Why You Should Consider a Destination Wedding

Charleston Film Photographer_0016.jpg

Being a wedding photographer means loving weddings - tented, church, lakeside, ballroom. You name it, we love it! But my husband and I just wanted something a bit different. First, I didn't want our wedding weekend to feel like work and second, my husband isn't a 'big groups' person. So with that in mind, we set our eyes on Paris and are so happy we did. If you'd like to read more about our special day, here is a blog post fully dedicated to it, pictures included!

They aren't for everyone, but I hope I can encourage anyone on the fence to go for it!  Here are a few of my reasons why you should at least consider a destination wedding:

Destination Wedding.jpg
  1. It can be a hassle to get there.
    • I realize this sounds like a negative, but in reality it's doing the hardest work for you: narrowing down the guest list. Having a destination wedding means the people who take the time and effort to attend are fully invested in the weekend. They are more likely to be engaged with friends and family and less likely to be sneaking out of events early to head home. They really really want to be there.
  2. A smaller guest list means more potential for activities. 
    • To take a huge group on a wine tour, bike ride, hike, etc. is basically impossible and like point #1, some guests are just not committed to the full experience. A smaller, more excited guest list means you'll have people who want to participate in more than just the ceremony + reception. Part of the magic of destination weddings is the extra time you get to spend with the guests - whether through set activities, welcome parties, or just bumping into each other in the lobby. Your old friends and new friends have opportunities to bond and really get to know each other.
  3. Intimacy.
    • For us, a huge factor was the 'wedding introductions.' Meaning people you meet for the first time on your wedding day. We wanted everyone we interacted with on our wedding day to be someone who knew us well and was committed to encouraging our marriage for years and years to come. So often I see brides and grooms spend the majority of the reception meeting family-friends and plus ones, rather than dancing or talking with loved ones. It seems like missing out on the celebration in order to speak with people you may never see again.
  4. Expense.
    • Even including travel, it can be far less expensive to get married abroad - mainly because the per head count will be significantly less. However, I always recommend investing in a photographer you truly love rather than one who might be local or convenient. Many American photographers are happy to travel for weddings in other countries (hello, we are)!
  5. Stress.
    • It is so much, and I mean so much less stressful to plan. A lot of the tiny decisions are cut out, leaving the emphasis on people - that's what you'll remember after all, the people who came to celebrate and encourage you. You'll have to trust your vendors even more, but letting go of that control is probably really really healthy.
  6. It's different.
    • One thing we loved most about our wedding was that it just felt like ours. We've yet to attend or shoot another wedding that felt exactly the same - even family-only affairs and other destination weddings feel totally different. We loved having something special that felt unique to our story. 

Destination weddings are not for everyone, in fact, they are probably for the few and far between. We absolutely loved our experience and wouldn't change it for the world, but we also love all the local weddings we get to shoot. Feel free to send me your questions, fears or hesitations - I'm happy to convince you to take the leap!