Wedding planners call on province to better market P.E.I. as a wedding destination
'It would just be nice to have a little extra help from our department of tourism'
Some members of P.E.I.'s wedding industry say government needs to do more to market the Island as a wedding destination.
About 800 couples get married on P.E.I. each year, and about one third of them come from off-Island, according to the province.
Greg Caseley, of Caseley's Tent and Party Rentals, and Diana Lariviere, of Weddings P.E.I. by Diana, say the province should better approach marketing the Island to couples far and wide.
Because the province is so picturesque, Caseley said, government should be pushing the wedding industry on the market by showcasing the Island through the lens of local wedding photographers.
"Pictures, they stand out to me. If I see a picture in a magazine or a picture on a website of a couple getting married on a beach in their wedding attire, it's a thousand words," he said.
I'd like to see a link at the tourism website that just says 'Weddings,' and we can take it from there.— Diana Lariviere
Caseley also urged the province to take a similar approach to Las Vegas — or the Caribbean — which markets itself as a premiere wedding destination for couples.
"Private businesses like myself … we do all kinds of promotions to encourage people to come to the Island and it would just be nice to have a little extra help from our department of tourism," he said.
'We can take it from there'
"The wedding industry is actually a multi-billion dollar industry across the world and there are so many small Islands and other locations very similar to ours who reap the benefits of that billion-dollar industry," Lariviere added.
Lariviere said she hears complaints from people from away that have to "piecemeal" their weddings from square one.
"They have to find their own wedding planner, they have to find their own venue, so everything that they are looking for, in terms of organizing their wedding, they have to search for it individually and it would be just so much easier … if there was at least one place that would help them to start."
She added that in the very least more information and photos should be featured on the government's website and tourism brochure.
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"I'd like to see a link at the tourism website that just says 'Weddings,' and we can take it from there," Lariviere added.
Brenda Gallant, the director of marketing for Tourism PEI, said the province does feature weddings on its website and brochure and that it also pitches weddings as an angle for media outlets to cover.
But Gallant suggests it would be easier to promote if the industry had an association.
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With files from Stephanie Kelly