When it comes to planning your destination wedding, one of the most important components to achieving bliss in paradise is your wedding website. Yes, picking your resort and going through the first phases of planning are essential, but what comes after that? And how do you make sure you’re going in the right direction?
Boy, do we have the specialist for you, enter Andrew M. With an abundance of time-tested insight and experience, Andrew leads a key portion of the Guest Services department and wedding website creation for Destify. In his everyday role, he plays the part of the savvy, creatively punctual professional who guides you to an amazing wedding organization. Rounding out our Destify Team Spotlight Series for the fall, Andrew delves into the nuances and hottest tips for trusting a professional to build your destination wedding website.
When did you get started with Destify?
So I started working at Destify in November. My good friend Rachel, who is still a current employee, texted me one day. She’s like, “How happy are you at your job? And I said, “Not very.” I was working at a very kind of ritzy private business club in downtown Chicago during the midst of the pandemic.
So I applied, and it’s probably the best decision I’ve made in the last few years. Aside from moving to Chicago, that’s probably the best choice that I’ve made since moving here.
What’s your day to day within your position?
We have our day-to-day tasks that involve resolving different tickets sent regarding wedding website design or information recommendations from clients. A big portion of it is reassuring clients that we are here to take care of their every need. We will do it in the best timely manner possible, and we’ll try to go above and beyond for them.
How would you describe your role in a few sentences?
So my role primarily exists in creating the websites, the wedding websites for clients, and trying to meet every single need or accommodate every request that they would like to make for their websites. We want to make the website look and feel as special as their big day. Or maybe if it’s not a wedding, we want it to be fun, and we want it to fit their style.
So then your primary role is building personalized wedding websites. Why do you think it’s so important to build a destination wearing website in general?
It’s important because you want to give all the guests that will be attending the same sort of excitement they would probably be feeling towards the special moment. This moment is an occasion. With Destify, that’s pretty much part of the core of what we do. Creating these websites is a free service for our clients and our wedding group leaders to allow everybody to book through the same central location. They can look through their RSVPs, and see any kind of information that is pertinent to travel to the location or resort.
It serves as the central hub for anybody that is looking to join this special day or wedding week. It serves as a place where guests can gather all that information, know what’s happening, what the itinerary is, what the wedding events are going to be, and even what the group travel events are going to be. Once guests RSVP for the wedding, they can actually go ahead and book their suite through the website as well.
How easy is the wedding website process?
We try to make everything as seamless as possible, not just for the group leader or the client, but also for their guests as well, which we fully anticipate to be anywhere from 20 to 100 to 300 guests even. I think with the website itself, it is probably the most crucial component that goes into the whole planning of things and helping out with coordination. Considering this is a free service that we like to offer for the bride and groom, I say why not?
How customizable can my destination wedding website be when it’s handled by someone else?
So that’s a great point to be had. We always want to have it look and feel the way the bride and groom desire. From the get-go, all you have to do is send your details, and we’ll do it all for you! We definitely try to spice it up and put an “About” section or “Proposal Story” section, or even a “How They Met” section.
A lot of it is for the bride and groom. They want it to look how they want it to look. But every bit of information that is on there is solely for the guests. So we always want to cater to what the guest would like to see and what the guests might want to know or need to know. We also highlight the step-by-step process – like here’s how you go about proceeding with booking and doing all these things.
What would happen if I’m getting married at a specific destination? What would happen if I didn’t want a wedding website?
So that would kind of create a little bit of a gap in our process – and not that it’s about our process. We are always flexible, always able to work around whatever the client wants. We’ve had some cases where, for one reason or another, the couple decided they don’t want to go with our website. The only issues that I would really bring up is that it would be hard for you and your guests to book your accommodations accordingly.
We want clients to proceed with ease. With our websites, I believe personally it is most achievable to have an easier route towards planning the wedding, communicating to your guests, as well as the guests also booking their stay as well. Instead of jumping through hoops and hurdles, having to book or transfer separately, having to book your room or flights separately, it’s all in one spot. Without the website, it is doable, but it would be making it a little bit more difficult on the bride and groom and the guests, I believe.
What other kind of information or resources do I get from a Destify wedding website other than RSVP and resort info?
We always include the transfer price, the included transfer fee so that people can get to and from the airport resorts. That’s always included in our prices. We will always price match. We always try to find the lowest and best rate for our clients, so we always want to find any way that we can make things easier on them.
What about privacy? How will I know my wedding website is exclusive to my guests?
We offer a website password lock. So, if you are nervous about people accessing the website, you can lock the website with the password. So it’s a very safe, easy system.
What if I want to add extra pictures or information?
All you do is hey, I want to add some pictures to it. We’ll add them. If you want to add a story, we’ll add them. If you want to change the rooms or whatever it is that is displayed on your website, we can do it. So we kind of just want to take that step forward, hey, here’s this awesome thing that you can use.
In your experience, have there been any misconceptions when it comes to destination wedding websites?
I’ve gotten some requests from people to basically make their website look like another paid service website template and that’s something that we can’t really do at least at this time. We are always looking to build upon the website creation and development, where we can basically duplicate the look of another website. You can expect even greater options in the future.
What’s the most rewarding part of working in your position?
I’ve always been an artist at heart. So when you give me the option to be kind of more so designing things and adding some creativity into the mix of: oh, you can do this with your website or how about this? And you want to add this picture? What if I change the font color for this kind of a better accommodation?
It’s a lot more rewarding. I get to look at photos that people submit to add to their gallery. I get to look at all kinds of fun innovative ways that we can kind of improve their website.
I get to read their stories that they submit for the website. I feel very interconnected in a lot of different ways. Also, I get to contact or communicate with clients as well, directly and plant myself into their whole experience with Destify and try to make my mark where I can work within their big day with a smile.
I think because I am the first person, aside from their sales team they interact with, I am sort of the first phase of our Guest Services department where your website is good to go. What can I do for you now? It feels good to kind of be sort of the first face that they see or hear from after booking.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to produce music as sort of a side hobby. Other than that, I love to cook, so it’s always a good day when I can go to the store, grab some ingredients, bring it home, and cook a delicious meal.
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