Blade is looking to elevate weddings… quite literally. The aviation startup company, best known for its convenient app-to-destination helicopter experience, is specifically venturing into the wedding industry with packages customized for nuptial-related experiences, including everything from a couple’s desired chopper ceremony entrance to their potential getaway ride in a sea plane.
“Millennials are looking for experiences,” Zac Schwartz, a marketing representative at the company, tells The Knot. “And Blade can create an experience like no other brand can.” Within the last year, the millennial-friendly startup has seen an uptick in demand for wedding-specific requests, including sweeping gestures like surprise proposals out in the Hamptons (about a 30-minute ride via helicopter from New York City; or three hours by train and a question mark factoring car traffic), or weekend elopements in the quietly luxurious destination of Nantucket.
Blade, of course, is also open to accommodating beyond the typical couple-centric events, offering bachelor and bachelorette party packages that can take groups from the city to the Jersey Shore and the Hamptons. In fact, recent movies like Crazy Rich Asians builds the company’s case for venturing into luxurious wedding day transportation options. The film features a scene where one groomsman has planned a bachelor party on a dressed-up container ship—located smack in the middle of the ocean. “Anyone can plan a normal stag party,” the colorful character named Bernard Tai boasts to his fellow groomsmen. The camera then pans to the container ship, and of course, the only way for the guys to even get to the destination is by helicopter.
Blade, Schwartz explains, conveniently provides a seamless experience and option to those seeking more from their wedding-related events. “We’ve planned a true end-to-end solution,” he says. “All the couple or their wedding planner needs to do is book [the trip] and we’ll handle everything else, including flier experience, logistics, luggage and refreshments. Leave everything—except your in-laws—to us.”
Typically, the journey begins with the Blade app or a simple email to the events team. When the day arrives (and some frequent flyers simply book their trip hours in advance on their phones), clients will then make their way over to a Blade Lounge, which already has a growing presence in key U.S. markets like San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles.
“We have a plethora of fabulous options to accommodate couples and their loved ones,” Schwartz adds. “We can coordinate a champagne toast in our lounges, hire a photographer to track the couple’s glorious ascent, and shut down the entire space for an intimate, friends-and-family-only cocktail party.” (Each add-on will set the couple back anywhere from $250 to $5,000 depending on the ask.) After a celebratory toast, guests will then board their aircrafts for the anticipated quick trek to their respective destinations.
“The wedding process is a time for couples to splurge, and there’s nothing more glamorous than jetting to the wedding or to the bachelorette with us,” Schwartz adds. There is, of course, a cap on the number of bodies aboard each aircraft with helicopters typically accommodating up to six people and seaplanes carrying up to eight. Pets and luggage are handled by the company, and this includes the tricky transportation of wedding dresses, which remains a common logistical question for most couples flying to their ceremony spots.
“If a bride is uncomfortable with flying a dress to the Hamptons by helicopter, then we can always arrange ground connect service to transport oversized items by car,” Schwartz says. “We’re eager to work with brides and grooms to create the most seamless experience for their big day. However, if they charter a helicopter or seaplane, a wedding dress can absolutely fit.”
The obvious and glaring question, then, is just how much is required of this type of experience? The convenience already pushes the value up, but it’s not as demanding as one might think. According to the brand, packages oscillate based on factors like distance and the number of people included. Overall, Blade’s wedding offerings begin at $2,565 for a quick ride for six from New York City to the coast of New Jersey. A flight to New York City’s summertime hot spot, The Hamptons, starts at about $4,250, and $4,800 to Nantucket, followed by a starting price tag of $6,150 for a trip to the New England coastal enclave of Newport, Rhode Island.
Keep in mind, however, that it’s still well above the typical cost of what couples spend in the U.S. According to The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study, couples on average spend about $830 on wedding day transportation, while even the upper echelon of wedding spenders drop about $1,388 on such options.
One lower cost experience for newlywed couples itching to utilize Blade might be to simply bypass traffic to the airport for their honeymoons. The price tag will set them back about $1,325, in favor of one incredible way to greet a honeymoon.
“The Blade couple is daring, sophisticated, and celebratory,” says Schwartz. “They want to treat themselves to this special experience that they will absolutely not forget. And of course… It will make for a great Instagram moment.”
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