Of the more than two million marriages annually in the U.S., almost 50 percent are re-marriages and 65 percent of re-marriages involve couples with children, according to wedding industry consultant, Rebecca Grinnals of Engaging Concepts in Orlando, FL. In response, Beaches Resorts, specializing in family getaways, has created FamilyMoons™.
FamilyMoons™ incorporate the entire family into the wedding ceremony and celebration. An extension of the popular WeddingMoons™ concept, which combines the wedding and honeymoon into one location, FamilyMoons™ are designed to join not just two people – but two families into one.
The latest addition to the Beaches Resorts FamilyMoons™ package best illustrates this idea. The Unity Sand Ceremony, slated to begin July 1st at all four Beaches Resorts, literally symbolizes – with Caribbean white sand - the coming together of two families into one. Brides, grooms and their children each receive beautiful nesting vases, with the side vessels representing each of the family members and the center vessel – their new family.
Each member takes turns pouring sand into the common center vessel, physically representing the union of “two into one.” Just as it is impossible to separate the grains of sand in the vase, it will be impossible to separate the new family.
“The notion of bringing children along on a honeymoon was unheard of twenty years ago,” said Joann Delgin, Director of Wedding Strategy for Sandals and Beaches Resorts, “but the times have changed and we’ve seen a marked increase in couples seeking unique ways to joyously celebrate what was once yours and mine into what is now ‘ours’.”
The Beaches FamilyMoons™ package is complimentary to groups who book 10 rooms or more and includes the following amenities:
• Picturesque ceremony location: From intimate wedding gazebos, traditional wedding chapels to tropical gardens or on the beach at sunset, with four Beaches Resorts located in Jamaica and the Turks & Caicos, there are many settings to choose from.
• Personalized gifts: Each FamilyMoons™ couple staying five nights or longer receives two “Just Married” t-shirts and one 5x7 professional wedding photo. When booking six nights or more in a room category above luxury, they also may choose a complimentary starter set of Waterford crystal or fine china.
• A professional wedding consultant: All Beaches Resorts are staffed with wedding consultants who can help make that special day magical. In addition to arranging for the perfect location on property, they can take care of choosing the flowers (including the bouquet and boutonniere), ordering the two-tiered Caribbean wedding cake, hiring the photographer and organizing an elaborate Caribbean-style champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception. The wedding consultants also handle details including organizing wedding documentation, arranging a marriage official and preparing certified copies of the marriage license and legal fees.
• Personalized services of a Beaches FamilyMoons™ concierge: Groups will be assigned their own personal concierge to assist in making special arrangements such as dining reservations and off property tours that will make the experience even more memorable.
• Unity Sand Ceremony: Symbolic of the joining of two families, this unity ceremony is different than the traditional candle ceremony, as all family members participate by pouring sand direct from the island beaches into a nesting vase, commemorating the creation of a new family.
• Group discounts: Groups of ten or more people will receive discounts on select off- property tours.
• An enhanced experience with Preston Bailey: Internationally celebrated event designer and wedding planner Preston Bailey has created a selection of exceptional wedding packages available exclusively to Beaches Resorts guests. Preston Bailey Signature WeddingMoons™ allow those seeking the perfect destination wedding more customized selections for their special day. Each of the four packages – The Floral Elegance Collection ($1,700), The Water Lily Collection ($2,600), The Seascape Collection ($3,600) and The Crystal Collection ($5,000) – includes beautifully designed wedding settings and décor such as fresh contemporary floral screens or a tree filled with orchids, crystals and candlelight.
Rates at Beaches start at $275 per person, per night for adults and $90 per child 15 and younger, per night through December 21, 2006. Kids under two years of age stay free.
Beaches Resorts has been specializing in family getaways since 1997, and offer resorts where both parents and kids can enjoy a vacation of their own. The all-inclusive resorts include gourmet meals, anytime snacks and premium brand drinks, land and watersports, luxurious accommodations, and even tipping – all for one price. New amenities include Butler Service for top category suites, Red Lane™ Spas, combining European traditions with a Caribbean flair, and Preston Bailey Signature WeddingMoons™. Four locations, on the Caribbean's best beaches in Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, include Kids Camps, signature Xbox Game Oasis video games centers, water theme parks and expert childcare provided by Beaches' own Ultra Nannies.
As a proud sponsor of Sesame Street, Beaches is delighted to welcome some very fun and furry friends to their family resorts. Beaches has partnered with the celebrated children's program to offer year-round exclusive activities and fun from dining with favorite Sesame Street friends Elmo, Zoe, Cookie Monster and Grover, to parenting seminars and special themed weeks featuring live performances by members of the Sesame Street cast. Now, Bert and Ernie have joined the party to bring exclusive Live Shows by Sesame Street characters to guests each week. Beaches Resorts is part of the Sandals' family, the Caribbean's largest operator of luxury, ultra all-inclusive resorts.
For more information on Beaches FamilyMoons™ programs and seasonal promotions, call your favorite travel agent or 1-800-BEACHES or visit the website at www.beaches.com