Mystery shopper: Harrogate, a winter wedding abroad

Mystery shopper: Harrogate, a winter wedding abroad

Location: Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Wanted: A couple want to get married abroad next winter, with a reception for about a dozen people. They are looking for a two-week holiday in a honeymoon suite.
Budget: £9,000

TravelGate
11 Albert Street
84%
The shop was clean, with a well-stocked brochure area. I was acknowledged as soon as I walked in. I was told the shop offered a bespoke service, so it would be impossible to be provide an exact quote there and then. But a standard half-board package in a superior room at LUX Le Morne, in Mauritius, including the wedding and flights, was quoted at £9,250. The wedding included the service and legal documents, a dedicated co-ordinator and the wedding menu. Optional extras included photography, spa sessions, live music, hair and make-up, champagne and the cake. I was given lots of details about the service and the island, and felt confident the best options would be researched in more detail after my visit.

Kuoni
James Street
80%
An enthusiastic agent acknowledged me immediately. Saint Lucia was suggested, flying Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick in February 2019, staying in a garden-view room at the Rendezvous Hotel on an all-inclusive basis. Priced at £7,914, the package included the ceremony, documents, wine reception, cake, bouquet and a massage. I was told a $250 tax had to be paid locally. The service was good, but the agent seemed more interested in planning their own wedding.

Tui
18 Oxford Street
78%
A kind and patient agent offered me two weeks in a sea-view room at Sugar Beach Hotel in Mauritius from Tui’s Faraway Shores brochure, flying from Gatwick in February 2019, for £8,899. The package included a co-ordinator, decorated venue, flowers, cake, live music, champagne, photography, canapes and a coconut planting ceremony. I felt the cost was inflated because of my budget. Full details were given, but the agent’s service seemed a bit formulaic.


Winning agent

Melanie O’Boyle, owner/director, TravelGate

“We tailor-make lots of honeymoons, so it was really exciting to be part of their wedding plans and put together some nice options within their budget. I hope they are getting married as they were such a nice couple.”


Verdict

Although an exact quote wasn’t given by TravelGate, the Mystery Shopper was impressed by the agency’s bespoke service. Kuoni and Tui didn’t do as much to establish what was important to the couple.


Elite resorts caribbean

Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a car for 10 days.

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Winners under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Elite Island Resorts will endeavour to supply the car to the agency but reserves the right to request the winning agent to collect and return the car from Essex or a central location

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