After 15 years, Concord Hills resident Sonya Scott has transformed her wedding planning business to Sonya Scott, Master Wedding Planner, focusing on destination weddings.
Scott, who works out of her home, also books honeymoons and romantic travel at all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.
“I realized I was ready to do something else,” she said about the career change. “Also, I was raising my granddaughter, and wedding planning is time consuming.
“I enjoyed destination weddings and honeymoons and decided to focus on those.”
Although Scott switched over her business last year, she just launched her newest venture at the beginning of this year.
As a destination wedding planner, she helps couples through the labyrinth of hotel resorts for their weddings and honeymoons.
“People don’t realize how big an island is or what area of an island they want,” Scott said. “Do they want a party place or a quiet, laid-back vibe?
“We talk about what (couples) are looking for then match them up at the right resorts,” she added.
Scott explained most resorts have someone in the office with whom couples will work, but she warned those plans are changing many hands.
By using her services, she said the couples’ plans “are being handled by someone here (in the United States)…” and she makes sure their plans are translated correctly.
While people book online thinking they are saving money, Scott warned, in fact, they are charged an extra fee for commissions.
“You’re better off to book with someone who will speak for you and look out for you,” she said. “I’m very familiar with weddings and scheduling wedding etiquette you would be responsible for.
“Because I’ve worked as a wedding planner, I know the mishaps (that could occur), and I can be proactive in approaching a resort about back-up plans,” Scott added.
Scott said a destination wedding is one taking place other than where a couple lives — and is gaining in popularity.
“Twenty-five percent of weddings today are destination
weddings,” she said. “Most
people don’t want a traditional wedding.”
Additionally, Scott explained an average traditional wedding could run up to more than $30,000 — not including the honeymoon.
On the other hand, she said someone could go to an all-inclusive resort and have a great honeymoon while their family members have a great get-away.
“I feel parents need to get away, too, after a wedding,” Scott said, adding a destination wedding can combine the wedding and honeymoon, and there is less need for decors, especially if the view is included. And many resorts provide free wedding amenities such as hors d’oeuvres, flowers and champagne. And with more guests booking in that resort, the more free amenities the couple receives, she added.
Scott does not have set hours of operation, as she prefers to remain flexible.
To contact Scott, call 865-622-2093, visit DestinatonsBy APD.com or e-mail to Escape@DestinationsByAPD.com.