About VIP - Lauren Leayman
VIP Master Specialist - Destination Weddings
As a graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA with my BS in the Tourism & Hospitality Management program, I have yearned to find a career that could incorporate my love of travel and put to use all the years I spent studying hopitality and resort management. I've worked in many areas of this industry including Resort & Event Management, Concert Production and Restaurant Management. Even though I learned a great deal in my previous positions, I never felt I was in the right place to fully put my talents to work. While I was working as a banquet manager, I discovered that working with engaged couples during their reception planning was very gratifying. I set out to find a career where I could work with engaged couples and truly help plan all aspects of their wedding and put to use the love I have for travel. It became clearer to me that working in the emerging market of destination weddings would be my forte. My searching led me to the top destination wedding agency in the country, VIP Vacations Inc.!
I guess I am a hopeless romantic and truly believe in fate, as that is what I believe led me to my dream job here at VIP Vacations. I had been doing research about careers in travel and really focusing on weddings. After becoming frustrated that almost every travel agency I looked into "dabbled" in weddings but didn't truly profess to be destination wedding experts, I decided to contact my aunt, who had planned a destination wedding to the Riviera Maya. That is where fate stepped in, as my aunt could only rave about VIP Vacations and their President Jennifer Doncsecz. My enthusiastic aunt spoke only positive words about her entire experience from the initial phone call to VIP to saying "I do" on the sugar white sand of the Riviera Maya! She commented on how the agents at VIP were wonderful to work with and that she could see me planning weddings with them. I knew I just had to work for VIP and wanted to help create the same great experience for others that my aunt had gone through.
I have a deep desire to provide clients with a positive and seamless experience when planning their dream getaway! VIP Vacations Inc. has shown me how to become an exceptional agent through continuing education including training, seminars, site inspections and certifications. I have even traveled with a wedding group to Beaches Turks & Caicos and followed the footsteps of the resort's on site wedding planner. I actually helped to set up the ceremony and reception locations, as VIP believes that their agents need to be fully immersed in everything our couples will have to go through - even up to their last dance at the reception.
I am now a Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialist and have an avid passion for this niche market. I am a very detailed person and believe that it is the "little" details that make a huge difference. I've worked with brides in other areas of their planning process from planning their spa services to overseeing their actual wedding and reception. With my background and VIP's reputation, I am confident that I can help couples plan the destination wedding that they have always dreamed about!
"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." - Jawaharial Nehru.
Destination Wedding Specialist
|Travel Agent Magazine’s 2012 “35 Under 30”|
Congratulations on being named one of Travel Agent magazine’s 2012 “35Under30”! After careful review of your submission, the editors of Travel Agent have chosen you to be a part of this exclusive group, which was created in 2008 to recognize ambitious, innovative and hardworking travel agents, under the age of 30, who are changing the way travel is sold. In addition to those attributes, the one thing that stands out about you—and all the others in this year’s crop—is a passion for travel.
The best of luck to you on this exciting career path you've chosen. We expect to hear much more from you in the years to come.
Vice President-Content/Editorial Director
Travel Agent Magazine
Questex Travel Group
|Destination Wedding at Dreams Palm Beach in Punta Cana|
Jason and I would like to thank you for all the hard work and helpful suggestions you gave us regarding our destination wedding at Dreams Palm Beach in Punta Cana. The wedding was absolutely perfect and the resort was just as amazing. There is not a single thing I would change looking back at it now. Jason and I have only done cruises before so we didn't know what to expect as far as the resort, but it far exceeded our expectations. I would go back to this resort in a heart beat.
The Dominican Republic was also gorgeous and even with going in the end of June, the weather, even though very hot, was still enjoyable between the pool, pool bar and beach in such close proximity. The only downfall of the resort was the restaurants tended to be very hot. Also, sometimes working with the wedding planner proved to be difficult. During our year and a half of planning our first wedding planner left and we were given another wedding planner who ended up leaving the resort about 2 weeks after we returned home. We definitely did a lot of waiting on the wedding planner to return emails and phone calls with answers to questions we had. The entire process of planning proved difficult at times, sometimes even questioning if we made the right decisions; ie. Did we thank everyone enough? Wedding details? Asking people to make the journey? Even though it was difficult at times during the planning process, we started to realize that we could only make so many decisions before we went and we could do a lot of the final planning once we got down there, and ultimately, this is how we wanted to share our vows. As far as the wedding activities, everything was perfect from the flowers, to the photographer and videographer, etc. After going through the whole process, it was the best decision we could have made. Not only did we get married in a gorgeous place, we felt such love from all our friends and family who made the trip to spend our special day with us.
We both would definitely recommend VIP Vacations, Inc. to friends and family because not only did Lauren help with the travel planning but she also become a wedding planner, and someone to help get advice on certain decisions. It was also so helpful working with Jennifer because of her expertise as a former destination bride herself. We had difficulties in the beginning of our planning while using a different travel agency, but through Lauren, found VIP Vacations, Inc. Jennifer was so helpful in guiding us to start the process all over again. There's not a single thing that we would change about all the hard work that VIP Vacations did for us. Lauren is one of our closest friends so it made the whole process very easy but she also had the patience to not only deal with all of our questions but our sometimes difficult family and friends. Lauren even took time out of one of her weekends to come meet with everyone who was going on the trip and go over details as far as flights, the resort, etc. I don't think things would have gone as great if we didn't have her help every step of the way. We thank you once again for all your hard work and making our wedding the best day of our lives.
|Destination Wedding at Majestic Elegance Punta Cana|
Amanda DeSantis & Yves Mekongo - July 28th, 2012
We are back from DR and had a wonderful vacation and even better wedding! I just wanted to thank you again for all of your time, trouble and hard work!! I really appreciate everything that you did to make it so wonderful!
I would/have been recommending a destination wedding to everyone since we have been home! It was so wonderful! We were there 4 days before the wedding and our guests arrived 2 days before. It was a wonderful 2 day build up to the event. The wedding itself was beautiful and everything we hoped for! Everyone is still raving about it and everyone who wasn't there are loving the pictures! It was great having a wedding and vacation in one- it makes the wedding last longer! :)
2. I would/and have been recommending D.R and Majestic Elegance to everyone also. We were a little surprised with the gazebo being right when you enter the resort, and with the beach ceremony location being so "open" (not private) but were glad we chose the gazebo! Even my family raved about the place and said that it was somewhere they would go back! The resort was truly beautiful!
3. I would/have been recommending VIP as well! You (Lauren) have been absolutely amazing since we started the process of finding a resort for our wedding. Through all of months of planning, Lauren made it so much easier to get the answers that we needed from each resort and once we chose Majestic Elegance, helped with every detail. We needed extra help because we were planning it from over seas, but she was wonderful! Also when we landed in Punta Cana, VIP was right there to take us to the resort, and once at the resort took care of all of our excursions and made sure everything was perfect.
4. We did have one guest who was unable to come (grooms father) due to medical reasons. We wish that a little more could have been done in order to get some of his money back, or upgrade someone else at the resort, but it did not work out. Everything else was wonderful!
Amanda & Yves Mekongo - Clifton, NJ
Here below is our review for you:
As we started planning our honeymoon adventure it was apparent from the start we had different ideas of what 'vacation' should be. Lauren had eased our minds by finding us just the right mix of romantic, beach resort (with swim-up pool!) yet close enough to all the adventure in El Dorado Seaside Suites, Riviera Maya, Mexico.
The best part of booking through VIP Vacations was the ease in which we were able to facilitate a honeymoon registry. I asked Lauren for some assistance with this and was able to upload the contact information and instructions right on my wedding webpage. We arrived to friendly and helpful staff eager to get us comfortable. The room was impeccable. We had such a great spot on the resort with a beachfront view. It was fantastic. We could easily walk anywhere in the resort in 5 min.
Lauren knew what she was doing when she recommended this resort for our honeymoon. The entire staff (everyone!) was super helpful and nice. We had amazing food. The couples massage on the beach was beyond amazing and the private dinner was so much fun.
Thank you Lauren for helping us book our first major adventure together. We really enjoyed the things you helped plan for us and can’t wait to go back!
Tracy and Josh Oscavich - Bethlehem, PA
|Destination Wedding at Sugar Bay St. Thomas|
Gabrielle Marino & Nicolas Cordisio - October 12th, 2012
I was so happy with my destination wedding! I would recommend having a destination wedding again. Going to St. Thomas and having the wedding at Sugar Bay was perfect for me. They were really nice and the resort was clean. It was a great place for families. VIP Vacations was very accommodating and extremely helpful at all times. I would absolutely recommend using travel VIP vacations. Not only were they professional the whole time, they made the whole wedding process go as smoothly as possible. Lauren, you were a great agent and I would definitely use you again for any other vacations that I will have to come. I think everything went perfect.
Gabrielle & Nicolas Cordisio - Philadelphia, PA