Photos courtesy Weddings by Palladium
When designing the ever-evolving Karen Bussen Wedding Collection, New York-based event planner and party guru Karen Bussen creates concepts that can be customized for couples to build one of a kind weddings.
“I know each couple has their own vision so it’s all about options,” she says. “One thing I love is the spectacular different locations and there are different feelings across the hotels. Each hotel has its TRS and Palladium feeling but each of them is also unique.”
Bussen, who has been collaborating with Weddings by Palladium for Palladium Hotel Group since 2011, says her collection is available at Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts and TRS Hotels in Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit and Costa Mujeres, Mexico; and Cap Cana and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
“It’s been an amazing partnership that continues to grow and expand,” she says. “I’m super involved in all aspects of the wedding production here, it’s not just I put my name on it and you guys deal with it.”
To help you better sell the product, here’s a look at six ways Weddings by Palladium stands out:
A key differentiator for the Karen Bussen Wedding Collection is that it’s personalizable. Clients can choose and swap colours and fabrics to create their own colour palette and wedding scheme. All the curtains and chair accents are custom-made in NYC.
“Our wedding offices were redesigned to be spaces that are inviting,” she says. “The idea is that since we are really offering that fabulous flexibility, couples really work with their coordinator to choose every single detail so we have our inventory of different fabrics, of different options and even though they’ve already maybe chosen what they want when they get here we do a meeting with them to make sure — is there anything they want to change? We show them this is what you are going to be having.”
Greetings from Mexico. We’re on location at @trs_hotels Yucatan to learn about the destination #wedding offerings at @PalladiumHG. Here’s a preview of the soon-to-launch Elemental package by Karen Bussen. pic.twitter.com/Eb9fpw2MGB
— Baxter Media (@CdnTravelPress) November 12, 2019
Along with a set of wedding collections to choose from, there is also a selection of table inspirations designed for couples to incorporate as many or as little of the elements as they want. The idea is to inspire a look but if the couple likes the entire setup, they can opt for that as well.
Weddings by Palladium also specializes in LGBTQ weddings and has a growing same-sex program at its properties in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The company also caters to South Asian weddings, which are lavish multi-day celebrations with 150-200 guests as opposed to the typical one-day destination wedding with 30-40 guests.
“We’ve got beautiful spaces, we can do draping, all kinds of gorgeous backdrops,” she says, adding that the wedding staff have been trained in South Asian wedding traditions and practices and that there’s an Indian chef at all properties. “They love drama, they love personalization, they love decor. It’s an extravagant celebration.”
The collection includes four deluxe events: Goddess Mehndi Party, Sangeet, Beautiful Byah: The Wedding Ceremony, and a Private Vivah Reception. The idea behind the offering was sparked when she brought together authentic design elements with a sophisticated and colourful scene for her younger sister’s wedding to her husband from Gudjrat, India.
From a champagne party for the bridal party the night before the big day to a romantic moonlight photoshoot on the beach, the collection also includes ways for couples to enjoy romantic experiences during their stay.
“We’ve started a program of room amenities that are very interesting,” she adds. “Our staff takes a picture of the couple as they come down the aisle right after the wedding and we put the polaroid in their room so when they get back to their room there’s cookies, champagne and a picture of them from their wedding. We’re talking about surprising and delighting.”
There are also curated cocktail bars and food stations like a s’mores station, a taco and tequila bar or a twist bar, which features unique twists on classic cocktails, that can be added to any of the events the couples host.
Every Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts and TRS Hotels property features multiple venue locations for couples to say ‘I do.’
“We always have a beachfront venue that’s like toes in the sand. You can have a walkway or not have a walkway, you can have benches or you can have chairs, you can have different kinds of chairs, you can have scarves on the chairs or not, there’s a lot that you can switch up and change,” she says. “But then if you are Catholic and you want to get married in the Catholic church, we actually have a Catholic priest in a Catholic chapel where you can get married.”
Venue locations for destination weddings at Grand Palladium Riviera Maya and TRS Yucatan include a Catholic church and multiple beachfront options. Designed by Karen Bussen, the wedding collections are customizable. @PalladiumHotels pic.twitter.com/N03aeV7IGs
— Baxter Media (@CdnTravelPress) November 12, 2019
After noticing that many brides picked a package or collection because of the price, Erika Almaraz, who oversees all wedding sales for the company’s North American presence, says Weddings by Palladium is now offering the same starting rate for all collections across its properties.
“We want all brides to have a beautiful wedding and that’s the reason why we have Karen working with Palladium because she creates amazing things for millionaires with a lot of luxury, and we want to bring that glamour and luxury to our collection and give our brides the opportunity to reach for that so we have an affordable price, all the collections they have the same price, they just have to choose the collection because of the mood and the style,” she says.
And for couples looking for a little bit more luxury, they can select the luxury collections or add a la carte elements.
“We’re pretty flexible,” she adds. “In a certain way we’re giving the brides a basic palette to start and then they can create their own.”
Do your clients have cold feet on where to take the plunge? Palladium Hotel Group offers a wedding day preview for lovebirds to spend two nights on property at a set price to meet with the sales team, do site inspections, connect with suppliers and get a feel for the location. Best of all, if they decide to book the wedding the amount spent will be used towards their destination wedding.
For more on what’s new in the Karen Bussen Wedding Collection, check out our recent coverage in Canadian Travel Press and the digital edition.