Monday, May 12, 2008

Thoughts from Shanghai

Thankfully - we left China just one hour before the massive earthquake hit the central part of the country yesterday.  What a tragedy  - my heart is sick. Thank you to all who called or emailed to make sure I was okay!!

We are now in Tokyo and heading out to spend the day gathering insights into the Japanese wedding market.

Here is a brief recap of my whirlwind 36 hours in Shanghai::

Wow.  Wow!  So much to report from my trip over here and first experiences!!  Has been non-stop {you can follow frequent updates over on Twitter – check out the right hand side of the blog!}.

The flight over was quite amazing – International First Class is certainly the way to go!! I hit the ground running and witnessed 4 chinese weddings at the Intercontinental Hotel that first night along with an amazing authentic dinner in a local neighborhood with my dear friend Gary Rosen – loved every minute of it!  

Today we took a chauffered car all around the city visiting the top hotels to research their wedding programs including the
Four Seasons Shanghai, Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, the Sheraton, Le Meridien, The Westin, the 3-day new Crowne Plaza Century Park, the Hyatt on the Bund {breathtaking and my favorite of them ALL!} and the legendary Shangrila. So interesting — there are many differences in weddings here but at the end of the day – it is about the bride and groom celebrating with cherished family and friends!  I am just taking it all in right now and observing and learning as much as I possibly can...fascinating on every level.

I am blown away by this city – the size of it is beyond belief and the future growth of this market is staggering in size and scope. The attention to detail, the authentic, genuine service and the incredible architecture [both old and new] is beyond belief.  

To put things in perspective - China hosts on average 9 million weddings per year! Compare that to the average 2.4 million in the US.  Staggering.

More from Tokyo next!!!

Photo sent to me by the amazing photographers Eric & Jen Larsen of

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