Destination Weddings | Finding the Right Photographer

There are so many reasons why I love destination weddings. They are SUCH an incredible experience for everyone involved. Every time I have the pleasure of serving a couple and their guests in a new place, I hear so much buzz about how this is the “wedding of the year” from just about everyone in attendance. Guests are always so stunned by the location, it’s beauty, and the fun they are having! Being removed from their everyday lives enables them to forget the worries of home, let go of their devices, and ultimately be more present during your day. They also feel so much more love, care, and connection from the couple since they get so much more quality time with them than a local wedding permits.

For the couple, the experience is so rewarding and life-giving. Not only do they feel the warmth of creating something so amazing for their guests, but also they get something unique for themselves. They end up with pictures that blow their minds, memories that focus on nature and people instead of stress and material things, and they get to have their first real adventure together be something of epic proportions. If you are anything like me, I can’t have just one day of celebration. I turn anniversaries into week-long events and my birthday into a series of parties, trips, and music festival tickets. Destination weddings give the couple the chance to make their celebration bigger and longer, relieving the pressure of the one perfect day, without sacrificing the engagement of those around them.

As a photographer, traveling somewhere new for work can reignite my creative fire. I can’t tell you how thrilled I get with every new opportunity and location. I enjoy the planning and research it requires as well as the adventure I get to be a part of. Traveling is a huge part of my life and I love the feeling of sharing it with others! This journey fulfills the wanderlust we all feel (unless you’re like me and it’s turned into full-on fernweh!) so take the leap and enjoy the trip!

Destination Wedding Tip: Hire the Right Photographer

In replacement of the in-house photographer your venue may provide (due to their possible lack of experience, creativity or incentive to go the extra mile for you,) many opt to hire a photographer without regard to their proximity to the chosen destination. Since you are interacting with your photographer so much on your day and letting them into some of your most intimate circles, I think this is a good idea because you can find someone you connect with and will provide exactly what you are dreaming of without the limitation of where the photographer lives.

One tip I have is to hire a photographer that has experience traveling, especially traveling for photography. They will be experienced enough to make sure this process is as easy as possible for you! Since most of my couples don’t live anywhere near me, I make sure all of my business practices are distance friendly (like booking, payment, and planning) as well as making sure the packages I offer are simple and travel-friendly so the couple can feel confident there will be no surprises.

The second tip I have is to find someone you WANT to hang out with! With destination weddings, you all are traveling together, relaxing together, and exploring together so you want someone you would actually enjoy spending all this time with and can blend into your family well. I’ve actually spent an entire week in Mexico with a couple and their guest list where we all came out of it calling each other family. We are still connected to this day and have reunions from time to time. I want this experience for you too!

My third tip is to find someone that is willing to travel for your engagement session. This is beneficial for couples that still want an engagement session in a location that represents them; whether it is where they live now, in their hometown, or where they got engaged. There are so many locations that can mean something to a couple and represent their lives so you want someone that can accommodate that. I personally offer to each of my couples an engagement session with no extra travel fees for any location in the US so that they can have the best experience possible!

PS. If your resort wants to charge you with an extra fee for bringing in another photographer instead of using theirs, I’ve found ways around that! Contact me and we can chat!

I hope you enjoyed my first set of tips of this two-part series on destination weddings! Next, you’ll hear all about some major packing tips, how to transport your dress, and how to find the right dress for your destination!!

Hi, I’m Joni! I’m a destination wedding photographer based in Bloomington, IN. I’m known for my constant laughter, floral print dresses, and free-spirited travel habits. I love focusing on emotional moments, natural laughter, and the incredible landscapes you have selected for your soulful vows. I work with the most amazing couples all around the world! I would love to hear from you!

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