Indian weddings at Hard Rock Hotel: where Bollywood and Bridezilla meet?

Indian weddings at Hard Rock Hotel: where Bollywood and Bridezilla meet?

TORONTO — Indian weddings at Hard Rock Hotels? It’s definitely the right brand for the Indian bride and groom, maintains Frank Maduro, VP of Marketing, All Inclusive Collection, Hard Rock Hotel, speaking to a room of travel agents in Toronto this week at the launch of ‘Ishq Rocks’, (which means Love Rocks).

Maduro says the hotels are about having fun and Indian wedding experiences at their all-inclusive hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana, Vallarta, Cancun and Riviera Maya) are welcoming to couples, singles and children.

Maduro says the number one trend in Indian weddings today is destination weddings, which is a $2 billion market. “They want to make the wedding experience unlike anything else anybody finds. And that’s where Hard Rock has an edge.”

Among its tailored offerings are special Indian décor, authentic cuisine, extensive catering options including an array of vegetarian dishes and options for fragrantly mixed spices from India. They can also host a Mehndi bash, a Sangeet party or a spectacular Pithy ceremony at one of the brand’s on-property venues. Group benefits offered by All Inclusive Collection include unlimited private functions (the typical Indian wedding has four or more events compared to just two events at a typical North American wedding), complimentary room upgrades, and complimentary room nights.

“We came up with the Indian wedding program after feedback from our WoW (Weddings on the Water) specialists and it’s a program we created to help agents market themselves to the right bride and groom. In addition to giving them the traditional tools that every marketing company gives them, we take it one step further and provide leads,” Maduro said, urging agents to confirm the effectiveness of those leads by reading the comments on the dedicated WoW Facebook page.

The children of highly educated Indian immigrants in North America, mix the best of both worlds – the culture in Canada with that of India – for what Maduro called the ‘Bollywood Bridezilla’ effect.

“Traditionally an Indian couple has a higher income, that means they spend more money. The wedding cost is a lot higher than a traditional U.S. or Canadian wedding and the number of guests that travel is substantially higher. For the agent that means higher commissions.”

Brides don’t have to worry about seeing black Hard Rock logos or tattoos in the background because the chain brought in Colin Cowie to help design a “beautiful collection” with items that the bride can customize to her liking.

“Since we launched this program, our Indian wedding business has more than doubled in only a couple of months,” said Maduro. “We continue to see bookings into 2016 and 2017.”

There are many benefits to the travel agent according to Ash Tembe, VP of Global Field Sales, All Inclusive Collection, Hard Rock Hotels. They include higher commissions because they’re dealing with a luxury product; a bonus commission of between $50 to $500 per booking on top of the commission they make with their tour operator partner (provided they first submit the booking information); and one night free at a Hard Rock Hotel for every booking. “It’s a robust program,” says Tembe. “We have four BDMs (Business Development Managers) in Canada that are focused on travel agents.”

Get travel news right to your inbox!