Wedding planning in the time of COVID — how the Weddings & Celebrations Certification helps agents thrive in uncertain times!

casa de campo destination wedding destination wedding playbook destination wedding training dominican republic immersive training playbook retreat travel agent Oct 22, 2020

About this time last year, I was wrapping up the very first Playbook Retreat — the first-of-its-kind hands-on training for Destination Wedding University graduates. 

The weekend was amazing. There was so much potential in this new model of immersing agents in the experience of planning a wedding weekend from start to finish. I saw the years unfolding and all the possibilities — smooth sailing! Right?  

Now, cue 2020. Who saw that coming? 

For so many of us, the bottom fell out. Everything got canceled. We lost valued clients and much-needed income. We didn’t know in March, and we still don’t really know now, how long it will be before travel resumes at “normal” levels, or what that will even look like. 

When it came time to consider planning this year’s retreat, I had to seriously weigh all the pros and cons. 

First of all, could we do it safely? (I have ZERO interest in becoming a super spreader.) 

Was there a resort that could accommodate us? 

Would we be able to have an authentic experience with all the protocols in place? 

Would anyone even want to do this?

But then I realized: 

This IS the authentic experience. 

Getting married during COVID is what we’re doing.

Trying to find adventure, beauty, and JOY during COVID is what we’re doing. 

Yes, it’s weird — but this is our reality for the time being. 

And agents need to know how to throw a kickass wedding while adhering to and accommodating the safety needs of their clients. 

So, I jumped in. I decided to have the retreat and do it live. We reduced the max number of participants to 20, and to my surprise, there was still a huge interest from DWU graduates in having this experience. 

I knew that if we approached it thoughtfully and with the best professionals in the world, we could pull it off. 

That’s why I knew Casa de Campo was the best choice.

There are so many reasons why this year’s retreat is totally unique in the industry:

  • It was live — almost unheard of in 2020.
  • It was an immersive experience — that is, from the moment students landed, they were inside of a real wedding week. The rooms, the villas, the surroundings. Every event, every excursion, every cocktail party — they got to see from the inside how those things get planned, arranged, organized, and executed to perfection.
  • Agents got an inside look at the business side of everything. It’s one thing to attend a dinner. But knowing what goes on behind the scenes — what the options are, how everything can be customized, how much everything costs, who is involved, who the chefs are, who the caterers are — this is a huge value-add for clients, and it boosts agent confidence in selling amazing experiences. 
  • Agents saw exactly how you put on a gorgeous wedding while adhering to the industry’s highest safety standards and protocols for handling COVID risk. (Yes, it’s possible!!)
  • There are no Supplier Tradeshows! DWU retreats don’t make you sit through hours of suppliers' generic sales pitches. Instead, you get the experience of the vendor in a real-life setting, and you get connected professionally to the best, most trusted vendors in the industry. 
  • Agents left with business know-how and resources that boost their business: professional headshots in a gorgeous location, an expanded network, a supportive community, and insider knowledge of one of the most coveted resorts in the world. 
  • Participants got a totally pampered, personalized retreat that caters to the needs of travel professionals and that helps them stand out in their field.

I’m proud of what we did this year. I’m super proud of the agents and all the hard work they put in. I’m grateful for Casa de Campo and the way they find ways to keep adventure and enhance beauty even in unpredictable, unprecedented times. 

If you’re interested in becoming certified through Destination Weddings University, I have excellent news: the entire course is now available on-demand. And once you graduate, you’re eligible to join us on live retreats just like this one. (Cue our #Playbook Anthem, Whitney Houston's I wanna dance with somebody!) 🎤 🎶

I don’t know what 2021 is going to bring — but whatever happens, we’ll work to make it amazing. 

Special Thanks to our amazing partners in destination:

I hope you enjoy these moments — and if you’re curious about how you can be a part of the next Playbook Workshop and immersive weekend retreat, don’t hesitate to reach out. To learn more about The Ultimate Destination Wedding Playbook Workshop, visit WillMedina.Us