests for off-peak times, evening ceremonies and welcome receptions replacing formal rehearsal dinners,” Van Horn said.
Out: The garter and bouquet toss. “We’ve been seeing this trend rapidly decline over the past few years but it was almost non-existent in 2012, and don’t expect it to return in 2013,” says Pam Sparks of Valley River Inn.
  • (Still) In: Channeling Martha Stewart. The DIY trend is not going away any time soon. The survey indicates 90% of weddings that took place among the portfolio’s properties in 2012 had several handmade or homemade, Pinterest-inspired elements. Menus, take-away gifts, centerpieces, bridal bouquets and even desserts are increasingly being “made with love” rather than ordered.
Out: Anything Uninspired. If you’re a bride-to-be, it’s all about creating a personalized affair.
For additional trends, packages, honeymoon offers and advice from the experts in the Destination Hotels & Resorts Wedding Collection, a portfolio of exceptional properties offering diverse settings for unforgettable wedding celebrations and honeymoons across the country, please visit:

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About Destination Hotels & Resorts
Destination Hotels & Resorts is a privately held hospitality management company headquartered in Colorado. With 40 independent, luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and golf clubs, Destination is the fourth largest hospitality management company in the country. The company’s portfolio features more than 9,200 guest rooms, 18 golf courses and 16 full-service spas. Destination Hotels & Resorts properties are located in key metropolitan and resort markets including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Aspen, Lake Tahoe, Seattle, Denver, Austin and San Diego. The company is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based investment, development and management firm Lowe Enterprises and the Lowe Hospitality Group.
For a complete list of properties in the Destination Hotels & Resorts collection, please visit


Ashley D Cothran
Turner PR
44 Cook Street, Suite 650
Denver, CO 80206

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Also See:
Curious About Meetings Trends for 2013? Destination Hotels & Resorts Releases its 'State of the Meetings Industry' Survey Results; Location, Location, Location Tops the List / October 2012


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