So you’ve made the decision – you’re out of here, you’re leaving the cold behind and you’re getting married somewhere hot and sandy. Well this blog is for you – because being a destination wedding photographer – I want to be able to help you as much as I can!
The dress. Despite popular belief, if you are getting married abroad you can get married in whatever kind of dress you want! Don’t feel that you are restricted to just the simple, loose gown. There are TONS of dresses out there now that are made from light-weight fabric, which are wrinkle resistant and are just as beautiful.
The look. Don’t feel that you have to compromise on your jewellery, hair or accessories in general just because you are being married somewhere warm. Wear your hair down, go for loose curls, wear the BIG veil (I am a HUGE advocate for these!). Wear a ton of accessories – they are beautiful. Buy shoes even if you ONLY wear them for a few photos – don’t feel you get less when going away – you can still have it all.
The venue. I can not stress this enough – make sure you do your research on venues, go beyond what a travel agent is telling you. Looking for an incredible wedding planner AND travel agent? Check out Jolyn at Wander Love (www.wanderloveweddings.com) – she is incredible. Find the destination that doesn’t charge you an additional $500 to have your photographs taken on the beach, or outrageous prices for chair ties. Begin to look into involving local vendors – getting married in Cabo? Want the MOST amazing videographer on this planet, check out Angel at www.cinematictouch.com . The use of local vendors in the area can add so much to your day, and also help you cut down on the price of your date. Look beyond the ‘normal’ and be creative. Maybe your centre pieces will have pineapple bottoms, your place mats could be palm tree leaves – the options and ideas are ENDLESS. You are leaving behind the ‘normal’ in Edmonton, indulge in all that is around you.
The location. Think outside of Mexico! Dreaming of Italy? Go there! What about Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala? Look into places that will be as unique to your day as you are. Make your wedding more than the standard ‘Package 1 2 or 3′. Goto a country that will be a once in a life time experience for you AND your guests. The difference between Costa Rica and Cancun Mexico could be smaller than you imagined. For example, my guests, for my vow renewal going to Hawaii, staying on the island of Lanai it is only $1100 for a WEEK inclusive! Hawaii is supposed to be outrageous expensive – have a great planner? Trust me – they will make it work!
Be prepared to do something wild. I have had clients up at sunrise to climb water falls, day long car rides to experience cenotes, or even sunset deserted private beaches. Don’t be afraid to do something a little selfish and just for you – the photos will be worth it. Trust your photographer and give it your all. Don’t regret not taking that extra few hours to venture for amazing pictures, when you are home there will be plenty of time to sleep – you may never get back to the beach with your wedding dress.
Make a schedule for your guests. Let them know where you will be – and tell them to meet you there. Don’t try to play bride and groom, organizer, tour guide and entertainment group. You will burn out and miss time with one another. If possible, book an extra 3 days – just for the two of you. It makes everything that much sweeter.
Bring a photographer you love, connect with and trust. As a photographer who has traveled to over 10 different destination weddings, ask yourself why you would compromise on photographs simply because you are going away? Why give all the trust to a photographer at a destination resort who will snap 50 photos for you to take home. There are some very good destination wedding photographers out there, but do your research – look at their work just like you would locally. Make sure these photographers are good enough and meet your expectations. Find the photographer with experience.
Be prepared that it’s going to be HOT when you are in a destination climate. POWER THROUGH. GET THE PHOTOS. Remember that you ONLY get one shot at this. Make it worth every penny. Remember it is your wedding day and you deserve every moment of that sunshine.
A quick blog for all brides who are considering going abroad for their destination wedding – hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful!