Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. and Sandals Resorts International today announced a multi-year partnership that will bring customizable Martha Stewart Weddings to all brides and grooms celebrating a destination wedding at any of the Luxury Included Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean beginning January 1, 2010. Guests will be able to book a Martha Stewart Wedding at any of the 12 Sandals Resorts or four Beaches Family Resorts starting in October 2009. In addition, the companies announced they will introduce Martha Stewart Crafts classes for adults at Sandals Resorts and craft camps for families at Beaches Resorts in 2010.
Martha Stewart, Founder of MSLO, said, "A wedding is one of the most special occasions in a person's life. For years, consumers have turned to our Martha Stewart Weddings magazine for inspiration and advice relating to every aspect of their day -- from the ceremony and reception decor to bridal bouquets and centerpieces to wedding cakes and favors. Now, we are delighted to be offering our unique ideas and beautiful designs to a wide range of consumers who wish to celebrate their special day at a Sandals or Beaches resort."
According to new research from Martha Stewart Weddings and The Futures Company (formerly Yankelovich), destination weddings are on the upswing with 31% of brides ages 21-30 planning to have a destination wedding; previous studies indicated that destination weddings represented 10% to 20% of all weddings.
"For 15 years, Martha Stewart Weddings has been creating and showcasing weddings that brides dream of," said Robin Marino, MSLO's President and CEO of Merchandising. "This partnership with Sandals Resorts is a natural next step and an enormous opportunity for us to further extend MSLO's growing weddings franchise."
MSLO and Sandals Resorts: A Perfect Match
"At Sandals Resorts, we have always been ahead of the curve with innovative offerings and partnerships that excite and inspire our guests. As pioneers of the WeddingMoons program, and the Caribbean's leader in Destination Weddings for nearly three decades, this partnership is a natural fit for our company," said Gordon "Butch" Stewart, Chairman and Founder of Sandals Resorts International. "With Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, Martha, along with Weddings Editorial Director Darcy Miller, has set the gold standard for dream weddings! Together, our partnership is the perfect match -- for Sandals Resorts, for MSLO and for couples planning the most important day of their lives."
Martha Stewart Weddings at Sandals Resorts -- available in five themes -- will leverage MSLO's expertise in wedding planning and Sandals Resorts' reputation as the leader in the luxury all-inclusive resort arena. A la carte items or "extras" -- such as personalized cake toppers, welcome gifts and candy buffets -- will also be available for couples to make their weddings unforgettable.
Growing MSLO's Weddings Franchise
MSLO's weddings franchise began in 1994 with the launch of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, the best-selling weddings magazine on newsstand. Since then, the company has significantly grown its presence in the category. The Martha Stewart Collection of home products exclusively at Macy's is the No. 1 brand on Macy's bridal registry (http://www.marthastewart.com/martha-stewart-collection). 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.
On the digital front, the company has established a stand-alone website, marthastewartweddings.com (http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/), with wedding planning tools powered by WeddingWire, a localized wedding platform in which MSLO made a strategic investment in 2008. Also in 2008, MSLO took an equity stake in pingg.com, an online invitation and planning company.
In November 2009, Martha Stewart Weddings magazine will publish its very first destination weddings special issue magazine.
Coming 2010: Martha Stewart Crafts at Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts
In addition to Martha Stewart Weddings at Sandals Resorts, MSLO and SRI will introduce a variety of craft programs and camps in 2010. Guests will be taught crafting skills and techniques by trained experts using Martha Stewart Crafts products (http://www.marthastewart.com/crafts). MSLO's crafts products are manufactured by EK Success, which distributes the products to mass market and specialty craft retailers nationwide.
Commenting on the crafts camps, Ms. Marino added: "As with Weddings, MSLO has incredible brand equity in Martha Stewart Crafts and we have built a robust business with a beautiful, innovative line of products. Our Crafts classes and camps at both Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts will allow us to bring our expertise and popular products to vacationing couples or families who are always looking for fun and interesting activities that they can do together."