Preparing for Your Destination Wedding

San Antonio Destination Wedding Photographer

This past week, I read that any wedding which is at least two hours or 120 miles away from your home and most of your guests have to travel that same distance is considered a destination wedding. Who knew that the second wedding I photographed was a destination wedding?  Having discovered that, it got me to thinking.  What are some of the details that go into planning a destination wedding?

  1. Get Your Passport First
    Before you even settle on the destination, make your you’ve applied for your passport.  You won’t be going anywhere without it!
  2. Will the marriage be legal in the U. S.?
    Unless you’re willing to repeat the vows in the U. S., make sure that your marriage will be legally recognized in the States.  In addition, each country has its own set of laws for a legal marriage including residency requirements, immunizations, marriage applications, witnesses and blood tests.  However, since most destination venues want your business, they are usually more than happy to help you navigate through all the unfamiliar requirements.
  3. The Dress, the Rings & the Groom
    Do not forget to take these things!  Do not ship these things!  Pack them and travel with them.  It is also a great idea to get a rider on your insurance policy for the rings—especially if you’ll be dipping into the ocean after the ceremony.  Most home policies will only cover claims up to $500 for jewelry.
  4. Combining to Actually Save Money
    The best part about planning a destination wedding is that most locations are romantic getaways.  This is ideal for honeymooning couples who want to stay put after the nuptials are exchanged.  Since there’s no need for additional travel, couples who combine the wedding and the honeymoon can save a significant amount of money.
  5. Travel Etiquette
    Be sensitive to your guests.  On average, each guest will be spending between $750 and $1,100 to attend your destination wedding.  Even if the bride and groom are not paying for the trip, there are things they can do to help attending guests as much as possible.  Well in advance, provide detailed traveling instructions that include directions from the airport to the hotel.  If possible, make arrangements for guests who are arriving at similar times to travel to the hotel together.  They can share a cab, shuttle or rental car.   Also include a few lodging options of varying prices so that guests who are on different budgets will have a choice.  If your budget allows, consider hosting a dinner, cocktail party or group excursion as way to say thank you to the guests who went out of their way to attend your wedding.  Most importantly, remember that most couples who have destination weddings do not register for gifts.  This is to show their guests, who are already spending major bucks, that their mere presence is a gift in and of itself.
  6. Wedding Planner/Consultant
    A destination wedding consultant will be able to  take care of the small but important details for your special day.  They have the knowledge, experience and list of the vendors to get the job done quicker and easier than the average bride.  In addition to identifying those foreign marriage requirements, a professional planner is often aware of the legalities for the ceremony and reception planning (ie. obtaining an event permit).  Again, since the venue wants your business, many popular destinations now have event planners on staff and combine the cost of their services into the packaged wedding deal.  Using a professional planner will allow you the opportunity to truly enjoy one of the most important days of your life.
  7. The Photographs
    The detail shots of your wedding and reception are great, but if you’ve gone through all the trouble to have a destination wedding,  ensure that the photographs easily depict where you were… even if you were stateside in Tulsa.  Include many pull backs of the landscape, buildings and surrounding environment.
  8. Relax!
    Murphy’s Law will always prevail and like any big day, destination weddings often hit snags along the way.  These obstacles and barriers can seem to be compounded due to currency exchange issues, language differences or just general unfamiliarity with the location, its residents, and its customs.  If problems arise, just relax and take a deep breath.  Stand back and take a look at the issue.  Utilize your family or bridal party to help you correct the problem or just to put a different perspective on the problem.  Most wedding experts recommend that the couple arrive a few days in advance of the big day.  This may allow them to correct any last minute snags before they erupt.  The bottom line is don’t let any minor hiccups ruin your day!  Enjoy your destination wedding day to the fullest extent possible!


san antonio senior portrait photographers ata-girl photography since 2010I am a San Antonio-based wedding and senior photographer who started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. As one of the up-and-coming San Antonio wedding photographers, I am also available to shoot in Austin, Houston and Dallas and the surrounding areas. I am also available for destination weddings. Ata-Girl Photography Co. offers an amazing San Antonio wedding photography service that you won’t soon forget. As a San Antonio wedding photographer, my sole purpose is to treat your San Antonio wedding like a regal event.

In addition to wedding photography, I also specialize in San Antonio senior portraits and senior portraits for high school seniors in my local surrounding areas.

I am a professional photographer who enjoys documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I enjoy watching my daughter play softball, hiking, cycling and listening to Elvis!

This post first appeared on Ata-Girl Photography Co’s website and blog. Please enjoy this San Antonio senior photography provided by Tammy Blalock and Ata-Girl Photography Co. Ata-Girl Photography Co. also offers superb San Antonio wedding photography in the San Antonio metro and surrounding area and strives to be one of the finest San Antonio wedding photographers.