I have to be honest with you, I love destination weddings. Whether you are planning a destination wedding by the water in Mexico or are dreaming of the Napa Valley vineyards, nothing makes my heart sing like combining wedding photography with travel. Today, I’m going to share 4 tips when it comes to planning your destination wedding but if you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here. For more real wedding inspiration, make sure you also say hi over on Instagram!
If you are planning a destination wedding in 2023, book early!
Gone are the days of last-minute deals (and you wouldn’t want to book your wedding that way anyway!). If you are planning a destination wedding in 2023, I recommend booking your travel at least 8-10 months in advance, if not more. If you are bringing wedding vendors with you (keep reading for why I think you should hire a wedding photographer local to you), they are likely going to need at least that much notice too so they can secure a great travel rate too.
Whether you are hiring a wedding photographer who includes travel or you are choosing a wedding photographer who charges for travel separately, you know their travel is included in the wedding photography rate you paid. If you book early, you’ll likely save money (so you can splurge on more things you care about!).
Make sure you book a wedding photographer you trust!
Destination weddings can be tricky. Although I always think you should do your research before booking your photographer (check out these posts here and here for more advice!), with a destination wedding you need someone who can work in a variety of light and weather conditions. You already know this, but in case you have been tempted: your destination wedding is NOT the time to hire a wedding photographer willing to do it “in exchange for the cost of travel”. If anything, experience is even MORE important now.
On top of that, I will always recommend bringing a local wedding photographer so that you can book engagement photos with the same person. Yes, a photographer’s work may be beautiful online, but how will you know how they make YOU feel. I promise to make my engagement photoshoots fun with you, but it’s also such a crucial part of us getting to know each other so we feel like best friends on your wedding day.
Consider adding photography for “extra” events like a welcome dinner or group excursion
When in Rome, right? When you are planning a destination wedding, one of my biggest tips is to take advantage of a (likely) smaller guest count and add on extra events like a welcome dinner or group excursion. Depending on the destination, it likely doesn’t cost as much as you think and it will be worth every penny. Couples often choose to have a destination wedding so they can spend MORE time with their guests, so why not add a photographer to capture these events too? While there will likely be an additional charge, the travel is already paid for!
Look at All Inclusive Destinations to Save Some Money
Maybe it’s the cold weather creeping in here in Michigan, but an all-inclusive resort in Mexico or in the Caribbean is calling my name right about now! You too? While not all destination weddings will save you money compared to a local wedding (a dreamy wedding at a vineyard in France likely won’t!), there are many all-inclusive destination wedding packages that cost a fraction of what you would spend here in Detroit.
As an added bonus, all-inclusive destination wedding resorts often offer incentives like “one in every 12th guest travels free” so depending on your guest count, you might get your trip paid for. Obviously, you won’t walk away making money (LOL!) but you can use that savings to spoil your guests with a group excursion or splurge on something else you enjoy!
Planning a Destination Wedding in 2023?
If you are looking for a destination wedding photographer in Michigan, I would love to talk more! My schedule is booking quickly for 2023, and with a destination wedding I like to give myself a little extra time on either side of your wedding date, so connect with me soon and let’s chat about your vision. If you are looking for light and airy wedding photos (with an editorial, yet joyful style!), I think you may have just found your person. Learn more about working together here!