Before you book anything! Have these quick tips in mind when you start to plan your perfect destination wedding:
Here are some more tips to help make the memories of your destination wedding as beautiful as they can be:
Get to Know Your Vendors Personally, Anywhere in the World: Just because your favourite photographer or videographer may be across the country (or across the world) doesn’t mean that it all has to be email communication. Video consultations has become the norm in setting up meetings with each of my couples to get to know them and give them the peace of mind that we are real people who are passionately in love with what we do and that we are so excited to be a part of their wedding day. Following me on my socials, especially when I do my ‘behind the scenes’ stories really shows a genuine appreciation of how har dI work on your wedding day.
Don’t Get Locked Into a Venue That Forces You to Use Their Vendors: Make sure you can bring a destination wedding photographer with you to your dream location by double checking with your resort or venue that outside vendors are allowed. Some venues require you to use their vendors and it is written into their contract. As always, thoroughly read every contract before you sign it as often a non-refundable retainer accompanies them to reserve your wedding day. It’s important that you check with your venue before you book because once you do and if they do not allow outside vendors, you could have your heart broken (Imagine being forced to use a photographer who style doesn’t speak to you – or is just a grumpy soul who sticks out for the wrong reasons on your day).
What You Can Expect for Costs:
While some destination wedding photographers may include some travel fees in their destination wedding collections like I do, many do not and it that is completely understandable because they are doing the work in addition to traveling to your wedding. Please keep this in mind when asking for quotes and do not be afraid to ask if you can use your airline miles or be creative in arranging for travel plans.
Here are the following costs associated with a destination wedding that your wedding photographer will be taking into account when booking your destination wedding and creating travel plans: airfare, baggage (photography equipment + personal luggage), hotel (2-4 nights depending on how long your event will last), rental car (duration of stay) or transfer fee’s, vendor meals during your event, roughly £30/day per photographer for meals on travel days.
Booking Your Destination Wedding Photographer’s Travel:
You or your destination wedding photographer can book the travel. If you decide to use airline miles or special discounts and book their travel yourself, make sure to double check all the information such as departure location, time and layovers with your photographer before booking their flights. Your photographer may decide to book their own travel and it’s important to give them enough time in advance to do this. One key element for me is ensuring my carry-on bag not only fits in size but also weight – this does restrict airlines I can use or ticket types… my carry-on is the key camera and equipment I’ll need and its stuck net to me the whole time.
Book Your Destination Wedding Professionals AT LEAST 6 Months in Advance:
Depending on where you will be getting married, some destinations require permits and are strict on this rule. Your destination wedding photographer should check and make sure that they can obtain the permit to photograph your wedding and start the process immediately upon booking as some permits can take months to clear and receive.
Arrange For Your Vendors to Arrive At Least 48 Hours Prior to Your Wedding: Give your destination wedding photographer time to scout the location and travel time in case any weather or flight delays arise during that time. You also want your photographer refreshed and ready to go for your wedding day and by giving them the extra time before they start photographing, you can be sure they are prepared and stress free to focus on your wedding photography. Often I’ll only need 24hrs, especially if flight times are in line with the body clock – but I also use a day before or after your wedding for your non-wedding shoot – your very own travel photographer – as part of my package.
Triple Check That Your Ceremony Site is Truly Private: Some resorts and destination wedding locations promise that your ceremony site is private but then day of your wedding comes and you find yourself on a public beach, exchanging vows and surrounded by people in bikinis and rainbow umbrellas. This is because they own that small part of the beach but can do nothing about the people on the rest of the beach. If they promise you will be the only ones on the beach, double and triple check that this is the case if it is a stipulation for you signing their contract and utilizing their ceremony site. If you have gotten a ceremony site that is not private, we offer additional editing for images selected for your albums where we take out all distractions at no extra fee.
Make Sure The Season You’ve Chosen is Right For Your Destination: During the summer, the Caribbean and most tropical locations in the western hemisphere are visited by rain frequently at that time. While sometimes it is only for a couple hours a day, some areas are prone to flash flooding or extreme winds. A good destination wedding coordinator will ensure a back up plan that has a secure and safe location in the event that the weather decided to celebrate with you on your wedding day and got a little too excited.
Schedule Your Ceremony and Portraits Correctly for Sunset: Being based in Florida, this is one of the biggest problems that we see for destination weddings: ceremonies set for exactly sunset. Why is this a problem? Having your ceremony as the sun literally sets behind you is so romantic but if you have chosen not to do a first look or any formal photos prior to the ceremony, there will be no more beautiful colors or daylight for formals photos following the ceremony. At that point flash would need to be used and will create a harsher light and almost make you look super-imposed onto the background of whichever gorgeous location you’ve chosen. The soft, airy and colorful formal images you see throughout our portfolio are captured with natural lighting and right at the golden hour which is the most appealing and flattering lighting for formal photos. Set your outdoor ceremonies for 4:30 or an hour and a half prior to sunset to leave time for those must have images at sunset.
Need to know more?
While I’ve given you so much information in this blog, I’d love to hear any questions you may have or things you’ve experienced from planning your own destination wedding. As always, your wedding day is about the two of you getting married and celebrating the love you’ve spent building up over the years. Surround yourself with those who support you, love you and celebrate your marriage and vendors who are excited to be a part of this stop on your adventure together.