Destination Weddings around the World by Lana Olifer of Lana Wedding Planner

Destination Weddings around the World by Lana Olifer of Lana Wedding Planner

Hear what Lana has to say about Weddings in Dubai, Turkey and more Middle Eastern

Your favourite top 3 destinations for weddings and why?

It is really a difficult question for me, as we offer a lot of destinations. Believe me, all of them are unique in its own way and every time I go to one or another destination I cannot get enough of it. Each country is so different in its culture, traditions, service and experience that you can gain if you plan your wedding abroad. I am in love with all 16 destinations. But if we speak about my favourite (at this moment) ones that can be seen attractive and suitable to host an Indian wedding I would highlight Dubai, Turkey and Malaysia, based on the requirements which Indian couples may have and what they may expect.

Before diving deeper into each destination I would like to underline that before choosing a wedding destination couples should think what they like, what they expect and what their guests got used to and what they will expect. In other words a cultural and social background plays a huge and very important role as not all destinations can satisfy simple requirements that are present in one culture but absent and sadly cannot be implemented in another.

Dubai is a place where every wish & desire can come true and the word No does not exist towards the clients command at all. Yes, it is absolutely expensive destination but this is the only city so far where personally I as a client experienced the highest level of service. And in wedding & event industry this criterion is very important as each bride wants to have the best and to be the best on her wedding day. Dubai allows this to the maximum. All you need to have is fat budget. Dubai is very familiar with Indian culture, traditions & culinary, all guests will feel very satisfied, and the couple will not face any cultural obstacles.

Turkey - I have 2 things here to share:

1) their resorts system all inclusive can spoil anyone: your guests can eat & drink 24/7 and you dont worry about feeding them and entertaining apart wedding functions. Resorts have kids club that work from 9 am till 9 pm - parents can party and their kids will be taken care by professional nannies.

2) entertainment - the most incredible, mind blowing, stunning entertainment I saw only in Turkey. So far for me this country is number 1 in this category. Big plus is the cost too - in Turkey if to compare to other top world destinations you can get much more at the same budget than you can get in Italy, Spain, Monaco or Dubai, for instance. For our clients (who are residents in Dubai but maybe of different Arabic & Asian nationalities) after Dubai I recommend Turkey because only in this country you will find food & service similar to Dubai but in a bit simpler way. And I must say that all residents of Dubai are so much spoilt and its not easy to find the substitute to the best.

Malaysia - I discovered Malaysia 2 years ago and in January 2020 we successfully had Indian-Lebanese wedding on Langkawi Island (considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world). As you may know there is a special Malaysian race who are called Malaysian Indians who are aware and keep all Indian traditions. There was no need for us to explain our local vendors what Sangeet or Baraat ceremonies are, we did not face any issue with hiring dohl drummers, henna designers or choosing and changing menu into Indian dishes. Malaysian/asian area is famous for extraordinary hospitality that is felt in every single detail. In Malayisa I can recommend such areas as: Langkawi, Penang and Sabah.

Given the current scenario - can you select some unheard places in the EU for the future destination weddings in 2020/2021 , considering the fact that the mainstream Italy, France, Spain will take some time to hear from Covid 19.

I have the guess that those countries in EU that just start to be known as world wedding destinations will grow quicker and bigger now in 2020/2021. Such countries as: Georgia, Croatia, Cyprus.

Do you think there will be a shift in paradigm when it comes to choosing Destination post the Covid-19 era?

Its really difficult and slightly not accurate to give any forecast as all countries and almost all industries are affected by Covid 19 that results not only on our health. I think the main characteristics of a nation will come out here and we will see that Americans are really furious and they dont care that Italy, Spain and France were leaders in Europe in being affected by Covid 19, they will keep going for destination weddings to these countries. When Europeans (Netherland, Denmark, Germany, UK etc) will stay cautious. Plus dont forget that all will suffer, and couples may not afford anymore to go to beautiful but expensive Rome for a destination wedding, as their salaries are cut, non-paid, bonuses for 2020 disappeared, and some can even get laid off.

I am afraid - yes, we will see unpredictable shift in this paradigm. In my opinion we will see this change for limited and medium budget clients but not for luxury level. Two first types of clients may either change their decision and say good-bye to their wedding destination planning and they will host their event at home country or they will choose less expensive destinations that still are not that much popular. This probability seems very vivid and real if such popular destinations as Italy, Spain, France, Monaco will decide to speed up their recovery after Covid by increasing their prices.

What is the Vision of a 2020 Couple going to be like?

Again it is only my guess but I think couples of 2020/2021 post Covid 19 will have a shift in wedding planning vision - that is more fun, entertainment and experience to feel and enjoy the taste of life (it means F&B, entertainment, travel experience & its comfort) after been in quarantine limits and restrictions for so long. People will start to appreciate freedom/possibility to travel, gatherings and guests presence more rather than reception grande decor & styling.

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