destination wedding expert advice
AN INSIDER'S GUIDE FOR PLANNING THE PERFECT DESTINATION WEDDING
What is better than planning a wedding at home? How about planning a spectacular destination wedding where you get to spend the most unforgettable moments with the ones you love? Be it the metropolitan majesty of a centuries-old European melting pot, the rolling hills of Tuscany and Provence, or the quaint-village charm of a Greek island; a destination wedding is hard to beat. Read on to find out how to make your memories eternal.
Wedding Destination Goals
Planning your far-flung wedding means dancing to your own tune and reinventing your I do's to gear up for your new chapter in life. Choosing a wedding destination with authentic grit and eclecticism that expresses your personality equals unrivaled excitement following every part of your celebration, losing yourself to a ceremony that carries that local or unique punch, and of course, scoring those awe-inspiring photographs always to remind you of your times together. Are you party-people or looking for complete relaxation? Head to Greece; Are you foodies and heritage lovers? Go for the ultimate Italian escape. Do you appreciate rose wines and rolling lavender-clad bastides? Provence & France are your cups of tea. The more meaningful your wedding destination is to you (both individually and as a couple), the more enthusiastic you'll be to plan, design, and curate it. Remember, your identity will show all across your destination wedding portraits too! To that end...
Select the right time of the year for your destination wedding
Trust the timing of your life goes the adage, but trust the timing of your wedding too, says your destination wedding photographer. Timing is so important because not all regions are equally beautiful or popular during specific seasons. And while destination wedding beauty is one, feeling you've landed the busiest wedding season and having to settle for less (less venue-availability, higher booking and accommodation rates, back-to-back nuptials, only to mention a few) is not. As a destination wedding photographer, I always advise my brides and grooms to consider these factors and help them understand that opting for a destination wedding slightly-off wedding season may even come with perks. For instance, in most European regions, daylight is softer and sweeter in autumn and spring than in high July.
Destination wedding success depends on the right people to trust
Those dreamy celebrations you've been ogling on Pinterest, across wedding blogs and magazines are not the result of random inspiration nor DIY wisdom. When you plan a destination wedding (and I cannot stress this enough), you DO need a wedding planner and designer, as much as you need an expert destination wedding photographer. You see, each location is singular, and I'm not talking only about the style of your fete. Laws, bureaucracy, logistics, processes vary among regions, and only an expert in those can do the right work for you. Style-wise, it takes a completely different vision to plan a destination wedding in Greece and an utterly diverse one to throw the party of a lifetime in Italy. Plus, what is allowed in one region may come with restrictions in another and vice versa. An expert destination wedding planner will make sure there are no worry lines on your forehead the day you get to capture your love portraits – even if you’re planning an elopement or a microwedding. Speaking of which...
What kind of destination wedding is right for you?
The answer depends on several factors. Micromonies, microdos, intimate weddings, and destination elopements have always been popular. In fact, in 2020, they experienced a major style-uplift because destination brides and grooms sought to make something more of their nuptials. As grander events took a raincheck, intimate destination weddings became plusher, more vibrant and stylistically sumptuous. Couples began looking for more ways to imbue their destination vows with experiences, native punch, pre-wedding, and post-wedding events. Defining the kind of destination wedding that is right for you is to consider all those beautiful things you wish to share with your partner and your loved ones; the joyrides you'll take, and the dreams you want to realize; So no matter how many guests are on your list, even if having a destination wedding involves just the two of you make it a truly momentous, one, topped up with wonderful discoveries, new indulgences, and intentionality.
Your destination wedding and style will matter big!
Most of my destination wedding clients fall in love with a region, just like they fall for each other; head over heels! They seek out "la dolce vita" at the Amalfi Coast; they adore the sizzling wonderment of Paris' arrondissement; they exploit the beauty and surprises plunking down in Rome, or seek out the bisque yellow facades of 16th-century bastides in Provence, the honeyed breath of free abandon in Santorini. These magical places always inspire their destination wedding style and vibe. Deciding on your big day's aesthetics, the color palettes and the fashion of your details can serve as great indicators of the location where you host your I do's. Being a traveling photographer, this little gem of advice became so clear to me. No two destinations are alike, even if they are in the same country, the same way each couple is different from the next. That said, you can bring the charm of a mystical Riad into a destination wedding outside Morocco and create a mindful concept. After all... IT'S YOUR DAY TO ENJOY!
Getting effective with your destination wedding
Setting your priorities straight and avoiding the slapdash approach has a huge impact on the kind of destination wedding you're bound to experience. Booking the most important vendors (aka your wedding photographer and your wedding planner) quickly and not trying to save on those who matter most is a sure-fire to establish a solid, substantial team to serve your constant abettors and ramparts against destination wedding calamities. Having them on board (and in collaboration) from day one of your destination wedding planning journey means securing your I do's most important parts. What is the point in having an incredible floral inspiration if there is no wedding planner to make it palpable? And of course, what are an out-of-this-world couture wedding gown and amazing moments spent without a good photographer to capture your beauty, your vision, and your most beautiful memories? I can’t stress enough how important good photos remind you how pretty your wedding day was and how much fun you had with your favorite people.
Destination wedding photography 101 - make time for a timeline
Destination wedding photography groundwork is essential to amazing photographic results. And by groundwork, I mean collaborating with your photographer to establish a timeline. Having traveled worldwide to capture weddings, the way different cultures approach time, and timing, never comes out as a surprise. The same goes for seasonal traffic. Depending on your wedding destination, itineraries can vary from season to season. (example: it may take you about 40 minutes to drive from Amalfi to Positano off-season, but in summer, that 10 km of curbs uphill can take from 1.hr.45 minutes to 2hrs). Establishing a timeline with the assistance of your destination wedding photographer will be a life savior. No worrying whether you or them will make it on time, no wondering you might miss the good light... Wedding timelines work like magic because they help you know the when and hows will allow you time to unwind between stages and keep you at ease that everything is taken care of. And you know how that translates on cam? A carefree, pleased couple! Winner!
Last -and my top-tier advice - although you do need to be more organized than a couple getting wed locally, you are also in for some tremendous fun. Setting up unhurried appointments with experts to help you navigate through each step will ensure the smoothest process. Contact me for a complimentary consultation on your destination wedding photography or to tap on my insights on the best wedding destinations in Italy, France, Greece, and beyond. Allow nothing to hinder your vision. It's time for excitement and those amazing vibes!