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Inaugural Caribbean Wedding Industry Awards starts tomorrow

Observer West writer

Thursday, September 06, 2018


ROSE HALL, St James — The inaugural staging of the Caribbean Wedding Industry Awards is set to attract scores of international wedding planners and travel agents during the three-day Caribbean-wide educational symposium and awards event.

The Montego Bay Convention Centre is to be the epicentre of the event, which starts tomorrow with a cocktail reception at the Rose Hall Great House, and continues to Sunday. On Saturday the opening ceremony, a luncheon, and the first day of conferences, and the expo take place.

The expo and conference activities wrap up on Sunday also at the centre, and will be followed by the awards dinner at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in St James.

The initiative seeks primarily to educate hundreds of travel agents and wedding planners about the region's unique romance wedding and honeymoon offerings. It will also enable Caribbean resorts and destinations to showcase all their romance travel offerings to the overseas wedding planners and travel agents who book weddings and honeymoons for the Caribbean.

The expo segment features daily entertainment and booths, showcasing boutique hotels, all-inclusive hotels, florists, caterers, photographers, wedding planners, transportation services, honeymoon packages, reception sites, disc jockeys, invitations, party rentals, hair and make-up, wedding cakes and other players in the wedding market providing goods and services.

Another key feature of the event is the seasoned cadre of speakers including both local and international experts in their respective fields.

Speakers on the agenda include Jacqueline Vazquez, international master wedding planner, Jeff Hendlin, publisher of Bridal Guide Magazine, Marsha -Ann Brown, director of weddings and romance at Sandals Resorts International, Ophelia McKnight, destination wedding expert and Paulette Hossman, managing director at Tai Flora Services.

The event is a collaborative effort and is being produced by Peter Shoucair and Jo-Anne Paxton as well as the Jamaica Tourist Board.

Paxton explained the importance and the concept behind the event.

“Presenters include some of the world's top wedding- travel experts, with speakers from The Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist Association, and The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. The idea is not only to educate travel sellers and make it easier for them to work with their bridal couples, but also to enable resorts and destinations from across the Caribbean to meet with agents and wedding planners, in a bid to promote their romance offerings, and to give the agents a first-hand look at the latest trends they'll be seeing, as the entire Caribbean opens its arms to newly weds and their wedding guests,” said Paxton.