The iconic Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central Terminal in New York City was completely transformed into the ultimate 'WeddingMoon' destination two Thursdays ago, when the Sandals Resorts International team launched their online 'wedding designer' application — an interactive bridal experience — under the theme 'Your Wedding, Your Style'. For commuters traversing through the New York train station, it was no doubt a surprise to see an exotic Caribbean experience unfolding in the heart of Manhattan. Upon entering the hall, they were given the option of sipping margaritas or Blue Mountain coffee while browsing a variety of booths — which outlined the variety of options Sandals offered to blushing brides-to-be. The taste of a Sandals holiday was complete with mini spa treatments, virtual golf, over 100 giveaways and a virtual experience of the Sandals or Beaches resort of their choice (which they could have e-mailed to them as a special keepsake).
The event, which was hosted by TLC's Randy Fenoli — author and star of Say Yes to the Dress and Randy to the Rescue — also paid tribute to National Flag Day (a holiday in which Americans pay respect to their flag and the freedom of their nation) by partnering with the United Service Organisation. Tri-state military couples were each asked to submit an essay detailing why they thought they deserved to win a dream wedding courtesy of Sandals. The finalists were then asked to make their way to Vanderbilt Hall at 10:00 am for an official bouquet toss to win a 'WeddingMoon' of their choice. As the bouquet was tossed in the air by Fenoli, brides huddled, hoping to be the lucky winner of the ultimate destination wedding. Seconds later, Maria and Jason Yates were declared the winners. The couple, who are New Jersey natives, told Vows that after multiple deployments to the Middle East over the course of four years and raising five children together, they now have the opportunity to fulfil a dream — a wedding in Jamaica valued at US$8000. The disappointed couples then gathered for a picture, when Sandals director Adam Stewart
made a surprise announcement that all the remaining couples would receive a free honeymoon package valued at US$5,000.
Your Wedding, Your Style
Unlike other Caribbean hotels which offer destination weddings of set packages, the Sandals group promises that each bride is given a personal say in every aspect of her wedding. She can choose the colours, place setting, cake, décor, bouquet, at the Sandals or Beaches Resorts location of her choice. Speaking at the launch, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) Chairman Gordon 'Butch' Stewart was confident that Sandals' new wedding package will be successful. "I think we have another big hit on our hands. Our Martha Stewart wedding packages helped to put Sandals weddings on the global market. With this new product, I'm certain brides will find a Sandals wedding an attractive option. Every day at Sandals we go to work to make it better for two people in love, that's what Sandals is about."
Sandals CEO Adam Stewart said the newly launched interactive online application was inspired by the modern tech-savvy bride. "The new bride is tech-savvy so we were forced to move away from packaged weddings. Brides have the option to have their destination weding, reception and honeymoon planned online or over the phone." Sandals Director of Romance Marsha-Ann Donaldson Brown further explained that the Sandals online application is user-friendly and "everything you
could possibly think of is there".
The launch ended with a private cocktail party with popular selections by the Scratch Wedding DJs team. Elite guests were also treated to a private viewing of Rubin Singer's wedding gown line inspired by the selection of colours included in Sandals' new wedding options. Vows shares highlights from the launch of Sandals' 'Your Wedding, Your Style' launch.