Whether it's the rustic beauty of Costa Rica, the gorgeous beaches of St. Maarten, or the unmatched tropical backdrop of St. Lucia, brides are trading in the formal affair for an intimately casual experience.
While high-tailing it to your dream location can be exciting, the experience can be a bit foreign, especially if you've never been there before. What's the planning phase look like? What should I expect from my photographer? How will I know where to get pictures taken? Is it going to cost more for photos?
There tends to be a lot more questions than there are answers. But don't fret; there are things you can control, even from hundreds of miles away.
Our team sat down with a few margaritas and put together a list of things that might slip your mind while you're thinking of the sun, tropical breezes and picture-perfect landscapes.
We wanted to give you a sense of what you're about to experience - from start to finish. So, let's dive in!
Negotiating the Contract
Once you've decided on a wedding photographer, it's important to know that the contract will be slightly different when compared to weddings on home soil. Some photographers might expect per diems or to have certain expenses paid for.
Whether you're paying for their food, travel or nothing at all, make sure you capture everything in writing before you sign on the dotted line. Our team prides itself on pure transparency. Knowing exactly what you're getting and for how much can give you peace of mind.
Scouting Photography Locations
When planning your must-have photos, it's hard to book an evening and scout your favourite spots. Unless you're willing to shell out a few thousand for flights or have a private jet. If it's the latter, sign us up!
We always recommend putting together a dream shot list. Unless you're really off the beaten path, you can probably see what other brides have done at the same location you're going to. Start there for inspiration. Build out a dream list on Pinterest and don't be shy - pull in everything you love!
From there, we'll do the rest. We'll do our own research, talk to the wedding planner at the resort, and make sure we've got everything in line before we get there.
Once we touchdown, we'll spend the first day doing on-site scouting to finalize your shot list. We'll see what will work and what won't, get a sense for lighting, and determine if there are any other spots that could offer up memorable photos.
Not being able to see your location can be stressful. Our team does everything we can before the big day to make sure we're delivering your dream photographs.
Comfort, Intimacy and Amazing Photos
Whether you're getting married at the local chapel down the road or at a 5-star resort in Hawaii, there is one common ingredient to amazing photos: Comfort and trust.
It's important to select a photographer that you're comfortable with. It's like a relationship. You want to be able to trust them, lean on them for support and know that they are there for you. When it comes to a destination wedding, this is even more important.
For destination brides, we tend to spend more time going over the shot list, wedding plans and what they expect. Not knowing what the day will REALLY be like can be very stressful. Our team looks for every possible opportunity to alleviate those worries so you can enjoy your big day and be confident that your photos will capture your natural beauty and intimacy.
Have a Plan and a Plan for a Plan
As much as every bride wants their big day to go off without a hitch, there are usually a few hiccups along the way. This can be even more daunting when you can't ask your Aunt to run home to get your clutch.
We've learned over the years that, while a plan is great, you have to have a backup just in case. We'll go over the entire day step-by-step. Our team has seen it all so we can usually plan ahead for those "just in case" situations. We usually develop a few Plan Bs that will address everything from Mother Nature to overcrowded tourism.
Additional Things to Keep in Mind
- Pick the right time of year. Many of the popular locations have rainy months and peak tourism times.
- Build in some extra time for hair and make-up. Whether it's those tropical breezes, mid-day showers or sun-induced sweats, the location can have a big impact. It's nothing a little touch up can't fix, but be sure to set aside the time.
- Plan for wrinkles. Flying can wreak havoc on a dress or tux. Plan ahead and make sure the resort has steamers on hand!
- Sunsets are a bit different. Many tropical destinations have shorter days, which means the sun sets a lot earlier than back home. Your photographer can help you with building this into your plan!
- Second and third photo shoots. Are you staying at your destination for a few days? It could be a great idea to schedule some fun pre or post photo shoots with your family and friends.
Don't Be Shy
Do you have questions about your destination wedding and want some advice? Contact us directly! We're always happy to help.