In addition, Martha Stewart-branded crafts classes for adults at Sandals Resorts and craft camps for families at Beaches Resorts will be offered starting in 2010. Experts will teach crafting skills and techniques to guests using Martha Stewart Crafts products.
The weddings will be available at the 12 "Luxury Included" Sandals Resorts and four Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean beginning Jan. 1. Guests will be able to book a Martha Stewart Wedding starting in October in one of five themes. A la carte items such as personalized cake toppers, welcome gifts and candy buffets also will be available.
Sandals is developing a full marketing campaign to coincide with the consumer launch in October.
Sandals has been a leader in destination weddings for three decades, says Gordon "Butch" Stewart, chairman and founder of Sandals Resorts International (and no relation to Martha Stewart). Previously, the resort partnered with Preston Bailey, one of the world's top wedding planners, to offer four wedding packages.
"Our partnership with Preston Bailey was very successful; however, it was a four-year agreement which ends this year," Sandals' Stewart told Marketing Daily. "We're extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to offer his amazing wedding planning skills to our guests over the past four years and the Preston packages will continue be offered through the end of this year. Ultimately, we made the decision to partner with Martha Stewart because we feel that the new partnership will give us a greater opportunity to reach a broader market."
MSLO will now encompass the whole wedding experience: Current Sandals wedding consultants will be retrained as Martha Stewart Wedding consultants; all weddings at Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts will be Martha Stewart Weddings (including a complimentary wedding package); and all elements of the wedding experience will feature Martha Stewart products.
As for the crafts component of the partnership, Sandals currently partners with Crayola to offer Crayola Art Camps at all four Beaches Resorts. "However, the partnership with Martha Stewart Crafts will be our first foray into the crafting market at both Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts," Sandals' Stewart says. "Our crafts classes and camps at both Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts will allow us to bring Martha Stewart's expertise and popular products to vacationing couples and families who are always looking for fun and interesting activities that they can do together."
According to new research from Martha Stewart Weddings and The Futures Company (formerly Yankelovich), "destination" weddings -- such as those held at a resort -- are on the upswing. About 31% of brides ages 21-30 plan to have a destination wedding compared with previous studies that indicated that destination weddings represented 10% to 20% of all weddings.
MSLO already has been growing its wedding franchise. Earlier this year, MSLO introduced a full line of co-branded social stationery products with Crane & Co., launching with an assortment of 24 personalized wedding invitation suites. In November, Martha Stewart Weddings magazine will publish its first destination weddings special-issue magazine and Sandals will be an advertiser, Sandals' Stewart says.