US weddings specialist targets UK with Perfect investment

US weddings specialist targets UK with Perfect investment

US weddings and honeymoons specialist has entered the UK market by buying a majority stake in Perfect Weddings Abroad.

The deal is another triumph for Perfect Weddings founders Danny Waine and Helen Doyle, who in 2008 won the backing of four industry investors for a 40% stake.

Those investors – On Holiday Group’s Steve Endacott, former Gold Medal chief Terry Fisher, Travel Counsellors chairman David Speakman and Comtec founder Simon Powell – have now exited the business as a result of the deal.

Waine, who has just been voted on to the board of the Institute of Travel and Tourism and was the inaugural ITT student of the year, and Doyle will remain as directors and shareholders.

A new group, The Destination Weddings Travel Group, has been created to incorporate all the DestinationWeddings’ brands. The firm broke into the Canadian market in October 2011.

Richard Calvert, former Thomas Cook managing director of mainstream tour operations, has became president and chief executive of the group.

He will also act as chairman of Perfect Weddings Abroad and has a shareholding in the firm.

Doyle said: “We are delighted to be joining the Destination Weddings Travel Group .Danny and I see this as a unique opportunity to expand Perfect Weddings Abroad and take it to the next level.

“There are clear synergies between the businesses, our shared ethos and huge benefits to be had by being part of the world’s leading specialist wedding travel business. I’m sure that this will be an exciting chapter in the company’s history”. 

Calvert added: “I am honoured and delighted at the opportunity to take the reins at The Destination Weddings Travel Group and to grow this exciting business. The purchase of a majority stake in Perfect Weddings Abroad is part of our international growth strategy.

“The UK wedding travel business is extremely strong and Perfect Weddings Abroad is the ideal investment opportunity based on its excellent reputation, outstanding customer service, expansion potential and extremely capable management team.

“The founders and directors of the business, Helen Doyle and Danny Waine, are experts in this field. They have created and nurtured an award winning business with unrivalled levels of personalised service in the UK.

“I am delighted that Helen and Danny will continue to lead Perfect Weddings Abroad within the Destination Weddings Travel Group.”

To coincide with the deal Perfect Weddings will reveal a new website and logo this weekend. It will remain a member of the Hays Independence Group consortium.

Destination Weddings Travel Group now owns a number of brands including one dedicated to the Canadian market and two to the gay market. It has plans to eventually enter other source markets on top of its three core countries of the US, Canada and the UK.


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