Once you’ve selected a venue for your destination wedding, one of the items on your to-do list is probably hiring a photographer. Choosing someone you trust to document the most important day of your life is tricky no matter where you’re tying the knot, but it can be especially tricky when you live hundreds or thousands of kilometres away from your chosen locale. Some venues will provide their own recommended list of photographers, which is non-negotiable. And some are open to couples bringing their own photographer. In some cases however, this decision is subject to a venue fee to compensate for the loss of business on their end. Therefore, ensure to review all terms to avoid problems and unpleasant surprises down the line.
Once you know the venue photography terms, you will be faced with a few extra decisions. Do I hire local or bring my own photographer?
Some venues, destination or otherwise, require you to use a photographer from their preferred vendor list. These are professionals they’ve worked with before and trust to deliver high-quality work. If this is the case at your chosen locale, it can make things a bit easier since the pros are pre-vetted for you. We recommend thoroughly reviewing the photographers from the list to see if any of their portfolios resonate with you. If at all possible, arrange for a zoom meet or call. This will allow you to connect better with the photographer and allow you to ask any questions or concerns that you may have.
If you choose to hire a local photographer but your venue doesn’t have a list of preferred vendors, ask the property manager if they can recommend a few vendors that previous couples have hired. Also check out local destination forums, wedding forums, and facebook groups to seek recommendations from previous destination wedding couples. In most cases they would be more than happy to share their experiences.
Bringing your own Photographer
If you decide to bring your own photographer, it’s important that you factor in the added expenses. Destination weddings often require a great deal of transportation and hospitality arrangements, not only for guests but also for your vendors. For this reason, many destination photographers, or those who are willing to travel to document your big day, hold their clients responsible for their travel expenses in addition to your chosen package. Some photographers will provide their quotes with travel already included, and some will provide quotes without travel and stipulate that travel expenses will need to be reimbursed on your final balance bill. If you need to stick to a budget firmly, it is recommended that you choose a photographer that provides you with quotes up front. Before you agree to any terms, consult with your travel specialist. Your destination wedding travel specialist would know best of extra bonuses or travel perks that you could use towards your vendor/s. Even if there are not extras, it might still work out best to add the vendor/s to your group booking. You are not only taking advantage of the best rate, but more importantly, have peace of mind of having them in your group pool in case of any unexpected travel changes.
Whether you choose local or bring your own photographer, each come with its own challenges. Educate yourself, know what questions to ask and if possible avoid verbal agreements. Having a written agreement outlining all terms, will ensure both parties are on the same page. Most importantly, feel good and at ease about your decision as your chosen photographer will be along your side for most of the day. If you have any questions and wish to talk about your destination wedding plans, contact Anna by filling out the form below or calling 1-416-805-9890. Also, check out and follow Anna’s Instagram account.