NEW YORK, July 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) and Sandals Resorts International (SRI) today announced a multi-year partnership that will bring customizable Martha Stewart Weddings to all brides and grooms celebrating a destination wedding at any of the Luxury Included(R) Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean beginning January 1, 2010. Guests will be able to book a Martha Stewart Wedding at any of the 12 Sandals Resorts or four Beaches Family Resorts starting in October 2009. In addition, the companies announced they will introduce Martha Stewart Crafts classes for adults at Sandals Resorts and craft camps for families at Beaches Resorts in 2010.
Martha Stewart, Founder of MSLO, said, "A wedding is one of the most special occasions in a person's life. For years, consumers have turned to our Martha Stewart Weddings magazine for inspiration and advice relating to every aspect of their day -- from the ceremony and reception decor to bridal bouquets and centerpieces to wedding cakes and favors. Now, we are delighted to be offering our unique ideas and beautiful designs to a wide range of consumers who wish to celebrate their special day at a Sandals or Beaches resort."
According to new research from Martha Stewart Weddings and The Futures Company (formerly Yankelovich), destination weddings are on the upswing with 31% of brides ages 21-30 planning to have a destination wedding; previous studies indicated that destination weddings represented 10% to 20% of all weddings.
"For 15 years, Martha Stewart Weddings has been creating and showcasing weddings that brides dream of," said Robin Marino, MSLO's President and CEO of Merchandising. "This partnership with Sandals Resorts is a natural next step and an enormous opportunity for us to further extend MSLO's growing weddings franchise."
MSLO and Sandals Resorts: A Perfect Match
"At Sandals Resorts, we have always been ahead of the curve with innovative offerings and partnerships that excite and inspire our guests. As pioneers of the WeddingMoons(R) program, and the Caribbean's leader in Destination Weddings for nearly three decades, this partnership is a natural fit for our company," said Gordon "Butch" Stewart, Chairman and Founder of Sandals Resorts International. "With Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, Martha, along with Weddings Editorial Director Darcy Miller, has set the gold standard for dream weddings! Together, our partnership is the perfect match -- for Sandals Resorts, for MSLO and for couples planning the most important day of their lives."
Martha Stewart Weddings at Sandals Resorts -- available in five themes -- will leverage MSLO's expertise in wedding planning and Sandals Resorts' reputation as the leader in the luxury all-inclusive resort arena. A la carte items or "extras" -- such as personalized cake toppers, welcome gifts and candy buffets -- will also be available for couples to make their weddings unforgettable.
Growing MSLO's Weddings Franchise
MSLO's weddings franchise began in 1994 with the launch of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, the best-selling weddings magazine on newsstand. Since then, the company has significantly grown its presence in the category. The Martha Stewart Collection of home products exclusively at Macy's is the No. 1 brand on Macy's bridal registry (http://www.marthastewart.com/martha-stewart-collection). Earlier this year, MSLO introduced a full line of co-branded social stationery products with Crane & Co, launching with an assortment of 24 personalized wedding invitation suites.
On the digital front, the company has established a stand-alone website, marthastewartweddings.com (http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/), with wedding planning tools powered by WeddingWire, a localized wedding platform in which MSLO made a strategic investment in 2008. Also in 2008, MSLO took an equity stake in pingg.com, an online invitation and planning company.
In November 2009, Martha Stewart Weddings magazine will publish its very first destination weddings special issue magazine.
Coming 2010: Martha Stewart Crafts at Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts
In addition to Martha Stewart Weddings at Sandals Resorts, MSLO and SRI will introduce a variety of craft programs and camps in 2010. Guests will be taught crafting skills and techniques by trained experts using Martha Stewart Crafts products (http://www.marthastewart.com/crafts). MSLO's crafts products are manufactured by EK Success, which distributes the products to mass market and specialty craft retailers nationwide.
Commenting on the crafts camps, Ms. Marino added: "As with Weddings, MSLO has incredible brand equity in Martha Stewart Crafts and we have built a robust business with a beautiful, innovative line of products. Our Crafts classes and camps at both Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts will allow us to bring our expertise and popular products to vacationing couples or families who are always looking for fun and interesting activities that they can do together."
About Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) is a diversified media and merchandising company, inspiring and engaging consumers with unique lifestyle content and distinctive products. The Publishing segment encompasses four magazines, including the company's flagship publication, Martha Stewart Living, periodic special issues and books. The marthastewart.com website provides consumers with instant access to MSLO's multimedia library, search and find capabilities, recipes, online workshops, community and personalization, as well as wedding-planning tools powered by WeddingWire. The Broadcasting segment produces such programming as the Emmy-winning daily, nationally syndicated television series, "The Martha Stewart Show," and Martha Stewart Living Radio on SIRIUS channel 112 and XM Radio 157. In addition to its media properties, MSLO offers high-quality Martha Stewart products through licensing agreements with carefully selected companies, including the Martha Stewart Collection exclusively at Macy's, Martha Stewart Everyday at Kmart, Martha Stewart Crafts with EK Success at Wal-Mart, Michaels and independent retailers, Martha Stewart for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM and a co-branded food line with Costco. In 2008, Emeril Lagasse joined the Martha Stewart family of brands; MSLO acquired the assets related to Lagasse's media and merchandising business, including television programming, cookbooks, and emerils.com website and his licensed kitchen and food products. For additional information about MSLO, visit www.marthastewart.com.
About Sandals Resorts International
Sandals Resorts has earned a worldwide reputation for providing two people in love with the most romantic vacation experience in the Caribbean. Currently, there are 12 Luxury Included(R) Sandals Resorts located in Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia and The Bahamas. Each offers stunning beachfront locations; a choice of a la carte restaurants; all premium brand wine and spirits; luxurious accommodations; watersports including the Caribbean's largest PADI certification program; Butler Service; and lavish Red Lane(R) Spas.
Sandals Resorts has been voted the Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand at the World Travel Awards for 15 years in a row, and World's Leading All-Inclusive Company for 13 years in a row. For more information visit www.sandals.com .
With four spectacular locations on the most beautiful beaches in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica, Beaches Resorts is the most comprehensive vacation available in the Caribbean including gourmet meals; premium brand wine and spirits; and luxurious accommodations. Activities include outrageous waterparks; XBOX(R) 360 Game Garages; Crayola Art Camps; new teen and tween programming, Scratch DJ Academy, Liquid nightclub, Game lounge and exclusive Kids Camps with a full schedule of age-appropriate activities as well as childcare provided by trained Certified Nannies. As a proud sponsor of Sesame Street, Beaches Resorts offers the Beaches Resorts Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street, offering daily activities and weekly stage shows. With additional amenities including Butler Service and Red Lane(R) Spas; Beaches Resorts truly offers something for everyone.
Beaches Resorts has been voted the World's Best Family All-Inclusive Resort for 11 years in a row. For more information about Beaches Resorts visit the Web site at www.beaches.com.
SOURCE Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.