Born in the UK with the travel bug deeply embedded within, passed down from he father who was a UK Air-Force chief. Lorraine spent her younger years either living abroad or traveling to far away countries sampling different foods and cultures from distant shores. Her travel passion has taken her to 89 countries so far and she is often referred to as the “google” of travel as she can usually tell you the answer to a travel question faster than you can look it up on google.
She began her professional travel career in Canada in 2005 following the death of her husband and father of her 4 young children. “As a recent widow she had to work extra hard and long hours to be able to manage the children as well as a new business and a grieving family.
Lorraine started a small travel company specializing in Destination Weddings - a new niche in Canada at the time. The term “Destination Wedding was not even in use at the time. There were very few people who knew enough about both event planning and travel and Lorraine was able to combine both successfully and create a formidable reputation in a very short time.
In the first year Lorraine managed to book 8 weddings,. 28 in the second and 72 in the third. The company grew very fast and Lorraine won many awards including top wedding planner worldwide for Karisma Resorts and top seller Atlantic Canada for Signature/ Sunwing vacations.
She believes in constant education to keep up to date on the latest openings around the world and trends in travel and resorts.
Frequent Speaker at many conferences worldwide.
The Wedding Holiday.com became the force to be reckoned with as Canada’s Leading Destination Wedding company. They added a retail division and offered every thing for the wedding from the destination wedding gowns, menswear, gifts, favours, flowers and decorations too.
In 2011 Lorraine sold her company to a multi national company and semi retired after a year working and consulting with them as director of weddings. During her time with them one of her projects was to set up a home based travel agent network. She was involved in their recruitment, training and mentorship of the agents from across Canada and USA and wrote a large manual with all the important information to plan weddings including tips and tricks on how to succeed.
After a brief retirement In 2014 Lorraine was being hounded to get back in the business especially from her great contacts gained over the years such as politicians like Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller of Jamaica, Paul Pennicook, head of Jamaica Tourist Board at the time, Srnra Delores Lopez Lira who owns Karisma hotels also pictured here and the minister of Tourism in Jamaica so she felt she must honour her passion and jump back on board.
Travel was changing and the need for training in Niche markets was the most pressing so after extensive research she set up Romance Concierge. This company was to act as a host for niche travel agents especially with a romance and niche group focus. Lorraine's passion is now really focussing on training.“I have a huge desire to teach agents to fight in this even more competitive market and help them to succeed.” said Lorraine. Lorraine has set up a training and mentoring program to help people find their niche and to start a business which leads to success.
Lorraine now has several specialty companies including one that specializes in Food and Wine travel for wine clubs and foodies all over the world.
She wholesales her specialty curated luxury travel to travel agents in USA and Canada and recently joined Stacey Ray in her USA Host agency Groupit Travel as Executive Vice President.
She recently won the 2017 Gold Magellan Award for Innovation for her marketing and sales within her business www.wineclubconcierge.com which is a program offering travel for small groups of food and wine lovers.
Stacey Ray is the CEO and founder of Groupit Travel and Groupit Travel Host Agency – a group travel and logistical expert with more than two decades of experience in customizing, designing, planning, and facilitating leisure and corporate groups. She’s also the creator and administrator of the “Group Travel Best Practices” Facebook group and provides extensive training and coaching to agents who wish to be successful in the group travel niche.
Groupit Travel was founded as a full-service travel agency in 2014 by the current owner and founder, Stacey Ray. Stacey is a seasoned traveler with map pins in over sixty countries and having logged over sixty cruises. It only makes sense that someone with such a strong passion for travel would create a successful career in the travel industry. Since entering the travel industry in a professional capacity, Stacey has racked up quite the extensive list of credentials. She is a two-time STAR invitee to CruiseWorld, having earned these invitations in both 2015 and 2017. She has been a fully-hosted buyer at many of the industry’s top events including the Global Travel Marketplace (2016), the Romance Travel Forum (2016), and the International Luxury Travel Marketplace (ILTM Americas – 2017). Earlier this year, Stacey was honored as a guest of ASTA at their table during the 2017 ASTA Global Conference Advocacy Gala.
All of this personal success is a reflection of the hard work Stacey puts into her host agency, and her personal investment in the success of her agents. The idea of starting the host agency came after Stacey discovered she was but one of many agents that felt alone and unsupported. She saw a need for a host agency that truly valued their agents and provided them with the support they needed for growth and success in the industry. Thus, Groupit Travel Host Agency was born with the primary goal of partnering with agents to ensure agent success.
So you are thinking of being a Destination Wedding Planner?
Now get ready to strap on the armour and brace for impact as it is scheduled to be a bumpy ride!
Did that sound negative?.. well its not meant to be in any way. But if you want to seriously do this you have to have:
- nerves of steel
- The patience of a Saint
- The creativity of Colin Cowie
- The willingness to be on call 24/7
- Be totally educated on locations and be an EXPERT
- Be up to date on trends and be an encyclopedia of travel
- And not to mention the skills to negotiate peoples feelings during this emotional roller coaster
Destination Weddings are not at all easy to plan.
The course is available for agents to take the program at any time but also be able to use our resources and be invited on FAM trips specifically for Weddings.
- It is aimed at people already in the travel field as it refers to ravel terms that I expect them to know.
- The course can also be part of a week long classroom course which would be a fast track program.
I believe Niche is the future of the travel agent and important for them to be the expert!
In this course you will learn all the steps for you to take to help a couple plan their perfect Destination Wedding. And send you referrals!
You will learn how to get started, what research to do, the process, the quoting, the pricing and how to maximize your commission.
You will also learn which places offer the best Destination weddings and why.
It may sound easy but in this course you will learn how to be a travel agent, a wedding planner, an event planner and sales person, a creative math genius, a negotiator, a referee plus a little bit of a counsellor too!
If you want to be a Destination Wedding Planner you really need to be WEDucated
Sign up for our monthly WEDucation Program and learn everything to do with a Destination wedding and tips and tricks you won't hear anywhere else.
Each month will give you
- a new lesson to take and learn from.
- Monthly Webinar with Q and A
- Newsletter with tips and tricks
- Mentoring help with your destination Wedding issues
- Opportunity to Co-op your wedding from start to finish with a mentor
- FAM trip invitation dedicated to weddings
- Invitation to Group Training Masterminds
Our basic Course includes:
- Where to find your potential Clients
- Wedding shows and the tricks
- Follow up on leads
- Initial contact and meeting the client
- Discovering what they are looking for
- Research and best companies to work with
- Getting quotes and making them work for you
- Best times, best places, best services
- Match the client and remember it is not your day
- Price matching and securing the best price
- Quoting the client
- Making a profit and tips and tricks
- Closing the sale
- Planning the Wedding Day
- Working with the onsite coordinators
- Travel with the group and charging fees for planning
- Free planning service
- Managing the group booking
- Working on dates and group planning
- Never loose money on a Group
- Working with Tour operators
- Rooming lists and invitations
- Keeping the guests and the couple happy
- Finalizing the group and issuing edocs
- Follow up after travel
We are familiar with the laws and particular requirements for getting married in all countries and will assist you with any documentation required.
We have planned over 1500 weddings so far and are proud to help you in your own Destination Wedding Specialist journey.
Are you ready to chat more about this wonderful opportunity? Let me know...